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Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 5:42:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,253
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They disputed stealing the merchandise.

They disputed his working hard.

Do they make sense?
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 10:35:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,647
Neurons: 74,672
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
They disputed stealing the merchandise.

They disputed his working hard.

Do they make sense?


Not quite. Usually, "disputed" is followed by a preposition that shows what the dispute concerned, that is, the disagreement of some aspect of the subject.

They disputed over stealing the merchandise. This conveys the idea of disagreement over stealing merchandise.

They disputed about his working hard. This conveys the idea of disagreement about his work ethic.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:17:16 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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This must be an AmE BrE thing.
I would never say dispute over something.
I would use it with a direct object but meaning to challenge a decision, not an action. Not a participle.


They disputed the guilty verdict.
They disputed the conclusions of the investigators.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:28:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,647
Neurons: 74,672
thar wrote:
This must be an AmE BrE thing.
I would never say dispute over something.
I would use it with a direct object but meaning to challenge a decision, not an action. Not a participle.


They disputed the guilty verdict.
They disputed the conclusions of the investigators.


These could well work in AmE, though I would expect "challenged" to be used more often. However, in the samples given by Ivan, the preposition seemed more appropriate to me.

The difference to me is that in your examples, "they" dispute a noun, and in Ivan's "they" dispute an action.
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