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Question about an idiomatic usage

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Question about an idiomatic usage [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 03:09
Dear Mike,

Happy new year and wish all the best in 2018 :-)

I have question about the word "solution", which means to solve a problem.

1- Which proposition is correct?

I proposed many solutions for/to/of protecting endangered species.

2- If proposition 'to' is correct, should it be followed by NOUN or infinitive verb?

I googled the idiom but I became more confused.

Can you shed light about it?

Thanks in advance
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Question about an idiomatic usage [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 20:59
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Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mike,

Happy new year and wish all the best in 2018 :-)

I have question about the word "solution", which means to solve a problem.

1- Which proposition is correct?

I proposed many solutions for/to/of protecting endangered species.

2- If proposition 'to' is correct, should it be followed by NOUN or infinitive verb?

I googled the idiom but I became more confused.

Can you shed light about it?

Thanks in advance


Hi Mo2men! Happy to help :-)

The correct use in this case would be "solution to" -- we would want to say something like:

I proposed many solutions to protect endangered species.

So "solution" should be followed by an infinitive verb - "to protect". But we could also talk about "the solution to a problem", so "solution" can also be followed by "to" + noun. It is actually typically quite rare to use "solution" + infinitive verb, because it usually doesn't make much sense to talk about a solution to an action. Here, it would sound more natural to say something like:

I proposed many solutions which could help protect endangered species.
I proposed many solutions to the problem of species becoming endangered.

It doesn't make much sense to talk about "a solution to protect animals" - we talk about the solution to a problem, not the solution to "do something". So in almost every case where you see "solution to", it should just be followed by a regular noun (not a verb in gerund form).

I hope that helps clear things up! :-)
-Carolyn
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Re: Question about an idiomatic usage   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2018, 20:59
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