All About 'Develop'

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21 June, 2019

Our question today on Ask A Teacher comes from Mohamad. He says:

Question:

Hi. Could you explain more about the meanings of the words "Develop" and "Alternative" by your examples. Thank you.

Answer:

Let's start with develop. Develop is a verb, or action word. It means to grow. Here is an example sentence:

Andrew's skill at basketball developed slowly, but now he is the best player on his team.

In other words, Andrew learned about basketball over time and became a good player. You could say:

Good coaching and a lot of practice helped Andrew develop his ability.

Develop can also mean create.

The teacher developed the new English teaching program and now his students understand prepositions.

Here is an example from a recent Learning English news story:

Countries in the area are trying to develop their own steel or aluminum industries.

In other words, the countries do not have steel or aluminum industries now. They are working to create these industries.

Develop is also often used in the language of the medical world. A doctor might ask you:

When did your symptoms develop?

She is trying to find out when your sickness began. This can help her identify what disease or condition you have.

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The noun form of develop is development. Let's say you answered the doctor's question about your symptoms. The doctor might write in her notes:

Patient began coughing four days ago. The development of fever is unknown.

Here is another example. Imagine your good friend got an award at his new job. You might say:

Congratulations! That is a promising development. Maybe you will get a pay raise!

And in the business world, you will often hear:

The product is in development.

That means the product is in the process of creation. It is not ready to market yet.

There are also adjectival and adverbial forms of develop. For example, we often describe middle- to low-income countries as developing nations. "Developing" in that usage is an adjective.

The adverb for develop is made from the noun development. Listen:

The man is developmentally disabled.

Medical experts say this means a person is severely affected by a problem with mental ability, physical ability, or both.

That is all the time we have today. We will answer Mohamad's "alternative" question next week!

I'm Caty Weaver with Ask A Teacher.

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