to commit a fraud

  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please give us the sentence in which you plan to use this phrase, slovac, as well as some context, so we can give you better answers.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    We don't normally say people were convicted of committing something. "He was convicted of fraud" or "She was convicted of arson" are how we would normally express the idea.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In this context, we would say, "He was convicted of fraud." "Fraud" is the uncountable noun, indicating the generality of a category of crime. Or "He was sentenced to 2 years for fraud." or "He was convicted and sentenced to 2 years for his part in a fraud involving stolen vehicles."
     
    Last edited:

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Slovac, people have quite rightly said that we wouldn't say "commit (a) fraud" after "convicted of", as in your sample sentence.

    Be aware, however, that "commit (a) fraud" is a perfectly correct expression in other constructions, such as "He confessed to committing fraud".

    Ws:)
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    For some reason the word "perpetrate" has jumped into my head.
    I'm thinking that people perpetrate a fraud rather than commit it.
    I suspect that is because "perpetrate" suggests to me a longer-term process than "commit".
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I've heard perpetrate, too. I don't think commit is wrong, though - at least not in standard English. It might be different in legal English.
    I'm sure commit is fine too. It's just that the collocation of perpetrate and fraud sounds good.
    Looking at the Ngrams, it appears that others share this perception :)
    I see that over time commit is losing out to perpetrate.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    "Commit" can be used with countable nouns (commit a fraud, .. a murder, .. a crime, .. an offence) or with uncountable nouns (commit fraud, .. murder) — and I'm pretty certain I've heard it used in formal legal contexts.

    With "perpetrate", you can perpetrate a fraud or a crime, but I don't think we usually 'perpetrate fraud', so "perpetrate" would seem to be more restricted in its usage. "Perpetrate" seems to me to have more of an AmE ring to it — perhaps because American TV and movie cops go around chasing "perps", whereas their Brit counterparts use expressions such as "the bastards who did this".:D

    Certainly the AmE ngrams show "perpetrate a fraud" overtaking "commit a fraud" in about 1915, and currently running at around 50% greater frequency.
    The corresponding BrE ngrams have "perpetrate a fraud" catching up on "commit a fraud" around 1970, and being about equal since then.

    But if you include the forms with "fraud" as a mass noun, "perpetrate fraud" has the lowest frequency (though apparently it is used, contrary to my gut feeling), but "commit fraud" outstrips any usage of "perpetrate" by about 10 to 1. Actually "commit fraud" has shot up since about 1990 (I'm not sure what that says about the state of society!:eek:)

    Ws:)
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top