In an article about genetically modified food I found this sentence:

Yet for others, the GM route is a reckless road we are being forced down by big business, which...

So I looked up forced down but it only had two meanings both of which I guess are not proper.

  1. to make yourself eat or drink something, although you do not want it
  2. to make a plane land by threatening to attack it

We often say "go down the road" or "go down the street" so is this that kind of thing? But I think in that way, the article should say "being forced to go down".

How do you describe this expression?

enter image description here

  • Yes, your instincts are correct. The article is full of mistakes. It's hard to believe it has been written by a competent native speaker. In the source document, the sentence actually uses yet for other, which you have instinctively changed to yet for others. In brief, don't expect to find the article to use good English; it doesn't. Jun 15, 2017 at 10:39
  • As another example, consider the clause that starts the second paragraph: For supporters argue that for farmers, and indeed for all of us, the advantages of GM crops are overwhelming: This is terrible English. It should not be for supporters. Jun 15, 2017 at 10:44
  • Using 'reckless road' is not idiomatic Jun 15, 2017 at 11:02
  • Actually I was not the one who changed "yet for other" . Jun 15, 2017 at 11:07
  • 1
    I think some of the mistakes in the pdf on the web (like"not surprising") are corrected apparently by my teacher.Are there still mistakes in paper scripts? Jun 15, 2017 at 11:12

2 Answers 2


It might make it clearer for you to rewrite the sentence as:

Yet for others, the GM route is a reckless road we are being forced to go down by big business, which...

The sentence is just a shortened form of the above. It means that 'we' are being forced to take the road of GM. 'We' are being forced to take part in/do GM.

  • Perhaps. But on the other the other hand, the source document is full of errors. See my comments to the OP. Jun 15, 2017 at 10:46
  • 1
    @Clare Yes, I did see your comments and I was about to ask for a link to the source document. I have just explained the bit of the document that the OP asked about because it's a valid question that has an answer. I don't know anything about the rest of the document.
    – Phil14
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:49

Traveling on roads/paths can be described using the prepositions up and down, even though the movement is horizontal.

I walked down the sidewalk to Sally's house.

We drove up Elm Street to the club.

When do you use up and down? That's a separate question.

Anyway, the point is that forced is not related to down in your example. So it's not saying something is being forced down, but rather it means they are being forced to travel down a road, and road is being used figuratively to mean "sequence of causes and effects."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .