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I wrote this sentence

The wrapper program consists of a set of extraction rules (a ruleset) provided by the user and an algorithm to apply these rules to a web page. The rulesets are input to the algorithm and are saved as XML files.

I thought to write it as

.... and are saved as some XML files.

But as I searched "are saved as some XML files", no result found in Google. Is there any problem with this construction? If no, what is there difference?

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  • Why do you want to use some? There does not seem to be an "all or part" condition related to the XML files.
    – user3169
    Aug 24, 2015 at 16:41
  • @user3169 I am interested in knowing the usage of "some", maybe it is because my native language inference, I thought by using "some", I can decrease the emphasis on how they are saved. like "give it to some boys" to mean that "who are the boys is not important".
    – Ahmad
    Aug 24, 2015 at 16:50
  • You could just say, "... and are saved as XML."
    – Jim
    Aug 25, 2015 at 2:53

1 Answer 1

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The word some in your suggested sentence is an indefinite determiner.

It denotes an indefinite quantity of the noun that follows it, which means that the exact quantity is not known, but what is known is that it is rather small. Reading the context, it seems to me that it should be known how many XML files there are, since it is the user who sets the rulesets being saved as XML files. Therefore it is quite odd to say some XML files as if the amount is some random number completely unrelated to the amount of rulesets or as if not all of these rulesets are being saved as files. If you take a look at the definition of some, you can see that it does not really fit in this context:

an ​amount or ​number of something that is not ​stated or not ​known; a ​part of something (source)

It can also be used to express a large quantity:

a ​large ​amount or ​number of something (source)

However, that does not seem applicable here either. I doubt that a user would set a tremendous amount of rulesets causing them to be saved in an equal amount of XML files.

The best way to phrase your sentence would be by simply leaving out that some as it is completely redundant and you shouldn't really be adding unnecessary words to your text.

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  • Thank you, yes to be precise, I should avoid it, as each ruleset is saved into one XML file. but I just thought the corresponding is not important and I can use "some" or "in a number of"
    – Ahmad
    Aug 24, 2015 at 16:59
  • Sometimes, when added for no specific reason, some can be used to de-emphasize the importance of the quantity of the modified noun.
    – user3169
    Aug 24, 2015 at 16:59

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