despite them having spent / taking up smoking instead of <giving up>

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k-leidoscope

New Member
spanish- argentina
I have an assignment where i have to correct mistakes in a text and provide two explanations. in the first explanation i have to include why that way is wrong and the sencond explanation would be why the way i corrected it is right. so i need to use some theory here. the part of the text where im having problems is the following:

I thought the government was implementing clear policies to protect our welfare. Unfortunately, despite them spending more money than ever before on health education, more people are taking up smoking instead of giving up.

I noticed two mistakes. the first one would be spending. i should write "despite them having spent" right? if this is so, why is spending incorrect?

and the other one would be giving up as it means surrender. if i wanted to refer to smoking, what should i add? or is it right the way it is?

Thank you very much for reading, and i hope i made myself clear.
 
  • Chimon

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I think "giving up" should be "giving it up." I do not think "spending" is incorrect. "having spent" would also be fine, but there's no reason to prefer it over "having spent."

    I think that there may need to be a comma after smoking.

    Some people would tell you that the sentence shouldn't end with a preposition, but that is largely a myth.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    There's nothing wrong with "spending", but the phrase should be their spending (not "them").

    Yes, giving it up is necessary.

    There's nothing wrong with the punctuation; no additional commas are needed.

    P.S.: Please note that in English, sentences always begin with a capital letter, and the first-person pronoun "I" is always capitalized.
     

    k-leidoscope

    New Member
    spanish- argentina
    thank you, so it would be
    I thought the government was implementing clear policies to protect our welfare. Unfortunately, despite its/their spending more money than ever before on health education, more people are taking up smoking instead of giving it up.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think your answers are what the people who wrote the exercise expect.

    However, I would say:
    "more people are taking up smoking than are giving it up."

    People cannot give up smoking unless they have taken it up. The people who take it up and the people who give it up are the not the same people, but 'instead of giving it up' suggests that people are making a choice between these two options.
     
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