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There is a line in my biology book which uses 'become' and 'transformed' together. English is not my first language, just wanted to know if it's erroneous or not.

So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells become transformed into ampicillin-resistant cells.

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    It's fine. You could have are instead of become, or skip the auxiliary verb altogether and just go with intransitive the host cells transform into ampicillin-resistant cells. All versions mean exactly the same thing. Sep 26, 2022 at 16:52

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No I have never heard it said like that. A quick search showed results having "become transformed into" phrase, all from translation web sites. These results from translation web sites can be disregarded.

The correct sentences would be

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells become ampicillin-resistant cells.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells would become ampicillin-resistant cells.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells transform into ampicillin-resistant cells.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells would transform into ampicillin-resistant cells.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells will be transformed into ampicillin-resistant cells.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells would be transformed into ampicillin-resistant cells.

This sentence is also correct.

  • So, if a recombinant DNA bearing gene for resistance to an antibiotic (e.g., ampicillin) is transferred into E. coli cells, the host cells become transformed ampicillin-resistant cells.

Why?

Because in the last sentence, "transformed" is an adjective and is qualifying the noun phrase "ampicillin-resistant cells". In the previous sentences we were using either "one main verb" or "an auxiliary verb and a main verb". Auxiliary verbs are "be and its forms", "have and its forms" and a few others.

Why was your example sentence wrong?

Because it used two main verbs in sequence without intervening words or pauses (comma, semicolon, colon).

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