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“After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer [......] 137.68638”

(a) of

(b) that is

(c) , which is

(d) to be

(e) — (a dash)

Which option(s) are acceptable for filling the space in that sentence? I am of course most tempted to say ‘the answer of 137.68638’ as it’s the simplest construction, but I need confirmation whether it’s correct usage. Here is another example: “The answer of XXX for that question seems a little too low.”

Edit: Apparently ‘of’ would be a viable option if I had used the indefinite article instead of the definite article. This leads to another question of mine- why is ‘AN answer of 137. 68638’ correct even though it’s specific?

  • As a native speaker, only c) and d) make grammatical sense to me. The other responses would be understood but would feel 'clumsy'. – Nathanael Farley Oct 3 '17 at 13:57
  • Is this a question from a test or a practice test? Or were you trying to figure out what to write in your own writing, and these were some of the options that you thought of? – Jasper Oct 3 '17 at 16:07
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    @Jasper Just my own writing. I thought of those options. – JUNCINATOR Oct 4 '17 at 0:49
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+50

Some grammatically correct alternatives:

a. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found an answer of 137.68638”

The answer I found was 137.68638. There may be other possible answers.


b1. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer that is 137.68638”

This probably makes the least sense because it means "Of all the answers, I found that one that is 137.68638".

b2. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer. That is 137.68638”

much the same meaning as (e)


c. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer, which is 137.68638”

I found the answer and the answer is 137.6838.


d. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer to be 137.68638”

The answer I found was 137.68638.

If you are later going to say that you were were wrong or that the answer may not be 137.6838, you should use (a) or (d).


e. “After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer -- 137.68638”

I found the answer. In other words, I found 137.6838.

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c. After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer, which is 137.68638.

d. After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer to be 137.68638.

e. After doing some complicated calculations and working out, I finally found the answer - 137.68638.

These three are correct, with perhaps slightly different subtext meanings:

(c) suggests "I found the answer. The answer is 137.68638". It is a statement of one primary fact, and by the way, of a secondary fact.

(d) suggests "I found that the answer is 137.68638" - it is a statement of one fact.

(e) suggests something of "I found the answer! (wait for it...) 137.68638!", it creates some suspense between announcing the finding of the answer and telling us what it is.

The other two sentences sound wrong to me.

Your other example is of a different structure and "of" seems correct there, but it would not be correct here.

Edit: the sentence with "the answer of" (which was not one of the original options) may be gramatically correct, but it is unusual to refer to the answer this way. This was asked before but the answer there wasn't detailed enough. The way "of" is typically used is to denote the entity providing the answer, rather than the answer itself, such as in Proverbs 16:1

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Obviously, here, "the tongue" is not the answer.

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    If the sentence read "I finally found an answer", then "of 137.68638" and "— 137.68638" would be correct. – Jasper Oct 3 '17 at 16:03
  • @Jasper, so I can say “I found an answer of 137...” and “An answer of XXX...” and both would be correct? – JUNCINATOR Oct 4 '17 at 0:53
  • 1
    @JUNCINATOR -- In most contexts, yes. – Jasper Oct 4 '17 at 1:20
  • @Jasper, thanks. I have edited my question to include this but can you explain why we use the indefinite article when though we are stating a specific answer (of 137.68638)? – JUNCINATOR Oct 4 '17 at 1:26

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