according to

inertia

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Dear native speakers,

1. According to its possible location, so close to the residential area is S1 that people from local can go shopping either by car or by train.

The above is an example sentence for a writing task. Though I feel the whole sentence is weird, my focus is on the phrase "according to".
I think the phrase is used incorrectly. Let me first explain the context.

The writing task is to describe a map of a city, where different functional areas, such as housing, industry and transportation routes, are shown. There are also two possible locations for a shopping mall, designated as S1 and S2. The task is to describe the map and compare the pros and cons for S1 and S2 for the intended purpose.

I think the sentence can be corrected in the following ways:

2. According to the map, ...
3. According to the location information shown in the map, ...
4. Given/Considering the possible location, ...


Could you please let me know your opinions?

Thanks.

inertia
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    You are correct that the entire sentence is a disaster. It needs to be rewritten in English.

    It cannot be corrected by fixing just the first couple of words, but "According to the map, ... " is fine (as far as it goes), as if I were to write:

    "According to the map, Vancouver, B.C. is a short drive from the U.S. border."

    We call this "attribution," i.e. showing the source of the information.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The main fault is that 1. According to its possible location, so close to the residential area is S1 is not immediately recognisable as a meaningful sentence - the syntax is very poor. It needs to be restructured.

    1. According to its possible location, S1 is so close to the residential area, that people from local can go shopping there either by car or by train.

    According to = as described by.

    "According to its possible location" does not make sense in your example.

    "According to the map, S1 is so close to the residential area, that people from local can go shopping there either by car or by train." is a big improvement, but not perfect. You need to omit the adverb "so" in "S1 is so close to the residential area," or you could use another adverb.
     

    inertia

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    1. According to its possible location, S1 is so close to the residential area, that people from local can go shopping there either by car or by train.

    According to = as described by.
    So you think "according to its possible location" can be correct as long as the remaining part of the sentence is revised?

    As I said, I realized the whole sentence is problematic, but my main concern is with the "according to" phrase.

    As you said, according to = as described by. I assume that the phrase should be followed by a person who describes something, or followed by a source of information. In the case of "according to its location", the phrase is followed directly by the content of the information. I just feel it's incorrect.
    Let me give another example to illustrate my point.

    Suppose I was waiting for my younger brother, who was 20, at the office. Then I left the office for a while. When I came back, my colleague Tom told me that a man who looked to be in his mid-50's was looking for me. I thought to myself: according to Tom's information, that man could not have been my brother.
    Can I say: according to his age, that man could not have been my brother ?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    So you think "according to its possible location" can be correct as long as the remaining part of the sentence is revised?
    No.
    You've already defined "S1" as a "possible location." I would use "according to the map," since that refers to other areas as well.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    So you think "according to its possible location" can be correct as long as the remaining part of the sentence is revised?
    No. According to its possible location is simply not idiomatic. I am not sure that a "possible location" can describe anything: a possible location" might not be the location at all.
     
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