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About "spirit of adventure"

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
Some native English speakers say that they don't use the expression "spirit of adventure" in another thread,
How about these? Which would be used?
(1a) He is a man of adventure.
(1b) He is full of adventure.
(1c) He has a sense of adventure.
(1d) He has a lot of adventure.
(1e) He is an adventurous person.
(1f) He is a man with adventure.
(1g) He has adventure spirit.
(1h) He has adventurous spirit.
(1i) He is an adventure spirit.
(1j) He is an adventurous spirit.

(2a) He is a man of enterprise.
(2b) He has a lot of enterprise.
(2c) He is an enterprising person.
(2d) He is a person with enterprise.
(2e) He has enterprise spirit.
(2f) He has enterprising spirit.
(2g) He is a man of/with enterprise spirit.
(2h) He is a man of/with enterprising spirit.
(2i) He is an enterprise spirit.
(2j) He is an enterprising spirit.

And can you think of any other similar expressions?

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 
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He is a man of adventure.
Definitely not.

He is full of adventure.
Eh... maybe, but I don't know about this one. It's too simple to go in a book, but in conversation, I wouldn't use an expression like this in any situation I can think of.

He has a sense of adventure.
That's fine.

He has a lot of adventure.
Absolutely not. "He has a lot of adventures" would be fine, though, to express the idea that someone goes and does exciting things a lot (as opposed to having an aspiration or tendency to do so, which is what "adventurous" means).

(1g) He has adventure spirit.
(1h) He has adventurous spirit.
(1i) He is an adventure spirit.
(1j) He is an adventurous spirit.
Nope. 1h would be fine if you put an "an" between "has" and "adventurous", but I'd note again that this sounds literary, not conversational.

If you're trying to pin down how to say this in a conversational way, it's (in the simplest form), "He is adventurous." It's actually a bit more complex than that, because rather than referring to "adventure" we tend to usually use other words that are both shorter and more specific. For example, "Wow, Kevin sure likes to try new things!" or, "Stephanie loves seeing new places and experiencing new cultures." But it would also be fine to say, "Wow, Kevin sure is adventurous!" or, "Stephanie is adventurous". It's just a little vaguer and harder to say, so we mostly use it to add variety (since using the same word over and over again sounds weird).
 

tasqunevie

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Dear native English speakers,
Some native English speakers say that they don't use the expression "spirit of adventure" in another thread,
How about these? Which would be used?
(1a) He is a man of adventure.
(1b) He is full of adventure.
(1c) He has a sense of adventure.
(1d) He has a lot of adventure.
(1e) He is an adventurous person.
(1f) He is a man with adventure.
(1g) He has adventure spirit.
(1h) He has adventurous spirit.
(1i) He is an adventure spirit.
(1j) He is an adventurous spirit.

(2a) He is a man of enterprise.
(2b) He has a lot of enterprise.
(2c) He is an enterprising person.
(2d) He is a person with enterprise.
(2e) He has enterprise spirit.
(2f) He has enterprising spirit.
(2g) He is a man of/with enterprise spirit.
(2h) He is a man of/with enterprising spirit.
(2i) He is an enterprise spirit.
(2j) He is an enterprising spirit.

And can you think of any other similar expressions?

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
(1a) He is a man of adventure.
(1b) He is full of adventure.
(1c) He has a sense of adventure.
(1d) He has a lot of adventure.
(1e) He is an adventurous person.
(1f) He is a man with adventure.
(1g) He has adventure spirit.
(1h) He has (an) adventurous spirit.
(1i) He is an adventure spirit.
(1j) He is an adventurous spirit. -> only figuratively speaking.

The emboldened choices are the most natural sounding to my ear.
1a and 1b seem grammatically correct but sound a bit awkward. Everything else is definitely incorrect.

A more complete version might sound like: "He is a man who has experienced many adventures."


(2a) He is a man of enterprise.
(2b) He has a lot of enterprise.
(2c) He is an enterprising person.
(2d) He is a person with enterprise.
(2e) He has enterprise spirit.
(2f) He has enterprising spirit.
(2g) He is a man of/with enterprise spirit.
(2h) He is a man of/with enterprising spirit.
(2i) He is an enterprise spirit.
(2j) He is an enterprising spirit. -> only figuratively speaking.

Again, 2a and 2b seem alright but still would not generally be said.

And I'm not sure why but using "enterprising" to modify "spirit" is somewhat of a weird choice to use in my opinion. I would more readily say, "He is an enterprising man characterized by great spirit."

Sorry if I'm not replying/quoting properly. I just joined this site today.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, Julimaruchan and tasqunevie.
Sorry if I'm not replying/quoting properly.
Not at all. I really appreciate your help.

I'm a Japanese teacher of English who hasn't lived in any English-speaking countries. That's why I do not know how English is actually used. In Japan English is a required subject in most junior and senior high schools, but people don't have to use it in their everyday lives here. That's why most of us including me cannot speak English fluently.

