< beset> by if they want

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jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
After China ended the one child policy, many parents in China are beset by if they want a second child which will cause financial and physical difficulties.

Is my usage of "beset" correct here? Thank you!
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    'Beset by' should be followed by a noun, usually a plural, or a noun representing a plural.

    After China ended the one child policy, many parents in China are beset by questions about whether they want a second child which will cause financial and physical difficulties.

    (My sentence is intended to show how 'beset' can be used. It is not the way I would express the idea in real life.)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "Beset" means "attack", but can be used figuratively. Saying the parents are "beset" means they are physically attacked, unless you say what is attacking them, and it is a mental thing that is "besetting" (attacking) their minds:

    beset by worries
    beset by problems
    beset by concerns
    beset by uncertainty
    beset by doubt
     
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