Did I use the word "Task" appropriately in the following sentence:

Living in a foreign country could be a challenging task for everyone.

How can I say in a formal writing that the difference between the origin culture and the destination culture is huge?

Is "In case of huge cultural differences" used appropriately in the following sentence:

It is more challenging to get adopted in case of huge cultural difference.

  • Do you have a specific cause of concern? Otherwise it looks awfully like general proofreading, which is off-topic here.
    – Stephie
    Nov 22 '15 at 11:47
  • "Living in a foreign country could be a challenging task for everyone." - just as an idiomatic usage note, I think it would be better to say anyone, not everyone. Afterall, everyone is not going to be living in a foreign country, but any of us might be.
    – stangdon
    Nov 23 '15 at 19:49

Idiomatically I don't think in case of X works very well in OP's specific context. It's usually used in contexts like...

1: He felt like an invalid because he now wore nappies in case of accidents.

...where in case of effectively means as a precautionary / ameliorative measure (either to prevent accidents happening at all, or to limit the bad effects if they do).

It also appears in the standard instructions on fire alarm button behind protective glass...

2: In case of fire break glass

...where in case of means if [there is a] fire. Thus in #1 the specified action (wearing nappies) happens whether or not there's an accident, but in #2 you only break the glass if there's a fire.

To my mind, the connection between these two distinct usages turns on the fact that the specified action is a purposeful response to a [possible] situation (involuntary excretion, fire, whatever). That's my first reason for saying it doesn't work very well in OP's context (there's no purposeful response).

My second reason for not liking it can be illustrated by considering...

3: The doctor prescribed antibiotics in case of infection

...which native speakers will always interpret as meaning the antibiotics are always prescribed (to prevent infection), rather only if the situation (a case of infection) arises (to cure it). To specifically convey that second meaning requires cases to be cast in the plural...

4: The doctor prescribed antibiotics in cases of infection

Thus in principle OP's meaning can be conveyed by...

5: It is more challenging to get adopted in cases of huge cultural difference

...but in practice this is somewhat clumsy phrasing. Plus the connotations of "cases" being "undesirable, but fixable" situations don't really apply here. So I'd prefer...

6: It is more challenging to get adopted if / where there is a huge cultural difference

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.