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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Assist, attend, etc    

Assist, attend, etc



claudiaeusebio
Brazil

Assist, attend, etc
 
Dear collegues,
 
In Brazil we use the word ´ attend ´  in situations like these :
1. The hairdresser attended many clients yesterday.
2. I attend many students every day.
3. I was very well attended by the saleswoman/ agent, etc.
 
I ´ve been trying to find something suitable and  the closest I found was "assist". I wonder if any of you could clearify these questions. I thank in advance. 

7 Dec 2015      



almaz
United Kingdom

´Assist´ in English has the general meaning of ´help´/´aid´ (and, by extension, ´support´/´serve´), although there is a rarer, mainly archaic, sense of attending or being present at. It´s a well-known ´false friend´ in Spanish and French – and I´d imagine it would be much the same in Portuguese.
 
 

7 Dec 2015     



ascincoquinas
Portugal

@ Almaz: absolutely correct.
 
The word "atender" in Portuguese is used in that context. So many students tend to use the word "attend" instead of "assist".
 

7 Dec 2015     



SVieira
Portugal

Hi, Cláudia


“Just as Almaz and Ascincoquinas have told you, "assist” and “attend” are false friends to “assistir” and “atender” – to "assist" usually means “ajudar” or “apoiar” and “attend” means "frequentar" ("We can assist you in the organisation of the party" or "Children have to attend school", for instance).
The verb you could use in your examples 1 and 3 would probably be "serve" ( "The hairdresser served many clients yesterday" and "I was very well served by the saleswoman / agent, etc."), and in example 2 the verb "see" would probably do the job ("I see many students every day".


Sandra

7 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

What about attend to someone? Is it a false friend, too?
 
 1. The hairdresser attended to many clients yesterday.
 

8 Dec 2015     



SVieira
Portugal

"Attend to" is a phrasal verb. It means something as "help", or "direct your attention to someone / something". In that sense, I wouldn ´t see it as a false friend, but raher as an entirely different verb, with some different shades regarding meaning.
 
If you take a look at the Cambridge online dictionary, the examples may turn out to be helpful. Take a look here for the original meaning of "attend" (the one which is a false friend):
 
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/attend 
 
And in the following links (two of them) you can see "attend to" (the phrasal verb):
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/attend-to-sb-sth?q=attend+to+sb%2Fsth 
 
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/attend-to-something-someone?q=attend+to+something%2Fsomeone 
 
Sandra

8 Dec 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

A ´false friend´, Gigi, is a term which is used to describe words in different languages which resemble each other in form, but which express different meanings. Demander in French, for example, means ´to ask ´ or ´to request ´ – not ´to demand´. It ´s used in comparisons (i.e. between two or more languages). As I suggested earlier, they can be cognates (the etymology can be shared).
 
And attend to is phrasal verb meaning ´to deal with´ or ´serve´ and has had this sense since the 14th century.

EDIT: I seem to have posted at the same time as Sandra – she´s put it much more concisely, though.

8 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

Well, I know the meaning of attend/attend to, no need for a dictionary link, dear Sandra. Alux, My post was just to state my opinion that if a verb or its phrasal form is equivalent to another one in a foreign language, it is not a false friend. That ´s it.

8 Dec 2015     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

In the contexts given, people would definitely not use assist. ´Attended to ´ is fine for No. 1, but I think this is what would be said,
´The hairdresser saw/had many clients ´ 
´I help/have/work with/support many students every day´
I was very well looked after by the saleswoman ´.

8 Dec 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

Agreed, Lynne. Using forms and variations of ´attend´ and ´assist´ in these contexts is more likely to confuse many learners whose first language is primarily Latin-based (such as French, Spanish and Portuguese).

 


  
 

8 Dec 2015     



SVieira
Portugal

Giorgi (edited - sorry!) , I didn ´t mean to question your linguistic competence, I am sorry if that ´s what it seemed. But looking at such clear examples as those provided by dictionaries does sometimes help. Anyway, I suppose it ´s all clear now, and other issues will certainly come up in which we will all get to discuss and help each other again! Sandra

8 Dec 2015