aim


aim
aim
The verb has two principal constructions in its abstract meaning: you can aim at something (analogous with aiming at a target in the physical meaning) or at doing something, or you can aim to do something

• (The directive aims at ensuring open passage through the borders —Financial Times, 1984

• We should aim to re-cycle half our household waste within 10 years. Independent, 1989).

The construction with to, for long the more common option in AmE, has excellent credentials, and is modelled on the analogy of similar verbs such as intend, mean, plan, etc. There is also a natural preference for the to construction when the progressive form of aim (is or are aiming) is used

• (Today, our orchestras are aiming to provide every child with a live performance during their time at school —Times, 2007).

In the passive, however, the at construction is obligatory

• (The technology in question is aimed at improving the quality of life of the inhabitants —N. Woodall, c.1991).


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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