While writing the thesis, google docs proposed me to use "can originate" instead of "can be originated". Seriously, is there any difference? I am not a native speaker, that's why I am asking. The full quote is below.

New genes can be originated from existing ones when previously independent genes are joined together and expressed as a single unit.

  • google doc proposed I use. Not proposed me to use. – Lambie Apr 17 at 22:54

In this case the suggestion from Google docs is a good one. "Can be originated" is grammatically correct (or almost so, and understandable) but awkard and ugly.


First of all, I am impressed you are writing a thesis in a second language. Google docs suggested that you use "can originate" because the "be" sounds awkward to native speakers. It is not necessary. Honestly I can't give you the exact grammatical reason, but it doesn't sound right. Good luck on the rest of your paper!

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