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The full sentence is this:

Instead of creating a mathematical model from which to predict performance, the workload can be characterized, simulated, and then tested on clouds of different scales.

Where I'm stuck now is here P from which to V. I think I understand what it means somehow though, I wonder why there is which for what. What's the difference with "Instead of creating a mathematical model from predicting performance, ..."?

someone asked like this before, and they said it's to infinitive, so I tried to understand it as "creating ... from which (to ...)" now it's more clear than before to me. but still I wonder what's the difference with "creating ... from (to ...)"

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    'Instead of creating a mathematical model from which to predict performance,' = 'Instead of creating a mathematical model which can be used to predict performance,' = 'Instead of creating a mathematical model from which we will be able to predict performance,'. Compare the simpler 'This is a base from which to explore Devon' = 'This is a base from which one / we / you / they can explore Devon'. Mar 21, 2022 at 12:58
  • Compare "Building a house in which I will live..."
    – Stuart F
    Mar 21, 2022 at 20:18

2 Answers 2

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This construction is related to the old “never end a sentence with a preposition” The original could be phrased

… creating a model to predict performance from.

To avoid that it is inverted with the help of a pronoun.

… creating a model from which to predict performance.

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  • In writing, from which, of which etc. is very common.
    – Lambie
    Mar 21, 2022 at 21:10
  • Yep. ‘Cuz writing is a format formality is observed in.
    – Jim
    Mar 21, 2022 at 22:17
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If you change the clause to "from which [model] one can predict performance", it should make the grammar a little less opaque.

In English, relative clauses can be headed by an infinitive instead of a finite verb. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_relative_clauses, in the section called Nonfinite Relative Clauses.

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