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the students will identify useful endeavors they can be a part of.

How can a human being be a part of useful endeavor? We just can do useful endeavor, and we can be a part of, say, a crowd.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The meaning of endeavor is

  • earnest and industrious effort, especially when sustained over a period of time
  • an enterprise or undertaking.

I would understand to be part of the endeavor as to be part of the effort. It could also mean to be part of an enterprise, but I am not sure of what useful enterprises would mean, in the context of the sentence.

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Actually you can't 'do endeavour', just like you can't 'do walk'. You can 'endeavour', or indeed be part of 'an endeavour'.

As kiamlaluno says, an endeavour is an enterprise or undertaking. So to be part of an endeavour is to be part of an enterprise; in this context, part of a group effort to achieve something.

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Just feel strange. hand can be part of body, because they are all a kind of being. effort/endeavor is not a being, why human being can be part of an effort/endeavor? – lovespring Jan 30 '11 at 16:37
In the same way they can be part of a project, or a football team, or a family. 'Part' doesn't always mean physically attached. In this case 'being part of' means 'making a contribution to'. – user3444 Jan 30 '11 at 16:41
@lovespring: In this context, the noun endeavor should be seen as a group, or collective, that works towards a common goal. You could rephrase the original quote as, "the students will identify useful, directed group activities they can be a part of." – oosterwal Jan 31 '11 at 22:17
@lovespring: speaking of hand, you could also say the students will have a hand in the endeavors. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 19 '12 at 23:32

"Be part of" is simply informal language for "participate in".

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