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Use Olympic vocabulary correctly – Qualify/Qualified

Olympic vocabulary Qualify Qualified

The 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics began on July 23rd, 2021. The Olympics are one year behind schedule due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. They are still called the 2020 Olympic games even though it is now 2021.

One of my students talked to me about the Olympics today. Two Japanese athletes were expected to win their events, but my student said, unfortunately, “they are not qualified.”

I know what my student wanted to say, but we had to make a change so that the grammar was correct.

Olympic vocabulary Qualify Qualified

qualified – verb past tense and past participleto be of a high enough standard (level) to enter a competition
 “My school qualified for the national tournament.” 
qualified – adjective having passed the exams or completed the training that is necessary in order to do a particular job; having the experience to do a particular job
“Trent is a qualified dental surgeon.”

16 teams from six continents have qualified for Football (Soccer) at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games.

Let’s look at the verb qualify (again) today:
This is an update of a blog post I wrote for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Qualify has a few meanings. We will look at 4 of them in today’s post. Definitions updated with Oxford Learners Dictionaries

This is a great site for English learners and I use it with all my students here in Japan.

1) to give someone the skills and knowledge they need to do something

qualify somebody (for something) 

”This training course will qualify you for a better job.”

qualify somebody to do something 

”The test qualifies you to drive heavy vehicles.”

2) to have or give somebody the right to do something 

”If you live in the area, you qualify for a parking permit.”

 ”To qualify, you must have lived in this country for at least three years.”

 ”I have lived in Japan for 12 years. I now qualify for permanent residency.” 

 *permanent residency = permission to reside (live) in a new country permanently (forever)

3) to have the right qualities to be described as a particular thing

“It’s an old building, but that doesn’t qualify it as an ancient monument.”

Qualify examples

For competitions like the Olympics or the World Cup etc., qualify means

4) to be of a high enough standard (level) to enter a competition

“The U.S. men’s gymnastics team hopes to qualify for the finals.”

 “My school qualified for the national cycling championship.” 

“The International Gymnastics Federation has published a step-by-step guide on how to qualify for the summer Olympics.”

Olympic vocabulary Qualify Qualified

Qualify – Verb tenses

Infinitive – TO QUALIFY

How long does it take to qualify?

Present simple – QUALIFY

I want to use the government interest free loan for my business. I hope I qualify.

Present simple Third-person singular – QUALIFIES 

This course qualifies you to teach high school math in Canada. 

Past simple – QUALIFIED

I did it! I qualified for the finals!

Past participle – QUALIFIED

My team has qualified for the finals every year.

(Has qualified is the perfect tense.)

Learn more about the past participle verb form

Qualified – past, past participle, AND adjective

Here is the meaning of the adjective QUALIFIED

having passed the exams or completed the training that is necessary in order to do a particular job; having the experience to do a particular job

“Trisha is a qualified dental surgeon.”

The adjective qualified is often used with the preposition for. Someone is qualified for something.

“She’s extremely well qualified for the job.”


Qualify is a regular verb so the past tense and the past participle both end with _ED. We can use the past participle of a verb as an adjective. So we have this pattern:

qualifiedverb – past tense
qualifiedverb – past participle
qualifiedadjective
Olympic vocabulary Qualified

Here is a simple rule for knowing if the word is being used as a verb (past) or an adjective.

Verb

Verbs will (usually) come after a subject:

Morocco qualified for the 2018 World Cup. (past tense)

 My school has qualified for the national championship tournament. (past participle – perfect tense)  

Adjective

Adjectives will (usually) come after the verb to be (and sometimes after an adverb

Bill and Mike are not qualified to fix hybrid car engines. 

Dave is a highly qualified English teacher.

Olympic vocabulary – Qualify Qualified

My student was using the adjective form of qualified – “they are not qualified.” We can see from the definition of the adjective form that it is used for jobs, not for sporting events. Here is what he wanted to say:

Two Japanese athletes were expected to win their events, but, unfortunately, they didn’t qualify.

This is the verb form.

Another common way to say this:

Two Japanese athletes were expected to win their events, but, unfortunately, they failed to qualify.

Are the Olympics popular in your country? Do you watch the Olympics? Which events do you like? Tell me in the comments.

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