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With a growing tech sector in Vancouver and a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can reasonably expect to find a suitable job in her field. [The lady is a computer programmer: this is discussed prior to the sentence]

I am wondering if the dependent clause is idiomatically correct. I wrote the sentence, but now I have doubts. So the lady has a skill set, but she does not have the "tech sector in Vancouver".

Let's say

a growing tech sector in Vancouver (noun phrase) = this

a highly transferable skill set (noun phrase) = that

My mindset was to convey "With this and that, Maisie can reasonably expect ..."

However, I have been told (by excellent native speakers) that the two things (this and that) are different. But I don't know how to correct this.

Note that individually these are correct:

With a growing tech sector in Vancouver, Maisie can reasonably expect ...

With a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can reasonably expect ...

Together, however, they are wrong.

P.S: What is this issue/problem called?

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The advice you were given was wrong—it definitely is of the same construction as with this and that. So too would be with one thing and another, or any other construction that replaces the noun phrases with pronouns.

For additional clarity, however, you could tweak the sentence slightly:

With there being a growing tech sector in Vancouver and her having a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can easily find a job.

This avoids the possible misinterpretation in the original of Maisie having a growing tech sector.

  • Jason, while I am incorporating your suggested changes, I am wondering if the my original sentence bothered you. Like, was the original horrible? – AIQ Aug 24 at 2:34
  • @AIQ No, it certainly wasn't horrible. I wouldn't have rushed to correct anything normally; I only did so because it was questioned. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Aug 24 at 14:00
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I would consider the original sentence to be passive voice, since the thing we are actually talking about is Maisie and her job prospects. As a reasonably educated, native American English speaker, I don't have too big of a problem understanding the sentence as written. It makes sense and does not feel like it was written by a non-native speaker. Perhaps it could be improved by turning it around such as:

Maisie can reasonably expect to find a suitable job in her field because she has a highly transferable skill set and there is a growing tech sector in Vancouver.

This version clarifies Maisie has the skill set and the growing tech sector is a property of Vancouver.

If you were passionate about keeping the original phrasing perhaps something like this would also achieve that clarity:

Because there is a growing tech sector in Vancouver and the fact she has a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can reasonably expect to find a suitable job in her field.

  • How do you analyse the sentence as being in the passive voice? – Chris H Aug 23 at 13:59

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