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Is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?

English translation: Yes, I think it is.

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04:35 May 1, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Linguistics / Sociological study
English term or phrase: Is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
I wrote "achievements were made," and a friend of mine says the correct collocation is "achievements were obtained."

I disagree with her suggestion. I would never say you "obtained an achievement." Achieving is accomplishing. That is why if you achieve something people say "you made it."

Please correct me if I am wrong!

Thanks in advance for your valuable opinions!
María Eugenia Wachtendorff
Chile
Local time: 15:43
English translation:Yes, I think it is.
Explanation:
I understand your reasoning, and I can't find anything definite in BBI or other manuals, but "make an achievement" doesn't ring right to me. You can achieve something (a goal, an honor), using the active verb form; you can have a list of achievements (on your CV); but whenever I have to translate "logros" I go to great lengths to avoid the construction you're asking about. I've seen "gain," "win," or "attain" achievements, but they all seem redundant to me.

I have no doubt that a gazillion examples can be found on Google, but in my opinion, neither "make" nor "obtain" nor any of the options I listed above makes the grade.

For what it's worth, MEW! Good luck and may you continue to achieve great things.

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Note added at 33 mins (2007-05-01 05:09:18 GMT)
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As for the example David supplied above: If I were editing that text, I would suggest "China has made great strides/remarkable progress in foreign trade this year" OR "China's achievements in foreign trade this year have been remarkable."

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Note added at 4 days (2007-05-06 04:16:56 GMT) Post-grading
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You're very welcome; glad to be of help. Lia's right, of course! But this kind of question is really fun to work on.
Selected response from:

JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 15:43
Grading comment
Thank you very much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +15Yes, I think it is.
JaneTranslates
4''... achievements were scored''
Mehmet Hascan
4agree with Jane and David: verbalisexxxLia Fail
4I think the best way is to go with "xxx was/were achieved"
David Hollywood
2 +1achievements were realized
Jonathan MacKerron
3achievements were won
Hakki Ucar


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


43 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
I think the best way is to go with "xxx was/were achieved"


Explanation:
switching it round ....

David Hollywood
Local time: 16:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 47
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
agree with Jane and David: verbalise


Explanation:


A concordance in the British National Corpus indicates what's typical.

http://sara.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/saraWeb?qy=achievement

You need to go to the site to see what I mean, as I cxan only copy one sentence here.

Results of your search

Your query was

achievement

Here is a random selection of 50 solutions from the 3073 found...

A11 66 Radio signalling made more than a debut, helping toward the achievement of one of the decade's miracles, not only the survival but with greater expectation of long life of much of the Highland lines and many more.




You will get sentences like this also:

1 er. After 10 tumultous years of substantial achievement and disastrous mistakes, the Sandinistas cont
2 er. After 10 tumultous years of substantial achievement and disastrous mistakes, the Sandinistas cont
3 ays' labour, had become uninterested in his achievement and had delegated responsibility for the rul
4 ch subject. The early 1920s were years of achievement and satisfaction. She exhibited in Paris (sa
5 rly 2,140 organisations -- was in itself an achievement, as Mr Murphy Morobe, of the MDM, noted. I
6 Colonel's wife. Like many women of small achievement, Bo-Bo was generous with advice: "Fru M&osla
7 nd workshops. The Ministry's most notable achievement has been the transformation of the country's
8 nt, won The Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1991-- the first time that this award has
9 nce commended a candidate "with a record of achievement" in these revealing terms:"He has consistent
10 e, but set in a historical context it is an achievement. No one expected to reverse the pull of 14
11 total cooling rather than the intermediate achievement of control, leaving a residual but still sev
12 word. The Memphite system represents a high achievement of Egyptian thought and probably had a limite
13 r and his horse. That no longer exists. The achievement of the uprising, says the journalist Nahum Ba
14 and his horse. That no longer exists. "The achievement of the uprising, says the journalist Nahum Ba
15 of the profession and at whatever level of achievement. Over the years Artcare have introduced ma
16 robe, of the MDM, noted. It was a further achievement that delegates from these two, until recentl

Corpus evidence would seem to confirm that "achievement" is used without a verb.

See also the concordances for "achievement was/were", few to none for " + made":

http://sara.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/saraWeb?qy=achievement ...

http://sara.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/saraWeb?qy=achievements...

Your senetnce should probably be expressed with "be":

There were important achievements in regard to.....



xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 21:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks for all your help, Lia!

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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
achievements were realized


Explanation:
gets nearly 2000 googles for what it' worth

Jonathan MacKerron
Local time: 21:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mark Nathan: and "to accomplish an achievement" is occasionally used
1 hr
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
''... achievements were scored''


Explanation:
http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q="achievements were score...

