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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #1

    Lightbulb to improve or to be improved

    "I told you then your work performance had to improve and to be quite honest Ė it hasnít."

    My question is: why people don't say "your work performance had to be improved"?

    Please help me with this question, thanks in advance.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #2

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    The verb "improve" means:
    to become better than before; to make sth/sb better than before: [v] His quality of life has improved dramatically since the operation. The doctor says she should continue to improve (= after an illness). I hope my French will improve when I go to France. [vn] to improve standards The company needs to improve performance in all these areas. I need to improve my French.

  1. Copy-editor's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    'I told you then that your work performance had to improve and, to be quite honest, it hasn’t.'

    There's a subtle difference.

    In the first it is implied that the person being spoken to is responsible for the improvement.
    It could also be general. '...performance had to improve by June, and there are signs that it is improving.'

    The second merely states that the performance needed improvement. It could be because they have not been given the right tools.
    It is also often used to include specific information and a closed time frame. '... performance had to be improved by 09:00 on 1 June 2009.' The improvement is either sufficient or insufficient.

    [Not a teacher]

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    Quote Originally Posted by mirrortong View Post
    "I told you then your work performance had to improve and to be quite honest Ė it hasnít."

    My question is: why people don't say "your work performance had to be improved"?

    Please help me with this question, thanks in advance.
    I don't see it quite as Copy-editor does - if I understand your question correctly.

    To me:
    "Your work performance has to improve" AND
    "Your work performance has to be improved"
    mean the same thing, given the context.
    (Naturally I mean this opinion to include also the past tense that you've used).


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #5

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    Thank you all for your generous help. I've taken into consideration all these tips and explanations. I guess language is more of a habit sometimes, I'll learn the rules while improving my language authenticity.

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    #6

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    Hello!

    "Your work performance has to improve something"
    Whereas
    "Your work performance has to be improved by youself or in consequence of the innovations (You or someone/something should improve your work performance)"

    Please reply to my conclusion.

    Thanks in advance!

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    #7

    Re: to improve or to be improved

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post
    Hello!

    "Your work performance has to improve something"
    Whereas
    "Your work performance has to be improved by youself or in consequence of the innovations (You or someone/something should improve your work performance)"

    Please reply to my conclusion.

    Thanks in advance!
    You appear to be suggesting that the verb 'improve' is exclusively transitive. However, as a previous contributor has already noted, the verb can be either transitive or intransitive.

    Philo

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