I want to express that there are some disadvantages and advantages of doing [something].

I learned that I can say something like "We should trade off the disadvantages/minuses for the advantages/pluses while doing [something]", but I wonder if we can get rid of the subject in the sentence by rephrasing that into this one: "The disadvantages/minuses and advantages/pluses trade off".

I have not found any use cases of "trade off" acting as an intransitive verb like that, then I thought there should be another verb. What is that intransitive verb?

  • If you're using "trade off" as a verb, rather than a noun, it's not hyphenated.
    – gotube
    Jul 7, 2021 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


You seem to be describing a situation in which one item of the two is better than the other. I do not think you can indicate this with a verb in which both items are the subject of the verb.

Consider this alternative:

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Or reverse the sequence if that fits your intention more accurately.


"Trade off" doesn't work that way. A person has to trade something off for something else, as in do an exchange, getting one thing while losing another. It isn't an equation.

Consider using "cancel (each other) out" instead for the meaning you're after.

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