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    #1

    prone to get attacked

    Hello,

    I'm doing a word transformation exercise and I need to rephrase the following sentence:

    This plant often gets attacked by insects.

    prone

    My try:

    This plant is prone to get attacked by insects.

    The key reads "... is prone to attack/ getting attacked / being attacked". I've consulted Longman, Macmillan and Oxford - all of them give "prone to do something". What's wrong with the infinitive in my sentence?

    Thank you.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: prone to get attacked

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm doing a word transformation exercise and I need to rephrase the following sentence:

    This plant often gets attacked by insects.

    prone

    My try:

    This plant is prone to get attacked by insects.

    The key reads "... is prone to attack/ getting attacked / being attacked". I've consulted Longman, Macmillan and Oxford - all of them give "prone to do something". What's wrong with the infinitive in my sentence?

    Thank you.
    A much more natural sentence would be "This plant is prone to insect attack".

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    #3

    Re: prone to get attacked

    But which should be used - infinitive or gerund? There may be sentences where you can't use nouns.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: prone to get attacked

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    But which should be used - infinitive or gerund? There may be sentences where you can't use nouns.
    The problem with your sentence is that it's just not natural. You could say "This plant is likely to get attacked by insects", I wouldn't say it, but some people would. There are other natural ways to say it, including my original suggestion.

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    #5

    Re: prone to get attacked

    Thanks! I get it. Unfortunately, I can't distinguish between natural and unnatural utterances as long as they all comply with grammar rules, so it's patterns that I use as crutches to rely on. But I'd like to know how to use 'be prone to" in future (apart from the fact it's followed by a noun). Is it safer to use it with an -ing form, for example
    "Tired drivers are prone to ignoring warning signals"' ?

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    #6

    Re: prone to get attacked

    You can read many more opinions on this topic here.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: prone to get attacked

    Like one of the members on the forum for which Bob provided a link, I have read through quite a few COCA sentences, and I can't detect a pattern. Some of the sentences sound unnatural to me, but they clearly sound natural to the people who wrote them.

    For Verona's sentence, I would say "This plant is prone to attack by/from insects or, like bhai, "This plant is prone to insect attack." I dont like "... prone to get/getting/being attacked ...", but I can't think of a sound reason for labelling them 'incorrect'.

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