My work mates and I are arguing about this term since none of us can comprehend its exact definition. Can I use the expression "I have been struggling vehemently to get this email sent since last month!" with validity?

closed as general reference by Robusto, J.R., tchrist, MetaEd, waiwai933 Oct 17 '12 at 1:25

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    Have you consulted a dictionary? – Robusto Oct 16 '12 at 10:02
  • It would help if you presented the rival definitions that each of you has championed. Without that detail and corresponding detail in response, your friends are unlikely to be happy with any answer you take back to them. – itsbruce Oct 16 '12 at 12:05

The core meaning of vehement is ‘intense, severe’, so, yes, you can use the adverb vehemently to describe the way in which you have been struggling. However, its use is mostly restricted to describing speech, so don’t be surprised if people question its use in other contexts.

  • thank you for your timely response! yes checked the dict, but needed a more thorough explanation – Ryan Solomon Oct 16 '12 at 10:37
  • I like thefreedictionary's definition; vehemently - characterized by forcefulness of expression or intensity of emotion or conviction. That strongly implies it's more applicable to speech/expression, rather than actions such as "struggling". – FumbleFingers Oct 17 '12 at 0:14

Struggle is a verb, vehemently is an adverb, so they may go together cohesively.

  • 1
    Like sleep and furiously? – Edwin Ashworth Oct 16 '12 at 11:42
  • That's syntax. The question is about semantics. Not every adverb goes together with every verb. – RegDwigнt Oct 16 '12 at 11:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.