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The sentence is

Because of the thought-of complexity of the equations, they did not take this approach.

Here, what I want to express is that, they thought the equations were complex, but actually the equations were not that complex.

Am I using the word thought-of correctly? Is there any more appropriate word?

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    Try “perceived”, though that still leaves open the question of who is doing the perceiving.
    – pbasdf
    May 19, 2021 at 8:10
  • perceived is good from@pbasdf. You could also use imagined. I have removed the downvote because I appreciate the difficulty of researching and approaching an answer from the “thought-of” perspective.
    – Anton
    May 19, 2021 at 13:10
  • thought-of x is not an English form. They mistakenly thought the equations were complex. The mistook the equations for complex ones.
    – Lambie
    May 19, 2021 at 14:59
  • Good attempt! But the adjective you need here isn't (quirky but "credible") thought-of - it's Because of the assumed complexity of the equations, they did not take this approach. Note that perceived doesn't quite work - not because it's left open who did the perceiving (that's contextually obvious, or irrelevant, depending how you look at it), but because that verb implies becoming aware of something which is true (whereas what we have here is an erroneous assumption). May 19, 2021 at 16:50

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No you didn't use it quite correctly; you're missing a word. The correct form of the expression would be "the thought of the complexity".

And even worded correctly, it's not clearly expressed (unless perhaps you had an entire sentence or more before that, explaining what they were thinking).

There are several other words and phrases you might use to more clearly say what you mean, such as:

"Because they thought the equations were too complex for them..."

"Because they feared the equations would be too complex for them..."

"Because of their apprehension about the equations' complexity..."

"Because they (incorrectly) imagined the equations were too complex..."

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  • +1 Since the OP notes that the equations were not really too complex, you might suggest "Because they mistakenly imagined the equations as too complex ..." or "Because they overestimated the complexity ...". May 19, 2021 at 14:51

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