similar words?

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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similar words?

Post by achung1555 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:55 am

Could u please help me with how to use the following words?
involve, contain, and include?
They all seem to be similar but i could use more clarification.
Contain seems to be used ...but not with people in mind...example, the box contained....
involve and include seems to be used interchangeably with products or people, in fact they seem to be similar?
It would be easier for me if i had rules for using these words.

Andrew Chung

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Post by Alan » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:26 am

Basically: 'involve' means 'entail', 'contain' means 'physically (or metaphorically) hold' and 'include' means 'have as one member or constituent'. For more information, I would advise you to consult a good learners' dictionary such as the Collins Cobuild.

If you have questions about the correctness of specific sentences using these words, I'll be happy to help you.