0

Sustainable development can be defined as development which provides the needs of the current generation but doesn't endanger the needs of the future generations.

"doesn't" might be wrong there but I didn't reconstruct the sentence.

5
  • Please provide a link to the source text. Jul 22, 2016 at 19:01
  • Source link does not exist. I'm translating of some ideas in my native language to english. Jul 22, 2016 at 19:14
  • 1
    "Doesn't endanger" is perfectly fine; if you remove the intervening bit, you get "[it is] development which ... doesn't endanger the needs ...". Since this is a parallel construction, you need all parts to be grammatical when standing alone with the shared bit, and this meets that requirement.
    – Hellion
    Jul 22, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
    What do you mean you "didn't reconstruct the sentence"? Jul 22, 2016 at 19:20
  • Firstly, i don't know whether "reconstructing a sentence" is grammatically correct(or should i say has a meaning in english) . I meant i don't know what to put there instead "doesn't". I left it to you people to fix me. Jul 22, 2016 at 19:26

2 Answers 2

1

Doesn't is not "wrong" in your sentence. The contraction is perfectly acceptable grammatically, but your sentence could be improved for clarity by rephrasing it. Below are two suggestions.

Sustainable development can be defined as development which provides for the needs of the current generation, but which doesn't endanger the needs of the future generations.

Sustainable development can be defined as development which provides for the needs of the current generation but doesn't endanger without endangering the needs of the future generations.

The definite article before "future generations" was removed in both suggestions because the adjective "future" here takes its place: "future" definitely identifies the generations you are discussing. This is a matter of style, not grammar, though. For instance, either of these is grammatically correct:

Future generations will thank us.
The future generations will thank us.

0

There are a handful of relatively minor issues.

By the rules of American English, the "which" should instead be "that."

"Provides the needs" and "endanger the needs" are both subtly incorrect phrases.

For the first use, try "meets" or "addresses" the needs.

For the second, consider saying simply "endanger future generations." To keep "needs," you would need to say something like "put future generations' needs in danger of not being met"--the thing being endangered is not the needs; the needs will still be there.

"Doesn't" is slightly informal--you are better off avoiding it in formal writing.

And see @P.E. Dant's explanation about removing "the."

6
  • 2
    M. Lynne Murphy has a nifty piece on the which/that RC business link...don't forget that AmE "rules" don't necessarily rule here. So it seemed wiser to me to let that rest for now. Jul 23, 2016 at 2:07
  • As a native speaker of American English I can say the use of which here is fine. Jul 23, 2016 at 4:09
  • @P. E. Dant, point taken about AmE--alas it is all I know. Interesting link--Murphy lumps me in with prescriptivists?? Fighting words! I was surprised to see the Chicago manual (14th) quoted in a way that implies it tolerates "which" in place of "that." My 16th ed appears to have a different opinion: "Which should be used restrictively only when it is preceded by a preposition {the situation in which we find ourselves}. Otherwise, it is almost always preceded by a comma, a parenthesis, or a dash" (5.220, "Glossary of Problematic Words"). I didn't know this section was here--a great find!
    – Phil Esra
    Jul 23, 2016 at 4:59
  • ...I think of Chicago style as 1000 pages of reasonableness and nuance--if it came down on the other side of this I would absolutely change my stance. Good to learn for a fact that the Brits come at it differently.
    – Phil Esra
    Jul 23, 2016 at 5:05
  • @PhilEsra Murphy is frequently brilliant. Wear your new prescriptivist badge with pride. Next, to the barricades! Redeem the subjective! Jul 23, 2016 at 21:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .