Avoiding condoms

Posted by on March 1st, 2016 | 5 responses | avoid, grammar, Indo English, mencegah, menghindari, prevent, vocabulary

Everybody knows that condoms can avoid pregnancy.

Why is the IELTS examiner confused by this? Because it creates in the mind of the examiner a kind of impossible cartoon image showing two condoms having sex in such a way that the female condom will not become pregnant.
Indonesian flag Indonesians need to consider the difference between avoid (menghindar) and prevent (mencegah):

  • Everybody knows that condoms can prevent pregnancy.

Think of the condom as the agent that does the preventing. Humans can avoid pregnancy through the use of condoms, where the condom is the agent of prevention. So..

  • Condoms can prevent pregnancy.
  • Women can avoid pregnancy.

5 responses to “Avoiding condoms”

  1. “Women can avoid pregnancy.”
    my thought reading this: “hmmm, i don’t agree because women can not use condoms…”
    more correct would be to say that women can avoid getting pregnant only if men use condoms, so it’s actually the men who can prevent the women getting pregnant.

    • PG says:

      Nice thought, Elena! 🙂 Of course there are other strategies available to women who want to avoid pregnancy, but yeah – if condoms are involved then men have to play their part in the prevention! Meanwhile condoms will never need to avoid pregnancy – they don’t have wombs!

      • Elena says:

        Of course women have other means to avoid pregnancy but here we are discussing condoms, in which case basically only men can avoid (women’s) pregnancy. In countries where still so many desperate women get unwanted babies because men refuse to use condoms I think EAPguru should be more sensitive to also social policy context…

  2. Angie says:

    Thanks, Steve. It is clear now when I applied to my writing.

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