I have a question about the usage of the transitive phrase "bring... into action" in this news article:

The eight Mk3 helicopters, which have never flown, cost £32 million each. They were designed to be used by Special Forces but were never brought into action because of concerns about their safety.

I cannot find the phrase "bring...into action" in dictionaries. According to this dictionary definition, intransitive phrases like:

--leap into action
--spring into action
--swing into action

are more common.

So, is the "bring...into action" pattern in the new article wrong?

  • 1
    No, it is not wrong. – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 18 '16 at 16:50
  • When you use Google ngram to search for a phrase there will be links to attestations at the bottom of the results page. google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 18 '16 at 17:03

"Bring into action" is not a set phrase, it is just literal with "bring" meaning "cause, result in a state or condition":


  • to cause, result in, or produce a state or condition:

    • Bring the water to the boil (= make it start boiling). She suddenly brought the interview to an end. Her tragic story brought tears to my eyes (= made me cry). What will the future bring for these refugees?

(Cambridge Dictionary)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.