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I wrote a sentence like:

If the XXX device fails to detect a YYY event, then it will eventually fail to detect the successive YYY event.

Is this a correct use of "will eventually"? Or should I use:

If the XXX device fails to detect a YYY event, then it also fails to detect the successive YYY event.

Actually, I want to say: if the first clause happens then the second clause will definitely happen.

Another question:

The XXX device fails to detect a YYY event during the ZZZ cycle of the ...

or should I use IN in place of during.

Which are more grammatically correct?

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Eventually means if you wait long enough, i.e., for some unknown time. This conflicts with the successive event, which will happen at some fixed time later. One of the following:

[1a] ... it will eventually fail to detect successive events.
[1b] ... it will fail to detect the successive event

1a, if you don't know which event will trigger the second failure; 1b, if you know it's the very next one. Note that the issue is not a grammatical one, but rather one of semantics.

The choice of tense is a matter of style:

[2a] If the XXX device fails to detect a YYY event, then XXX will fail to detect successive YYY events.
[2b] If the XXX device fails to detect a YYY event, then XXX fails to detect successive YYY events.

2a is a natural way to phrase a simple present narrative, as though you start the test in the conditional clause, and look forward to the future for what happens in the conclusion. 2b, on the other hand, uses the historical present for both clauses. In this case, all the testing has been done, and you are reporting the ongoing truth of the test results. This issue is also not a grammatical one, but one of style.

In a cycle and during a cycle are synonymous.

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  • I see the infection of driveby downvoteritis is as endemic to ELL as it is to ELU. Please have the common courtesy to record your objection to this answer; otherwise, you either fail to provide an opportunity to correct an erroneous statement or you mislead the OP (and others) into believing that a correct answer is wrong. – deadrat Nov 6 '16 at 20:11
  • No matter how well reasoned your plea, only a few of those afflicted will respond. (Not my -1, but it could also be that the omitted word makes the answer very slightly difficult to understand.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 6 '16 at 22:21
  • @P.E.Dant Alas, you're correct about this particular windmill against which I continue to tilt on ELU. Likely it's just me. I'm sorry, but I'm having a particularly dense day. Which omitted word is causing the problem? – deadrat Nov 6 '16 at 23:34
  • Fixed it already. It was "know". See edit history... – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Nov 6 '16 at 23:42
  • @P.E.Dant Well, no wonder it looked OK. I told you I was having a dense day. Thanks for the edit. – deadrat Nov 7 '16 at 1:33

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