"has been observed to correlate with..."

Englishlang

Member
Italian - Italy
"In some studies, working memory has been observed to correlate with QI scores"

This sounds ugly, and maybe even ungrammatical... what do you think?
 
  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    It looks fine to me except that I don't know what you mean by working memory. Is it a technical term used in psychology? If you just mean that people who have good memories tend to also have higher IQ scores (in English it is that way round because it stands for Intelligence Quotient) then I would replace "working memory" by "memory use" or simply "good memories".
     

    Englishlang

    Member
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you. Indeed it is a technical term used in psychology and neuroscience.
    Bus the phrase does not sound very elegant to me. Is that the case or is it just me? I am not a native speaker.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The passive structure may look unusual, but it is normal in English. An object is promoted to subject, just as in a simpler passive:

    People have observed working memory to correlate with IQ scores. [object of active]
    Working memory has been observed __ to correlate with IQ scores. [subject of passive]
     
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