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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    The government has decided to mothball

    I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    The government has decided to mothball all remaining shipyards despite the protests by unions.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    It looks OK to me. You could dispense with "the" before "protests" but it's not wrong, and it does seem to specifically refer to a particular series of protests.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    I think "close the shipyards" would be more clear. (I imagine there are quite a few people who don't know what "mothball" means in this context.)

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    It will be clearer to anyone who doesn't know what "mothball" means but the original sentence is grammatically correct. Also, "to mothball" means that something will be closed but be kept in good condition so that it can be used again in future if necessary. Simply closing something doesn't have the same connotation.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    I'd be more likely to use mothball with the ships they were planning to build than the shipyards.

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    #6

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd be more likely to use mothball with the ships they were planning to build than the shipyards.
    I think it works for ships and for any large facility. Americans may be familiar with the term mothball fleet, especially if they have visited or lived in the San Francisco Bay area where this famous fleet of ships kept ready for reactivation by the US Navy is very prominently moored, but other uses come up from time to time.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: The government has decided to mothball

    In the UK, we are more likely to mothball plans than products.

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