Although this sentence is grammatically correct, it sounds strange to me but I can't put my finger on what's wrong. Whereas the following sentence sounds OK to me:
Can someone enlighten me, please? Many thanks.
'My ambition is to become rich and famous.'
The second sentence (in either form) is fine.
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
Ambitious to be well-pleasing : a festschrift for the centennial of
the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church,
by Allen C. Guelzo
and I'd consider it quite strange.
During a lesson where I asked my students to make sentences using the adjective 'ambitious', one of them came up with the sentence in question. I instinctively sensed that there was something wrong but couldn't quite explain it although structurally it does look all right to me.
You seem to disagree with me that the 1st sentence (with 'ambitious' as the adjective) is grammatically correct. However, my logic is that since both 'ambitious' and 'eager' are adjectives modifying the noun 'I', if the sentence with 'eager' is correct, why not the one with 'ambitious'?
Df2006 However, my logic is that since both 'ambitious' and 'eager' are adjectives modifying the noun 'I', if the sentence with 'eager' is correct, why not the one with 'ambitious'?Isn't it just a matter of collocation? Or maybe it is that "ambitious" has a more stative feel to it and "eager" is more of a temporary word.
Think how strange "I'm ambitious to get ahead" sounds, but "I'm eager to get ahead" does not.
We just don't say 'ambitious to'. Equally, we wouldn't just say 'I am eager' or 'I am keen' without defining in some way what we were eager or keen about.
'I am ambitious to become rich and famous.'
I have a comment, solely from a teaching perspective.
I think there is a time to correct and a time not to correct. Only the teacher can decide that, based on his /her knowledge of the student. The sentence above shows that the student understands this new word. It may be de-motivating to start in at this point with 'Yes, but you shouldn't say that'.
Even native speakers come up with slightly odd-sounding collocations sometimes. I guess that's how the language evolves.
If your student says the above, he'll certainly be understood by others with no problem, which is way more than half the game right there.
Best wishes, Clive
Thank you for your comment which certainly makes a lot of sense.
Thanks also to ALL who have helped!
Even native speakers come up with slightly odd-sounding collocations sometimes. I guess that's how the language evolves.>
In the main, I agree. There has to be place for novel combinations, but here I think a genuine collocational mistake was made.
People are waiting to help.
Related forum topics: