Base sentence: I defined A.

I want to add the contents that "A is useful"

Of course, there are so many ways to imply that contents.

But, I want to know what the difference is or ask if each sentence is correct or not.

candidate 1. I defined A as being useful.

candidate 2. I defined A to be useful.

  • Welcome ian, would you please tell us what you want to convey by those sentences? Honestly, as a learner, I'm not sure if I understood your sentences completely. Why would you want to use the verb "define"?
    – Cardinal
    Jun 30 '17 at 7:55
  • Both sentences are correct but have different meanings. Some context for these sentences would be useful.
    – Chenmunka
    Jun 30 '17 at 8:11
  • @Cardinal Oh, actually, when I saw the lecture via Youtube, the lecturer uses the sentence "We defined function spaces as being useful in order to give us ...". So I just would like to know why he uses the expression "as being".
    – ian0103
    Jun 30 '17 at 8:31

Candidate 1 is not normal English, and a native speaker would not use "as being" in this case, unless you meant "I defined A as 'being useful'", so that for example "I am A" means "I am being useful", but I don't think that's what you mean. If it is, please say so.

Candidate 2 claims "I defined A, and had the intention that it would be useful".

If you'd rather claim that A is useful, rather than that it was intended to be useful, as you suggest in your question, I would say "I defined A usefully", claiming that A is defined in a useful manner.

You could also say something more similar to "I defined a useful A", calling A useful with an adjective, which would probably be more natural, but I cannot give a specific example that would work without more context.

"I defined A, which is useful" would also be correct, albeit a bit clunky.

If you gave some more context, I could perhaps answer your question better.

  • link Above the link, (0:33~), the lecturer uses the similar sentence. As I am a non-native speaker, I want to know how to make the "long" English sentence. Your answer really helps me. Thanks.
    – ian0103
    Jun 30 '17 at 8:35

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