Is this:

to be put under investigation

nonstandard English relative to:

to be under investigation


  • @VotetoClose I edited the question.
    – meatie
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 10:58
  • “Put” is the main verb in the first sentence and “be” is the main verb in the second, so they are not merely different ways of saying exactly the same thing; they carry different implications for the parties involved, and one or the other might be more appropriate in a given situation. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:38
  • Can you say more about exactly what you want to know? What is an example of a nonstandard or uncommon English relative that you have seen? What line of thought gave rise to this question? The formatting and phrasing are fine–don’t worry about that–just tell us as much as you can about what you are wondering. Please add to this question the way I am adding to this comment, by approaching the issue from multiple angles using different words and suggesting different combinations of ideas until someone has the same 3-dimensional picture as you do and can understand how to answer you best. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:41
  • For more explanation of the benefits of including contextual information in your questions (as well as a better description of what types of information are beneficial) please read J.R.’s treatise on the topic, titled Details, Please. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


These two statements are closely related in meaning.

The second statement "to be under investigation" is describing a state of being for whomever is the subject of that sentence. For example: "The CEO is under investigation for fraud."

The first statement "to be put under investigation" is describing the action of putting someone under investigation or the act of starting an investigation on someone or their behavior. For example: "The CEO was put under investigation for fraud."

To help understand I can compare these phrases using a rock and water.

The rock was put under water. (The rock is going to be put under water.) The rock is under water.

  • But, is "to put someone under investigation" uncommon relative to "he is under investigation"?
    – meatie
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 16:14

The phrase "is under investigation" (with quotes) has 42 million hits on Google, so you can be pretty confident it is reasonably common.

"put him under investigation" has about 1.6 million hits (including this post!)

Both are fine.

If you are asking which phrasing is more common, or what is the most natural way to say that a person is being investigated by the department, I personally would go for "The department is investigating him" rather than a "under investigation" construction, but you'd need more context for anyone to give you something more precise than that.

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