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Would the sentences below be correct and acceptable?

The lack of iron in her blood led her to die.

His carelessness while driving will lead him to die

Are these sentences above right? I was unsure whether lead could be proceeded by a verb or not, it seems only to work with nouns, but some other examples 'led me to think' the opposite. Therefore, if it works with lead me to think then it would also work with lead her to die right? It may not be idiomatic but is grammatically correct.

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  • Correct in what sense?
    – J.R.
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:22
  • Grammatically and idiomatically
    – Davyd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:23
  • Grammatically they are fine.
    – J.R.
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:24
  • 'The lack of iron on her bones' doesn't make any sense at all - first, people don't have iron in their bones, its in the blood, and even if they did, it would be 'in the bones' rather than 'on her bones'
    – Bamboo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:25
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    @DavydDiniz to avoid the vote to close, can you add more why this structure is confusing or troublesome? Otherwise it might look like you're asking for proofreading.
    – Andrew
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:10

2 Answers 2

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Not really, but for a number of different reasons:

  1. Iron isn't on bones. It's in the blood and, as far as I know, has little to do with bone strength. Perhaps you're thinking of calcium? Which in any case wouldn't be on the bones, we would just say "weak bones" or, more medically, osteoporosis.

  2. "Careless" is an adjective. You should use the noun "carelessness" as the subject of that sentence, or "careless driving".

  3. "To lead" someone to die doesn't sound quite natural. You can be lead to your death, or led astray, and to various other places -- like to your doom (if you don't mind melodrama). You just have to pick the right idiom.

  4. Alternately, and more colloquially, you can say something "will be the death of [you]". In that case there's no need to specify the pronoun at the start of the sentence, since at the end you say who you're talking about.

Something like these would be more idiomatic:

Low calcium and weak bones will be the death of her.

Careless driving will be the death of him.

If you really want to use "lead to ..." then there are all kinds of other options:

His gambling addiction led to his ruin.

Alcoholism and poor diet led to her early death.

A fascination with hidden treasure eventually led him to fame and riches.

Many more idioms with "lead"

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  • I have fixed my answers, Andrew. Do they look fine and acceptable now?
    – Davyd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:42
  • I still don't feel "led her to die" or "lead him to die" is natural English. "Led to his/her death" is better, though.
    – Andrew
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:44
  • So, using Lead + Verb doesn't work very well or seems to be idiomatic? But it is still grammatically acceptable, isn't it?
    – Davyd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:48
  • Grammatical, perhaps, but I think your English is good enough you should aspire to more than merely "acceptable" :)
    – Andrew
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:07
  • Thanks. I thought it could not be used that way, but after seeing examples such as led me to think I changed my mind. As I have never seen or heard lead her to die I decided to ask, but only to know whether it was grammatically correct or not. But now I gor my answer, it is grammatically but not idiomatic.
    – Davyd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:38
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No, neither is correct.

The lack of iron on her bones led her to die.

I have no idea what this is really supposed to mean. It would seem to be The lack of iron in her bones led her to die., but iron is not a large component of bone. Anemia is more thought of as a blood problem.

Iron shackles could indeed be on her, but that doesn't seem to be the notion at all in the sentence.

His careless while driving will lead him to die.

should be:

His carelessness while driving will lead him to die.

Carelessness is a noun and thus a fitting subject for a sentence, but careless is an adjective. An adjective cannot be the subject of a sentence.

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  • I have fixed them now! Do they look fine now?
    – Davyd
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:41
  • Yes the sentences are fine as edited.
    – MaxW
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:44

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