Language tip of the week: researchPosted by Kati Sule on January 16, 2014
In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.
This week’s language tip helps with the noun research:
Research is an uncountable noun, and so:
▪ it is hardly ever used in the plural
▪ it never comes after a or a number
✗ Her latest work confirms the findings of earlier
✓ Her latest work confirms the findings of earlier research.
✗ According to
one recent research, women’s earnings are still 27% lower than men’s.
✓ According to recent research, women’s earnings are still 27% lower than men’s.
Q: What should I say if I want to refer to one particular study or to several studies of this type?
A: You can say: a study, several studies, some research, a piece of research, or a programme of research:
Her latest work confirms the findings of earlier studies.
According to one study, women’s earnings are still 27% lower than men’s.
a detailed programme of research on the economics of nuclear energy
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I am still confused about the difference between research and survey.
Sergio: ‘research’ is “the detailed study of something in order to discover new facts, especially in a university or scientific institution”. A ‘survey’ can be part of a piece of research and it can be a set of questions asked in order to answer a question or to find out something, or it can be a review or examination of something. You’ll find some useful examples at the relevant entries in the dictionary: survey and research.