This is what I wrote

Where c1, and c2 are the terms the system is trying to find the similarity between.

is using 'between' at the end correct?

  • 6
    You've asked 125 questions here. Please at least get in the habit of using an upper-case I, and put no space before a question mark.
    – J.R.
    Aug 11, 2016 at 1:24
  • This is not a sentence. And further to the point by @J.R. - in English we capitalize the initial word in a sentence. Anyway: Where c1 and c2 are the terms between which the system is trying to find the similarity. However, the phrase as written is understandable—awkward, but understandable. Aug 11, 2016 at 1:32
  • 1
    @J.R. there is a quote in Italy: "one coffee = 3 euros, please one coffee = 2 euros, google morning please one coffee = 1 euro" Aug 11, 2016 at 9:34
  • 4
    @MarcoD: Well, if you want to make this a matter of manners and politeness, I think it's rather inconsiderate to keep writing questions in such a way that people are needing to clean them up for you.
    – J.R.
    Aug 11, 2016 at 16:24
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    @MarcoDinatsoli Such politeness by using "please" in a question doesn't work in SE sites and it is even impolite! Because people here are not supposed to reply personal requests, but they are here to answer questions which benefits many people! then don't make your question looks like a personal request by using "please" and direct sentences, but make them a useful question for future readers.
    – Ahmad
    Sep 11, 2016 at 13:19

3 Answers 3


I would be inclined to go the more direct route:

... where c1 and c2 are the terms whose similarity the system is trying to find.

This structure keeps the emphasis on the terms and eliminates the dangling preposition.

Per @ColleenV, please note that while "whose" is typically used to refer to an animate object, English does not have an inanimate pronoun to handle this situation, so "whose" is correct.

  • When did 'between' change from a preposition to a participle? You may want to mention that some folks have problems with using 'whose' to refer to inanimate things (even though it's the only word we have in English that will work until we steal a new one from some poor unsuspecting language). Grammar Girl has an article on this. It's not wrong, but sometimes it's a good idea to avoid things that people incorrectly perceive as wrong just to avoid distracting your reader.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:31
  • Problem between keyboard and chair as far as participles go - edited. I hadn't thought about that on the pronoun choice - but I'm not sure I want to change my answer either, as I think it is noticeably stronger phrasing. But definitely something to keep in mind. Oct 11, 2016 at 20:32
  • Oh I didn't mean you should change it - I was just thinking it would be a footnote sort of thing. Learners have a lot of folks telling them "rules" and I think it helps to explain that sometimes those rules aren't exactly correct.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:41
  • I realized that was what you meant after I commented - and added a note to the answer. All good! Oct 11, 2016 at 20:42

... where c1, and c2 are the terms the system is trying to find the similarity between.

I am guessing that this clause is used following an equation or a clause containing c1 and c2. [If this is so, please edit your question to make this clear]. I have indicated that the equation or clause is missing in the usual way, using three dots: this is called an ellipsis symbol.

In your clause, between is a preposition. If you end a sentence with a preposition, it's called a dangling preposition. Some people don't like dangling prepositions and write very complicated sentences to avoid them. But if the sentence is more understandable that way, let that preposition dangle.

In this case, there is a very simple way of avoiding the dangling preposition. Just re-arrange the clause like this:

... where the system is trying to find the similarity between [the terms] c1 and c2.

  • But I think the second sentence looses the emphasis on the terms...
    – Ahmad
    Sep 11, 2016 at 13:28

Just add a word for making it an understandable (math) sentence.

Where c1, and c2 are the terms, the system is trying to find the similarity between them (both).

  • The sentence has two main verbs are and is: you need to divide it into two clauses. The original version works because there is an implied relative pronoun that to make the second part a separate clause, "Where c1 and c2 are the terms [that] the system is trying to find the similarity between", Your added them replaces the implied relative pronoun, so the clauses are no longer separate. You need to separate the clauses with and... "Where c1 and c2 are the terms, and the system is trying to find the similarity between them"... or insert a full stop...
    – JavaLatte
    Sep 11, 2016 at 20:49
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