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I have following information

Pete develops new software in C# and C++. He also modifies existing software written in these languages.

How do I express it in a single sentence? All my attempts look bad: I either repeat and many times or software.

3 Answers 3

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There are many ways of doing this. For example, the following is grammatically correct:

Pete develops new software in C# and C++ and modifies existing software written in these languages.

However, as you said, this seems repetitious. The way I, personally, would combine the above sentences is with the both ... and correlative conjunction:

Pete both develops new and modifies existing software written in C# and C++.

Here is further reading on this construct.

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  • The first one seems better
    – Ahmad
    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:06
  • I think the second example would be sound better like this: "Pete both develops new software and modifies existing software written in C# and C++." I know the meaning is clear in your example, it just sounds a bit strange. I think it's because of the "<verb> <adjective> and <verb> <adjective>" construct. "<verb> and <verb>" would sound better e.g. "Pete both develops and modifies software ..."
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:11
  • @SteveIves I agree, the separation of the adjective from its noun (new/existing to software) does make it sound strange, a result of trading "smoothness" for concision.
    – Collin Day
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:42
  • Thanks Colin. I don't know if there's a rule for this - my knowledge of the formal English grammar rules is very poor (I couldn't tell you the difference between perfect and imperfect tense), but I tend to have a knack for writing good-sounding English (perhaps as I read a lot).
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:50
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Pete creates and modifies software in C# and C++.

I replaced "develops" with "creates", because development can mean both creation and modification.

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    May I suggest "develops" rather than creates, since that is the term employed in the question? Jun 22, 2015 at 11:20
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Your sentence is ambiguous as it implies modifying existing software is something extra or odd for a developer, while development itself means writing and modifying software.

Then you'd better say:

Pete develops and modifies software in C# and C++.

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  • This doesn't sound good. 'Meanwhile' is usually used to indicate that something else is being done elsewhere: "Pete had gone to bed early. Meanwhile, Sarah had gone out for dinner.'
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 8:31
  • Colin's answer if good. If you want to emphases that he does both at the same time, you could say "Pete develops new software in C# and C++. whilst modifying existing software in these languages.". but this doesn't really work for software development, as you would be writing a new program OR modifying an existing one, but not at exactly the same time, which is what 'whilst' implies: Compare "Coco the Clown juggled whilst trampolining" to "Coco the Clown juggled and did magic tricks".
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 8:48
  • 'yet' doesn't really work in that context, as it is used to indicate that a second action is actually contradictory to a first action. E.g. "Mary dislikes blood yet is the first-aid person in the office.". "Simon hates maths yet likes doing sudoku puzzles" or "Pete develops new software in C# and C++, yet dislikes modifying existing software written in these languages."
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:06
  • It can mean 'in addition' or 'and', but only when the the thing you are adding is surprising given the first thing. See dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/yet definition B1. So in my example, I use yet because if someone writes software, you might expect them enjoy modifying it, but he doesn't.
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 11:31
  • Can you stop editing your answer please - it bears almost no resemblance to your original answer and the comments no longer make sense.
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 22, 2015 at 13:01

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