Thursday, October 04, 2018

The grammar of "condemned to"

In our agrégation translation class the question came up of the acceptability of different grammatical structures after "condemned".

One would normally expect  "condemned to die" "condemned to remain a second-rate author".
The form "condemned to remaining" seemed very strange to me, despite the presence of many structures with " condemned to" followed by a noun, which is usually a sign that an ING form would be possible. "Condemned to death" "condemned to prison".

The way to be sure about such questions is to search on the British national corpus, a huge collection of British English sentences from books, magazines and newspapers. There is a search website here : https://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/

If you search for "condemned to" on this page, you can see what the situation is.

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