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My graduate education enabled me gainfully employ everything from the basic laws of physics, Maxwell’s equations, lumped circuit abstractions, amplifier abstraction, and from there into the digital domain as combinational logic, clocked systems, instructions set abstraction, high level language, operating systems, software abstractions, and into the analog domain as operational amplifiers, oscillators, power supplies, rotating machines, power transmission and distribution

I would want to fit this into a single sentence.

There is a list of courses, I would like to mention here, that starts off from the basic laws of physics, dividing into two branches at the amplifier abstraction as the analog and digital domain. How should I write this ?

To get rid of jargon, I've structured it like "my lessons start from foo, bar, baz and from there into one stream as wibble, wobble and wubble and into the other stream as blep, blah and blup.

I'm not sure if this is correct sentence formation and if it really conveys what I intend to. How should I write this ? Please suggest the right punctuation, conjunction and sentence structure.

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  • It's actually fine, if a little wordy. I agree with farnsy's answer that you should break it up into individual sentences, if for no other reason than the length of this sentence distracts from your intent.
    – Andrew
    Dec 24 '17 at 19:10
  • I am truly sorry but come on: "My graduate education enabled me gainfully employed" is not grammatical.
    – Lambie
    Dec 24 '17 at 20:36
  • @Lambie Please help me understand what is wrong with that first part and how should I write it ?
    – user67104
    Dec 25 '17 at 4:02
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    X + enable + to + verb That said, "gainful employment" is used a lot but "to gainfully employ" as an active verb is odd. Because employ is either use or give someone a job. My graduate education enabled me to find gainful employment using A, B, C, and D.
    – Lambie
    Dec 25 '17 at 16:08
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As Lambie mentions in his comment, "gainful employment" doesn't go with "graduate school". In order to be gainfully employed you have to (in some way) make money. In more official circles (like government guidelines) it can also include other requirements.

When writing long sentences like this, you have to be careful to break up your terms and use words that don't distract from the message -- which means, first, you have to define what that message is. Here I'm going to assume this is part of a resume or CV, describing what you were taught and used as part of your graduate program, and which, presumably, have sufficient proficiency to use in a "real" job.

Given this message I would instead describe not the fields you studied, but rather the things you built based on these concepts. For example:

Using both digital and analog circuits, and well as a number of custom computer vision algorithms, my team built a poker-playing robot that could shuffle and deal a standard deck of cards, recognize the card values, move chips into a defined "pot", recognize the value of the chips in that pot, and make appropriate bets based on the value of the cards in its "hand"; additionally it could analyze the betting patterns of other players to build a "profile" for each and calculate the probability that they were bluffing.

This is a long sentence similar to the one in your example, but each of the elements coheres with those around it, so that it makes sense to the reader. Part of what makes this work is the consistency in verb tense (bolded words), which marks each of the individual elements.

If your intention is instead to simply list the different subjects covered by your graduate program, then I would break it up into the three different categories you describe:

My graduate program covered fundamental topics such as the basic laws of physics, Maxwell’s equations, lumped circuit abstractions, and amplifier abstraction, digital topics such as combinational logic, clocked systems, instructions set abstraction, high level language, operating systems, and software abstractions, and analog topics such as operational amplifiers, oscillators, power supplies, rotating machines, and power transmission and distribution.

Here the repeating "topics such as" helps break up the sentence into clearly defined subject areas, making the overall sentence simple and easy to understand as a series of three separate lists.

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  • thanks for your answer and time. Happy Christmas to you! I'm an engineer, and engineering, as I've understood is using science for fun and profit. I wanted to exaggerate this, without having to mention engineering directly. So I wrote "gainfully employ", does this not fit the context here ?
    – user67104
    Dec 25 '17 at 17:22
  • You would say "gainfully employed" if you were in a paid job during your graduate program. Otherwise, if you built something based on the concepts you list, you can say something like "made use of", "utilized", or (in some cases) "implemented", "realized", or "integrated".
    – Andrew
    Dec 25 '17 at 17:26
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Probably the best practice is to group these items and break them into different sentences.

My graduate education enabled me to gainfully employ the basic laws of physics and their applications: Maxwell’s equations, lumped circuit abstractions, and amplifier abstraction. I have also worked in the digital domain, using combinational logic, clocked systems, instructions set abstraction, high level language, operating systems, and software abstractions. Finally I am experienced in the analog domain, using operational amplifiers, oscillators, power supplies, rotating machines, power transmission and distribution.

You can also use semicolons to separate groups and then commas to separate items within each group, but this is a long, painful sentence and readers usually don't appreciate that.

I have seen native speakers using "from there into" in cases like these but it's not good writing. The implication is that you have "gone" from one area into another area, but without explicitly saying that you have moved from one place to another, the use of "from there into" sounds like you got confused by your own sentence and given up on good grammar.

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  • I don't really have a problem with "from there into" -- but this answer only shows that different people will perceive an English expression in different ways, and it's better to use simple words and phrases that don't distract from the main message.
    – Andrew
    Dec 24 '17 at 19:08
  • You guys aren't reading the sentence. The first bit is wrong.
    – Lambie
    Dec 24 '17 at 20:37
  • @farnsy Thanks for your time and answer. But, Is this sentence (shown in the question) even correct ? If not, please share a correct form. I will definitely break this into simpler sentences, as you mentioned, when I write the final draft. But, please help me get this into one sentence correctly.
    – user67104
    Dec 25 '17 at 6:36
  • @Andrew I would want to fit this in a single sentence. Please help me get it right. I understand farnsy's answer that it would be painful for the reader, but I just wanted to know how to fit this in a sentence correctly. I've seen some art critics using complex sentence constructs - that I've found very hard to comprehend - and I believe that this can fit in one sentence correctly. I don't know how to write one myself correctly. I would like to learn how to fit this in one sentence like that.
    – user67104
    Dec 25 '17 at 6:40

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