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usage of livelihood Options
robjen
Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:33:59 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2015
Posts: 833
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According to Cambridge Dictionary, livelihood is (the way someone earns) the money people need to pay for food, a place to live, clothing, etc.:

I have made up a few sentences using the word below.

(1) A full-time job supports a steady livelihood.

(2) Your clerical skills provides a steady livelihood.

(3) Teaching provides a good livelihood.

(4) Working as a construction worker is your livelihood.

(5) Our new training program supports a good livelihood.

Most of my non-native English speaking friends think (1) is wrong and (2) to (4) are correct.

Which of the sentences am I using the word in correctly? Please help me. Thank you.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 5:09:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,519
Neurons: 246,318
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I agree with your friends - it's not a big point and I'd not complain about it in conversation.

By the definitions I have (the ones in the three dictionaries here and the Oxford and Cambridge), "livelihood" is "the means of support" or "job/employment as providing money for food and subsistence". It isn't the money itself.

So techncally, the job is the livelihood.

A company, a farm, "the land", etc. would provide a livelihood (somewhere to work to make money for food etc.)

Skills, a type of work would support or provide a livelihood.

A training program would support a good livelihood.


There is one other point in sentence (2) "clerical skills" is a plural noun, so the verb needs to be plural.

Your clerical skills provide a steady livelihood.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 8:32:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
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Neurons: 1,358,720
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Well, nearly... Livelihood is your means of support -- it isn't the money, as DragOnSpeaker noted, but it also isn't what is provided BY working. It is the work that provides support.

Teaching IS your livelihood.
Construction work IS your livelihood.
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