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I have a question about "come under" and "fall under". These:

  1. He came under suspicion for fraud.
  2. He fell under suspicion for fraud.

are standard English. Could I then write these:

  1. He came under investigation for fraud.
  2. He fell under investigation for fraud.

as standard English?

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    for 'suspicion', 'came under' is okay but since investigation is something to do with him, I think "He was investigated for fraud' fits better. – Maulik V May 4 '15 at 4:53
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    Interesting question! It's significantly less common, but when I search COCA I do find a few examples of come under investigation: "He had come under investigation by postal and legal authorities as early as February, but they appeared to be making little progress in their efforts." I can't find any for fall under investigation. Anyway, come/fall under investigation both sound strange to me. – snailplane May 4 '15 at 5:20
  • @snailboat Those do sound a little odd. You can be under investigation though, so how about "he became under investigation"? – DCShannon May 16 '15 at 23:44
  • @DCShannon: *"He became under investigation" sounds completely ungrammatical to me. Be can take a prepositional phrase as complement, but become generally cannot. (This is one weakness with the traditional classification of prepositional phrases as either "adjectival" or "adverbial"; even when they're basically "adjectival", they can't be used in all the ways that true adjective phrases can.) – ruakh May 26 '15 at 0:53
  • @ruakh Interesting, sounds fine to me. I don't see any hits on Google NGrams, though. I do get hits including a few web article headings when I just Google the phrase. Doesn't exactly seem widespread. – DCShannon May 26 '15 at 2:21
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None of those phrases are used everyday. Still, they don't sound wrong, and I certainly understand what you mean.

I did a couple searches with Google's NGram viewer:

fell/came under suspicion

"Fell under" used to be more used, but "came under" passed it around 1950. Currently, "fell under" is at about %0.00000150, whereas "came under" is at about %0.00000300.

fell/came under investigation

"Came under" has been steadily increasing, and is at about %0.000000800 as of 2000, whereas "fell under" has never hit %0.000000100.

So these phrases are all used, to at least some extent. It appears that the "came under" phrasing is more common, at least in published books, than "fell under", and even more so with 'investigation' than with 'suspicion'.


Always take NGrams with a grain of salt. They only tell you so much.

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