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When I write an email to a professor asking a question about one of his publications, what is a proper way to say that I loved the paper / enjoyed reading it?

"I enjoyed reading your paper from year X about Y"?

"I read your paper from year X about Y and it was very interesting"?

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    If you tell him you enjoyed it or were interested by it, I think he will take it for granted that you read it, particularly if you ask him penetrating questions about it. "I was deeply interested by your 20XX paper on Y." – StoneyB Jan 15 '14 at 12:48
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As a native English speaker, I would suggest something along these lines:

I really enjoyed your paper from 1980 on the mating habits of lemmings.

or

I really enjoyed your paper titled: "Lemmings--The Randy Devils," that you published in 1980.

You mentioned 'love' in your original question, so there is no need to hold back on using 'really enjoyed' instead of just 'enjoyed.'

Using the word 'year' with a year is not typically done by native speakers unless the year itself is very important to the thought: "…your book about the year 1984", or "I'm a time traveler from the year 2151."

The idea of using 'interesting' can suggest a somewhat tepid response. See this article from ELL.

I hope this helps.

  • Excellent examples, and you make a good point about "year X." The O.P.'s question would have been much improved had an example year been used, as opposed to the awkward and unnecessarily vague "year X." – J.R. Jan 15 '14 at 23:46
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Both of your options are correct but I would go with the first one as it's straight to the point.

Or you could write "I really enjoyed reading your Paper on Y that you published on Year X"

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    We use in with years. – StoneyB Jan 15 '14 at 14:23

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