Can issues pave the way?

Another phrase-usage question, can you say :

These issues pave the way for new opportunities in several markets.

and does it sound sexy or weird ?


Your trepidation is warranted in this case.

The reason this doesn’t work perfectly is that the idiom “pave the way” is defined as:

to be a preparation which will make it possible for something to happen in the future

“Be a preparation” is a strange phrase, but it is a crucial distinction here. It wouldn’t be the issues themselves that would facilitate new opportunities. There would need to be someone solving the issues, and this person (or policy, or even the solutions) would be said to be paving the way.

Additionally, on the other side of the phrase, “new opportunities” presents another problem, albeit a lesser one. The fact that the opportunities are new makes it difficult to imagine the way to them having been paved by anything previous.

Nonetheless, the whole sentence could still be understood to mean

(Solutions to) these issues pave the way for (the creation of) new opportunities in several markets.

so it works more or less, and would probably be understood, but might not be as “sexy” as you’d hoped.

Source : Link , Question Author : hpid91 , Answer Author : Tyler James Young

Leave a Comment