This is a sentence in CNN student news, September 02, 2015:

There's an international race to state claim the region's natural resources.

Its meaning as a whole is of no confusion, but the use of the word "state" seems tricky. Is "state" used as an adverb here? I looked it up in dictionaries for all parts of speech only to find noun, verb and adjective.

How to explain such usage grammatically? Can "state" be used as an adverb?

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  • 4
    Looks like a typo to me. Oct 9, 2015 at 1:34
  • Was this "Student News" directed to an English speaking country?
    – user3169
    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:47

2 Answers 2


"State claim" is a common error. The correct term is "stake claim" or "stake a claim". State is not used as an adverb, though in this instance many will be unaware of their mistate mistake.

A grammatically correct way to write the sentence would be:

There's an international race to stake a claim in the region's natural resources.

  • It still seems not right if "stake claim" or "stake a claim" is put in this sentence?
    – dennylv
    Oct 9, 2015 at 1:55
  • 1
    Sorry for not clarifying that. In this particular sentence, you would need to write "stake a claim in". I've updated my post to reflect this. Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58
  • I see the update. That really makes sense now. Thank you.
    – dennylv
    Oct 9, 2015 at 2:01
  • one more question, in your view, is this a common mistake made by many unaware native speakers ?
    – dennylv
    Oct 9, 2015 at 2:13
  • 1
    @dennylv: Perhaps. They don't quite understand the meaning or origin of the original phrase. Then they don't quite hear one of the words correctly and mistake it for a different word. It's why English speakers sometimes say "for all intensive purposes" rather than "for all intents and purposes." :) Oct 9, 2015 at 3:29

I would say they meant:

There's an international race to state their claim to the region's natural resources.

their being implied. Possibly the phrase had to fit in two lines.

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