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Here is an excerpt from the exercise where I had to fill the gaps with correct verbs from the list:

The Pavilion

Local jewellers are holding their Summer Sale this Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Hampton College of Further Education

The education department is organising an open day on Thursday - discover their range of full- and part-time courses.

But why can't I organize the Summer Sale or hold an open day?

2 Answers 2

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"Local jewellers are holding their Summer Sale this sunday from 10 am to 2 pm." This means local jewellers are hosting the Summer Sale this Sunday

"The education department is organising an open day on Thursday..." This means that the education department is preparing to "hold" an open day on Thursday.

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  • But why is the verb 'hold' more suitable in the first sentence and the verb 'organize' in the second sentence and not vice versa?
    – Karolini
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:43
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    Because in the first sentence, it is expressing that they are going to be hosting something specifically at that time. In the second sentence, it is implied that the education department is still in the process of setting up for an open day on Thursday. There is a subtle difference here. We don't know if the local jewelers are still organizing their Summer Sale for this Sunday. For the second sentence, it would still make complete sense if it said that "The education department is holding an open day on Thursday," but "organize" implies that it is still being set up/prepared Sep 15, 2017 at 14:33
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    So, to sum up, can we say that the 'from 10 am to 2 pm' part is that particular thing which makes the verb 'hold' to be slightly more suitable in the first sentence because by 10 am local jewellers will have been finished preparation works and they'll be starting to hold (or host) the event?
    – Karolini
    Sep 15, 2017 at 15:44
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    I would add that to "hold" an event is the end result of "organizing" an event. So we can say that John the Jeweler is holding an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, but we can also say that John the Jeweler had to spend a few days before today organizing the event. The difference between the two is that "organizing" is referring directly to the process of preparing to host the event, and "holding" the event refers to hosting the event. You could say "John the Jeweler is organizing an event to be held on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m." Sep 16, 2017 at 18:03
  • So yes, you are absolutely correct. Sep 16, 2017 at 18:10
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X holds an event simply means X is going to use a place to do the things that make an event, and typically this will be in a publicly accessible place. The event is fully planned and nothing is going to change.

X organizes an event means that X is talking about not only the actual event, but all the preparation work required, with the implication that such work is not yet completed. Thus there may be a number of things not yet decided or changeable about the event.

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  • But why is the verb 'hold' more suitable in the first sentence and the verb 'organize' in the second sentence and not vice versa?
    – Karolini
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:43
  • Either will work in either sentence, depending on what the writer wants to mean. Need more context to determine that. Generally a store function, like a sale, will be expected to be well planned and ready, whereas an educational function may not be. Organizing can also faintly imply that others can or should jump in and contribute.
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:50
  • Well, there is no more context. According to the author this is the list of events posted on a website about what's happening in Hampton.
    – Karolini
    Sep 15, 2017 at 16:00

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