Indecision is a decision. Ignorance, when we know we should act, doesn’t suddenly stop the world from spinning. It goes on, and the path with the favorable odds ends up getting taken.


The passive "it gets taken" means "{an unspecified|absent someone} takes it".

A path gets taken.

To take a path means to choose it or to follow it. But if the path simply "gets taken", there is no chooser or follower involved in the statement. The passive form lacking a "by" phrase eliminates the agent from the choice.

ends up wants as its complement a state or condition, because "ends us" acts like a predicate. The complement of ends up is a subject complement:

It ends up broken.

The marathon runner ends up tired and blistered.

Now let's combine those two ideas: to express the idea of a passively acquired state or condition which is the result of an absent agent or absent actor, we use "being" or "getting" in combination with the past participle:

When played with too roughly, the toy ends up being broken.

When played with too roughly, the toy ends up getting broken.

The -ing form of the verb there expresses the idea that a process is involved in the acquisition of this state. The toy becomes broken.

Back to your example:

The person who must make a decision is compared to a hiker who is confronted with a fork in the path. If the hiker does not actively decide which path to take, but simply allows current circumstance or mere chance to make that determination for him, the most likely or most probable path "ends up getting taken".

The passive form eliminates the actor from the predicate.

Your Answer

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