+0
If 'specific' in 'the specific way to do it' was replaced with 'concrete' as 'the concrete way to do it', would it still sound OK and make the same sense?
+0
Hi,

You might consider 'the practical way to do it'.

eg I don't know anything about Windows Vista, but Ive discovered that the practical way to fix my computer is to hit it right here with this hammer.

Best wishes, Clive
+0
COCA has almost 40 examples of "concrete way", and none refer to a paved road. So it is not very common, but neither is is unknown.

Here is one sample:

You can start speaking rationally to children about moral issues around ages five or six, as long as you put it in a simple, concrete way, " says Peskin.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
1 2
Comments  
I don't think so ... "concrete" and "specific" are not synonyms, here.

Specific = a particular example out of a multiplicity of choices or options

Concrete = a tangible, physical or observable example.

Specific can be intangible, as in "a specific idea", while concrete is, well, "concrete" = one can touch & sense it. One would never (well, in normal AmEng usage) say one had a "concrete idea", unless one is a builder or designer in aggregates .....
dumbswedeOne would never (well, in normal AmEng usage) say one had a "concrete idea", 

Are you sure? The phrase 'concrete idea' sounds familiar to me...
As an adjective, concrete can mean solid, robust, firm, well-conceived, or well-established.
It can be used to describe such abstract things as plans, goals, benefits, progress, details, solutions, ideas, and, in legal contexts: case, evidence, and proof.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
But you don't think 'a concrete way' sounds natural, or do you, AS?
I'd say a "concrete idea" would be one that contains some detail. For example:

"We should improve it." => no concrete suggestion for improvement

"We could improve it by doing X." => concrete idea for improvement
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. But what I really want to know right now is whether 'a concrete way' itself sounds wrong or not. And if it sounds wrong, then why?
Hmmm ... when you put it that way, I tend to agree, sort of. Though I still don't like "concrete" applied to intangible objects, as a rule. I would expect, for example, that your 'concrete idea' makes sense if I then proceed to show you my idea on paper, or by some other tangible method, thus taking a mental intangible and making it tangible.

Perrhaps I'm being too picky?
Show more