0

I don't know whether the use of "what" in the sentences below is correct or not. Please help :)

Many people are concerned about what the suitable age is for children to drop out from school.

Many people are concerned about what the suitable age is it for children to drop out from school.

Many people are concerned about what the suitable age it is for children to drop out from school.

Many people are concerned about what is the suitable age for children to drop out from school.

Many people are concerned about what the suitable age for children to drop out from school.

3
  • 1
    The first option might be better than the other examples. Nov 19, 2021 at 10:00
  • 2
    To drop out of school is to leave unofficially, so we can't say there is a 'suitable' age for doing so. Only your first and fourth versions are grammatical. Nov 19, 2021 at 10:38
  • 1
    As Kate says, there is no suitable age to do that. I wonder if I can interest you in one of these instead: A) "Many people are concerned about the (present) school-leaving age." B) "There is concern that younger and younger children are bunking off school." C) "There is concern that younger and younger children are disappearing from the education system." Nov 19, 2021 at 11:39

1 Answer 1

1

At least is US English, it's more common to hear "drop out of school" than "drop out from school".

In your list, grammatically speaking, choice #1 is the best.

Choice #4 is acceptable, although not quite as idiomatic.

The others aren't correct.

We could add #6 to the list, which is also acceptable, moving "is" to the end.

Many people are concerned about what the suitable age for children to drop out of school is.

The next point to consider is the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

"Drop out of school" means leaving school early. By definition, there's no suitable age to do that. Thus, all your sentences are logical contradictions.

Could this be modified, to be make more sense? Substitute "complete their education" in the place of "drop out of school".

However, "concern" is close to "worry". And it's generally not true that many people are worried about when children should complete their education. (meaning, successfully finish school). To be more accurate, some people may occasionally consider the topic of when children should complete their education.

Then, let's suppose you are focused on the "problem" of kids "dropping out of school". An alternative might be:

(There is concern / Many people are concerned) that younger and younger children are (disappearing from the education system / dropping out of school).

3
  • moreover, I'd like to ask @KH-vn a question, in your native language, could you write a sentence: "What is a suitable level of crime in our city?" Does it sound right?
    – Sam
    Nov 21, 2021 at 13:13
  • I would translate it as "Mức độ tội phạm cho phép của thành phố chúng ta là bao nhiêu?" In my native language, I have to use the word How" and phrase "an acceptable level" instead of "What" and "a suitable level" to make sense of the translation.
    – KH-vn
    Nov 22, 2021 at 8:22
  • 1
    @KH-vn "to make sense of the translation." Well, it doesn't exactly make sense in English either. because there is no suitable level of crime (it should be 0), and there is no suitable level of dropping out of school early (it should be zero). But of course you can say the sentences anyway. And probably "an acceptable level" sounds better than "suitable".
    – Sam
    Nov 22, 2021 at 14:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .