"It is clear that the most incidents and injuries took place on demand-response vehicles. By contrast, commuter rail services recorded by far the lowest figures".

What is the function of the word "record" in the last sentence ? Is it transitive or intransitive or participle? That form looks odd.

  • When quoting in a question you should cite your source. This one is easy to find through a search engine, it is from an IELTS paper.
    – None
    Mar 14, 2017 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


The confusion might be from the prepositional qualifier "by far". "Recorded" is a transitive verb and "figures" is the direct object.

For example, if you remove the qualifier, it will be a little clearer what the verb is acting on: "By contrast, commuter rail services recorded the lowest figures."

Also, note that "figures" is a noun in this context, meaning numbers or statistics.

  • So commuter rail services kept their own record?? Mar 14, 2017 at 18:42
  • @CavidHummatov certainly not. The sentence is worded a bit poorly, but it should be implied that whoever was monitoring the figures is the one who "recorded" them.
    – user10165
    Mar 14, 2017 at 21:03
  • @user30031 but commuter rail services is the subject of the sentence, so doesn't it connote that the "rail services are the ones who monitor and publish their own statistic? Mar 15, 2017 at 10:33
  • 1
    As I said, the sentence is a bit poorly formed. It should probably say something more like, "By contrast, the figures recorded for the commuter rail services were by far the lowest."
    – user10165
    Mar 15, 2017 at 15:45
  • Still, english relies on context pretty frequently, and it's expected that you'll be able to distinguish unclear subject references.
    – user10165
    Mar 15, 2017 at 15:46

Record is a transitive verb, and in this sentence it is used in the past. The subject of the verb is "commuter rail services", the object is "the lowest figures". It does not look odd to me.

The definition of the verb given by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is

to set down in writing : furnish written evidence

You could rephrase the sentence this way: " By contrast commuter rail services show without a doubt the lowest figures".

  • Does that suggest , they published their own recorded statistics that they kept on their own? actually I'm not used to seeing "record" using in an active voice . Mar 14, 2017 at 18:55
  • 1
    @CavidHummatov They most certainly keep and publish their statistics, but we do not know if the collect the data themselves or outsource the job.
    – None
    Mar 14, 2017 at 19:07
  • @user3169 Record in OP's sentence is undoubtedly a verb and you are giving the definition of a noun to define a verb. Collins' definition of the verb is not different from Merriam-Webster's "to put in writing, print, etc. for future use; draw up an account of".
    – None
    Mar 15, 2017 at 6:41

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