"In the progression of massive hepatic necrosis one singles out the stages of yellow atrophy, red atrophy and recovery."

What is the meaning of "one singles out" in this context?

Based on Merriam Webster dictionary, 'singles out' means to treat or to speak about. But still nothing understandable for me in this context.

Would you replace 'singles out' with 'treats' here?

"In the progression of massive hepatic necrosis one treats the stages of yellow atrophy, red atrophy and recovery."

  • Symptoms can present: X presents [this or that symptom]. A symptom could "stand out", among others. Symptoms are treated. You don't usually see: one treats, but x is treated or a doctor treats a.
    – Lambie
    Jun 10, 2018 at 17:41
  • I am sorry, I read your things many times but I really didn't understand your things. Jun 10, 2018 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


In medical English, the best structure is: SVP, subject verb predicate: The yellow or red atrophy stages are treatable symptoms in the progression of MHN, from which a patient can recover.

That would be a typical way to say this. That said: You can say: X presents A, B or C symptoms. You would not see: one treats etc. The use of one here does not work even though it is grammatical, it is not the kind of discourse (speech) used in medical texts. Starting a sentence with: in the progression of mhn sounds, for example, like French structure, not like English structure.

If the sentence you found actually used single out like that, I would say it is not usual at all. Single out is to choose one thing from among many things: She was singled out from members of her class as the best student. Generally, a person is singled out, a thing is not generally singled out. Except maybe a dog at a dog show: The Boxer was singled out (from all the dogs) as best in class.

  • It is a real sentences but I believe that it was written by no native English speakers. Another one that I came across it: "According to Houston classification one singles out 3 types of chronic gastritis: nonatrophic, atrophic and specific forms.". In this context it seems that I can replace "one single out" with "there are". Jun 10, 2018 at 19:19
  • 1
    @Intrigued_by_proliferation Yes, there are would be right.
    – Lambie
    Jun 10, 2018 at 21:30

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