2

For me both the verbs "Supply" and "provide" work in all of the sentences bellow properly, but I doubt if AE native speakers use all of them to convey the same meaning in daily conversations. Though, I need to know which one of the following structures are used more in AmE in order to convey thees meanings?

Question 1)

A) I have no job! B) Really?! Then...

  • How do you supply your expenses?
  • How do you provide for your expenses?

Question 2)

  • In order to provide water for the city the government has made new decisions.
  • In order to supply water to the city the government has made new decisions.
  • In order to supply the city with water the government has made new decisions.
1
  • Hard to tell from those what the actual questions are intended to convey. Can't answer without better context. Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 10:29

1 Answer 1

2

Neither answer in question 1 has the right tone for what you're trying to say. You don't supply or provide anything to expenses, your food and rent bills supply you with expenses and you pay them.

1) How do you pay your expenses?

All answers in question 2 have almost exactly the same meaning. The only difference is the verb to supply sounds a little more long term, like you're providing the city with water on more than one occasion.

If I provide a city with water then I've probably delivered a lot of water bottles, but if I supply a city with water then I've built water pumps and reservoirs. Be aware that you can still use supply for a short-term solution and provide for a long-term solution, but the verb supply tends to be used for long-term solutions more often.

5
  • Thank you Mark. Just please tell me about "furnish"? What about the sentence: ( - In order to furnish the city with water the government has made new decisions. ) does that mean the same like the above-mentioned sentences?
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:19
  • 2
    "Furnish" can't be used for things that can be consumed or things that travel around, it can only be used for things that can be described as furniture. I can furnish a city with streetlights or statues, but I can't furnish a city with vehicles or food.
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:22
  • Thank you again. And as my last question in this respect, could you please tell me weather these three sentences mean exactly the same or not: ( " - In order to provide water for the city the government has made new decisions. " ) AND ( " - In order to provide the city with water, the government has made new decisions. ) AND ( " - In order to provide water to the city, the government has made new decisions. )
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:55
  • 1
    Absolutely no difference at all!
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:56
  • 1
    Thank you very much Mark. Your posts were really helpful.
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:57

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