Tagged: academic writing

Pronoun substitution and an alternative

šŸ˜¦ When people go to real shops, the goods are visible. They can try clothesĀ on and know what materials were used.

Almost! But..

A personal pronoun at the beginning of a sentence refers back to the subject of the previous sentence, and in this case the subject of the previous sentence is ‘the goods’. ‘When people go to real shops’ is an adverb phrase. So obviously that doesn’t make sense: “The goods can try clothesĀ on!?”

If you want to use ‘They’ as a substitute for ‘the goods’,Ā that’s tricky but not impossible:

šŸ™‚ When people go to real shops, the goods are visible.Ā TheyĀ can be touched, andĀ theĀ material from which they were made can be seen and felt.

But that’s probably not what you wanted. You wanted ‘People’ as the subject of the second sentence, right? In that case you simply need to state the subject in the second sentence:

šŸ™‚ When people go to real shops, the goods are visible.Ā PeopleĀ can try clothesĀ on and know what materials were used.

Now you have nice cohesion between the two sentences, with ‘people’ in both sentences. However, to make your writing more coherent you could be more specific about ‘people’:

šŸ™‚ When people go to real shops, the goods are visible.Ā PeopleĀ in real shops can tryĀ clothesĀ on and know what materials were used.

AndĀ finally to avoid repetition you can do this:

šŸ™‚ When people go to real shops, the goods are visible.Ā CustomersĀ in real shopsĀ can tryĀ clothesĀ on and know what materials were used.

So in fact you didn’t needĀ to use pronoun substitution.Ā Instead the two sentences are glued together (cohesive) thanks to the use of ‘people (who) go to real shops’ in sentence 1 and ‘customers in real shops’ in sentence 2.

You could probably also use a synonym for ‘real’ in sentence 2, but I can’t think of one. Can you? Comments below! šŸ™‚

@eapguru

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Can’t get no results satisfaction

šŸ˜¦ If I am given more time in the reading test, I will answer all of the questions with satisfied results.

This is like the bored/boring distinction, right?

Let’s say Bill is talking to Mary about space travel, but Mary is not interested in space travel. In this case Mary feelsĀ bored (the effect), but Bill is boring (the cause). (flag-of-indonesiaIn Indonesian there is an easy translation, where the suffix ‘kan’ behaves a bit like ‘ing’: boring > membosankan).

If we return to the original problem..

šŸ™‚ If I am given more time in the reading test, I will answer all of the questions with satisfyingĀ results.

‘Satisfying’ is the cause. The effect – satisfied – is something that you might feel when your results areĀ satisfying.

You can also use a related word with a slightly different meaning:

šŸ™‚ If I am given more time in the reading test, I will answer all of the questions withĀ satisfactoryĀ results.

@eapguru

The allocation of _____?

šŸ˜¦ Preserving endangered languages may trigger negative sentiments about the allocation of fundings.

It’s probably best to think of this asĀ a collocation / vocabulary problem.

First of all ‘funding’ is uncountable and so we can’t put an ‘s’ on it. Secondly, when you’re talking about money, allocationĀ collocates with funds,Ā funding, and money:

šŸ™‚ Preserving endangered languages may trigger negative sentiments about the allocation of funds.

Making a noun phrase – allocation of funds – rather than a verb phrase, was a good strategy. You just need to be more careful with collocation inside nominal groups. Online tools can be enormously helpful inĀ situations like this!

@eapguru

Earning money vs. earning dollars

šŸ˜¦ Just like their male counterparts, many Australian women earn money 2,000 dollars per month.

If a ‘unit’ can correspondĀ to more than one differentĀ noun, then you need to specify yourĀ noun:

Good morning. Can I help you?
I’d like 2kg of rice, please.

In this example, kg could apply to many otherĀ nouns: potatoes, chocolate, etc, and so it is necessary to be specific about ‘rice’.

On the other hand if the unit can only correspond to a single noun – unambiguously – Ā then there’s no need to mention that noun:

Good morning. Can I help you?
I’d like to withdraw 1,000 dollars, please.

In this example, ‘dollars’ clearly corresponds to ‘money’, and so it is redundant to say “1,000 dollars of money”.

If we apply this to the original problem then we get:

šŸ™‚ Just like their male counterparts, many Australian women earn 2,000 dollars per month.

@eapguru

Research and Researches

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šŸ˜¦ SeveralĀ researches have proven that nuclear energy is not as dangerousĀ as people think.

Actually there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this. I just looks odd to a native speaker because research isĀ nearly always uncountable:

šŸ™‚ MuchĀ research has proven that nuclear energy is not as dangerousĀ as people think.

InvestigateĀ the differences between researchĀ andĀ researches. Then try googling to see which form of the word is more common.

@eapguru

Chomsky (2014) argued (or argues?)

šŸ˜¦ ChomskyĀ (2014) argued that grammar monopoly is an effective way to highlight first language interference.

I know, I know. 2014 is past and finished, so you want to use past simple tense. However, in this caseĀ the currency of the idea – is it recent and/or valid? – is more important than when it was written.

The currency of an idea can occasionally be difficultĀ to determine, but in most cases it is obvious. If we assume that Chomsky is still alive (as he is at the time of this writing) and that his idea is still current then we use present simple tense,Ā even if the idea was written in the finished past:

ChomskyĀ (2014) argues that Grammar Monopoly is an effective way to highlight first language interference.

In most postgraduate writing we are dealing with current ideas, from recent sources, and so most of the time you will need present tense for your reporting verbs.

@eapguru