a similar notation for this problem as to that...

Summer_rose

Senior Member
Español/España
Hello,

I would like to know whether this sentence:

We adopt a similar notation for this problem to that for the previous one

is grammatically correct or not. As for me, it sounds a bit cumbersome and I'd much rather say

We adopt a notation for this problem similar to that for the previous one.

However, what I'd like to know is what you, English native speakers, think of the placement of "similar" in the first sentence. Is it completely awkward or a legitimate possibility, even if not the soundest?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!
Summer
 
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  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The use of "similar" is fine. I'd end the sentence with "... as that of the previous one," though.

    Keep in mind that similar does not mean that the two notations are the same. There have to be differences, even if they are small. If it's the same notation, say that.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The use of "similar" is fine. I'd end the sentence with "... as that of the previous one," though.
    Keep in mind that similar does not mean that the two notations are the same. There have to be differences, even if they are small. If it's the same notation, say that.
    I'm not too happy about "similar...as" Egmont.

    Summer_rose
    There is a problem with: We adopt a similar notation for this problem to that for the previous one and it is not an obvious one. You are implicitly ignoring a change of mood (indicative to passive) and tense (present to past) and that is what makes it so awkward. To see why, let us write it out in full:

    We adopt a similar notation for this problem to the notation that was adopted for the previous one. (Indicative/present --- passive/past)

    When a verb is repeated in a different tense or mood in English we have to make it explicit.

    We adopt a similar notation for this problem to that adopted for the previous one. (Indicative/present --- passive/past)

    Does that explain it?

    EDIT - I changed my explanation because in this case "adopted" is passive and past tense in the final version, not merely past tense as I erroneously said.
     
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