Learn English – Is it correct to say “to make her acknowledge”


I came across a sentence in a blog post that says

…to make her acknowledge the fact that I loved her.

Is it correct to write make a person acknowledge a fact or is there a better way this could be put up?

Best Answer

I don't see anything particularly "impolite" in the phrasing. Here's an NGram showing hundreds of written instances of acknowledge his/her love, which suggests such usage may have been more common in the past (i.e. - in an age when impolite phrasing would have been less likely to make it into print).

As implied by my search terms above, the only thing I might suggest by way of an improvement is replacing the fact that I loved her with my love. Besides being shorter (often a good thing in itself), I feel it has more a sense of romantic chivalry.

Grammatically it's impossible to criticise use of the past tense loved without knowing the preceding context. If preceded by I'm trying, for example, the writer would use love or loved depending purely on whether he still does love her at time of writing.

If preceded by I was trying, we enter the murky world of common usage, precise grammar, and semantics. Some people might say that using loved still implies, as above, that the speaker no longer loves her. I personally think there is no such implication, no do I see it as ungrammatical. Take, for example...

I said that I was a native English speaker.

...which seems perfectly valid to me, even though obviously I must still be a native speaker. Choice of I was or I am is just a matter of style and emphasis.