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I have a couple of questions about the following sentence:

I built a model to classify whether or not a tweet is about economy using NLP techniques.

  1. Is this a case where or not can be omitted? The classification is binary ("about economy" or "not about economy"). If it's indifferent to omit it, I need to know which option is the most formal.
  2. Are the following sentences equivalent?

I built a model to classify whether or not a tweet is about economy using NLP techniques.

I built a model using NLP techniques to classify whether or not a tweet is about economy.

That is, does the position of using NLP techniques change the meaning of the sentence? If so, which option is preferable? The sense is that I use these techniques to build the classification model.

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  • Hi LJG, you're asking two different questions here. Please focus on one of them, and ask a separate question for the other.
    – Joachim
    Aug 28, 2022 at 18:05

1 Answer 1

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  1. First, you need an article before economy because it is something known and specific.

  2. Yes, you can eliminate or not because the answer is either yes or no. Some consider it redundant if you don't.

I built a model to classify whether a tweet is about the economy...

  1. No, the position of using NLP techniques does not change the meaning of the sentence. However, since it's describing the model and not the economy, it's preferable to put it first.

I built a model using NLP techniques to classify whether a tweet is about the economy.

There could be confusion about what using NLP techniques describes if your sentence was a little different. This might not make sense, but to illustrate my point:

I built a model to classify whether a tweet is about investigations using NLP techniques.

It's not really clear whether you built a model using NLP techniques or you built a model about investigations that use NLP techniques.

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  • You assume that "using NLP techniques" modifies "built", but couldn't it also modify "classify"? E.g.: "I built a model to classify (using NLP techniques) whether a tweet is about the economy." Aug 28, 2022 at 21:20
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    Yes, it can describe either, but it ultimately describes the model. I suppose an even better solution would be to combine the two of them: "I built a classification model using NLP techniques..." Aug 29, 2022 at 4:27
  • @swmcdonnell but in this case how would you handle whether a tweet is about the economy?
    – LJG
    Aug 30, 2022 at 12:28
  • You would do exactly as I said in my answer and move it closer to model and classify. Or if you mean for my example, you might say: "I built a classification model using NLP techniques to determine whether a tweet was about the economy." Aug 31, 2022 at 3:58

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