2

Sometimes I don't know the natural position of some phrases because of the mother language inference.

Consider:

For example, due to their low vapor pressure, these compounds are appropriate replacement for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

In the sentence above, I put "due to" in the front, because I feel if I don't say it there, the reader won't understand why they are appropriate in the rest of the sentence. However, maybe it is more natural to say:

For example these compounds are appropriate replacement for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to their low vapor pressure.

Which sentence do you think is more normal in English?

Another example is:

  1. The application of room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) due to their unique properties in a variety of processes, such as solvent extraction, is increasing

  2. The application of room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) is increasing due to their unique properties in a variety of processes, such as solvent extraction.

  • 2
    It just depends on flow. For example, I would say that in your first example, both placements are fine although the placement at the end would flow a little bit more naturally since it does not need a pause. Meanwhile, in your second example, your second sentence flows much better and requires less thinking from the reader for more immediate understanding. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 20 '17 at 10:26
  • Also, you're missing a couple of commas. "For example," (ex. 01, sentence 02) and "(RTILs)," (ex. 02, sentence 01). – Teacher KSHuang Jan 20 '17 at 10:26
3

A lot of this depends on what "sounds good", or what flows well.

In your first two examples, both sound fairly natural, although the first one seems to put more emphasis on the reason the compounds are an appropriate replacement. That's just because you've placed that phrase up front.

Your RTIL example sentences have more clauses in them, and so they can become awkward much more quickly. So you have to be a little more careful about the ordering of the clauses to make them sound natural.

The second RTIL example sounds much more natural. I think it's because it's of the form "(something) is (doing something) due to (a reason)". In the first sentence you're saying "(something), due to (a reason), is (doing something)".

In english the verb rarely comes at the end of a complex sentence like this, and it sounds more natural if you keep the subject (the application of RTILs) next to the thing it is doing (is increasing), though I don't think that's a strict rule. It just flows better in most cases.


Also I'd like to mention that in

these compounds are appropriate replacement

There should be an article before "appropriate"

these compounds are an appropriate replacement.

I'm guessing (apologies if I'm wrong and it was just a typo) there is some confusion between

These compounds are appropriate

and

These compounds are an appropriate replacement

In the first example, the word "appropriate" is an adjective referring to the compounds, like

these flowers are beautiful

In the second example, "appropriate" is still an adjective, but it is attached to "replacement". Since it is modifying the noun "replacement", "appropriate" gets bundled up with that noun and you go from

a replacement

to

an appropriate replacement

That is, it remains a noun, so it should have an article in front of it. From

These flowers are beautiful (modifies flower)

to

These flowers are a beautiful gift (modifies the noun gift)

| improve this answer | |
  • Is it "are an appropriate replacement" or "are appropriate replacements"? – Ahmad Jan 21 '17 at 6:18
  • That is a really good question. I think in the context of these compounds, because you a group of compounds replacing another group of compounds, you could use the plural "replacements". Thinking about a different situation, you might say "These new plates that I bought for my kitchen are good replacements for my old plates", and that sounds perfectly fine. That's a really good question though, I can't give you a technical answer about which is correct, or why. That might be good to ask as a separate question so someone who knows more can answer it for you – Joe Pinsonault Jan 21 '17 at 19:59

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