patch of land

danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
Could I say "patches of land"? Is this collocation right? Do you think "reclaim" has been used appropriately in the following sentence? What about idle? I think you could say a person is idle, but what about land?

Context: Some lands have been left idle by developers. Consequently, the government decides to get back the land it sold to the developers.


The government authorities are also reclaiming land that has been left idle by investors. Over 40 patches of such land will soon be reclaimed.
 
  • Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    'Patches' and 'plots' to me both suggest small parcels of land. 'Tracts' is a good choice. 'Sections' is another option. You could also use short phrases depending on what you want to describe. Here are a couple options.

    large areas
    large parcels

    Orange Blossom
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Orange Blossom, do you think "reclaim" has been used appropriately in the following sentence? What about idle? I think you could say a person is idle, but what about land?
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    If the government had it once before, and I know of no government that hasn't laid claim to the land or its citizens, then yes, you have used reclaim appropriately. If it was never in the government's possession, then perhaps a different word would be used.
    -----------
    As for "left idle". What sort of investors and what did folks expect them to do with the land? Some terms come to mind, but which is appropriate depends on the situation.

    Orange Blossom
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, Orange Blossom! You are always so erudite!

    If it was never in the government's possession, what kind of word could I use?

    Developers of the land left the land alone, without making any constructions on that land for a long period of time.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    So the intention was that they were to make buildings on it? If this is the case, then I would say "left undeveloped by investors".

    I just reread your first post:

    Context: Some lands have been left idle by developers. Consequently, the government decides to get back the land it sold to the developers.
    Clearly, reclaim is the word you want.

    If it hadn't been in the government's ownership previously, "claim" or "take over" would be a couple options.

    The government authorities are is also reclaiming land that has been left undeveloped idle by investors the purchasers. {Or perhaps you could end the sentence with "undeveloped" as this verb implies developers.}
    Orange Blossom
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, Orange Blossom!

    You are right that reclaim is the word I could use.

    As you have just mentioned another hypothesis which was not in government posseion, I just try to see what kind of verbs could I use. Thank you again for giving me multiple options.
     
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