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1.A vacation makes you stay more productive.

2.A vacation makes you more productive.

I know these 2 sentences are pretty much the same, but I'd like to know the subtle difference. For me, sentence 1 sounds like more natural because it is more obvious that 'you' is a subject of action or state 'stay more productive'. If you had to choose one favorite expression, what would you choose? And how about followings?

a. A vacation helps you stay more productive.

b. A vacation helps you more productive.

Thanks in advance.

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  • I know these 2 sentences are pretty much the same.... Are they the same? I see one very different from the other!
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:59
  • b) is ungrammatical. You need to add "be": A vacation helps you [to] be (or become) more productive. Feb 16, 2015 at 6:32

2 Answers 2

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  1. A vacation makes you stay more productive.
  2. A vacation makes you more productive.

If you had to choose one favorite expression, what would you choose?

This is a case where both expressions are grammatical, so we really need to be careful about getting into the business of choosing a "favorite." When two sentences are equally grammatical and neither is especially jarring, context determines when one might be chosen over the other.

For example, if I was writing an article entitled Ways to Become More Productive, then #2 might be a better fit. However, if the headline of my self-help article was, Ways to Remain Productive, then #1 might be a better fit.

As a footnote, if I was writing the article called Ways to Remain Productive, I might use the sentence structure in #2, but change the verb:

A vacation keeps you more productive.

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  • Yes. "Make stay" doesn't sound 'desirable' to my ears too.
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:58
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You might "stay more" productive than someone else, but you cannot "stay more" productive than yourself.

A vacation can allow you to remain productive. Stay productive.

A vacation refreshes you. If your productivity has waned because of burn-out or job-weariness, a vacation can bring you back to your former level of productivity. So your productivity increases to its former level. Or a vacation can keep you from getting burnt-out.

In this process there is either a sense of change or becoming (recuperation) or of maintaining a level. Stay more makes no sense in either scenario: stay does not jibe with becoming, and more does not jibe with maintaining.

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