Doom: active form?

brm

Senior Member
French/France
Hello

He's doomed: passive form, recognized by my dictionary without any needed complement. But is the active form possible ? Could you say for instance:
Unfortunate circumstances doomed his life.
Thank you very much.
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The active form is certainly possible but I usually expect the object to be a person, e.g.

    The guilty verdict doomed John to a life in prison.


    Let's see if anyone disagrees.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Why do you want to leave your present job?"
    "My employer's merger with a company that already had a product in that area doomed our development project."

    Etc. I think almost anything can be doomed, including intangible things like hopes and aspirations.
     

    brm

    Senior Member
    French/France
    Thank you for these answers. In anycase, Egmont's example shows that the active form may be used without a complement (introduced by to), which was part of my question. The animate/inanimate subject was certainly the other and the verdict seems hung between British and American Englishes... Anyone else ?
    Thank you
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's an AmE/BrE difference, and I do think active doom ss most commonly used with a following "to", as in this freedictionary definition:
    doom someone or something to something
    to destine someone or something to something unpleasant. The judgment doomed her to a life in prison. Your insistence on including that rigid clause doomed the contract to failure.
    McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.​
     
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