3

The company has implemented new technologies, and as a result, the company will generate more revenue in the future.

Which one is the correct simplified version

Example 1

"By implementing new technologies, the company is going to generate more revenue."

Example 2

"By having implemented new technologies, the company is going to generate more revenue."

I feel that Example 1 implies the company has not yet implemented the new technologies but will.

So, In my view, Example 2 is probably a more accurate version.

However, I need opinions of more seasoned speakers.

2 Answers 2

2

Syntactically, initial by is "valid" in both OP's examples. Idiomatically, it's normally included in example #1, but NOT in example #2. Whether by is present or not doesn't affect the meaning in any way.

The first (by implementing) version is relatively "agnostic" as to whether implementation has started, is ongoing, or has finished (perhaps the third possibility is less likely). The second (having implemented) is far more likely to be restricted to contexts where the implementation has already happened. The other tiny sliver of difference is that #2 more strongly implies implementing new technologies is a known, established method of generating more revenue. With #1, it could be that the audience are as yet unaware of that particular method of increasing revenue.

To perhaps make that distinction clearer, consider...

1: By eating his spinach, Popeye is going to become super strong
1a: By being exposed to Kryptonite, Superman will become much weaker
2: Having eaten his spinach, Popeye is going to become super strong
2a: Having been exposed to Kryptonite, Superman will become much weaker

Where the first two would be perfectly natural even if the speaker didn't think his audience knew about the magical powers of spinach and Kryptonite, but the second two work better if the speaker thinks you already know about those effects. That's to say, #1 / #1a are usually statements presenting new information, but #2 / #2a are more likely as reminders (concerning the link between spinach/Kryptonite and strength/weakness; in all cases the fact of eating or exposure is probably new information).

2

Neither version is correct.

When you use "by", you give the method that leads to the result, and the method shares the same time as the result.

So in both of your examples, the "by"-clause is necessarily in the future because of "...is going to...".

In your Example 1, the sentence makes sense, but it means the implementation is going to happen in the future, which isn't the case.

Your Example 2 is quite strange because the "by"-clause happens in the future, but has a present perfect tense. So, it sounds like in the future the company will have implemented new technologies, which is an overly complicated way of saying the same thing as Example 1.

What you need is a different conjunction, "through". "Through" has roughly the same meaning as "by" in this context, but the time of a "through"-clause isn't necessarily the same as the result time.

Through having implemented new technologies, the company is going to generate more revenue.

I also recommend making it unambiguous that the technologies have already been implemented:

Through already having implemented new technologies, the company is going to generate more revenue.

6
  • I don't believe there's any syntactic justification for distinguishing by from through in example #1 (they're just alternative prepositions with equivalent meaning, where I'm pretty sure the latter is far less common for the context). Nor do I believe that #1 means the implementation is going to happen in the future - it's a perfectly valid way of referring to an ongoing or imminent implementation. And as per my own answer, by wouldn't normally be included in #2 anyway, so it's fairly meaningless to attempt to analyze its "meaning" (it has none, there). Oct 4 at 10:52
  • @FumbleFingers The OP specified that in his context, the implementation has already happened. It's neither in the future, nor ongoing, nor imminent. "By" cannot refer to something in the past if the result is in the future, but "through" can. I agree that "by" doesn't belong in 2, but the OP asked, and it's syntactically valid, so... Honestly, I think your solution in your comments above is best: use sentence 2 and drop "by" altogether, but it's too late now to rewrite my answer.
    – gotube
    Oct 4 at 23:07
  • By hiring a new sales team last week, the company is in better shape to face challenging trading conditions next year. I've no problem with that. I'll certainly admit that ...the company will be in better shape... is somewhat more "challenging", but that's only because I'm casting a critical eye over the temporal logic of the tenses in this rather unusual comment context. I wouldn't give it a second thought if I heard a competent native speaker connect by + Past action to Future action in a normal conversational context. Oct 5 at 10:55
  • ...but I'd also say that just because the OP writes some text and tells us what he wants it to mean doesn't necessarily imply that's what his text does in fact mean. Oct 5 at 10:56
  • @FumbleFingers I find your "By hiring..." sentence ungrammatical. I could see native speakers with very poor writing skills producing it, but I would definitely mark it wrong in an ESL class, even in a pre-intermediate/A2 class if I was teaching those prepositions. It may be a "pondial" difference, but I can't make it work. Can you find any real-life examples of "by" used like this?
    – gotube
    Oct 5 at 22:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .