0

I often struggle in technical articles with whether I should conjugate the verb in incomplete sentences like:

Some options are available:

  • Answering: Result in opening all gates.
  • Ignoring: Switch lights off after two minutes.

In the first case it could be a shortcut for "This results in ...", but in the second case there are multiple possibilities: "To switch lights ...", "This switches lights ...", "You switch lights ...".

I wonder if such form relates to a well known use of the language (which has a name), and/or if some standard rule applies.

0

If add and ignore refer, for instance, to functions or user interface selections of a computer application, then I would lead the description with the exact verbatim name of the keyword or UI widget, and after a colon, continue with a 3rd person singular simple present verb form like adds or cancels

E.g. IGNORE : cancels all previous or pending ....

That is ideal for a list of commands/functions. Of course this would be adjusted for a sentence in a context of a paragraph. You would still write something like "IGNORE cancels all previous or pending..."

In my examples, the all caps lettering can, in technical documentation for computing, be rendered on a terminal font like Courier for command line apps, or other means of quotation or emphasis for other apps.

1
  • Thanks, I doesn't relate to computer. I adjusted the example to clarify, so you may want to update your answer. Sorry for that.
    – mins
    Jan 18 at 0:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.