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I was writing this sentence in an essay:

They find it never enough to emphasise the importance of unity in their communal life.

Then I realised that I was not sure of this phrase and I looked it up on Google, but the hits I have found mostly read: find it's never enough to ....

Does the expression I used sound awkward? Should I consider another way of saying this?

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  • In Google Books I'm seeing just find it's never enough and never find it enough.
    – DjinTonic
    Nov 13, 2021 at 16:00
  • 1
    Find can govern to be-deletion. She finds it tedious having to take the bus. Nov 13, 2021 at 17:05
  • @DjinTonic Yes, I have stated that in the OP, although I have not specified it was Google books results.
    – fev
    Nov 13, 2021 at 18:53
  • I was just confirming it and pointing out that I didn't see find it never enough.
    – DjinTonic
    Nov 13, 2021 at 18:57
  • "They cannot emphasize enough the importance..." or "They never stop emphasizing the importance..."
    – gotube
    Nov 17, 2021 at 21:56

1 Answer 1

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The most common construction is the following, where what is never enough is the intensity of the emphasis, instead of the fact of emphasizing, as in the sentence under scrutiny.

  • They find that they never emphasize enough the importance of unity in their communal life.

If you wanted to focus on the fact of emphasizing, it seems that it is better to retain the verb "to be".

  • They find that it is never enough (merely) to emphasise the importance of unity in their communal life.
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  • Yes, your second variant seems the closest to what I was trying to express. So basically, what I have written is not acceptable right?
    – fev
    Nov 13, 2021 at 18:55
  • @fev I can't say that it is not acceptable; it just doesn't feel to me like a usual construction, and so as to be safe, I'd add the verb.
    – LPH
    Nov 13, 2021 at 19:52

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