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Received a resume lately. One of the sentence, in summary section, doesn't look right to me. It may be not a very obvious mistake, or may not be a mistake at all. But I can't say anything for sure, as I am not a native speaker and neither I find myself eloquent in writing English.

.... blah blah. A reliable team member who gets work done and enjoys his fair share to work hard and smart to meet commitments. blah blah ....

Now, if you tell me to correct it, because I think it's not well written. Then I would make something like below, using the same words without trying to make it spiffy,

.... blah blah. A reliable team member -- very smart to meet commitments, who gets work done and enjoys his fair share in working hard. blah blah ....

What do you folks think? Is there something wrong with the original sentence structure?

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I made a few edits to the question; EL&U should not be used for questions on how to improve one's English (see the FAQ). However, since it did contain real question about a certain grammatical construction, I am leaving the question open with some extraneous stuff edited out. –  Kosmonaut Jan 25 '11 at 21:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here's my suggestion:

So and so is a reliable team member and does his fair share of hard work to meet commitments.

I haven't used 'gets work done' because 'reliable' carries the connotation that he will get the job done. Others may disagree, saying that reliable means other things, like getting to work on time, etc. However, you can still include that phrase if you want to. If you want to include 'smart' in there, you might have to rephrase things because in English usage people usually work hard or work smart; 'working smart' carries the connotation of not having to work too hard to achieve something. So, you could write:

So and so is a reliable team member who works hard and has shown aptitude and diligence in meeting commitments.

Aptitude replaces smart and diligence replaces hard(-working). The above sentence is more formal (or stuffy), depending on how you see it.

If it's not quite what you're looking for, then how about:

So and so is a reliable team member who works hard, works smart and meets commitments.

Or:

So and so is a reliable team member who works both hard and smart to meet commitments.

The bottom line is that your example can be rewritten in several ways, but perhaps to simplify matters, think about what you want to say and the tone you wish to convey it in, then write the sentence as correctly as you can. It's always best to write simply, after which you can embellish your sentence, if you wish. Thanks and hope this helps.

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'Deadlines' and 'objectives' are better word choices than 'commitments', as mentioned by smirkingman. Without more info, 'commitments' sounds more like things you do for your family. –  Sky Red Jan 25 '11 at 12:24
    
Thank you very much. –  Adeel Ansari Jan 28 '11 at 10:53

A reliable team member who gets work done and enjoys his fair share to work hard and smart to meet commitments.

This sounds terribly like a direct translation from another language. It bothers me on several counts:

  1. "his fair share to work hard" should be something like "his fair share of hard work"
  2. "and smart to meet commitments" (methinks Google Translate?). Does he smart (go red in the face) when he meets commitments? Is he smart (clever) enough to meet commitments? Did he smartly (quickly) meet (encounter) a commitment on his way to work? Or, almost ridiculously, he's smart (clever) enough to meet (face to face) commitments rather than delivering what's promised?
  3. Stringing more than two phrases together with ANDs (and enjoys, and smart) is clumsy.
  4. We all get the jist of 'meeting a commitment', but here commitment is nothing but waffle-speak for a deadline or an objective.

Let's analyse what he's trying to say:

  1. He's a reliable team player
  2. He works hard and takes his fair share of the workload
  3. He meets his commitments (in some, yet to be understood, positive fashion)

From which we can cobble something more concise and distinctly more palatable, for example:

John is a reliable, hard-working team player who consistently meets his objectives.

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Small correction: "what we think he's trying to say" (we because I do think so too). We don't know that's what he's trying to say. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 25 '11 at 12:40
    
Thanks, smirkingman, for all your opinions and suggestions. +1 –  Adeel Ansari Jan 28 '11 at 10:54

Two things:

  • enjoys his fair share to work hard sounds weird to me; I expect people to do their fair share
  • the sentence doesn't have a verb (nominal sentence); while it's becoming more common, especially in informal writing, I don't consider it writing good style unless you're describing a process of thoughts, for example.
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Thanks, FX_, for your input. –  Adeel Ansari Jan 28 '11 at 10:53

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