I know it might be a literal and terrible translation from French, but I'd like to know whether it's possible to say that "somebody is very applied to something".

For instance, using:

She's very applied to her studies

to mean that she's taking her studies and her coursework very seriously.

I know that using it as a verb is correct, as in "to apply oneself to", but is it possible to use it as an adjective?

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL. I've made some minor modifications to your question. We don't bother with greetings and thanks here; they take up space on small (mobile) screens, space that could be used for the substance to a question or answer, so we just assume them as a given. I also added a little formatting to make it slightly easier to read. Feel free to make changes if I misrepresented what you were asking. Apr 29 '14 at 16:22
  • You could say someone is very dedicated.
    – Holven12
    Apr 29 '14 at 16:29
  • You correctly identify it as reflexive so "She applies herself to her studies". It can't be used as an adjective.
    – KCH
    Apr 29 '14 at 22:03

In English, applied can be used as an adjective, but I think it has a different meaning than in French. From Oxford Dictionaries:

applied (adj) - (of a subject or type of study) put to practical use as opposed to being theoretical

I see "applied" used with subjects and disciplines sometimes. For example, maybe somebody is taking an "applied physics" class.

If you want to use "applied" in English to mean that somebody is working very hard, I would use the verb form. From Oxford Dictionaries:

apply (v) - 4. give one's full attention to a task; work hard

Your sentence would then become...

She is really applying herself to her studies.

  • I don't know French, so I can't speak to that meaning, but this answer is right that the adjective form in English is most commonly used in relation to subjects/disciplines. You might note explicitly in your answer that using the term to refer to people is not common in standard English. +1 for recommending the verb form though. Apr 29 '14 at 16:25

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