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"the new law 'aims at' reducing crime rate"
"the new law 'aims to' reduce crime rate"
What are the differences between these two forms? Which form is more appropriate under what situation?
Approved answer (verified by Mister Micawber)
"The normal idiom is to aim at something (e.g. aim at a target, aim a blow at someone or something, aim a stone at the window, etc.). In strict British English the only part of a verb that can follow aim is the gerund (aim at doing something) but over the past few years the infinitive has been gaining ground (e.g. The council aims to build five hundred new houses this year), and perhaps ultimately we shall have to accept it, but until that time arrives it is better avoided."
For me, "ultimately" has arrived. I see nothing wrong with using the infinitive instead ofat + gerund, nor do I detect any difference in meaning.
I just saw your site and thought that you might help me. Is the verb "aim" used with "that"? Or could it be at least tried when there is no other option? For example:
The campaign aims that the water resources are protected and developed.
An answer would be much appreciated.
SerraAvatar"the new law 'aims at' reducing crime rate" v.s."the new law 'aims to' reduce crime rate"Just to make a small addition to what has already been said, I'd like to say that to my ear, the form with "to reduce" makes the statement sound more confident of success than the "at reducing" form. My impression about this may be idiosyncratic.
Aim can generally be used in three forms:
1. Aim to : This form is specifically and colloquially used to express an intention to achieve, a purpose to achieve. Also to add to it, this usage is employed when aim is used as an intransitive verb, i.e. no direct object. Correct construction is Aim to + verb (infinitive is the complement of the verb).
Example: I aim to complete all my work by this weekend.
2. Aim for: This usage is also common in intransitive forms of aim, but is not necessarily bounded to it. Such construction is also used to showcase a desire, an intent, or a purpose to achieve. In transitive usage, it is used to show the intent of direction towards something. Correct construction is Aim for+noun (for preposition is followed by noun).
Example: I aim for success.
3. Aim at : This is necessarily a transitive usage of the verb aim, and is particularly used in places where aim is used in sense to direct towards something. It can also show the act of directing or aiming at something, a target or a plan of action. In transitive usage, correct construction is Aim At+noun (at used as preposition). In intransitive usages, in which this form is used to express a purpose, or a plan of action, strict British English construction is Aim at+ gerund form.
Examples: Please aim at the target. I aim at completing this task.
I hope this sentence can sum up the difference in the best possible way:
You aim to succeed but you aim for success. And you aim at succeeding.
People are waiting to help.
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