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Is this statement correct for formal usage?

This model is a good approximation to the data.

Or, should I use

This model is a good approximation of the data.

  • Please do us a favor: google the two forms with staring with approximation. :) – Lambie May 25 '18 at 11:38
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    On Google, "approximation to" gives 224 million results and "approximation of" gives 339 million results. But which one is correct in what context? – vinc17 Jun 1 '18 at 12:45
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It appears "approximation of" would be best suited for numbers (mathematical approximation) and "approximation to" best for conceptual approximations.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/approximation

approximation noun [ C, usually singular ] UK ​ /əˌprɒksɪˈmeɪʃən/ US ​

a figure that is close to a particular number or time but not exactly that number or time:

  Sales-tax receipts provide **an approximation of** retail sales.

something that is similar to another thing but not exactly the same:

   **approximation to sth** A closer **approximation to** the truth is that he started out as a genuine entrepreneur.

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