My name is Aygul. Im from Russia. Im studying English at University and writing my research paper concerning the differences in synonimic verbs. I’d be extremely grateful if you (native speakers of English because I need accurate data) could give me the explanation on the following pairs of sentences, pointng out the differences in the verb usage). im intersted in"abandon" desert":
- He abandoned his wife after 20 years of marriage.
- He deserted his wife after 20 years of marriage.
- Her boyfriend abandoned her.
- Her boyfriend deserted her.
- We had to abandon the car because it was broken.
- We gad to desert the car because it was broken.
So could you tell me if the used verbs are applicable in those sentences and if not why?
Thank you very much in advance.
Yes, these sentences use the word correctly.
They are correct but I would normally say “abandon” in all of those examples. “Desert” mostly makes me think of soldiers abandoning their post. But also there are some terms like “deserted house,” “deserted island” where it just means nobody is there (anymore).
In your sentences when you say “deserted” it makes me wonder if there is additional context that would make it clear why you chose that word.
Abandon can mean to give something up completely, as in “to abandon hope” or “to abandon a habit”.
It can also mean to give oneself over to natural impulses, as in “to abandon oneself to grief”.
There are also set expressions like “to abandon ship”, which can literally mean to leave a ship that is sinking, or figuratively to give up on a failing group project, for example, before it really goes under.
These are all ways in which the word “desert” cannot be used.
My sense from this is that “to desert” is usually less metaphorical.
Thank you, that’s right they are both correct but what is implied by desert which is not implied iby abandon? Can we say that abandon implies some outer circumstances that make us abandon something or somebody while in desert impies inner motives?
Thank you alot! Could you explain what is implied by both verbs? Can we say that abandon implies some outer circumstances that make us abandon something or somebody while desert impies inner motives?
I don’t think so; I think the implication of “desert” is frequently that you’re letting someone down or breaking an obligation. But using “abandon” instead certainly does not avoid those same implications, if the context suggests them.
To find a contrast I think you have to find cases where it is odd to say “desert.” Your sentence about deserting the car might be an example. I wouldn’t say that myself.
All of these statements are technically correct, but some, especially the last one, are awkwardly worded.
For most contexts, the two words mean the same thing, “to withdraw from with no intent to return.” However, abandon implies more giving up control, influence, or a right to something. To desert something is more about leaving something or someone in a lurch, in a bad situation, when times are tough, and especially military duty.
For example, since you are from Russia…
When the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was failing, workers and residents in the area had to ABANDON their homes and flee. One man, who realized his car had no gas and his pregnant wife couldn’t run fast enough, got out and DESERTED her in the car, leaving her to fend for herself while he saved himself. However, just when she was about to ABANDON herself to grief and wait for death, another heroic man came to her rescue and offered her a ride. So, she decided to ABANDON her car on the side of the road, get in his car, and drive to safety. Years later, nature lover went back to the site to find out it was DESERTED, like a desert, with no signs of life except for a few animals and lots of ghosts haunting the ABANDONED buildings. However, because he stayed there too long, he became radioactive and got super powers like Spiderman. When he realized all the chicks he could impress, he ABANDONED his wife of 20 years to find someone younger and hotter.
Wow! Great example!Thank you vry much for your attention and explanation.
No prob and good luck. I’ll be knocking on your door when I finally decide to tackle Russian. I have some ladies to impress.
Oh, are you going to abandon your girlfrend, man, as you’ve deserted the army?