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The two friends have decided to............................... in the boating competition.

a) enter b) participate c) take on d) join.

I've chosen b, i'm between b and c. i know their meaning but they are almost the same. Is there a slim difference?.

I know after participate in comes consequently i have chosen b. Am i wrong?

If it's d why or why not?
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Participate (in) => to take part in something. Ex. Participate in the World Cup competition.

Join (in ) => participate, take part. Ex: joined in the search.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin

Therefore (b) and (d) are both correct. This is not a good test question as there are two equally good answers.
Hi guys,

The two friends have decided to............................... in the boating competition.

a) enter b) participate c) take on d) join.

I've chosen b, i'm between b and c. i know their meaning but they are almost the same. Is there a slim difference?. C does not make any sense at all. eg you would then have two prepositions together that do not work together.

I know after participate in comes consequently i have chosen b. Am i wrong?

If it's d why or why not?

B is by far the best answer. D is not really idiomatic. You don't really 'join in' a competition. A competition is, by definition, an event where separate individuals compete with each other. 'Join in' has the strong sense of co-operation, eg 3 men are pushing a car, and you decide to join in. In addition, you just 'join in', you usually don't 'join in something'.

Best wishes, Clive
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BTW, A would've been fine but the presence of in eliminates it.
You enter a/the competition, thus without in.

Continuing along the lines Clive has mentioned, you join in an activity of some kind. A competition is a scheduled event, not, strictly speaking, an activity. So b is definitely the best answer.

Are you sure you copied c from the question correctly?
decided to take on in the boating competition?
That makes no sense at all.
I'm concerned that the true c is take part, and that will make the choice infinitely more difficult.

CJ
Hi guys,

In everyday, casual English, you won't often hear people use 'participate' here. Instead, you'll very often hear The two friends have decided to go in the boating competition.

Best wishes, Clive
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go in? Is that British? It doesn't ring true for me as a speaker of AmE.
CJ
CliveIn everyday, casual English, you won't often hear people use 'participate' here. Instead, you'll very often hear The two friends have decided to go in the boating competition. wishesor
run in (some might think this inappropriate for sailing/boating)
sail in
enter (in)

Hi,

Gee, talk about England and America being two countries separated by a common language. Ain't it the truth!

'Go in' a competition means 'enter' a competition. It doesn't refer to the activity you actually do in the competition, thus it doesn't mean boat in, sail in, run in, etc.

CJ, what verb do you hear people commonly use in speech, then? Do they really say 'participate'? Probably 'enter'?

Clive
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