The economic situation becomes more complex in the world. So there is an active search for methods for optimization of business.

These sentences are mine. I have the feeling that the second sentence is clumsy and does not sound natural in English. I can't remember how these sentences are called in English grammar when the pronoun "it" serves as the grammatical subject followed by the verb in the present continuous tense. For example, "it is snowing". So I want to formulate the sentence about the active search for methods of optimization in the same way. Is it possible to use the present continous tense in such a sentence?

  • The sentence does not sound natural, at least to me. What troubles my eyes is 'active search' in this context. But that could be just me ;) Maybe, 'Due to the economic instability in today's world, an optimization (?) of business is needed.' I'm still not sure using 'optimization' there. What do you want to say? – Maulik V Nov 3 '14 at 7:15
  • Having said that optimization is needed, you've changed the meaning of my initial sentence. I want to emphasize that the search has already started to be conducted at this moment. – user11470 Nov 3 '14 at 7:30
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    I can't answer your question because I can't think of a way for it to be a subject. However, for what it is worth, I find the following version perfectly natural, clear and precise: "The economic situation in the world is becoming more complex, so there is an active search for business optimization methods." – xris Nov 3 '14 at 8:08
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    1)So there is an active search <going on> for the methods of business optimization. 2) The economic situation becomes more complex in the world. An ongoing active search for methods for optimization of business might address this issue shortly. – Sandeep D Nov 3 '14 at 8:09
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    Maybe you were trying to come up with something like this: As the world economic situation becomes more complex, it is important that there be an active search for business optimization methods." or "[...] it is important that an active search for business optimization methods must be conducted." Also, you might want to consider *quest or research besides search. And perhaps, rephrasing the sentence to use actively instead of active will sound a little better, e.g. "[...] must be actively conducted." – Damkerng T. Nov 3 '14 at 9:17

One possible rephrasing that occurs to me is...

1: The global economic situation is becoming more complex, leading to an active search for business optimization methods.

But pragmatically it seems unlikely any such "active searching" would be directly and only caused by an increasingly complex situation. It makes more sense to me to simply link increases in the two...

2: As the global economic situation becomes more complex, business optimization methods are [being] more actively sought.

I'm not sure what OP is getting at when he says he wants to use a "dummy pronoun" it, but I can't help thinking maybe what he really means is he wants a passive construction, as per my second rephrasing.

  • @ FumbleFingers thanks a lot. I really need a passive construction here, as per your second rephrasing. That sounds great to my female non-native ears! – user11470 Nov 3 '14 at 15:32
  • @Humbulani: I'm still not clear exactly why your question refers to what we often call "dummy" it. Are you saying I got it right when I guessed what you were really after was a passive construction? I never explicitly said anything about using those compound nouns global economic situation and business optimization methods, but I hope you see how little tricks like that can help reduce the need for prepositions that just add syntactic complexity without increasing "readability". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '14 at 16:33
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    @ FumbleFingers The only explanation of why I had "dummy" it in mind is that I am not fluent in English. Weird phrases sometimes come to my mind when I try to write on a specialized topic such as economics, corporate finance, etc. :) You got it right, indeed. I was after the passive construction. You simplified the expressions, for what I am very grateful. – user11470 Nov 3 '14 at 17:41
  • If my answer works for you, you're supposed to upvote and/or accept it. But many people prefer that you wait a day or two before accepting any answer, to allow time for a potentially even better answer to be posted (though you can always switch your acceptance to a different answer later if you want). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '14 at 18:10

I could only come up with:

This (it) is fueling a search for business optimization methods".

The construction you're referring to ("it is snowing") uses the so-called "dummy pronoun" it.

But in my sentence, it is not a dummy pronoun, it refers back to the first sentence describing the global economic situation.

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