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I was wondering which verb below sounds more natural in the following case. Also please let me know which one of the prepositions below is grammatically correct?

  • Due to financial problems, it is hard for young people to settle down these days. Also, it seems that married people are more tied down than single people. This issue has....................................
    Some social phenomena like white life etc.

a. imposed major changes on / in people’s lifestyle during the two past decades.
b. inflicted major changes on / in people’s lifestyle during the two past decades.
c. caused major changes on / in people’s lifestyle during the two past decades.
d. brought about major changes on / in people’s lifestyle during the two past decades.

I think the correct preposition here is "in" rather than "on". Also, all the verbs listed above sound natural and idiomatic to me with difference between their shade of meanings. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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  • 2
    (a) and (b) require on. However, in my opinion (c) or (d) would be better choices, and they require in. Sep 4 at 8:12
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    I would argue that the correct preposition for (c) and (d) would be neither on nor in, but to. In works, but to feels more natural to me.
    – Hearth
    Sep 4 at 19:54
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Basically, you inflict or impose changes ON something, but you cause or bring changes IN something.

You can use any of these verbs, but because the intended meaning is that the impact on people's lives is negative, I think inflict is the best, as it is the most negative of the four:

To inflict harm or damage on someone or something means to make them suffer it.

  • Rebels say they have inflicted heavy casualties on government forces. (Collins)
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  • Just out of curiosity; how about this case: (They flog, torture and put dissidents under arbitrary house arrest and impose cruel and inhuman conditions "on" prisons and detention centers.) Does the preposition "on" sound natural here or it should be "in" @fev?
    – A-friend
    Sep 4 at 10:22
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    The object of the preposition "on" should be the thing or person who actually suffers the harm. You could use "on" if you mean the people in prisons and detention centers. If you regard prisons and detention centers as institutions (where people suffering the harm live) than use in.
    – fev
    Sep 4 at 10:26
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changes of lifestyle = lifestyle changes

So the idiomatic options here are as follow:
to impose [adjective] changes on something or someone.

So that means:
a. imposed major lifestyle changes on people during the two past decades.
b. inflicted major lifestyle changes on people during the two past decades.

To cause major changes in something or someone

So that means:
c. caused major changes in people’s lifestyles during the two past decades.
d. brought about major change in people’s lifestyles during the two past decades.
OR
c. caused major lifestyle changes for people during the two past decades.
d. brought about major lifestyle changes for people during the two past decades.

to impose cruel conditions in prisons. The conditions are imposed in a place.

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