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The United States has successfully tested two Lockheed Martin hypersonic missiles, amid growing concerns that Russia and China have had more success developing their own hypersonic weapons.

Source

In this sentence, why was no preposition used after 'success'?

It seems to me that the preposition 'in' should be used after 'success'. What are the rules for using prepositions in this context?

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  • I would have used in there too, but there is no fixed rule about it. Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 8:21
  • Would putting in when or while be equally acceptable? Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 9:00
  • All of UK Lexico's examples seem to use "success in" preceding an -ing verb form, but it's common without "in" (Google "success playing" for examples), especially in headlines and summaries and other areas where brevity is important. For comparison, it's common to write things like "He found fame playing the guitar", in which "playing the guitar" functions as an adverbial modifying "found fame".
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 15:13
  • Stuart f@, In your given sentence 'playing ' is acting as present participle. Is it same for my sentence which I have given. Is 'developing ' is acting like a participle there?
    – Ansh
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 15:22

1 Answer 1

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The sentence is fine as is, and that's typically how I would write or say it:

...Russia and China have had more success developing their own hypersonic weapons.

Adding "in" is perfectly acceptable as well:

...Russia and China have had more success in developing their own hypersonic weapons.

Sorry but I don't think there is a rule that can guide you on this.

Incidentally, you would not have to use a preposition with this phrase:

...Russia and China have been more successful developing their own hypersonic weapons.

But this phrase would require one:

...Russia and China have succeeded in developing their own hypersonic weapons.

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  • ....Russia and China have been more successful developing their own hypersonic weapons. Here in this sentence, Is 'more successful developing their own weapons ' acting as a single noun phrase??
    – Ansh
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 0:29
  • "developing their own weapons" is the single noun phrase Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 9:40

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