advantage mainly given by

tigerduck

Senior Member
German / Switzerland
Hello

I am a non-native English teacher and I also have to teach technical English.

In a writing where my students had to compare a conventional bicycle with a new racing bicycle one of my students wrote the sentence quoated below. Unfortunately, I am not sure if the sentence is right. I've read the structure advantage given by before, but I am unsure if it is correctly used in the quoted sentence:

The advantage of the new racing bicycle is mainly given by the materials.

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    Hello

    I am a non-native English teacher and I also have to teach technical English.

    In a writing [assignment] where my students had to compare a conventional bicycle with a new racing bicycle one of my students wrote the sentence quoted below. Unfortunately, I am not sure if the sentence is right. I've read the structure advantage given by before, but I am unsure if it is correctly used in the quoted sentence:

    The advantage of the new racing bicycle is mainly given by the materials.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Personally, I wouldn't consider that wrong, but I would usually say:

    The main advantage of the new racing bicycle over previous versions is its materials.

    It should be noted, however, that I'm unsure what he specifically means by "the materials." Could it be the strength of the titanium, or the quality of the rubber, or could your student have possibly meant the sum of the material parts is greater than the sum of the material parts of the previous bicycles? If I was grading this paper, and if a native-speaker had written it, I would underline this section and ask him to explain in further detail instead of speak in generalities.

    That said, go easy on him, it's a pretty good sentence otherwise!
     

    GrandBlank

    Member
    English/U.S.
    Your sentence is fine, but I do agree with Hockey13's sentence which is more streamlined. You don't really need given. One question to guide your choice is: why not just say what the advantage is (especially if advantage is your grammatical subject)?

    But if you want to use given, it may be best used with the active voice:
    • The titanium frame gives the new bicycle the advantage of lightweight strength.
    • The titanium parts give the new bicycle an advantage over the old model.
    This is just a style point. You could rework this sentence using is also:
    • The titanium frame is the main advantage of the new bicycle.
    • The titanium parts are the main advantage of the new bicycle over the old model.
    but gives gives you an alternative, for variety or to use a verb with more action (which is an advantage in writing ;)).

    Good luck!
     

    tigerduck

    Senior Member
    German / Switzerland
    Thank you Hockey13 and GrandBlank for your answers.

    My student does include a few sentence about the advantages of the used materials :) and uses the quoted sentence as a kind of concluding sentence.
     
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