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Is using compensate correct in this context?

We are appealing for your help. We've found a great deal for a software solution we want to teach our kids and it costs 1000 dollars and your contributions to compensate this cost will be much appreciated.

I don't mean money for a loss. It should mean help us to pay the cost.

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I wouldn't use a verb at all. Just your contribution towards this cost is much better. –  FumbleFingers Sep 22 '11 at 17:27

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your usage of the word "compensate" is not correct. The object of the word compensate is usually a person: you compensate someone for something. In your context, you will be better off using a verb such as offset or cover:

Your contributions to offset this cost will be much appreciated.

Your contributions to cover this cost will be much appreciated.

(Note that the rest of the paragraph is stylistically poor: you're missing some commas, and you really ought to break up the second sentence into two or more. However, that's the sort of question that should be asked at http://writers.stackexchange.com.)

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The defintitions I found for 'compensate' do not include this kind of payment. Compensation meaning "payment" is usually restricted to wages, in that "money" is used to cover the loss/injury/suffering caused by "working". Another use of "compensate" which almost fits this usage would be to "cover for a shortcoming"; in this case the shortcoming is the funds, which do not meet the costs, but to use this sense of compensate you'd need to say something like

Your contribution will compensate for our funding shortfall

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Your contributions towards the acquisition cost will be sincerely appreciated.

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You don't need any word in there. Just take it right out.

"...your contributions to this cost will be much appreciated."

The meaning you are looking for is already inherent in the word contributions.

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But it is a correct using "Compensate" over there? –  MoonLight Sep 22 '11 at 16:07
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or maybe "towards this cost". And "compensate" is not right there. It implies to me more something done in balance of something else. –  Wudang Sep 22 '11 at 16:49

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