of the essence for/to making…

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221BBaker

Senior Member
Spanish (Canarian) & Catalan
Hi,

I would like to know what some native speakers think about the sentence ‘Health is of the essence for leading a happy life’

I understand what it means to say, but I would rather modify it thus: “Good health is of the essence to lead a happy life”

1 - Do you think adding the adjective ‘good’ is redundant? What I mean is that no-one would possibly argue that bad health is essential to be happy.

2 - What do you think about the clause ‘for leading a happy life’. It does not sound quite right to me. Is it right grammatically? Is it not ‘to lead a happy life’ a more natural option?

Thank you for your help
 
Last edited:
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I would like to know what some native speakers think about the sentence ‘Health is of the essence for leading a happy life.
    I understand what it means to say, but I would rather modify it thus: “Good health is of the essence to lead a happy life.
    1 - Do you think adding the adjective ‘good’ is redundant?
    No.
    2 - What do you think about the clause ‘for leading a happy life’? It does not sound quite right to me.
    It sounds fine to me, better than "to lead".
     

    221BBaker

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Canarian) & Catalan
    Thanks for helping, Parla. Then you don't think the sentence sounds foreign? What I mean to find is the best way to convey the idea that ‘one needs to be healthy for leading a happy life’. One that sounds natural to the ears of native English speakers, and I'm not sure whether my example is what I'm looking for, somehow.

    If you were writing that sentence, How would you do it?
     

    Wordnip

    Senior Member
    British English
    Health is the opposite of ill health, the word can, and often does, mean to be free of disease etc. therefore 'good', in this instance, is superfluous.

    'Health is of the essence for leading a happy life' means health is essential to leading a happy life. To me ‘for leading a happy life’ sounds alright.
     
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