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Which is correct?

I remember futile attempts at explaining to my boss how this technology works.

I remember futile attempts at explaining my boss how this technology works.

Is there a better way of phrasing the above sentences?

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We explain something to someone. The direct object of explain is that which is explained.

She explained the technology to her boss.

  • So, something like : I remember futile attempts at explaining how the technology works to my boss. – emmy Nov 29 '16 at 11:25
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    The prepositional phrase to my boss can be placed before or after that which is explained. ... explaining to my boss how.... or .... explaining how ... to my boss. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '16 at 11:32
  • so the first sentence is correct? – emmy Nov 29 '16 at 11:34
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    The first sentence in your question is grammatical, yes. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '16 at 11:35
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I remember futile attempts at explaining to my boss how this technology works.

I remember futile attempts at explaining my boss how this technology works.

Here, you haven't mentioned whose futile attempts it was at explaining to your boss about how this technology works. On the other hand, We can explain something to someone. So, you shouldn't avoid to , For example:

I remember my futile attempts at explaining to my boss how this technology works.

You could also write his/her/their futile attempts if you want to.

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    Missing information is not a grammatical error. Every employee in the department might have been trying to explain to the boss how the technology works. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '16 at 13:19
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    @TRomano If the information is missing, the sentence doesn't make sense without context. The OP hasn't provided any context for his/her example sentences. So, I'd think those sentences would be understood in the proper contex, otherwis, they sound odd to me. – yubraj Nov 29 '16 at 13:29
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    Without context, I'd think we should add "his/her/their attempts" in the sentence to understand the sentence. – yubraj Nov 29 '16 at 13:32
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    There is no need to add anything whatsoever to the sentence to make it understandable or grammatical. You can make it more specific by adding information, but doing so would change the meaning. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '16 at 16:15

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