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Firstly, I'll assume stop, close, and quit are synonymous, at least in the following discussion that have the same meaning. We often see these phrases, especially on our phones when an app's not working. My question is how to use this phrase properly?

Some people treat this phrase as a noun, for example a sentence I got from a google book:

If the application died with a forced close, you are probably missing one of the needed assets.

Or as an adjective, this example is from Quora:

Just open force stopped application. Now, your force stopped application start running.

Or as a verb, this one is from a game forum on Reddit:

...and suddenly the game forced closed...

And quite few people use it as two separate verbs:

How to force an app to quit on your Mac

Those different usages confuse me, particularly, which part of speech is it? And how to use it?

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  • Some of those sentences you found were probably written by non-native speakers. In particular, "Just open force stopped application. Now, your force stopped application start running." contains multiple errors that make it sound very unlikely that it was written by a native speaker. You did the right thing in asking about the usage! Just keep in mind that "I saw somebody use it this way" means very little, since there are so many non-fluent speakers of English on the internet...
    – stangdon
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 11:20

1 Answer 1

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As a Mac user myself I almost always use "force quit" because that's what the system calls it when you press the keys to bring up the "Force Quit Applications" window. When you open the Task Manager in Windows I believe the terminology is "End Task." When operating in the Terminal (console) environment you might see "kill" because that is the name of the command you enter to end a process.

I would never say that that an application "suddenly" force-quit or force-closed because the "forced" part of the phrase indicates that it stopped working for some reason and then you the user deliberately took an action to close the application even though it was unresponsive. Because you the user are the one taking the action, the verb should be in the passive voice when the subject of the sentence is the application itself: the application was force-quit by you. It cannot force-quit itself, by definition.

If a application unexpectedly quit on its own I would say that it crashed, and especially for video games (which are usually in full-screen mode) you will see the term crash to desktop (CTD) because you were seeing your game and then suddenly you see the desktop instead. This carries a similar implication as a user-initiated force-quit, namely, there was a problem and the program was not able to continue running, and unsaved work was probably lost.


To answer your specific question, I would accept the verb phrases to force quit and to force close but not to force stop (that does not sound idiomatic). They are both verbs, but can be manipulated into other parts of speech just as other verbs can:

The application was force quit.
After a force[d] close, the application will restart in the default configuration.
I had to force quit the game.

and you can even split the phrase up:

I will force the application to close.

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