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  1. NortT's Avatar
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    #1

    Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    Hello!
    I need to fill gaps in the following sentences with words "cut" and "decline" and I am confused about these words:


    1. Supermarkets ________ prices on many basic items to attract more customers.
    2. I believe that governments should increase spending on the arts instead of _______ it.
    3. House prices are so high that the number of people buying their own home has _______ in the last five years.
    4. Because so many people are out of work, living standards are _______ rapidly.


    My answers were: 1. decline; 2. decline; 3. cut; 4. cutting; however answers in a book are different. They are: 1. cut; 2. cutting; 3. declined; 4. declining.

    Is it possible to use these words as I used them?
    Please, show me every single one of my mistakes. Thank you.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    We won't do your homework for you, but I can tell you this: cut is an active verb; decline in this context is passive.

  3. NortT's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    Hello probus,
    I am not a student so this is not my homework. I just want to improve my different English skills and grammar is one of them. I think that the only way to improve my grammar is to read grammar books and make tests. Unforunately, I don't know how to ask about differences between "cut" and "decline" without these sentences which are playing a role of context in this case.
    Frankly to say, I did not understand the 2nd part of your answer. It is not obviously for my why I can't say that "Supermarkets decline prices" and "living standards are cutting rapidly". I'm not a native speaker so I'm not able to feel differences between these verbs.
    Please, show me every single one of my mistakes. Thank you.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    Shops cut prices.
    Prices decline.

    Note that it's more natural to say "Prices fall".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. NortT's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    In other words "thing#1 can cut thing#2 " but "thing#2 can be declined by thing#1". This is what probus was talking about. Am I right?
    Please, show me every single one of my mistakes. Thank you.

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    #6

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    Cut is transitive (can take an object) and decline is intransitive (doesn't take an object). 3 & 4 are intransitive- no object.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    Hold on! I don't know why probus said decline was 'passive in this context', or why teachers agreed with him. I think he meant intransitive.

    To answer your question, NO, If thing+2 is declined by thing+1 (a passive structure) you are forcing it to have a transitive sense: example - 'The offer was declined by the man." This is NOT the sense of 'decline' in the context of sentences 3 and 4 (where it is a fancy way of saying 'fall' or 'go down').

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 04-Sep-2014 at 09:29. Reason: fix typo

  7. probus's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Are "cut" and "decline" interchangeable words?

    You are correct BobK. I misspoke, and meant transitive/intransitive rather than active/passive.

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