The issue of famine is the second place the earthquake

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SLAL

Senior Member
FARSI
Hello.

Are the following sentence idiomatic?

-The issue of famine takes second place in terms of importance after the earthquake.
-The issue takes second place in terms of importance after the earthquake.

Thank you.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, both sentences are satisfactory, but I wonder if you need 'in terms of importance'. Any phrase beginning with 'in terms of...' is probably over-wordy!

    How about "The issue of famine takes second place to the earthquake" ?
     

    SLAL

    Senior Member
    FARSI
    Thank you again.

    Could you tell me if the two following sentences mean the same thing with your sentence?

    - The issue of famine takes a backseat to the earthquake.
    - The issue of famine plays second fiddle to the earthquake.

    Best regards.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    - The issue of famine takes a back seat to the earthquake. :tick: (Note the space.)
    - The issue of famine plays second fiddle to the earthquake. :cross:
    Not very satisfactory. To play second fiddle is a human activity and sits ill with a notion like famine, let alone issue.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I prefer 'the issue' to be repeated as 'that of'

    The issue of famine takes second place to that of earthquakes
    Best of all would be a very simple sentence with more impact:

    Famine is a less important problem than earthquakes.

    Whether it should be earthquake and famine singular or plural, depends on the context which you didn't provide.
     
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