The potential that ‘potential’ has
Posted by pakguru on October 19th, 2018 | 0 comments | berpotensi, collocation, IELTS, prediction, speaking, vocabulary, will, writing
A program like this is potential to be implemented in Indonesia.
Is this by any chance an Indonesian writer attempting to translate ‘berpotensi untuk..’?
OK so here there is a collocation problem, even though meaning is reasonably clear! Potential collocates strongly with to have (not to be). But there are other complications:
Potential plus object
to have (+ the) + potential + to V1
- This treatment has the potential to help four million osteoarthritis sufferers.
- Every sport has the potential to create world champions.
- Everyone has the potential to be someone.
And so our opening example would be better written:
- A program like this has the potential to be implemented in Indonesia.
Potential without object
to have (+ quantifier) + potential
You can also end your sentence with potential and then explain the potential in the following sentence:
- This treatment has the potential to help. So far four million osteoarthritis sufferers have benefited.
- Every sport has the potential to create world champions. Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are just two examples.
- Everyone has the potential to be someone. Presidents, sports and film stars, all had to become who they are.
And again, our opening example could otherwise be written:
- A program like this has a lot of potential. For example, it will reduce unemployment in Indonesia.