I just used an expression like this by accident;

I'll definitely try it when I become not to worry about that.

I don't know why I thought this expression is OK, but I've got curious how frequently people use this 'become to (verb)' form. I goggled it but I hadn't found any usage, so I think it might be an ill-formed English.

  • This is sentence is not grammatical or understandable. Can you explain what you want to say, by for example describing a situation when you might want to say it? – JavaLatte Feb 3 '18 at 14:20
  • @JavaLatte The OP clearly means "to start/stop doing something" and is probably confused because the word that translates "become" into his language probably also means starting and stopping doing something (transition from one state (or action) to another). – tenebris2020 Feb 3 '18 at 14:33
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    The purpose of ELL is not just to answer individual people's questions, but to create a repository of questions and answers that a much larger group of people can benefit from. This only works is the question is clear and the answers are all responses to the same understanding of he question. I am not saying that your interpretation of the word become is not correct, but in my opinion it is far from obvious what the sentence as a whole means. – JavaLatte Feb 4 '18 at 5:51

Yes, it is ill-formed (what a nice word! :) ) language. Only a noun or an adjective can come after become—because the meaning of this word is about coming to be a certain way. So, you should treat "become" functionally in the same way as you treat the verb "to be" in its simplest sense of, well, being something (the verb "to be" is usually followed by a noun or adjective). For example, one can "become worried" ("worried" is an adjective)—because you can say, "I am worried",—but not "become to worry" or "become to not worry". Technically speaking, one could say "I am not to worry", but here, the verb "to be" becomes a modal verb—this basically says, "I should not worry"; that is why I'm saying you could find equivalency only to the simplest sense of "being" in the verb "to be."

To address your specific sentence, the correct way to say it would be,

I'll definitely try it when I stop worrying about that.

If you need a sense that is not negative (i. e. you start to do something, not start to NOT do something, which can be transformed into "stop doing something"), you can say,

Once I have tried to do it my way, I will also try the method that you are suggesting.

This construction with "once + Present Perfect" can also be applied to your specific phrase,

I'll definitely try it once I've stopped worrying about that.

P. S. And yes, googling a phrase in quotation marks is often a good first step for determining whether native speakers use this phrase at all.

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