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When can we use the verb "perform" with the noun "work"? Does it suggest any special idea? or is it simply a formal way to say "do work"?

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    Have a look at this NGram based on the AmE corpus, then switch it to BrE. As you'll see, Brits favour they carried out work, where Americans favour they performed work. In relaxed conversational contexts I'd probably just say I did [some] work [for someone]. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 at 13:01
  • @FumbleFingers Not that this has any direct bearing on the verb, but I think everybody would use a high-performing [something] or a high-performance [something] over the alternatives. – Jason Bassford Jul 13 at 14:37
  • @JasonBassford: I can certainly get my head around Low-performing students are associated with disciplinary breakdown in some schools, so I suppose I'd have to accept high-performing students in some structurally similar sentence. I'm sure I'd stick with high-performance for the vast majority of contexts, but I'm not exactly sure how to articulate any kind of definition for those situations where I would specifically choose high-performing. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 at 15:01
  • @FumbleFingers It certainly wouldn't be considered idiomatic to say he is a high-performance agoraphobic. Instead, we would say he is a high-performing agoraphobic. (I suppose the alternative to that would be he is a highly functioning agoraphobic.) Perhaps it's the sense of personhood that would determine high-performing; meanwhile, objects would be considered high-performance. – Jason Bassford Jul 13 at 15:25
  • Hmm. Is that it? Does the -ing / -ance choice depend on whether function is a potentially synonymous replacement for perform? That seems to work for physically / mentally impaired people, but they don't have any choice (something about them doesn't "work" properly). But with my "students", the implication is they do (or don't) want to "perform" (play their part, do what the teacher wants them to do). Still not quite nailed, I feel. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 at 15:35

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