1

I have three different form of component sentences at following.

It seems to me that all three are grammatically correct.However, I don't know which one is more acceptable style? or which one will people use in their writing.

  1. When you are approaching the gate, it will take the photo of you and it compares that photo to database.

  2. When you are approaching the gate, it will take the photo of you and compare that photo to database.

  3. When you are approaching the gate, it will take the photo of you and it will compare that photo to database.

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    #2 and #3 technically say the same thing; #2 is just a better way of structuring it, without unnecessary repetition. That said, it will take a photo of you is what's correct. – Hank Nov 18 '16 at 21:35
  • You should use "a photo", not "the photo" – John Feltz Nov 18 '16 at 21:36
  • Guys, it can definitely say "the" photo if that photo is the subject of the enclosing context. – Robusto Nov 18 '16 at 23:26
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    Hmm, I see the proofreading close reasons here. But isn't this limited to a specific area of concern? This is confusing. – M.A.R. Nov 19 '16 at 7:44
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    @M.A.R.: I see an awful lot of close votes that seem to completely ignore that particular clause. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 19 '16 at 8:23
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In general, these sentences do not read fluently. Instead of 'to database' I would say 'to the database' or 'to a database' (the former is used when you have already mentioned the existence of a database).

In the phrase 'it will take the photo' the word 'it' refers to the gate. Normally gates cannot take photos, but if the context has mentioned that the gate is some kind of automatic system then this is fine. Otherwise, I would recommend changing 'it' for something like 'the system' or similar so that a common gate is not taking photos.

You do not need to repeat the 'will' auxiliary when several actions will happen. In that sense, #2 is preferable to #3. #1 mixes future and present so it's undesirable.

Your best bet is then

2a. When you are approaching the gate, it will take the photo of you and compare that photo to the database.

Or you may want to simplify it further to

2b. When you approach the gate, it will take the photo of you and compare that photo to the database.

Here the meaning changed a little bit in that when saying 'approaching' the photo might be taken at a distance but in #2b you have to be near the gate for the photo to be taken, which I assume is your intent.

Or you may want to shorten it

2c. When you approach the gate, it will take your photo and compare the photo to the database. 2d. When you approach the gate, it will take your photo and compare it to the database.

  • Good suggestion – 1234 Nov 19 '16 at 18:03
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First; I would say "When you approach the gate...", but that isn't the question.

  1. is incorrect - you are mixing future (will take) and present (compares) tense.
  2. is correct(ish) and succinct. I would go with it.
  3. while technically correct, is not necessary for clarity and therefore too verbose. 2

However, you have a couple additional issues. I would change the sentence to;

"When you approach the gate; a photo of you will be taken and compared to one stored in the system."

It is unlikely that your reader will care about what is taking the picture or the technology medium of storage.

SteveJ

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