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simple form vs. continuous form

English translation: we are striving to make available

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:simple form vs. continuous form
English translation:we are striving to make available
Entered by: William Stein
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15:22 Dec 10, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
German term or phrase: simple form vs. continuous form
Never mind the obvious mistakes in the following sentence:

In order to support this seamless communications we work towards appropriate (technical) Quality of Service mechanisms being available in the Internet.

my husband says that it reads better when the phrase is changed to the continuous form, i.e. ... we are working ..., i argue that the sentence describes/states the work/goal of the univ. dept. and can therefore remain in simple form. Or is my thinking 'German' here?
What's the opinion of other native speakers? b.t.w. this occurs several times throughout the text.
bitblume
Local time: 18:38
we are striving to make available
Explanation:
I think it should be continuous because the activity will presumably stop once the goal as been reached. The period of striving can therefore be considered to temporary rather than as a habitual permanent activity (cf. I am working on a solution to the problem of...)
Selected response from:

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 11:38
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6"we arfe working towards making appropriate QoS mechanisms available on the Internet"
Hilary Davies Shelby
4 +6we are striving to make available
William Stein
5 +2we are working towards...
Simona de Logu
2continuous
Peter Linton


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
we are working towards...


Explanation:
Definitely sounds better. Agree with your husband.

Simona de Logu
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 148

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hilary Davies Shelby
3 mins

agree  Edward Guyver: communications is plural - delete the "this"
12 mins
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
we are striving to make available


Explanation:
I think it should be continuous because the activity will presumably stop once the goal as been reached. The period of striving can therefore be considered to temporary rather than as a habitual permanent activity (cf. I am working on a solution to the problem of...)

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 11:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1734
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.: or seeking if the goal is not yet reached - Asker is encouraged to pay attention to English improvements here since 'towards being available' is poor style since still clinging to German passive formulation - 'seamless' highlights o/w strained constructio
9 mins

agree  Gillian Scheibelein: definately continuous (progressive GB) tense. I much prefer "striving" rather than "working towards", it is more elegant
36 mins

agree  Laurel Porter: excellent explanation - I was trying to formulate something similar, and now I don't have to!
1 hr
  -> Well I explained it to students in Germany, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Russia, Morocco, Brazil and Turkey, so why not here?

agree  Lori Dendy-Molz
2 hrs

agree  Hilary Davies Shelby: great explanation, i have to admit I had never thought of it like that
20 hrs

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
20 hrs
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
"we arfe working towards making appropriate QoS mechanisms available on the Internet"


Explanation:
I agree with both the other answers, it should *definitely* be present continuous tense here - and probably in the other places in the text here too - because it is an ongoing process.

This was just a suggestion for your sentence ;-)

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Note added at 2003-12-10 16:04:25 (GMT)
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oops - that should of course be \"we are\" in my sentence!

Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 11:38
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 641

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.: that's English
6 mins
  -> Thanks Maureen!

agree  Richard Benham: Mostly English, apart from "arfe".
33 mins
  -> Thanks Rich, caught it too late ;-)

agree  Laurel Porter: nice 'n' simple - woof
1 hr
  -> yay i got a woof! ;-) Thanks L!

agree  Lori Dendy-Molz: Another biscuit for you.
2 hrs
  -> ooh thanks but I really shouldn't ;-)

agree  Kim Metzger
3 hrs
  -> thanks Kim!

agree  Mario Marcolin: less is more :)
15 hrs
  -> Hi Mario, thanks again!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
continuous


Explanation:
I agree with all the others about using the continuous form. However, I can't resist pointing out (in my view) some other minor infelicities in your sentence -- for example, you have singular "this" but plural "communications" (as mentioned above - delete "this"). I think you also need a comma after "communications".
And at the end of the sentence, "on the Internet" is more usual than "in the Internet."
And while there is nothing particularly wrong with "we are working towards", to my mind it does indeed sound a shade German, and does not sound quite right with Quality of Service - it's more a question of "implementing Quality of Service standards on the Internet".
So a very free English equivalent of your sentence might read something like this:
"To support seamless communications, we are planning to implement the appropriate technical Quality of Service standards on the Internet".
Just a suggestion. The ref below gives a good overview of QoS and its jargon.

Peter Linton
Local time: 17:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 31
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