Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Singapore
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    601

    obtain vs are obtaining

    The cloning of different varieties of plants has led to many hybrid plants which have proved more productive in agriculture. However, this has raised concern about the dangers of cloning, as scientists obtain the knowledge to blend one animal species with another.

    Question: Why are some people concerned about the dangers of cloning? (1m)

    My answer: It is because scientists obtain the knowledge to blend one animal species with another.

    My answer is correct except for the use of ‘obtain’. It should be ‘are obtaining’. I don’t understand why the simple present is incorrect in answering this question.

    Thank you for teaching me.

  2. #2
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,945

    Re: obtain vs are obtaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    The cloning of different varieties of plants has led to many hybrid plants which have proved more productive in agriculture. However, this has raised concern about the dangers of cloning, as scientists obtain the knowledge to blend one animal species with another.

    My answer: It is because scientists obtain the knowledge to blend one animal species with another.

    My answer is correct except for the use of ‘obtain’. It should be ‘are obtaining’. I don’t understand why the simple present is incorrect in answering this question.
    I can totally understand why you chose simple present, as that is the tense used in the original sentence, the bold part of which is not well written.

  3. #3
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,325

    Re: obtain vs are obtaining

    I don't know if I would say "obtain" is wrong but I think "obtaining" is better because it is a process. They are still doing it.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,131

    Re: obtain vs are obtaining

    In the original, as fulfils the function of describing the process, though this isn't terribly clear as it could have other meanings.

  5. #5
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Singapore
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    601

    Re: obtain vs are obtaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    '... are obtaining' is the correct choice.
    Please help me to understand why 'are obtaining' is the correct choice.

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,131

    Re: obtain vs are obtaining

    Their knowledge is not complete- it is an ongoing process.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •