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my sentence is "Getting an A in this class gave me the confidence in taking graduate-level classes."

here do i need to use "the" in front of confidence or do i need to omit it?

Thank you for your reply in advance.

  • Was "this class" a graduate-level course? If so, "Getting an A in this class gave me confidence in taking graduate-level classes." If not, "Getting an A in this class gave me the confidence to take graduate-level classes." – Jim Nov 21 '15 at 4:54
  • yes, "this class" refers to a grad class – Dongmin Pak Nov 21 '15 at 4:55
  • You need to capitalize the first word in each sentence and "i". That's bad English. – user140086 Nov 21 '15 at 5:19
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Your sentence is clumsy because of in taking, not because of the. You could say, "Getting an A in this class gave me the confidence to take graduate-level classes." You could also say, "Getting an A in this class gave me confidence to take graduate-level classes." Either way is fine. Using "in" makes "in taking a graduate-level class" a prepositional phrase, which leaves my ear expecting another verb.

  • I think I made a mistake to deliver my intention. how about this sentence? "I earned an A in this advanced class, which gave me the confidence in taking graduate-level courses" do I still need to change "in taking" to "to take"? – Dongmin Pak Nov 21 '15 at 5:18
  • "In taking" sounds wrong. You can have confidence in someone (including yourself), but confidence to do what? If you're dead set on saying "in", say "which gave me the confidence in myself to take graduate-level courses". – trw Nov 21 '15 at 5:21
  • Agree with the above, although I'd probably say: "… gave me the confidence to undertake graduate-level classes." – ralph.m Nov 21 '15 at 8:38
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Use of the definite article in this case would be preferable. However, this sentence is strange without context. Are you trying to convey that you are currently receiving a grade from the "graduate-level class?" If so, it would be better to say, "It me confidence to continue taking graduate level courses when I received an 'A'."

On the other hand, if the class that is mentioned in your question is not a graduate level course, it is merely a lower level course which gave you confidence you should say, "The 'A' that I received in my course gave me the confidence necessary to take a graduate level course."

  • "I took a grad-level class in the summer and I got an A from that grad class. Therefore, getting an A in this grad-class gave me the confidence to take grad classes in the future when I go to a grad school" This is what I wanted to say – Dongmin Pak Nov 21 '15 at 5:08
  • Then, how about this sentence? "I earned an A in this advanced class, which gave me the confidence in taking graduate-level courses" in this sentence, do i still need to use "the" in front of confidence? – Dongmin Pak Nov 21 '15 at 5:12
  • Thank you for the clarification. It is not fitting to use the phrase "in taking" when what you intend to say is "to take." In this case, the definite article is absolutely optional based on the author's discretion. However, if you use the definite article, the reader is more likely to focus on the idea of confidence. If you do not use the definite article, the reader is likely to place mental focus on the achievement of earning the 'A' grade. If the paragraph which contains this sentence is based on past achievements, I would recommend not using 'the.' (cont.) – Caleb Scott Bunch Nov 21 '15 at 5:21
  • If it is more about future goals (such as being accepted into a program or getting hired to a new position), then I would recommend using the definite article. – Caleb Scott Bunch Nov 21 '15 at 5:22
  • Thank you so much. So finally, is this sentence okay to use in formal documentation? This sentence is going to be used as a grad school application. "I earned an A in this advanced class, which gave me the confidence to take graduate-level courses" – Dongmin Pak Nov 21 '15 at 5:29

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