2

I wrote:

Then, we review the related works and after that we present our algorithm.

Is it a correct usage of "after that"? I don't want to repeat "then". Is "after that" formal? what about saying it as follows:

Then, we review the related works followed by presenting our algorithm.

  • Some readers may prefer ...works, after which we present and they may regard and after that to be a tad informal. Nothing to fret about. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 8 '16 at 10:13
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    The first seems good to me. The second does not scan properly in my UK mind, I want to treat it as "Then, we review the (related works followed by presenting our algorithm)" which does not work. To me the "after that" is better for describing the sequence. – AdrianHHH Aug 8 '16 at 11:13
  • The followed-by clause lacks an anchor, and the active-then-passive (we review... followed by) creates a disjunction. And presenting lacks a subject. The first sentence is fine. The second is a disaster. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 8 '16 at 11:28
5

You can put two ideas in a sequence by using then.

I walked to the park, then I met Sally.

You can chain then's together ...

I walked to the park, then I met Sally, then we got some ice cream.

In longer sentences, or where the then is in its own sentence, the listener may forget about the first event and get confused.

So and after that can be used after a then to make it clear it's the third or later thing in the chain.

I walked to the park, then I met Sally, and after that we got some ice cream.

It's not formal, but it does sound like you're trying to make it clear that it's the third or later thing in a sequence of actions. Which is OK in a business-type, project, or instructive setting to do always do that.

2

I'm not certain about the correctness of the comma in your first sentence, although it may be correct with the rest of its context. I would probably have written the first sentence as:

Then we review the related works and, after that, we present our algorithm.

We then review the related works and, after that, present our algorithm.

Other than that, your sentence is correct. Although, as @TRomano said, after that is a little bit informal. If you're looking for more formal alternatives, you might consider:

We then review the related works, after which we present our algorithm.

We review the related works, and thereafter present our algorithm.

Then we review the related words, whereafter we present our algorithm.

Thereafter is a more formal way to say after that, and whereafter is a more formal way to say after which. They are uncommon outside of formal writing, in my experience.

  • I am not convinced that thereafter is appropriate in this sentence: it means from that time, which sounds right, but actual usages suggest that the meaning is closer to from then onwards until further notice. – JavaLatte Aug 8 '16 at 11:41
  • @JavaLatte: Two of the examples from Oxford Dictionaries: a) "Castro was most amused and thereafter the pair met on several occasions." (b) "His performance thereafter, though, suggested that his composure had been affected." -- although the meaning in your comment could be inferred in the second example, I would expect that the second example refers only to the performance immediately after some event. – LMS Aug 8 '16 at 12:00
  • a) clearly means "for some time" not immediately, as they met on several occasions. and b) I would interpret as "for the rest of the event". – JavaLatte Aug 8 '16 at 12:42

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