correct usage of verb


Am I correctly using the verb in both cases?

There might be situations where the above strategies become invalid due to inconsistency of parameters or data issues.

Inconsistency of parameters or data issues become invalid some of the above strategies.


Posted 2013-03-23T03:23:48.870

Reputation: 1 896



I don't think it's correct usage.

For the first sentence, which is awkward and non-idiomatic at best, I'd say:

There might be situations in which the above strategies are invalid *because of* inconsistent parameters or data problems.

For the second sentence, which is grammatically incorrect, I'd say:

Inconsistent parameters or data problems may invalidate some of the above strategies.


Posted 2013-03-23T03:23:48.870


1I don't see anything wrong with OP's example #1. To my ear, it's purely a stylistic choice whether to use are or become. Or indeed, whether to use invalid or invalidated, which you implicitly acknowledge yourself by using the latter in your rephrasing of OP's ungrammatical #2. But since he was specifically asking about *the verb* I think it would have been better to stick with the same word for both rephrasings. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-04-10T22:19:01.817

@Fumble: You may be right about are vs. become. We have no context, no info that says "these strategies are OK till X or Y occur; then they become invalid". If that's truly the case, then become is preferable. But if we already know that X or Y, or both, is true, then are is preferable. That's semantics, not style. Re: invalidates, another semantics problems the verbosity problem. Same meaning in fewer words is almost always better. My change means that I don't think OP was using the verb properly in this S. – None – 2013-04-11T01:30:15.660

Well, it's not like we have no contextual support for become - preceding *there might be situations* implies that there haven't been any such in the past (or at least, that they haven't been identified yet). And if such situations (the ones with inconsistent parameters or data problems) do arise, it's perfectly reasonable to say they [will] "invalidate" the strategies. Just as it is reasonable to say the strategies "become invalid" when faced with such situations. I still think all permutations are fine. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-04-11T03:18:24.960


The first sentence is correct. become is appropriate because the indirect object situations is plural.
For the second sentence

The inconsistency of parameters or data issues becomes invalid due to some of the above strategies.

is better. Since inconsistency is singular, becomes should be used, and the article the is also needed. Also due to is needed to indicate the cause of the inconsistency (same as in the first sentence).


Posted 2013-03-23T03:23:48.870


1This changes the meaning of the sentence. I think what is called for here is *Inconsistency of ... makes some of the above strategies invalid* ; or even better, as @BillFranke offers, ... *invalidates some of the above strategies.* – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-03-25T23:10:31.573