There was a question "Is 'Raising a pet can avoid feeling lonely' wrong?" I thought it was wrong. Coz the sentence doesn't have me, us or whatever.

So I said 'Raising a pet can help you avoid feeling lonely' is one of the right sentence you can use.

But then a man said "'avoid' has a meaning 'To prevent something from happening' so it'll be ok"

So I wondered if happen can mean feel.

Give me your thoughts thanks :)

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    "Raising a pet can avoid feeling lonely" is very likely to be a headline on a newspaper article. These are often abbreviated, and formal grammar is, um, relaxed. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 8:32
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    @AndrewLeach The headline would more likely be along the lines of Raising pet can avoid loneliness, which, but for the missing article, is completely grammatical. If one uses raising a pet as subject of the sentence, that is absolutely fine. But that subject can not feel lonely.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 8:38
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    A more likely newspaper headline would be "Raising a pet can prevent loneliness" or "Avoid loneliness by raising a pet".
    – Rob K
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 17:37
  • Many comments thanks:) Me and other two men are all Korean. One man wrote the sentence for his English exam and asked if the sentence is right coz the teacher said it's wrong.
    – FYAM
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 6:43
  • Where would you put "happen" in your sentence?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


The sentence "Raising a pet can avoid feeling lonely" makes absolutely no sense in English. What that sentence essentially means is that "raising a pet" is a person. Because raising a pet can't avoid anything. The person doing the raising can avoid doing something. But without there being some person in the sentence, it makes absolutely no sense in any context.

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    I think "makes absolutely no sense" is a bit strong. It's not idiomatic, and it's probably not grammatical, but I can still get the gist of what a learner would be trying to say, to the point where I might rephrase it in a more grammatical way: Raising a pet can help someone avoid feelings of loneliness.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 20:43

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