1

I wrote:

1) If this pattern has a parent and its parent is not active ("Open" state) the algorithm returns and continues with the next/other/following nodes.

2) If this pattern has a parent and that parent is not active ("Open" state) the algorithm returns and continues with the next/other/following nodes.

3 ) If this pattern has a parent and that is not active ("Open" state) the algorithm returns and continues with the next/other/following nodes.

Can I use "that" like the above?

Which sentence is more natural?

  • 2
    I would use "If this pattern has a parent that is not active, ..." – imkingdavid Sep 3 '15 at 20:32
2

Short answer, no. It is grammatically correct, but it becomes ambiguous about what you're referring to in the clause (the pattern or the parent).

The second sentence though provides the most clarity and is grammatically correct. However a smoother wording is mentioned by imkingdavid, "If this pattern has a parent that is not active, ..." probably works the best of all.

0

First off, there should be a comma after the if-clause.

Second, in sentence #1, the phrase "its parents" doesn't fit well. However, in the sentence #2, the phrase "and that parent" may be acceptable.

The use of only "that" in the third sentence seems most appropriate as it avoids the repetition of parent.

  • It should probably be it in the third sentence, though, not that. – snailboat Nov 2 '15 at 11:19
  • I disagree with Khan and with @snailplane: I think the third sentence is potentially ambiguous, and prefer the second; but I think snailplain's form with 'it' is definitely ambiguous. – Colin Fine Jun 3 '16 at 14:46

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