3

I wrote:

The value can be a constant value (numbers or strings), a node’s attribute prefixed with @ symbol...

by a node's attribute I mean an attribute of the node. Did it mean what I expect? How to add "the" if necessary. Note in a node’s attribute, the node is not definite, while I mean a specific node!

The problem is that "a" is for attribute and "the" for node, and l need both of them.

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    Note that you always have another option: a/the node attribute. – Damkerng T. Sep 9 '16 at 13:06
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    Do you worry that "a node's attribute" might mean "the only attribute of a node"? I mean, do you worry that the reader might think that the node nas only one attribute? – CowperKettle Sep 9 '16 at 13:07
  • @CowperKettle No, I worry when I say, a node's attribute, the node is not definite, while I mean a specific node! – Ahmad Sep 9 '16 at 14:40
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    I'm not sure I understood "an specific object which is not definite", but I guess you need to use the determiner "one": one of the node's attributes is .... . – Cardinal Sep 11 '16 at 0:03
  • @Cardinal correct! I mean "an attribute of the node" or "one of the node's attributes" as you said! the answer suggests that "the node's attribute" means the same! – Ahmad Sep 11 '16 at 5:17
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This sentence is rather odd out of context, but here is how I would write it, preserving the apostrophe (first quote is yours, second is mine, for comparison reasons):

The value can be a constant value (numbers or strings), a node’s attribute prefixed with @ symbol...

The value can be a constant (number or string), with the node's attribute prefixed with an @ symbol...

The first change I made was removing the second time the word "value" appeared. From this sentence, it appears you are talking about some sort of computer code. When a value never changes, it is referred to as a "constant," which is a noun.

Secondly, I made "numbers" and "strings" singular, because "constant" is singular, and that makes more sense.

Now, to get to the word "node" itself, I added a preposition before it, otherwise this sentence seems rather run on. I then changed the article from "a" to "the," as you are referencing a specific node which was introduced previously in the piece. All of this causes the sentence to mean what you wanted it to, all without removing the apostrophe. The apostrophe itself wasn't wrong, the context just needed a little adjustment.

  • Thank you, but does it mean what I mentioned, I said, the value can be X, Y,,,,, and Z. I don't get how it can changes to the value can be X, with Y, ...! – Ahmad Sep 9 '16 at 14:39
  • @Ahmad Not quite. You really need the article change for it to mean what you said (i.e. "a" > "the"). – Sam K Sep 9 '16 at 17:47
  • The problem is that "a" is for attribute and "the" for node, and l need both of them – Ahmad Sep 9 '16 at 17:52
  • @Ahmad You actually don't need an article for "attribute." It's somewhat assumed, as when you said "an attribute of the node" in your question. – Sam K Sep 10 '16 at 0:32

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