In the previous year, the travel expenses were also incurred as [when] the works were provided, in whose cost they were included.

The words 'in whose cost' modify 'works', but they are located far from 'works' in this sentence. Is it normal English in your opinion? Is it possible to substitute 'in the cost of which' for the phrase 'in whose cost'?

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    I have a hard time understanding the sentence as is. Is this what it means: In the previous year, travel expenses were incurred when the works were provided; these expenses were included in the cost of the works ? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '14 at 13:32
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    Not to answer your question directly. When my sentence becomes confusing, I'd normally rephrase it, and usually I'll find that a simpler sentence works better. As for your sentence, I'd like to suggest, "In the previous year, the travel expenses were also incurred. The provided works included such expenses." Or, if you want to combine them, "In the previous year, also incurred were the travel expenses, as they were included in the (cost of the) works provided." – Damkerng T. Nov 29 '14 at 13:33
  • @TRomano, yes that's right. But, these expenses were included in the cost of the works in the previous year too. Do you find that incomprehensible? – user11470 Nov 29 '14 at 13:49
  • To me, the placement of "also" in your sentence does not clearly indicate that in both years the travel costs incurred were included in the cost of the works. 'Also' there might mean an additional kind of expense. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '14 at 17:14
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    As far as your first question goes, yes, English permits extra words between a modifier and the word or phrase that it modifies. However, as you might imagine, as the distance between the two becomes greater, the sentence can become more confusing to read and harder to understand (and it might become more prone to misinterpretation, too.) – J.R. Nov 30 '14 at 11:05

First, a couple of observations which are not relevant to your question about syntax, but do affect how you express this thought:

  1. When we are talking about the work we do from an external viewpoint, as something done for clients and customers, we usually speak of services. (From an internal viewpoint, we speak of work, a non-count noun, rather than works, which are what is produced by artists!)
  2. Similarly, we tend to use expenses to refer to internal costs, what we as a company have to pay out; externally, when we pass those costs/expenses through to the client, we speak of charges. It's particularly

So your original sentence would look like this:

Travel costs were also incurred as [when] the services were provided, in whose charges they were included.

This is grammatically acceptable; but as J.R. has told you, it's always good to tighten up the relationships so the sentence is easier to parse. In this case your most important thought is that certain costs were passed through to the client, so make that your main clause, and subordinate the clause which explains which costs were passed through. (In this example the piece in brackets may be omitted; it's just there to make the structure more evident.):

Travel costs [which were] incurred in the course of providing services were passed through to client charges.

  • Thank you. So, work is always a non-count noun in such a context. As for charges, this is not so simple. Here e-conomic.co.uk/accountingsystem/glossary/cost – user11470 Nov 30 '14 at 18:03
  • In accordance with the above reference, in business and accounting, cost is the monetary value that a company has spent in order to produce something. Cost denotes the amount of money that a company spents on the creation or production of goods or services. It does not include the mark-up for profit. – user11470 Nov 30 '14 at 18:04
  • In my context, costs [not necessarily travel costs] are gradually included in the cost of work, i.e. inclusion depends on progress of work. If one stage of work is completed, then costs incurred at this stage are included. – user11470 Nov 30 '14 at 18:05
  • I am not sure how to convey this meaning (gradual inclusion). I have thought, 'as' works well here. – user11470 Nov 30 '14 at 18:07
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    @Humbulani That will work admirably; you could express that with "... were passed through to the client as they were incurred." Don't ever feel shy about repeating a thought if it is needed for clarity! – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 30 '14 at 18:13

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