Which one is correct "come to extinct" or "come to extinction"?

I want to talk about Hawaiian papaya that had been in danger of extinction but was saved. Can I use this sentence "The infection caused Hawaiian papaya to come nearly to extinct/extinction"?

  • 1
    "To" occurs in only two syntactic frames in English: followed by a verb (eg to die out) and followed by a noun phrase (eg to extinction, to the bitter end). "Extinct" is an adjective, (Some adjectives can be used as nouns, but "extinct" is not one of them).
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 11, 2018 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


I'd use "to go extinct".

While less common, one could also use:

  • to come to extinction
  • to face extinction
  • to be driven into extinction (by something)
  • to fall into extinction

Slightly rephrasing your sentence: "The infection caused Hawaiian papaya to come close to extinction."

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