Nouns

Hello, everyone,

1. Worries are likely to increase under such circumstances.

2. Crimes are likely to increase under such circumstances.

3. Criminals are likely to increase under such circumstances.

4. The number of criminals is likely to increase under such circumstances.

5. The number of worries is likely to increase under such circumstances.

I believe ‘3’ is outright incorrect unless ‘increase’ is post modified (which would change the meaning drastically). If I am correct, what explains the difference between ‘1’ and ‘2’ on the one hand and ‘3’ on the other?

Thanks.

Original Post
ahmad posted:
I believe ‘3’ is outright incorrect unless ‘increase’ is post modified (which would change the meaning drastically).

Hi, Ahmad,

I agree with you that (3) is incorrect unless "increase" is post-modified. But if you post-modify it with the prepositional phrase "in number," the meaning will not change drastically. Indeed, the semantics will be parallel to that of the others:

(3a) Criminals are likely to increase in number in such circumstances.

Or you could say: "There is likely to be an increase in the number of criminals under such circumstances." I prefer that. I even like (4) better than (3a). My point in giving (3a) is to show you that post-modification can preserve the meaning. ♣

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