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Note added at 6 hrs (2007-05-01 10:55:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Alternatıvely,

'(remarkable / outstanding etc.) achievements were attained'
http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q="remarkable achievements...

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Note added at 6 hrs (2007-05-01 10:59:21 GMT)
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During the reporting periods the following scientific achievements were attained.
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:Iv6d17Di_Z8J:ec.europa.eu...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2007-05-01 11:01:13 GMT)
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These achievements were attained through Outreach with forty-nine high schools across Angus, Dundee, Fife, Perth and Kinross.
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/learning/wasc/outreach/outreach_offi...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2007-05-01 11:02:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"It is not clear whether those early childhood experiences contributed to whatever successes I have enjoyed or whether those achievements were attained in spite of those experiences," Capecchi told an audience in Japan
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/features/capecchi/

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2007-05-01 11:03:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

While it was highlighted that striking achievements were attained in poverty reduction, progress was slower in achieving the other goals (United Nations, 2003).
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:QfT6PXf2lmkJ:www.un.org/e...

Mehmet Hascan
Ireland
Local time: 20:43
Native speaker of: Turkish
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
achievements were won


Explanation:
it sounds challenging to me


    Reference: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1994/vp941...
    Reference: http://blogs.britannica.com/blog/main/2007/02/the-us-foundin...
Hakki Ucar
Local time: 22:43
Native speaker of: Native in TurkishTurkish
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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +15
is it wrong to say you "made an achievement"?
Yes, I think it is.


Explanation:
I understand your reasoning, and I can't find anything definite in BBI or other manuals, but "make an achievement" doesn't ring right to me. You can achieve something (a goal, an honor), using the active verb form; you can have a list of achievements (on your CV); but whenever I have to translate "logros" I go to great lengths to avoid the construction you're asking about. I've seen "gain," "win," or "attain" achievements, but they all seem redundant to me.

I have no doubt that a gazillion examples can be found on Google, but in my opinion, neither "make" nor "obtain" nor any of the options I listed above makes the grade.

For what it's worth, MEW! Good luck and may you continue to achieve great things.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 33 mins (2007-05-01 05:09:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As for the example David supplied above: If I were editing that text, I would suggest "China has made great strides/remarkable progress in foreign trade this year" OR "China's achievements in foreign trade this year have been remarkable."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 days (2007-05-06 04:16:56 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

You're very welcome; glad to be of help. Lia's right, of course! But this kind of question is really fun to work on.

Example sentence(s):
  • His latest achievements are very impressive, but I won't hire him because he's a jerk.
  • She achieved something no ProZer had ever managed before--she supplied the selected answers on eleven consecutive KudoZ questions.
JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 15:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you very much!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Jane! You are right, as usual :)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Allesklar: In the original example, "progress" instead of "achievements" would work.
17 mins
  -> Thanks, Allesklar. Yes, in that context it should work well. Depends a little on what is meant by "achievements," but I'd far rather see "made progress" than "made achievements."

agree  David Knowles: Also with Allesklar, who has pinpointed a similar construction that works.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, David. Yes, as long as "achievements" aren't finite and quantifiable (specific awards, etc.), the collective "progress" works well.

agree  BrigitteHilgner: Yes, and also with Allesklar. "to make an achievement" looks like German sentence structure to me, not like English.
1 hr
  -> I'll take your word for it! I know about 12 words of German. Thanks, Brigitte!

agree  Olga B
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Olga.

agree  Alison Jenner: Also with Allesklar and Brigitte.
2 hrs
  -> Me too! Thanks, Alison.

agree  cmwilliams
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, cmwilliams.

agree  Erich Ekoputra
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Erich

agree  Jocelyne S
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, J S.

agree  Mark Nathan: or you could change it round and achieve/reach/accomplish objectives
5 hrs
  -> Another excellent option. Thanks, Mark.

agree  Seema Ugrankar
6 hrs
  -> Thank you, Seema.

agree  Refugio: This is a case where the passive voice (both 'were made' and 'were obtained') sounds lame.
8 hrs
  -> Thank you, Ruth. I was so fixated on the verb choice that I didn't even think about the voice, and you're absolutely right, as usual.

agree  kironne
8 hrs
  -> Thanks so much, kironne!

agree  jccantrell: Agree with Ruth. Change it to a verb, ... achieved...
9 hrs
  -> Yep. I think that's usually the best solution. Thanks, jccantrell.

agree  Sophia Finos
17 hrs
  -> Thank you, Sophia.

agree  Rusinterp
21 hrs
  -> Thank you, Rusinterp.
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