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Which of the following sentence is grammatically correct?

Revenue declined due to lesser units of property being sold in 2013.

or

Revenue declined due to lesser units of property were sold in 2013.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Revenue declined due to lesser units of property being sold in 2013.

Is grammatically correct. "being sold in 2013" is a participle phrase that acts as an adjective to "units of property".

You can use the participle (being) as and adjective, but not the conjugated[1] verb form (were).

A point about "lesser": this seems to indicate that the units of property that were being sold (adding "that" would make the second sentence correct!) are of lower quality compared to others. If you simply refer to the number of units that were sold, I would use less.

A bit more details about why this sentence is wrong:

*Revenue declined due to lesser units of property were sold in 2013.

From here (Emphasis mine):

"Due to" is very similar to "because of." It gives a reason for why something is true. You can use "due to" with phrases and single words, but you can't use "due to" with a clause.

Now "units of property were sold in 2013" is a clause, and should not be used after due to.

You could however substitute because for due to, and the sentence would be fine, as J.R. pointed out. This is because because can join two clauses.

[1] Conjugated, not declined, of course. Thank you @SnailPlane, and my apologies for confusing anyone, including @Pupu!

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Thanks. "being sold in 2013" is it a participle phrase ? –  Pupu Apr 28 at 8:31
    
Yes it is, I added it to my answer :) –  oerkelens Apr 28 at 8:34
    
By the way, what is declined verb ? –  Pupu Apr 28 at 9:31
    
A verb that has been changed from its infinitive form to match person, number, tense, modality, etc. If the infinitive is "be", declined form are (I) am, (you) were, etc. –  oerkelens Apr 28 at 9:35
    
aaarrgh. hangs head in shame. once again messed up my terminology :'( –  oerkelens Apr 28 at 11:02

It's the first one ("being sold"), although, interestingly enough, that isn't the case when you change due to to because:

Revenue declined due to lesser units being sold in 2013.

Revenue declined because lesser units were sold in 2013.

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Oerkelens, JR, SnailPlane, Lucian, Thanks for all your helps. But I really can't see why the second sentence is incorrect. –  Pupu Apr 28 at 13:20
    
In sentences like these, due to doesn't take the same words that come after because. That's why we can say: The picnic was cancelled because it was raining, but we'd say: The picnic was cancelled due to rain. Too bad your question focused on this particular example with units of property. Had you asked a more generic question, you might have gotten a more elaborate answer. –  J.R. Apr 28 at 14:05

You could say that anyway with these small changes:

Revenue declined due to lesser units of property which were being sold in 2013.

Revenue declined due to lesser units of property which were sold in 2013.

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After a preposition or a preposition group such as "due to sth" you can only use a noun or the noun-form of a verb (the gerund). Of course, you can replace a noun by a pronoun, but that's basic grammar knowledge.

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