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I have doubts which statement is correct. I have two datasets, both have x and y. I measure variations between x and y from several aspects (aa, b, c, etc.) in both datasets and I want to compare the variations value between the two datasets:

dataset#1 show higher percentages of variations between x and y than that in datset#2.

Or,

dataset#1 show higher percentages of variations between x and y than datset#2.

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  • it's just the second one. – Fattie Mar 27 '19 at 15:02
  • Would you mind editing your question based on this Wikipedia definition, which shows the proper terminology?A data set is a collection of data. Most commonly a data set corresponds to the contents of a single database table, or a single statistical data matrix, where every column of the table represents a particular variable, and each row corresponds to a given member of the data set in question. Wikipedia – Lambie Mar 28 '19 at 13:58
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Dataset#1 shows higher percentages of variations between x and y than those of datset#2.

Change the first to this, and it's correct. The second is correct, and probably more natural.

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  • Both are wrong because the plural is not needed to refer to two items within a single data set. This study shows a higher percentage of variation between variable A and B in Data Set 1 than in Data Set 2. – Lambie Mar 28 '19 at 14:00
  • The data is multiple numbers of percentages (facet1: 2%, facet2: 3%, facet3: 4%) (from different aspects) which represents variations between x and y from these different aspects. That's why I use plural (it is not a single percentage). – user9371654 Mar 28 '19 at 15:35
  • @Lambie I think both are okay. Either one is referring to the dataset itself, hence singular, or the individual percentages, hence plural. – user45266 Mar 29 '19 at 14:53
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First of all, even though "data" is plural, and many people get very pedantic and irritated when people use that word as if it were singular (E.g.: "The data shows ...), "dataset1" and "dataset2" would have to be singular concepts, so you should use the singular verb "shows".

But back to your question: the subject of your sentence is "dataset#1", and you are discussing how it compares to dataset#2 in some of its characteristics.

So the simple statement in option 2 is all you need:

Dataset#1 shows higher percentages of variations between x and y than dataset#2.

Dataset#1 shows more of it than dataset#2 does. You don't need to use the word "in" with dataset#2, since you didn't use "in" when you mentioned dataset#1.

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  • in data set, data is a adjective.... – Lambie Mar 29 '19 at 15:46
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I would advise using the singular:


dataset#1 shows a higher percentage of variation between x and y than datset#2.


Each dataset has x's and y's. Therefore, the singular applies.

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  • The OP says "I measure variations between x and y from several aspects" – Acccumulation Mar 27 '19 at 15:45
  • @Acccumulation Yes, and measure variations "from several aspects" doesn't mean much to me. You either look at the variations or you don't. There are no aspects in data sets. There are variables and columns and rows and who knows what else... – Lambie Mar 29 '19 at 13:26

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