2

Here's the scenario of the usage:

... doing something is equally alternate to dooming yourself.

or,

... doing something is equally alternative to dooming yourself.

Which is the correct usage? Any other suggestions?

Need an alternative to use like:

... doing something is equally ____ dooming yourself.

Any help?

  • I think none of your attempts to use the words equally and alternate / alternative in this context are going to work. The closest I can come up with is Doing X equates to dooming yourself (but note that to doom oneself isn't idiomatic anyway). Better to go for some completely different phrasing that would sound natural to native speakers, such as By doing X you would be [effectively] sealing your fate. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '16 at 15:00
  • Yes, I got you. But, how there are so much usage of "equally alternative to". Is it grammatically correct? – unix_root Jul 8 '16 at 15:29
  • Google Books indexes a million books (over 100 billion words), within which there are only five instances of equally alternative to and one of equally alternate to. None of them seem like very good English to me, so I can only repeat what I said before - just forget about it, and use some different words. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '16 at 17:08
  • The one that pops into my mind is simple and straightforward: doing something is the same as dooming yourself. – J.R. Jul 11 '16 at 19:32
  • @J.R. That seems pretty fine. (Y) – unix_root Jul 12 '16 at 11:13
2

Grammatically, there is no problem with either.

But the meaning is unclear in either case.

There are two meanings for "alternate" and "alternative":

    1. X then Y then X then Y ....
    1. choosing X or Y

I, like many people, use "alternate" for meaning 1, and "alternative" for meaning 2; but some people use them the other way round, or do not make a consistent difference.

Combining them with "equally": meaning 1 makes no sense at all. Meaning 2 makes a sort of sense, if you mean something like "choosing X or Y, and they are equally attractive choices", but the meaning is very unclear, and I wouldn't advise saying it. But I don't think that is what you intend either. I'm not clear enough what you do mean to make an alternative (!) suggestion.

2

None of the answers are grammatically correct, as "is alternative to" only works when you write "is AN alternative to" and with alternate it is the same issue. And "Equally" can only be a adverb.

Equally:

in an equal or identical manner:
to treat rich and poor equally.

Alternate:

being in a constant state of succession or rotation; interchanged repeatedly one for another:
Winter and summer are alternate seasons.

Alternative:

(of two things, propositions, or courses) mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the other must be rejected: The alternative possibilities are neutrality and war.

Did you mean your sentence to be something like:

... doing something is equal to dooming yourself.

?

  • So, all these usage are wrong? – unix_root Jul 8 '16 at 13:12
  • I need something like: ... doing something is equally ____ dooming yourself. – unix_root Jul 8 '16 at 13:42
  • Can you explain more fully what you're trying to say, or give us the complete sentence? I'm having trouble understand exactly what you mean. Do you mean "Doing something is equal to dooming yourself"? – stangdon Jul 8 '16 at 15:15
  • Yes, I mean the same. But, how there are so much usage of "equally alternative to". Is it grammatically correct? – unix_root Jul 8 '16 at 15:28
  • Grammatically, it's absolutely and completely OK. To me, it doesn't make much sense. I can guess that people must be using it to mean "an alternative that is equally valued/valuable/effective/sensible" but I don't find it clear. – Colin Fine Jul 11 '16 at 16:10

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