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But he warns about the dangers of such developments in the region that borders on Afghanistan and has seen an upsurge of Islamic radicalism.

"Many people are unaware that we in Central Asia have our own specific and distinctive features and that schemes for regime change of that kind can easily develop into civil war."

Pointing at the danger of militant Islamism, Mr Akayev says that instead of a revolution, efforts should be made at preserving the "unsophisticated" democracy that he believes exists in Kyrgyzstan.

Mrs Otunbayeva flatly rejects the latter, but agrees that a fully-fledged Western-style democracy might be too early for Kyrgyzstan, the only ex-Soviet state that officially proclaimed itself a developing country.

I would write 'Efforts should be made towards preserving democracy or to preserve democracy.

The article says 'Efforts should be made at preserving ...............

Is it consistent with the English grammar?
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Comments  
I think it is "effort to preserving the ... " ! Nevertheless, this " to" is not a preposition, it is an adverb. Plus, I guess it is thoroughly worng to use towards like you mentioned

You don`t say something moves towards. You could say sth moves toward or even, it move towards, which I `m afraid to be an old-fashioned way of speaking !
Chiefly effort means some physical or mental activity needed to achieve something and naturally you make an effort to doing something.

Not effort of/for.

My question is on the given context.
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While "at" does not shock the native ear, I would have used "toward".

The partial acceptability of "effort at" may be because of a tangential relationship to "attempt at".
Poifectly consistent with English grammar, Andrei.

Googled:

399,000 English pages for "efforts towards"

1,750,000 English pages for "efforts at".
JT: I wonder if Andrei wanted more specifically the cases where "toward(s)" or "at" was followed by a gerund.

I'm not familiar with how we could Google that sort of combination.
If you know, I think we would all appreciate your instruction on this, as it would be useful information. Thanks.

Jim
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JT, I wonder if Andrei wanted more specifically the cases where "toward(s)" or "at" was followed by a gerund.

I'm not familiar with how we could Google that sort of combination.
If you know, I think we would all appreciate your instruction on this, as it would be useful information. Thanks.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I don't see why it would matter, Jim for both are still frequently used in that situation.

It's sometimes tough to do the exact phrasing you would always want, Jim, but to Google an exact phrase, here's what you do.

1. home page - click on ADVANCED SEARCH

2. Use the "Find results with exact phrase" box.

3. Under language select English.

4. Compare away.
JT: What I actually meant was a search for "efforts at" + any word ending in "ing" -- that kind of thing. I guess Google doesn't get that fancy. CJ
No, they leave a bit of research up to you, Jim. Stick in two comparisons. Obviously there are caveats to consider but it is a good rough indicator, not a perfect one, of language use.
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