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Learners' Questions

Intermediate level

Situation, position or condition?

Episode 200317 / 17 Mar 2020

This week's question

What’s the difference between ‘situation’, ‘position’ and ‘condition’? - Giti

Answer this

Which of these words is both a noun and a verb?

Language points

is a noun. It describes the physical state of something or someone. We often say: X is in a good / bad / terrible condition. As a plural, conditions means the 'environment'. We talk about doing something under good / bad / terrible conditions. In this way we can talk about someone’s living or working conditions, meaning ‘the environment in which they live or work’. We can also talk about conditions needing to be met or satisfied. This means that something must be done before something else can happen.

  • At 3 years old, this top is in good condition.
  • We had to abandon climbing the mountain under such difficult conditions.           
  • This office needs more light to meet basic working conditions.
  • For this job, you need to need certain conditions

is a noun. It refers to a specific set of conditions in a particular place and time. Situation can be combined with other words to create more specific context: financial situation, economic situation or a situation comedy (or sitcom) – a comedy TV show set in a certain place and time.

  • After the tsunami, the situation in the country is not good. 
  • The company closed down due to its terrible financial situation.

Position is a noun and a verb. It refers to the way or where something is placed. We can position something somewhere. Position can also refer to opinion. Your position on something is your opinion about it. Position can also refer to a job or role.

  • On the T-shirt, the ‘F’ is positioned on the chest.
  • Please position the flowers on a window ledge to get maximum sunlight.
  • What’s your position on recycling? My position is that it’s essential.
  • I am writing to apply for the position of producer.

The answer

Position is both a noun and a verb

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