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# Idioms SC

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Posts: 21
Schools: ISB '18
WE: Consulting (Consulting)

### Show Tags

03 Mar 2017, 02:13
1
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

The Original sentence contains an idiomatic error - 'Aim to" The correct idiom here would be 'Aim at' and not 'aim to'.

According to SC rules, infinitive form (verb + to) is used to express intent.
Clearly aim to expresses intent.
Then why is Aim to an incorrect idiom and aim at right ?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

### Show Tags

03 Mar 2017, 16:18
1
sakshamgmat wrote:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

The Original sentence contains an idiomatic error - 'Aim to" The correct idiom here would be 'Aim at' and not 'aim to'.

According to SC rules, infinitive form (verb + to) is used to express intent.
Clearly aim to expresses intent.
Then why is Aim to an incorrect idiom and aim at right ?

Dear sakshamgmat,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, I don't know your source for what constitutes a right or wrong idiom, but I beg to differ.

The idiom "aim at" is used for a physical situation, as when "a shooter aims at a target." This is typically not used in more metaphorical contexts, say, in the discussion of goals.

If we are talking about the goal of an action, then we use "aim of" + [gerund]. I would say:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increase customer loyalty.

The "aim" + [infinitive] structure used in the original sentence is suspect, not something that would be correct on the GMAT.

Here's a set of free GMAT idiom flashcards.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Intern
Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Posts: 21
Schools: ISB '18
WE: Consulting (Consulting)

### Show Tags

03 Mar 2017, 23:42
2
mikemcgarry wrote:
sakshamgmat wrote:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

The Original sentence contains an idiomatic error - 'Aim to" The correct idiom here would be 'Aim at' and not 'aim to'.

According to SC rules, infinitive form (verb + to) is used to express intent.
Clearly aim to expresses intent.
Then why is Aim to an incorrect idiom and aim at right ?

Dear sakshamgmat,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, I don't know your source for what constitutes a right or wrong idiom, but I beg to differ.

The idiom "aim at" is used for a physical situation, as when "a shooter aims at a target." This is typically not used in more metaphorical contexts, say, in the discussion of goals.

If we are talking about the goal of an action, then we use "aim of" + [gerund]. I would say:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increase customer loyalty.

The "aim" + [infinitive] structure used in the original sentence is suspect, not something that would be correct on the GMAT.

Here's a set of free GMAT idiom flashcards.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,

I don't remember the source but here's what I had compiled from that source.

1. To express intent, use (to + infinitive) over (for + Gerund)
Eg:
and create a special nongovernment for taking ABC

and create a special nongovernment to take ABC (Correct)

Consider a sentence like.

I am working hard and regularly solving questions to get a high score on the GMAT (looks good as it expresses intent)

I am working hard and regularly solving questions for getting a high score on the GMAT (looks wrong)

With this logic I chose

To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

again aim expresses intent.

I understand it may be an idiom rule but I want to know the perspective and explanation from an expert like you.

If we are talking about the goal of an action, then we use "aim of" + [gerund]. I would say:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increase customer loyalty.

Here also To gain a competitive advantage is also the goal of an action.

So here why don't we use gerund here ?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

### Show Tags

04 Mar 2017, 12:26
2
sakshamgmat wrote:
Hi Mike,

I don't remember the source but here's what I had compiled from that source.

1. To express intent, use (to + infinitive) over (for + Gerund)
Eg:
and create a special nongovernment for taking ABC

and create a special nongovernment to take ABC (Correct)

Consider a sentence like.

I am working hard and regularly solving questions to get a high score on the GMAT (looks good as it expresses intent)

I am working hard and regularly solving questions for getting a high score on the GMAT (looks wrong)

With this logic I chose

To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

again aim expresses intent.

I understand it may be an idiom rule but I want to know the perspective and explanation from an expert like you.

If we are talking about the goal of an action, then we use "aim of" + [gerund]. I would say:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increase customer loyalty.

Here also To gain a competitive advantage is also the goal of an action.

So here why don't we use gerund here ?

Dear sakshamgmat,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, you are confusing two completely different things.

On the one hand, yes, the infinitive of purpose is used to express the general purpose of any action. This is NOT an idiom. This is a general grammatical structure that can be used in a large variety of contexts. Examples of the infinitive of purpose:
1) I am working hard and regularly solving questions to get a high score on the GMAT.
2) To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increasing customer loyalty.
3) We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

On the other hand, the word "aim" is a specific word with a specific idiom. When we using the word "aim" to explain the purpose or goal of action, we using a specific idiomatic construction, and we are not using the infinitive of purpose structure. This is a completely different way to express the purpose of an action. There is no reason in the world that they should be the same--they are two completely different things!

Let's say I have two ways of getting from Town A to Town B. I could drive my car, which requires gas. Or, instead, I could ride my bike. The question you are asking is like the question: if I need gas for my car to go from A to B, why don't I also need gas for my bike? Again, two completely different things, and what has to be true for one doesn't have to be true for the other.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Intern
Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Posts: 21
Schools: ISB '18
WE: Consulting (Consulting)

### Show Tags

04 Mar 2017, 21:24
1
mikemcgarry wrote:
sakshamgmat wrote:
Hi Mike,

I don't remember the source but here's what I had compiled from that source.

1. To express intent, use (to + infinitive) over (for + Gerund)
Eg:
and create a special nongovernment for taking ABC

and create a special nongovernment to take ABC (Correct)

Consider a sentence like.

I am working hard and regularly solving questions to get a high score on the GMAT (looks good as it expresses intent)

I am working hard and regularly solving questions for getting a high score on the GMAT (looks wrong)

With this logic I chose

To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim to simplify online payments and increase customer loyalty.

again aim expresses intent.

I understand it may be an idiom rule but I want to know the perspective and explanation from an expert like you.

If we are talking about the goal of an action, then we use "aim of" + [gerund]. I would say:
To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increase customer loyalty.

Here also To gain a competitive advantage is also the goal of an action.

So here why don't we use gerund here ?

Dear sakshamgmat,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, you are confusing two completely different things.

On the one hand, yes, the infinitive of purpose is used to express the general purpose of any action. This is NOT an idiom. This is a general grammatical structure that can be used in a large variety of contexts. Examples of the infinitive of purpose:
1) I am working hard and regularly solving questions to get a high score on the GMAT.
2) To gain a competitive advantage, a well established credit card company launched a new program with the aim of simplifying online payments and increasing customer loyalty.
3) We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

On the other hand, the word "aim" is a specific word with a specific idiom. When we using the word "aim" to explain the purpose or goal of action, we using a specific idiomatic construction, and we are not using the infinitive of purpose structure. This is a completely different way to express the purpose of an action. There is no reason in the world that they should be the same--they are two completely different things!

Let's say I have two ways of getting from Town A to Town B. I could drive my car, which requires gas. Or, instead, I could ride my bike. The question you are asking is like the question: if I need gas for my car to go from A to B, why don't I also need gas for my bike? Again, two completely different things, and what has to be true for one doesn't have to be true for the other.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,

You have summed it up quite well.
I was assuming that the infinitive + to construction is a general rule for a sentence in which the purpose of an action is discussed.
I guess that is why we have idioms sorted in a separate list in flashcards , as in some cases ,the usage of idioms in sentences might be an exception to the general rules we study.

Thanks :D
Saksham.
Re: Idioms SC &nbs [#permalink] 04 Mar 2017, 21:24
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# Idioms SC

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