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Can the verb "to participate" be used for an object (and not a person)? For example: "This equipment will participate in a qualification test." Is this correct?

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    Note, first of all, that the preposition in is required with participate, which can't have an object by itself. It's "to participate in" that you're asking about. Second, any thing that is sufficiently anthropomorphized can act like an agent, and participate in needs an agent subject. Ol' Betsy here has partipated in a lot of steam rallies is perfectly all right, though participate in falutes a bit too high; taken part in might be a better phrase. – John Lawler Dec 21 '14 at 16:15
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It doesn't really work in that context.

You'd be better using something like:

This equipment will feature...

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Participate : usually refer to people or entities like, a company, a state or an organization:

  • to take part or have a share, as with others (usu. fol. by in): to participate in profits; to participate in a conversation.

In the context you are suggesting, be subjected to or go through can be used to suggest the idea.

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Not grammatically wrong, but sounds unusual. "this equipment is undergoing a qualification test" sounds like a better fit.

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I would say

Feature

As participate sounds a bit odd: I'd say it was more for people.

As an aside, you could use feature or undergo in this context, however they would grant the sentence different meanings: feature would imply that the object is going to just be in the test, perhaps helping, whereas undergo would suggest that it is having the test done to it.

As previously suggested by John Lawler the object in question could be sufficiently anthropomorphised such that participate in would make sense, as in the sentence he suggested

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