I have a sentence improvement question :

For a week last month, the team's 20 players were stranded because the government-issued passport is not up to international standards.

I am confused between these two options:

A) government-issued passports were not up to international standards.
B) the passports issued by the government were not up to international standards.

For me both sentences convey same meaning but my book says option B is better.
How is B better than A ?

  • 3
    To this US English speaker, A looks better than B, but both are acceptable. Although in another way, both are pointless and redundant - aren't all passports issued by governments?
    – stangdon
    May 24, 2017 at 12:18
  • To add, your book most likely prefers option B because it's more proper English. Option A however is more often used in casual conversation because it's easier to say while conveying the same meaning.
    – Alexander
    May 24, 2017 at 13:17
  • 2
    Many books that purportedly teach English are not written by native speakers, or rely on rules or idioms which are outdated or limited to a particular dialect. It sounds like your book might be one of these, since both sentences are equally acceptable.
    – Andrew
    May 24, 2017 at 16:58
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is based on misinformation from an "English" textbook.
    – Andrew
    May 24, 2017 at 16:59
  • @Andrew: All the more reason to correct it! It's only if the error is a simple typo or from some blatantly inaccurate source (such a as a random forum post) that we should simply dismiss misinformation as the basis for questions. May 25, 2017 at 1:40

1 Answer 1





issued by the government

have the same meaning, though the first is more efficent in word count which is usually a preference in standard English. Other examples of this type of phrase is


This should not be confused with


which is a generic statement of origin meaning usual or customary and never used as

The ammunition is military-issued and is standard-issue for all troops in battle.

  • government-issue [noun].
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2021 at 19:53

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