I feel that the way I used the verb in the sentence is wrong. Even though I tried to analyse this, I could not figure out the correct way.

These are my efforts.

  1. The recognition of a global shape satisfying entire shape characteristics of an object is very difficult.
  2. The recognition of a global shape, which satisfies entire shape characteristics of an object, is very difficult.

May be I am totally wrong, but I refer which satisfies with the global shape.

Could you please help me to rectify any mistakes?

  • There isn't much difference between the two sentences. What doesn't sound correct, to my ears, is using satisfy with recognition.
    – apaderno
    Apr 17, 2013 at 18:21
  • @kiamlaluno: May be I am totally wrong, but I refer which satisfies with the global shape.
    – gnp
    Apr 17, 2013 at 18:38
  • I just mean that recognition in that case doesn't seem the best choice of words. A shape satisfying entire shape characteristics seems odd too.
    – apaderno
    Apr 17, 2013 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Both sentences are grammatically acceptable, although I think that putting the relative clause which ... object in commas may not be exactly what you mean. Those commas mark the clause as what we call non-restrictive: that is, not essential to the meaning of the sentence. (And as FumbleFingers points, they also invite the reader to apply the clause to the entire preceding clause, not just to shape.) But I suspect that it should be restrictive, that it is precisely this kind of shape which is difficult to recognize.

Some other points you should consider:

  • I wonder if you wouldn't be happier speak of identifying a global shape rather than recognizing it. Recognition tends to be a passive experience; identifying involves going out and actively looking for it.

  • satisfying ... characteristics seems wrong to me; ordinarily we speak of 'satisfying' conditions or requirements. Perhaps those 'characteristics' constitute the requirements; if so, that should be made clear.

  • entire shape characteristics is ambiguous to me, perhaps only because I don't know what you are talking about. It might be characteristics of 'entire shapes', in which case you should write entire-shape characteristics; or it might be all the characteristics of entire shapes, in which case you should write that.

  • In English we like to move things around so that as much as possible the 'heavy' pieces -- the ones with lots of words - fall at the end of the sentence. This lets the syntactic relationships be seen first and more easily. So I would suggest rewriting, perhaps this way:

    It is difficult to identify a global shape which satisfies an object's entire-shape requirements. OR (depending on what you mean)
    It is difficult to identify a global shape which satisfies all of an object's shape requirements.

  • I think most likely OP's intended meaning is somewhat obscured by the fact that it should be the entire shape characteristics. But mostly it's obscured by the grammatically irrelevant complexity of the sentence. It would be easier with, say, "Identifying a standard [,] satisfying/which satisfies everyone [,] is difficult". In that version, it's pretty obvious that if you include the commas (which would be unusual), it's about everyone being satisfied with the fact of a standard being identified, rather than with the particular standard actually identified. Apr 17, 2013 at 20:42
  • @FumbleFingers Hmm ... you may be right. Your read of what's going on here is completely different from mine, though; I took it that OP is developing a method for describing shapes and is noting the difficulty, for any particular given shape, of evolving a general description - a 'global' shape - which embraces all that shape's known local characteristics. Apr 17, 2013 at 21:07
  • I wasn't even trying to interpret OP's actual sentence (though I suspect the "which-clause" is simple tautology). All I'm saying is it's logically/grammatically possible for both "satisfying" and "which satisfies" to refer to either "The recognition" or "a global shape". But including commas strongly steers us towards the former, even though semantically it's probably the least likely intended meaning. But the intended meaning isn't particularly clear in this example, which is why we're even making these comments at all. A simpler example would have been preferable. Apr 17, 2013 at 21:28
  • @FumbleFinger OP (and OP's teammate niro) are both wedded to the old academic tradition of nominalizing everything in sight, which makes "simple" examples difficult. But OP does inform us, in a Comment, that the relative clause refers to the shape. Apr 17, 2013 at 21:35
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers I quite agree, and my remark (which went up before OP's clarification) should have embraced that possibility, too. It does so now. Apr 17, 2013 at 21:50

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