4

Was drafting an email and my senior wanted to type "Planting saplings is our way of saying we care for our Nature".
I felt that's wrong English. Shouldn't it be "we care for Nature"? (it makes it a bit impersonal to remove the 'our', but if 'our nature' isn't right, can the cuteness factor of mentioning 'our nature' be preserved?. Which is correct?)

3

You're right. Nature has (at least) two different meanings. When attributed to people, it tends to refer to their character/personality/beliefs/customs/heritage:

It's not in his nature

means "he's not that kind of person, he wouldn't do that". So if we "care for our nature" we care for our character, traditions, behaviour - it's not about nature as in the natural environment. So I would change the phrase to one of these:

We care for Nature

We care for our natural environment

We care for our environment

We care for the environment

  • Waggers’ answer is correct. I can only add that what in the question is referred to as Nature is very often referred to as Mother Nature. It's appropriate therefore to treat it as a proper noun and not use the definite article. – pavium Jul 20 '11 at 11:37
3

In English Our nature would refer to human nature, meaning the way humans are inherently inclined to behave.

Sometimes this sense can be extended to mean the way a particular individual is mentally wired. For example, the popular frog and scorpion fable ends with the scorpion killing them both by stinging the frog in mid-stream and explaining himself by saying, “It is my nature.”

On the other hand, when capitalized Nature is assumed to be talking about the natural world around us. It is a metaphorical concept that you can’t really put a possessive on, because it can’t be owned. Rather, it owns us.

If you really want to put a possessive on it, it should be changed to our environment.

protected by tchrist Jan 25 at 15:10

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