BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

Are we really concerned?

Do we really believe the person is anxious or we actually have no clue what we are saying?

What we say in ‘our’ English and what it actually means to the natives can be scarily different.

Find out more about how we use the word ‘concerned’ incorrectly.

I am sure all of us have heard or perhaps even said something on the lines of “Sure, I will speak to the concerned person and let you know.”

I know what we mean when we say that. But have you, for a moment, thought what it actually means? Let me break the bad news to those who haven’t realized it.

For one, it surely does not mean ‘relevant, important, involved, right, responsible, competent, in-charge’ or whatever else we imply because in this case we placed the adjective (concerned) before the noun (person). Since we did that, it turns out that the sentence now suggests that the person is worried.

What we actually want to say when we say ‘concerned person’ is that we will speak to the person who is in-charge or responsible. To get that meaning, we will have to use the adjective (concerned) after the noun (person) and say, “Sure, I will speak to the person concerned and let you know.”

Some people go a step further and say ‘I will speak to the concern person.’ That is, as I am sure you realize, way out of line.

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.