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I am writing a scientific article.

I want to say: "The output of some process may not be useful in itself (or on its own), but it is an important preprocessing step to later stage processes."

Can I use "stand-alone" instead of "in itself" or "on its own" in the above sentence?

I know that "stand-alone" is an adjective, and it may not be correct to use it at end of a sentence. However, I am looking for something that is more natural.

Your help would be highly appreciated, Thank you.

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    In itself seems perfectly natural to me. Nov 19 '20 at 9:00
  • Aha, thank you. Maybe I am lost in some details here. Nov 19 '20 at 10:09
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As you have identified, "stand-alone" is an adjective and is not correct at the end of the sentence. It needs to have a noun to go with it.

You could try something like: "It seems like the output may not be useful as a stand-alone product". (I don't know what the output is so I'm not sure if product is the right noun here. You can substitute 'product' for whatever is most appropriate.)

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