According to scientists' observation(s)

< Previous | Next >

Nucleara

Senior Member
While writing this, I came up with a question whether it should be observation or observations.

"According to scientists' observation, sharks do not hunt alone but in packs."
I wonder how they count 'observations.' Do you call 'a period dedicated to the study of sharks' an observation or observations ? As I've got an idea that maybe it shouldn't be called 'an observation' since sharks might have been observed more than once [from reports of people being attacked by sharks, from watching them hunting in the wild, etc.] In addition, according to the dictionary I see that the word "observation" can be both uncountable and countable. So I don't know in which case it is here.

Thank you very much.
 
  • Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Since the scientists are plural, so are their observations.
    But how do you know it's not an observation? Do you mean that each scientist does one observation? Maybe the scientists were observing the sharks together in a study. And in the latter case if I say "According to an observation by a team of scientists," would it make better sense?

    Thank you.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The plural is better in according to scientists' observations. They are also not likely to have relied on a single observation.
    Also observation can mean a report or comment, which is how I understand "an observation (made) by a team of scientists".

    You could also have according to scientific observations.
    I would write none of the above, preferring instead "It has been observed that sharks ..."
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    The plural is better in according to scientists' observations. They are also not likely to have relied on a single observation.
    Also observation can mean a report or comment, which is how I understand "an observation (made) by a team of scientists".

    You could also have according to scientific observations.
    I would write none of the above, preferring instead "It has been observed that sharks ..."
    I got it. And yes, your version is much better, and much easier. Thank you very much e2efour!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top