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Pridané: 13.01.2014
Autor: Andy BILLINGHAM
Kategória: 01/2014

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Oversee. This comes from German (übersehen), and the equivalent from Latin is to supervise, so it means "dozerať" or "dohliadať" in Slovak. A supervisor therefore does the same sort of job as an overseer, but as usual the Latin-origin word is more formal, so in a factory a supervisor has a higher position than an overseer. The trickiness here also goes back to German, because "übersehen" is the equivalent of "prehliadnúť", especially the idea of "failing to see something", and in English an oversight means the kind of mistake when you don't realize (see) or you forget something. The English word for "prehliadnúť" in this sense is to overlook, either deliberately (You've done wrong, but we'll overlook it this time) or accidentally (I'm sorry, I must have overlooked the change in the rules).

Andy's Wordshop

There's always an issue for people trying to improve their vocabulary (slovná zásoba), which is how to remember the difference in usage between pairs of words with similar (or even quite different) forms but quite different meanings. Some pairs of words cause trouble for English speakers themselves: oversee (dohliadať) and overlook (prehliadnúť) are a typical example, so are "infer" (odvodiť) and "imply" (naznačiť). Others cause trouble for foreign language learners: borrow and lend, avoid and prevent, bring and take, say and tell - the question is how to remember the difference in meaning when you're speaking. It helps to have a little voice in your head which says "Careful, it's the other one" just before you speak.

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