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I need to reconstruct the following sentence in another way: "It activates the potential of the crowd to help..." Suggestions please!

  • "It activates the potential of the crowd to help individuals, strengthen communities and neighborhoods in synergy with the efforts of governmental, business, and non-profit organizations." – Jonny Brazil Mar 18 '19 at 1:24
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    What's wrong with it as it currently is? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Mar 18 '19 at 1:27
  • @JasonBassford - I thought it was good, but I'm not native to the English language, and it was suggested to me to rethink the phrase. Should I insist to use my original phrase? – Jonny Brazil Mar 18 '19 at 1:37
  • The problem is it could be written any number of different ways. For a site like this, you should point out a specific area of concern. Otherwise, any answer would just be based on personal opinion rather than something to do with grammar in particular. Is there a certain word that concerns you? The sentence's tone in general? What did the person who told you to rephrase it say about it? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Mar 18 '19 at 1:42
  • @JasonBassford - "It activates the potential" – Jonny Brazil Mar 18 '19 at 1:44
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I understand that phrase "activates the potential" is the issue, but it's not because it's a terrible phrase. It's just an uncommon way of writing, since "potential" typically doesn't act as the object or target of an action. But your phrasing is neither non-grammatical nor syntactically flawed, so you could leave it as it is. You could replace the phrase with a word like encourages, allows, permits, or enables.

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    I kind of like the sound of unlocks. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Mar 18 '19 at 5:02
  • So, would that sound better, or more common? ... "It unlocks the potential of the crowd to help ..." ... Thanks again everyone! – Jonny Brazil Mar 18 '19 at 19:17
  • @JonnyBrazil yes, that formulation would be more natural to most English speakers. – raster Apr 2 '19 at 6:55
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"activates the potential" is pretty much just saying that that, in one way or another, the crowd is now willing to provide help. So with that being said (and without knowing what 'it' is). . .

It causes the crowd to help... It causes the crowd to provide their support... It makes the crowd help... (etc....)

In the three sentences I provide, there is no need to mention 'potential', because the action of helping makes clear the potential already existed/exists (otherwise they would not be able to perform the action). The original sentence just seams like some strange and unnecessary way of using synonyms.

  • Hey @Paul, thanks for your help, here's the full sentence. "It activates the potential of the crowd to help individuals, strengthen communities and neighborhoods in synergy with the efforts of governmental, business, and non-profit organizations." – Jonny Brazil Mar 18 '19 at 1:27

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