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Hi please check my wording below.

I like their step-by-step investing method. If they go big and it doesn't catch then it would turn to a disaster"

Does it sound natural?

Thanks in advance.

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    How about "it doesn't pull off"? Feb 23, 2014 at 20:47
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    "go big", not normal English, it's in the Urban Dictionary. "catch", close to "catch on" as in "become popular" if that's what you mean. "turn to" should be "turn into", or simply "be".
    – QuentinUK
    Feb 24, 2014 at 1:17
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    Definitely NOT "it doesn't pull off".
    – Hellion
    Feb 24, 2014 at 1:45

2 Answers 2

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The first problem I see with that is that it's phrased as a straight conditional, rather than as a counter-factual hypothetical situation. What you really need there is a future subjunctive:

I like their step-by-step investing method. If they were to go big and and it didn't succeed, then it would turn into a disaster.

This can also be expressed as a "conditional mood" by using the simple past in place of the future subjunctive:

I like their step-by-step investing method. If they went big and it didn't succeed, then it would turn into a disaster.

Both of these constructions mark the "going big" as something that will not actually happen, where the original present-tense usage marks it as a possibility.

As to the use of catch for succeed, I would say no, it does not fit well there. If it were a matter of achieving popularity, you could use "catch on", but that doesn't seem relevant to investing. Other general terms for "success" that could stand in there would be

  • If they went big and it didn't work out

  • If they went big and it didn't go as planned

  • If they went big and then couldn't pull it off

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  • Thank you very much, I've learned so many things by reading your answer. Would you please check this one : "if they had gone big and it didn't succeed...".
    – user3214
    Feb 24, 2014 at 5:02
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    "If they had gone big" refers entirely to a past possibility; you would only want to use it where a course of action has finished already. If the investors are still actively using their step-by-step method, you would not say "if they had gone big". But if, for example, you're looking at a particular point in time where they had a choice and stayed with their small strategy, you could say "Here they stuck with their step-by-step strategy. If they had gone big, then ...".
    – Hellion
    Feb 24, 2014 at 5:13
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I may be giving an uninformed answer here, since I don't know a lot about investing, but you might mean "catch on" or something that means "become popular" if I'm understanding the meaning correctly.

To me, this doesn't sound very natural. Saying "If they go big and it doesn't pull off...." doesn't sound very natural either. And I've only heard "go big" in occasional utterances like "Go big or go home." I would say something more like "If they go all-out and it fails, then it would turn into a disaster."

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