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Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Know Your Verbs.
My name is Alisha and in this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "adopt."
Let's get started!
Okay, let's start with the basic definition of the verb "adopt."
The basic definition is to legally take another person's child and raise the child as one's own.
"One of my family members was adopted."
"Have you ever thought about adopting a child?"
Now, let's take a look at the conjugations for this verb.
Present: adopt, adopts
Past: adopted
Past participle: adopted
Progressive: adopting
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb.
The first additional meaning is "to take and use usually something that is new."
"She adopted an upbeat personality for the evening."
"Maybe the company should adopt a new strategy."
So these sentences use the word "adopt" as in like finding something new or finding something that's not usually used, but putting that thing to use in that situation. So this is a rather open meaning, I know.
So let's look at the first example sentence to get a little bit more detailed.
In the first example sentence, we see, "She adopted an upbeat personality for the evening." So, "adopted," in this meaning means to take something and to put it to use, something that's new." So that means she isn't usually an upbeat person necessarily, but for this evening, she had this idea to have an upbeat personality, so she took on, she decided to become a more upbeat person for the evening. So that means, it's something different from her past behavior. So for the evening only, she decided to be upbeat. She adopted an upbeat personality for the evening.
In the second sentence, "Maybe the company should adopt a new strategy," we see "adopt" being used to mean like take on a new strategy. Maybe the company should take on some kind of new strategy is what the sentence means. But "adopt" is a quick and easy way to say that, to take something, like to take an idea in and to put the idea to use is like adopt, to adopt an idea, to adopt a strategy this way.
Let's look at the second additional meaning for "adopt."
The second additional meaning is "to accept something and implement it."
"The government has adopted a new policy."
We adopted the architect's proposals for our new home."
So here, we're seeing "adopt" used very similarly to the first additional meaning. However, it means that there's something that's accepted, so like there is some outside idea like some kind of proposal that's presented somewhere to somebody, some group and then it's accepted. Following the acceptance, it's implemented. That idea is used, is put into effect, so there's kind of this flow happening with this use of "adopt." So it's not only taking on something new and using it like we saw in the first additional meaning, it's like there are a few different steps, there is like a proposal, a new idea, acceptance of that idea, and then use of that thing.
In the first example sentence, it's about the government. "The government has adopted a new policy" means the new policy was presented to the government, the government accepted the policy and the government is now using that new policy, so there are effects of that new policy. There are all these different stages of the new policy. So, "the government has adopted a new policy" means it's at this final stage, that now, this new policy is like in effect. So it's been accepted and now, it's going to be in effect, if it's not in effect already.
In the second example sentence, "We adopted the architect's proposals for our new home," we see the same sort of flow. So there is some idea from the architect, presented to the client, the client accepted the idea and the architect put it into practice. The architect put it into effect. So, there's some acceptance and then implementation of that thing. So they adopted the ideas in other words, so they took on that idea and put them into use, into practice.
The next additional meaning is "to promise to care for something."
Some examples…
"Our community group adopted a park."
"The organization is adopting a highway, and plans regular cleaning."
So, in this use of adopt, we're often not talking about a person being adopted. Rather, it's a place, like in the examples here, it's a park or a you might often hear a highway or some other kind of community space. So, to adopt that space, to adopt that location means to care for that location. In many cases, adopting a park or adopting a highway or something similar means that a person or an organization pays some money and their name becomes attached to that location, but they're also then responsible for caring for that location. So, you might see these on highways, like I remember when I was growing up on the highways in California, you would say, adopt a highway program on the signs there. So, "to adopt a highway" means to give some money, have your name attached to that part of the highway and then have some responsibility for caring for that part of the highway.
So, there might be some community places that have been adopted by people or by organizations in a city. So, there's some kind of name recognition, yes, but there is also responsibility to care for that. So, it's adopting, like adopting a child, I suppose, but we're adopting a place. We have to care for that place. Make sure the place is nicely maintained and safe and good for the community, essentially.
So, in addition to this, you'll also see "adopt" used to talk about pets. This can be used more to talk about adopting animals from shelters. So, we don't really use adopt when we talk about buying a pet from a pet store. Rather, adopting a pet is something that occurs more when an animal is in a shelter like the animal has been, like lost or the animal has been abused or bad or negative past experience. There are a number of reasons why animals might be in shelter, but people who come to the shelter and choose a pet from the shelter, we can use the verb "adopt" to describe that activity of choosing a pet and taking the pet home. In that case also, "to adopt a pet" means to come to a shelter and choose a pet and take the pet home with the promise of caring for that pet, so feeding the pet, cleaning the pet, making a safe environment for the pet too.
So, "adopt" can mean a location, it can mean for children as we talked about in the basic definition, and we can also use "adopt" to talk about pets as well, pets that we can find at shelters too.
Okay, so, I hope that you found a new way to use the verb "adopt" in your everyday life. If you have any questions or comments or if you want to try to make a sentence with the verb "adopt," please feel free in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye!