In the following sentence A, is the word "stop" an intransitive verb or a transitive verb? If it's a transitive verb, should the object word such as that/it be added like in the sentence B?

A: Once a food culture begins to change, it is hard to stop.

B: Once a food culture begins to chabge, it is hard to stop that.

Thank you.

  • B sounds very incorrect to me. I think A is technically okay, but I would prefer to rephrase it anyway, for clarity. – Zubin Mukerjee Sep 26 '18 at 6:35
  • For example: "The snowball of a changing food culture is hard to stop." or "Changes in food cultures are not easily reversed" (slightly different meaning) or "It is difficult to fight against the momentum of a changing food culture." – Zubin Mukerjee Sep 26 '18 at 6:40
  • Of those three rephrasings, I personally prefer the third. – Zubin Mukerjee Sep 26 '18 at 6:40
  • The idea you are trying to convey is that there is momentum behind changes in food cultures. The analogy of a snowball accumulating snow as it rolls down a hill can convey that idea, but it's not as clear as mentioning momentum directly. – Zubin Mukerjee Sep 26 '18 at 6:42

stop is both transitive and intransitive. And frankly, I've come across both the examples as in your question.

Nevertheless, I'd put an object here to remove ambiguity. You said, '..hard to stop.' but what? Your efforts? Your research? Putting an object makes it clear.

Once a [sic] food culture begins to change, it is hard to stop it (i.e. food culture).

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