I am a Quality Manager for a Customer Services team. I recently sent out a test to gauge the team's understanding of spelling and grammar and the majority of them had the sentence ‘I believe good communication is important to achieve good service,' as part of the answer. I flagged this up to the management team as a trend without questioning it as it just feels wrong. I was then questioned about this by a colleague and really struggled to explain my reasoning. I settled for this email:

Something can only be important TO a noun such as a person, process or target. ‘Achieve good service’ is not a noun but sort of an elongated verb. Alternatives: Good communication is important in achieving good service. Good communication is important to the achievement of good service. It is important to target excellent service and good communication plays a key role in achieving this. To achieve good service, one must communicate well. A simpler equivalent: ‘Water is important to hydrate’ should be ‘water is important to the hydration process’ or ‘water is important to an organism due to its hydrating qualities’ or much more simply ‘water is important for hydration’.

Can someone reassure me/tell me that I am wrong and to therefore seek alternative employment?

  • I'm afraid that 1% is plural, and you needed are and their voices. – tchrist Mar 30 '18 at 21:35
  • 'The remaining 1% [of me] are starting to raise their voice?' I don't think so. – Oxo the Wonder Monkey Apr 10 '18 at 10:38
  • Whether that should be “its” or “their” is open to question; “his” won’t work. That should be “good communication is important to achieving good service.” – Robbie Goodwin Apr 13 '18 at 18:12

‘I believe good communication is important to achieve good service,'

  • I believe good communication is important, to achieve good service...

A comma in the right place makes the sentence grammatically correct.

  • Sometimes perhaps in theory but not in that instance, it doesn't. – Robbie Goodwin Apr 13 '18 at 18:04

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