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In the sentence "[...] once anger prevails our consciousness we should immediately distract ourselves to avoid its subsequent effects.", I have directly translated from Turkish, but I was told that there is not such an idiom in English(I mean to prevail consciousness). I guess you can easily infer what I want to convey by that idiom, how do I correct it?

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  • How about becomes apparent?
    – Lawrence
    Nov 8, 2015 at 12:29

3 Answers 3

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There is the metaphorical expression flood one's consciousness, not all that common but quite acceptable.

An example from Cynicism and the Evolution of the American Dream, by Wilber W. Caldwell:

The fourth way in which the American media creates and stimulates widespread cynicism has to do with the way the media floods our consciousness.

An example having a more obviously non-sentient subject, from Libuvim, is:

When the waves of the ocean of our life flood our consciousness ...

but this is getting rather gushy.

Dictionaries give different senses that point to the 'deluge' metaphor here; RHK Webster's gives perhaps the closest sense:

flood vt (9) to overwhelm with an abundance of something

If you're happy with a less word-for-word paraphrase,

Anger surged through him

He clenched his fists as the anger coursed through him

are more idiomatic (ie used more often).

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The problem with your phrase is that prevail is an intransitive verb, so you need to use a preposition:

[...] once anger prevails in our consciousness, [...]

which means that anger is the prevalent, most active component of our consciousness; or maybe

[...] once anger prevails over our consciousness, [...]

which treats anger as an opposite to our consciousness, implying you can be so angry as to become unconscious.

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  • I guess "to prevail" has more than meaning than I want. It is a bit strong. Is there any other choice?
    – frosh
    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:17
  • Sure. overtakes, takes over, gets hold of, invades, enters, possesses, occupies, is in, influences, affects, disorders, inflames, fills .... [one's mind] Nov 8, 2015 at 11:21
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Not knowing either Turkish or the original text, I would say anger dominates one's consciousness.

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