By the way, I'm not sure how the word "spirit" is used. Which would be used?
(3a) There's a spirit of political reform today.
(3b) He is a man of backbone and spirit.
(3c) That is an offer made in a spirit of kindness.
(3d) All members of the team share/have team spirit.
(3e) Every politician must understand the spirit of the law.
(3f) In those days, most American people had the pioneer spirit.
(3g) The Japanese boy soon got into the spirit of the Halloween party.
(3h) He's always been a free spirit.

Thanks in advance.
 
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"Spirit" in English typically refers to:

1. A supernatural being without a body, which is typically friendly/good (as opposed to ghosts and apparitions, which are typically unfriendly/bad), but neither an angel nor a god.
2. Some sort of metaphorical use following from that, usually in the sense of liveliness.
3. A certain kind of alcoholic beverage.

On those new sentences: 3f sounds like you're talking about a supernatural being designated as the "pioneer spirit"; it would work if you changed "the pioneer" to "a pioneering". 3c should be "the spirit of kindness". The rest are fine.

But I think you're approaching this the wrong way. All metaphorical uses of words, like #2, are pretty complicated and wishy-washy. That's why you wouldn't see them in conversation that much, and you certainly wouldn't see them in textbooks. If I were you, I would focus on the skill of figuring out the metaphorical meaning of a word from context, rather than learning specific meanings, because it's kind of vague. Knowing how to use metaphors in conversation without sounding like a wannabe poet is a bit complex, but knowing how to figure them out from context is much less so. If you don't understand a metaphorical usage in a conversation, just ask whoever you're talking to what they mean by that (probably by repeating the metaphor with an "interested" sounding tone); a lot of the time it's what they want you to do anyway.

In the case of "spirit", its metaphorical usage typically indicates qualities such as liveliness, joy, and desire.
 
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Yeah, you're right. My knee-jerk reaction was that it sounded stupid, so that's why I answered that. But there's no good reason why it should be unacceptable.

This is an apt demonstration of something very important, by the way: being a native English speaker doesn't make you an expert on English. Heck, most native English speakers probably barely know anything about how the language works. If anything, people who have studied and mastered English as a second language are probably in most cases more knowledgeable about how English works than your typical native English speaker. There are so many common misconceptions by native English speakers about how English works, it's not even funny. These lead to hyper-corrections and made-up rules, e.g.:
  • The whole "'I and Jake' is incorrect, you have to say 'Jake and I'" nonsense (the order doesn't actually matter). This one is taught so aggressively that many people say "Jake and I" as the object of the sentence rather than "Jake and me" or "me and Jake", which is straight-up incorrect.
  • The nonsense about ending a sentence with a preposition being incorrect. I don't even know what a preposition is, but I do know that this is a bogus "rule" that a lot of people believe.
  • The belief that split infinitives (e.g. "to boldly go...") is incorrect, despite their highly prolific and traditional use.
Et cetera.

All I as a native English speaker who isn't an expert in English can do is tell you if something looks good to me, so it's important to take everything with a grain of salt as it could be (without my knowledge) nothing more than a stylistic preference or regional dialect. I do try my best, though. :p I didn't even think of the idea of using Google to check for the occurrence of an expression.
 

OoTmaster

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  • The whole "'I and Jake' is incorrect, you have to say 'Jake and I'" nonsense (the order doesn't actually matter). This one is taught so aggressively that many people say "Jake and I" as the object of the sentence rather than "Jake and me" or "me and Jake", which is straight-up incorrect.

This actually depends a lot on what purpose it serves in the sentence. If the "Jake and I" are the subject it is "Jake and I" but if they're the object then it's "Jake and me", "Sally followed Jake and me to the movies". The best way to tell if you've chosen the correct one is to omit the other subject. "Sally followed me to the movies" compared to "Sally followed I to the movies." About the word order putting yourself last simply sounds more polite than the other way around, which is why it's taught that way in schools.
 
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The best way to tell if you've chosen the correct one is to omit the other subject.
That's the usual advice, but far more robust is to replace the "I" pair with "we" and the "me" pair with "us" (the difference between singular and plural can screw up sentences too). Of course, though, both of these tricks only work for fluent speakers.

About the word order putting yourself last simply sounds more polite than the other way around, which is why it's taught that way in schools.
I've never heard of that and never would have even considered it. Maybe it's a cultural thing?
 

OoTmaster

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That's the usual advice, but far more robust is to replace the "I" pair with "we" and the "me" pair with "us" (the difference between singular and plural can screw up sentences too). Of course, though, both of these tricks only work for fluent speakers.
True that's why I included the information about it being important whether the two are the subject or the object of a sentence. Anyone learning another language should be able to differentiate between a subject and an object in a sentence once they've past a certain part in their learning. It's certainly easier in Japanese to identify these parts but there are way in English to identify what role they play in the sentence.
 
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