I came upon this sentence in a translation:

"The ecological pressures resulting from traditional livestock rearing practices will reduce while continuing to meet people's nutritional needs."

However, I felt that 'reduce' is a vt and this sentence should be written as 'the pressures will be reduced' instead.

Also in the dictionary , reduce is defined as 1 make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size. 2 bring someone or something to (a worse or less desirable state or condition).

So it doesn't make much sense to me to say the pressures 'make itself smaller' or 'bring itself to a smaller amount'.

Can anyone help me with this? Thanks a lot.


I'm with the OP. That wording there is a bit ungrammatical. Some native speakers might indeed use reduce in that way, as djna does, but it's a colloquial usage that I wouldn't want to put in writing.

  • I don't believe that it's only colloquial. Widely used, even in academic publications. thefreedictionary.com/reduce has both transitive and intransitive uses. – djna Mar 28 '18 at 11:56

The verb reduce may be used both transitively and intransitively. A question on our sister site addresses this point. This dictionary also states that reduce may be used intransitively.

I would unhesitatingly say (were it true):

My weight reduced over the last few months

One of many examples I find in academic publications:

Systolic pressure was significantly (p<0.001) reduced in yoga but the reduction was not significant in control group.

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