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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    Are these correct and natural?


    1. He is 100 pounds overweight, a heart attack waiting to happen.

    2. He is extremely depressed, a suicide waiting to happen.

    3. Their relationship is very fragile, a divorce waiting to happen.

    4. The project was very ill organized, a disaster waiting to happen.

    5. She is very talented, a music super star waiting to happen.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Are these correct and natural?


    1. He is 100 pounds overweight; he's a heart attack waiting to happen.

    2. He is extremely depressed; he's a suicide waiting to happen.

    3. Their relationship is very fragile; a divorce waiting to happen. The second half doesn't work. You could use something like "[a] divorce is on the cards".

    4. The project was very ill organized; it was a disaster waiting to happen.

    5. She is very talented; she's a music superstar-in-waiting. to happen.
    Please note my corrections above.

    See above. Heart attacks, suicides and disasters happen. Superstars don't happen. Divorces do happen but they're (usually) long drawn-out processes so it's not the best verb for them.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 23-Jan-2021 at 17:40.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    To my ears, they're all good as you phrased them. Maybe waiting to happen is an Americanism.

    I'd spell out a hundred, though, and superstar is one word.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    The last really doesn't work to my BrE ears. I agree with Emsr2d2. I could live with #3, but prefer on the cards. The comma has to go in all of them for me.

  5. #5
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    PS -

    And you might like using rock star waiting to happen rather than music superstar waiting to happen.

    It's a more common expression.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: he is overweight a heart attack waiting to happen

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    And you might like using rock star waiting to happen rather than music superstar waiting to happen.
    Or "pop star".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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