Previously I asked the question about how to join two sentences together. Is there word which is better than the word Among for joining two sentences

In the question, I said:

Some research suggested that we should sleep seven hours per night.

Now I want to rewrite the above sentence this way:

[A / The] recent report by Helpguide suggested that we should sleep seven hours per night.

But I am not sure if I should use A or The for the new sentence.

  • 1
    Have you already mentioned the report in an earlier sentence? If not, you would say "A recent report" and "suggests", not "suggested". You'd want to use "suggests" in most cases, unless, say, you're speaking of another report which has superseded the first report, or want to refer to the report in terms of some timeline.
    – TimR
    Jul 14, 2017 at 12:11
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    The present tense suggests is a writing convention, not a grammatical issue. It is a convention to refer to written works using the present tense when citing them.
    – TimR
    Jul 14, 2017 at 13:16
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    Would it be fair to say that "suggests" works better because the report is recent, and that "suggested" could work if the report was a lot older?
    – Alexander
    Jul 14, 2017 at 15:37
  • Thank you Tᴚoɯɐuo! What about if I replace suggested by showed or if I omit the the word recent, which is better? A report Helpguide suggested that..., or A recent report showed that...
    – kitty
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:02
  • 1
    Use a, assuming Helpguide releases many reports, unless there is a specific focus on this report, in context. Since your topic seems to be "Some research" (more than one report), I would use a.
    – user3169
    Jul 14, 2017 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


If you have not already referred to the report, then you should use the indefinite article A. This applies whether the author/publisher has issued only one report or many. You can describe the report as "recent" in both cases.

If you have already referred to this report earlier in your essay, then you should use the definite article The. In this case it is not necessary to describe it as "recent", unless you are distinguishing between two different reports by the same author/publisher.

When describing what the report suggests or shows or indicates etc, you should use the present tense when referring its implications for the present. This is clearly the case in your example. However, if you are referring to the historical context of the report, or an effect it had which no longer applies - eg how report affected people in the past - then you should use the past tense (suggested or showed or indicated etc).


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