I write an engineering text and I construct the sentence:

In practical applications two types of approaches can be found.

After the sentence, I describe the first "deterministic" and the second "stochastic" approach. My supervisor changed it to ..."types of approach" as singular form.

A few lines after I summarise and I say "...both approaches are similar in terms..." and my supervisor did not change this one, which even confuse me more.

As far as I understand, the approach is use as a method so I should use "types of methods". I try to google similar sentences with singular form but only found something like types of approach to somebody in sense that there is one approach only but the person can be approached in a different manner, but when is already approached, the story finish. (I hope it make sens)

My question is why in my case approach is changed to a singular form if I have the different methods?

Is there any rule or explanation which can be used in future similar context?

  • Related – user114 Feb 11 '13 at 13:47
  • 3
    The link posted by @Carlo_R has your answer: 'type' here works exactly as 'kind' in that question. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 11 '13 at 13:50
  • 1
    Interesting context for this question. If you were a civil engineer, designing highway systems, then "approach" could refer either to your methodology or to a ramp to guide traffic onto a highway. I'd consistently use the singular for the methodology, even if there is more than one possibility (and not conforming to what I understand as the usual US usage -- I'm a US native, and a one-time engineering student) and either the singular or plural for the physical highway approach as appropriate. "Types of ..." isn't sufficient verbal context by itself to determine the actual context. – barbara beeton Feb 11 '13 at 13:56
  • 2
    The basic issue, grammatically, is whether in any given sentence you are talking about the types or about the approaches. Certainly, if the answers to the other question leave anything unresolved, post a new question to focus on that - or post a Comment at the other question asking for clarification. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 11 '13 at 15:12
  • 2
    Fantastic questions like this should never EVER be closed. – Shawn Mooney Feb 11 '13 at 15:51