only kept solvent through government advances

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Senior Member
I wrote the following sentences, but a friend objected to the second part of the last sentence (saying that it does not sound natural).

During the recession, the program came under significant financial strain due to high levels of unemployment. Consequently, the UI fund was reduced to a small reserve, only kept solvent through government advances.
There was a fund that was used to pay benefits to unemployed workers. Premiums (from employers and employees) were put into this fund, and benefits were paid out. During a recession, the fund was almost used up (there was very little premiums left). The government paid money (advances) into the fund, so the program could use that additional fund to pay out benefits.

Does "only kept solvent through government advances" sound unidiomatic? Should I replace "through" with "by" or "with"? Is that going to help?

Or should I use a semicolon and write a full independent clause: "it was only kept solvent through government advances"?
  • WyomingSue

    Senior Member
    It's only an advance, at least in US English, if the government were going to pay money into that program anyway, and they just paid ahead of time in advance. Would the government normally put money in that account? You could say a governmental transfer, which would be from one government account to another. You could say governmental subsidy, if it wasn't normally part of the government's funds.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, the grammar is fine, in my opinion; it's the use of "government advances" that seems odd, as Wyoming Sue says.

    A writer gets an advance, a pre-payment, on a book that they are under contract to write for a publisher. They can use the advance for their living expenses while they write. Later, when the book is published, the publishing company pays them their part of the book sales, minus the advance they have already received.

    [At least, that's how it theoretically works. I have a feeling modern publishing contracts are much more complicated than that.]

    Does the concept of an advance really fit into this unemployment fund?
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