1

I wrote the following sentence, but I am not sure whether "is modification" should be changed to "is modifying."

In such cases, what word should be placed after is? Is there any rule?

The best solution is modification of the graph, for example, {1,2,1,3,4,5,4,6,1} into {1,2,3,5,4,6,1} by utilizing the concave cover along the outer border.

  • 4
    Since you use it a lot, I feel I should point out that "I am having the following construction" is not proper English. "I have the following construction/sentence" is correct, but you'd be even better off with "I wrote the following sentence:". We don't say I am having when we possess something, we say I have. I am having is only used for things like I am having tea (which doesn't mean I possess the tea, it means I am currently drinking it.) – WendiKidd Oct 13 '13 at 0:03
3

Either is acceptable. Modifying in this context is a "gerund", the -ing form of the verb acting as a noun. The only difference is that a "gerund" acts simultaneously as a verb and takes objects, so you don't need the preposition of:

The best solution is modifying the graph ...

You may also employ the marked infinitive to modify in the same way:

The best solution is to modify the graph.

FOR LAGNIAPPE:
In all these instances your "for example" needs work.

  1. The following phrase should have its own verb—the implied construction "modify X into Y" is not idiomatic.

  2. It should be set off with something stronger than a comma. I don't know enough about what you're discussing to be sure how the last pieces are related, but one or the other of these should be right:

    ... graph; for example, transforming {1,2,1,3,4,5,4,6,1} into {1,2,3,5,4,6,1} by utilizing the concave cover along the outer border. -This assumes that the transformation is accomplished by utilizing the cover.

    ... graph (for example, by transforming {1,2,1,3,4,5,4,6,1} into {1,2,3,5,4,6,1}) by utilizing the concave cover along the outer border. -This assumes that the graph is modified by utilizing the cover. If this is the case you would do better to set the parenthetical example after the "utilizing" clause.

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  • thanks, yes it is, that mean at the end of the sentence, the parenthetical example should be placed. – gnp Oct 12 '13 at 16:07
  • +1 for lagniappe - I never knew that word before. :-) – Jim Oct 12 '13 at 16:33
  • Would "is a modification" sound more natural for an English native speaker than "is modification"? – Stephen Oct 13 '13 at 13:32
  • @Stephen A modification would be appropriate only if there is only one applicable way of modifying the graph. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 13 '13 at 14:25
2

If you use 'modifying' you should remove the following 'of'.

The best solution is modification of the graph

and

The best solution is modifying the graph

are both grammatically correct. I'd suggest the second one sounds a little better, though.

There isn't a rule that makes one of them wrong.

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