Which of the following sentence sounds more professional for a technology report?

  1. The valve was found in leakage
  2. The valve was leaked
  3. The valve leaked
  • 1
    I don't think first one is even grammatical. To me it sounds as if the valve(the mechanical device) was found in leakage. – Usernew Oct 12 '15 at 14:34
  • "A leaking valve was found" or "a leaky valve was found" are other options. – Todd Wilcox Oct 12 '15 at 16:41

"The valve was found in leakage" sounds unnatural (leakage is found in things; things aren't found in it). Leakage can either describe the stuff that came out of the valve, or it can describe an incident where leaking occurred, but it isn't a state like that.

"The valve was leaked" is just grammatically incorrect for this meaning — it implies that someone leaked the value, and in that active sense, the word leak basically only applies to sharing company or national secrets.

That leaves "The valve leaked", which is simple and sounds fine, although may not fit in with the fancy wording of a technical report.

You could also try:

  • Leakage was found in the valve.
  • The valve had leaked.
  • The valve was found to have leaked.
  • The valve was found to be leaking.
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  • 6
    The last two of @mattdm's suggestions would sound most "professional" to a native speaker (this one at least) and would sound best in a formal report. Note that they're slightly different: #3 says that, when checked, there was evidence the valve had leaked previously, while #4 says that the valve was still leaking when checked. – Jon Story Oct 12 '15 at 15:49
  • Leakage is the stuff that comes out of a leak. So "Leakage was found in the valve." means the leak is somewhere upstream of the valve, and the leaked liquid drained into the valve, where it was found. – Karen Oct 12 '15 at 17:58
  • Leakage is the stuff that comes out of a leak. is only one sense of the word. It's also the description of a situation where something leaks into another area. In "My negatives were overexposed due to light leakage", the word "leakage" doesn't refer to the actual, specific light itself. See Merriam-Webster; compare sense 1 and sense 2. – mattdm Oct 12 '15 at 18:07

I would guess you are trying to say The valve was found leaking or Leakage was observed from the valve.

All three of your sentences have problems:

Regarding 1, leakage is a noun describing the fluid that would be leaked. So it sounds awkward because you're using this word to describe the state of the valve.

Regarding 2, the valve was leaked is similar to a passive-voice construction. But things don't really leak on their own - you can say the valve was leaking - describing a past state of the valve - but not really the valve was leaked without a listener/reader having the open question leaked by who?. So this really sounds like you're wanting to blame someone for doing something like opening a faucet ever so slightly (as opposed to something like a pipe or valve failure).

Regarding 3, the valve leaked means at some time in the past, the valve was leaking, and now it is no longer leaking. However, if you are reporting something you observed, then this doesn't make sense because it refers to a past event.

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As others have stated, options 1 and 2 are not grammatically correct. Option 3 is grammatically correct though I would suggest these sentences instead: "The valve has a leak.", or "The valve had a leak."

However... If this is a technical report of a malfunction, I would suggest adding more information to the statement. Such as stating where the valve was leaking from. IE: "The Ball valve had a leak at the stem." or "there was a leak on the seat side of the butterfly valve."

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"The valve was found in leakage" is grammatical, but doesn't say what you want. It means that you have liquid that leaked from somewhere (this is the leakage). In that liquid was a valve.

"The valve was leaked." Again, grammatical, but wrong. If you had a giant container of valves with a hole in the bottom where valves are falling out, the valves that fell out were leaked from the bin. This is not a normal situation.

"The valve leaked." This one is correct, and says what you want in a professional way. In "The valve leaked." you know there's a leak, but it may or may not have been located. Maybe all you saw was a puddle of liquid, and that's how you know there's a leak. This is what you would probably use if you want to emphasize the consequences of the leak over the leak's location.

Another grammatical, correct option is "A leak was found in the valve." In "A leak was found in the valve" the actual leak was found. You'd use this if you want to emphasize that you know where the leak is or was.

An example using "leakage": "Leakage was found around the valve." This means that the leaking liquid was found in the area of the valve. You almost certainly haven't found the actual leak, and are just assuming it's coming from the valve. If you are certain that the valve was leaking, the other two sentences are more specific.

Keep in mind that the most important thing for a technical report is communicating clearly, not using the most words possible, or the biggest words possible.

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