Suppose there are some conditions, called NodeConditions, under which a node is matched. which of the following sentences are correct:

  • NodeConditions are a set of conditions under which a node is matched.
  • NodeConditions are a set of conditions for matching a node.
  • NodeConditions are conditions on the matching node.
  • The conditions are imposed over node attributes.

Specifically, in number 3 when the node is not yet determined, can one use the matching node

  • The first bullet point is almost the same wording as your description of what you are trying to say. Why do you want to rewrite it further? To confuse people? Anyway, conditions as used here depends on some technical knowledge; plain English examples to make the same point would be better.
    – user3169
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 18:15
  • If it were in my code, I might name it NodeMatchingConditions, or maybe node.MatchingConditions. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 18:54
  • @user3169 right, firstly, as I tried to describe my sentence, that sentence (#1) came to my mind. but yet was looking for if I can mention it more briefly and lastly, is my last question about "the matching...". Moreover, to find the good sentence is one of my aim, the second is to test if what I think about a sentence (even not perfect) is right or not.
    – Ahmad
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 6:12

1 Answer 1


Consider this hypothetical:

Let's talk about how we match nodes. A node is considered "matching" when its attribute values meet the match criteria. All of the node's attributes must match, not merely some of them.

When speaking in general terms, we use the indefinite article. But we can switch to the definite article as soon as we have any reason whatsoever to speak of a particular node. Here, the reason is that we're talking about the node being subjected to the matching process. We could have continued with a. We were not obliged to switch to the.

  • Then I you interpreted the matching node as the node being subjected to the matching process, while I thought in only could be the node which was matched in past.
    – Ahmad
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 5:56
  • 1
    But remember, readers and listeners are not mind-readers. A definite article appearing suddenly "out of nowhere" may be jarring unless you have established a context licensing its use.
    – TimR
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 10:59

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