In the following sentence,

"Signal strength was 20, 30, 40 dB at floors 1,2,3 respectively."

Should I use was or were?

Should the unit dB be used just for the last input of the list or every input?

Should I use floors or floor?

  • Personally, I would say "Signal strength on (?) the first, second and third floors were 20, 30, and 40 dB, respectively." I think it depends on the subject, my subject is plural so I used plural form of the verb. However, I am not native. – Cardinal Jun 16 '17 at 16:54

In my opinion, for the first answer "was" is correct.

For the second one, dB should be used for each input. The way you have written is also correct, i feel.

Floors is correct because you are mentioning three floors.

  • 1
    "was" is correct, but it's worth pointing out that, if the original sentence said "strengths," then "were" would be the right choice. – J.R. Jun 16 '17 at 16:59

"Signal strength was at 20db, 30db, 40db for their respective floors 1, 2 and 3."

Works in a general sense. If you were writing a technical paper/manual I would advise relating each floor to its db level.

"Single strength on floor 1 was 20db, floor 2 was 30db, and floor 3 was 40db."

This sacrifices brevity for clarity for the reader.

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