Noun: "a variable"

andersxman

Senior Member
Denmark/danish
I am the author of the below phrase - well, not really, I'm translating it - and I've looked up the word "variable" and I am not sure whether an English native speaker will understand the below phrase the way I would like for it to be understood:

"We do, however, have access to Danish research statistics’ information about a number of "variables on" all scientists who work with natural science and technical science at all of the 12 universities of the country in 2003."

Is it readily understood that it's fx. demographic variables such as age, gender, hair colour, postal code, favourite ketchup brand etc. that is meant? My fear is that the term is not used in this way in English, but then again, it may very well be. I would like to be sure, though. Oh, and by the way; should it be succeded by "on"?

variable (From Marriam-Webster Online)
Function: noun
1 a : a quantity that may assume any one of a set of values b : a symbol representing a variable
2 : something that is variable
3 : VARIABLE STAR
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I would not use "variable" here. It sounds like the scientists are part of some definable formula. I would suggest:

    "We do, however have access to a wealth of data from Danish research statistics on all scientists who work with natural ...." etc.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I agree with JamesM.
    A variable is one of the elements of an equation, as opposed to a 'constant' —> in the famous E=mc² 'E' is a constant and the 'm' and the 'c' are variables.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Perhaps you could use the word 'characteristics'? As James & maxiogee mentioned above, 'variables' sounds more mathematical & wouldn't be used to describe people (but the different characteristics or qualities could be considered to be variables in the equation).
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If you have all of the data from Danish Research Statistics:
    We do, however, have access to Danish research statistics’ data for (all) scientists who worked with natural science and technical science at (all of) the 12 universities of the country in 2003.

    If you only have some of the data:
    We do, however, have access to some of the Danish research statistics’ data for (all) scientists who worked with natural science and technical science at (all of) the 12 universities of the country in 2003.

    I don't think you need to say all/ all of - well, not both of them: "... all scientists ..." would be enough.

    Suggestions only:)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top