Gil-seop
labor VS laborer Please read this: In the 1960s, Korea experienced rapid industrialization. Although this meant that the economy developed at an incredible rate, it also intensified the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The laborers were forced to work for low pay, with long hours, under poor working conditions. Eventually, their growing complaints were expressed through many events. Q: Dictionaries say that the word "labor" can mean all the people who work for a company or in a country. Then, can I say "The labor was forced to work ..." instead of "The laborers were ..." at the penultimate sentence? When should I say "labor" and when should I say "laborer"? Thank you!
Feb 17, 2016 9:13 PM
Answers · 7
"Labor" in this case is describing a group of people and you are speaking of individuals. So you must use "laborers" in your sentence. To use "labor" you would have to use "labor force" and it is not as natural.
February 17, 2016
"Labor" is a more abstract concept than "laborers". "Laborers" usually refers to the people doing the labor, while "labor" refers to the laborers' ability to work. When "labor" refers to people, it is usually in a political context, when workers' unions are organizing for a political cause. For instance: "The minimum wage increase is supported by labor, but opposed by Wall Street."
February 17, 2016
You need "laborer"(labourer) here, because you are talking about the people. "Labor"(labour) is used when talking about the resource of workers - this is also the general sense of the workforce, not the individuals.
February 17, 2016
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Gil-seop
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English, Korean
Learning Language
English