are the same except for/apart from regularity subtleties

manthano

Member
German
Which of the following sentences is correct (if any)?

1. We now see that these two conditions are essentially -- except for some regularity subtleties -- the same.

2. We now see that these two conditions are essentially -- apart from some regularity subtleties -- the same.

3. We now see that these two conditions -- except for some regularity subtleties -- are essentially the same.

4. We now see that these two conditions -- apart from some regularity subtleties -- are essentially the same.


With best regards,

manthano
 
  • manthano

    Member
    German
    What I would like to express is the following: I am comparing two (mathematical) conditions which, at first glance, have nothing to do with each other. I then show, however, that these two conditions are essentially the same. And by "essentially" I mean that, if one forgets about regularity questions (which are of secondory interest and therefore referred to as subtleties), then the two conditions become the same (equivalent).

    What I would like to know is: can I express this (in a not too akward way) by one of the four sentences suggested above and if so, which one sounds most natural? Are there better or more common ways of expressing it?

    I have no intuition in these questions.


    With best regards,

    manthano
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    The only thing that doesn't sound great in those sentences is the phrase "regularity subtleties." ("Subtleties of/in regularity" or "minor differences related to regularity" would both sound better and clearer.)

    All of the sentences are fine otherwise. There are only rhetorical/stylistic differences between them. You'll have to choose based on what you'd like to do. I have two observations:

    - interrupting "essentially the same" with the parenthetical clause creates a stronger, more forceful effect; it's more dramatic and dynamic but it also calls attention to itself
    - "apart from" is a bit more formal/more closely associated with formal (even British) writing than "except for"
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I tend not to think of subtleties as being minor details, or as details that have no overall bearing on the 'big picture'. (Not everyone feels the same way about this).

    When you say that two things are 'essentially the same', it follows that they differ, and it is implicit that their differences can be considered as being trivial, or superficial.
    It seems to me that you want to write a sentence that expresses the close structural similarity of the two 'conditions' but that briefly mentions the manner in which they differ in passing.

    We now see that these two 'conditions' are essentially the same, save for a few minor differences regarding their 'regularities'.

    I'll take it as read that both 'conditions' and 'regularities' are appropriate terms here. They sound a little odd to me, but heh ho - that would be a matter for another thread.
     
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