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I'd like to ask if I can say :

A positive statement is defined to be a statement of fact. If we gather data on the number of people in the labor force who are unemployed and calculate the unemployment rate as 8.6%, then the statement, "The unemployment rate is 8.6%" is a positive statement because it is a simple statement of fact.

instead of

A positive statement is defined to be a statement of fact. If we gather data on the number of people in the labor force who are unemployed and calculate the unemployment rate to be 8.6%, then the statement, "The unemployment rate is 8.6%" is a positive statement because it is a simple statement of fact.

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    Could you be more specific about what your question is? Are you asking if "as" used in the first quotation has the same meaning as "to be" in the second? Did you check for a definition of "as" that would have the meaning you are looking for? – user3169 Oct 11 '15 at 5:39
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    Yes, you can say that. – J.R. Oct 11 '15 at 10:51
  • @J.R.: No you cannot. Did you read the examples brought up by your own google search? At least every instance on the first page (I didn't bother looking further) are all of a different kind, except for one from someone who obviously has a poor command of the English language. – user21820 Nov 29 '15 at 12:33
  • @user21820 - Hmm. I took another look, and, at first glance, I can't see how those examples differ all that much from the O.P.'s. Let me look over your answer and mull over this some more. – J.R. Nov 29 '15 at 14:01
  • @J.R.: I tried to explain when exactly "as" can be used, which should exclude all the examples (of proper English) in your google search. If my explanation in my answer is not precise enough do tell me. Also, the usage of "calculate" with "as" is consistent with the other words in the list I gave at the end of my answer. – user21820 Nov 29 '15 at 15:19
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In general, you can only say "calculate the rate as X" where "X" is something that refers to the rate when you mean "calculate the rate by considering it as X" or "calculate the rate as according to X". So you can say:

calculate the rate as the ratio of the change in amount divided by the change in time.

calculate the rate as a function of dosage.

If the MMQ score was S with a rate of $212.85, then the hospice would calculate the rate as $212.85 x 95% = $202.21.

But you cannot say "calculate the rate as 8.6%". As you noted, the correct way would be to say "calculate the rate to be 8.6%".

Note that this holds also for other related verbs such as:

computed, reckoned, deduced, found, measured, estimated

Any of these verbs can be substituted for "V" in the correct phrase "V the rate to be X", and it is wrong to say "V the rate as X", where "X" is as described above.

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