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usage of "earn" Options
vpbank24h
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 11:25:54 AM

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I am not sure if I can use "earn" in my sentence below.

(ex) I completed all the required computer courses, which earned me an advanced certificate.

Am I using it correctly? Thanks a lot.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 8:13:34 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello vpbank.

Yes - that is a good sentence. You can earn a degree (the status) or earn a certificate for a degree (the piece of card which represents a status).


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 2:20:13 PM

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You earned the certificate -- it wasn't earned by something else for you. I'm objecting to the "which earned me" portion of the sentence. I would propose switching the sentence around to avoid that clumsiness.

Try this, instead...
I earned an advanced certificate by completing the required computer courses.
palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 10:03:53 PM

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Wilmar (USA) wrote:
You earned the certificate -- it wasn't earned by something else for you. I'm objecting to the "which earned me" portion of the sentence. I would propose switching the sentence around to avoid that clumsiness.

Try this, instead...
I earned an advanced certificate by completing the required computer courses.

Agree. That struck me as well.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 2:28:47 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I disagree. The original sentence is phrased in a way which is quite common to me.

The clause " I completed all the required computer courses" and "which" could easily be replaced by a gerund phrase or a noun which would make perfect sense.
It is normal to say that one's work or performance, or some attribute earned one status.

My completing all the courses earned me an advanced certificate.
All my work earned me an advanced certificate.
I completed all the required computer courses, which earned me an advanced certificate.


His successes during the Russo-Polish conflict of 1768-72 earned him a reputation as a self-willed subordinate and a boldly unorthodox tactician - The New Encyclopaedia Britannica
He played hurt, which earned him the respect of his teammates - Cotton Bowl Days: John Eisenberg
Castro's outstanding achievements, including three patents and various publications, have earned him numerous awards. Hispanic Engineer & IT
It won the Academy Award for best picture in 1972, and Al Pacino's brooding yet intelligent performance earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. - The Seventies Mary E. Sterling
. . . on 27 June 1916 he scored his first victory by intercepting an EA over Verona and shooting it down after a 20 km chase: the feat earned him a Bronze ...Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and ... - Norman L. R. Franks, ‎Russell Guest, ‎Gregory Alegi
. . . recklessness under enemy fire earned him severe wounds during the U.S. Army's successful assault on Mexico City . . . - American national biography - John Arthur Garraty, ‎Mark Christopher Carnes, ‎American Council of Learned Societies

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 12:08:38 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I totally agree with Drago. I read Wilmar's amended version over and over and found it impossible to work out what made it a preferable alternative to the original phrasing.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 2:41:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 31,670
Neurons: 190,487
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
It would appear to be Wilmar's and palapaguy's understanding that YOU earn the cert (by completing the courses), but your completion of the courses doesn't earn anything.

Maybe it's an American way of thinking, which is different from our British/South African/Australian way.

Similar to the difference between:
"Manchester are playing at home this week."
and
"Chicago is playing in Las Vegas."

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 11:46:12 AM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Both are used in AE:
I passed all my classes (more likely than "courses", though either is correct), so I earned the Advanced App Production certificate.

I passed all my classes, which earned me an Advanced Certificate. (Or, "advanced certificate", if that isn't the name of the certificate: see above.)

By passing all my classes, I earned an advanced certificate.

It's all the same thing. It is more likely that in AE we'd use the more active "I earned the advanced certificate by passing all my classes": What I did--I earned the certificate. How I did it--I passed all my classes.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 12:18:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 31,670
Neurons: 190,487
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Thanks Ruth - I guess that palapaguy and Wilmar are just a bit more 'active'.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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