Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have the following sentence:

From Equation 1, x=1 and y=2. Since z=x+y, substituting for the numbers results in z=3.

I want to just check the usage of "results" is correct. My logic is that substituting for the numbers is a singular "act", as in the act of substituting for the numbers results in equation A.

Am I correct?

MS word has failed to enlighten me, accepting both versions without highlighting :)

In addition, the following doesn't sound right:

The static nonlinearity was modelled by firstly simple polynomial and then dual-polynomial functions, the latter of which reduces the number of parameters required and the accuracy of the model.

At first glance, I should probably change reduces to reduce, as the functions are plural. But something is telling me the `latter of which' is needlessly complicated, so I attempt to write it as:

The static nonlinearity was modelled by firstly simple polynomial and then dual-polynomial functions, with the latter reducing the number of parameters required and the accuracy of the model.

Please advise on both the validity of the change.

EDIT: Altered original example and added 2nd part

share|improve this question
2  
Yes, you are correct. In this case, substituting is a gerund. And as such it takes the singular verb results. –  JLG Jan 21 '13 at 22:13
    
The answer is "Yes, it's fine", but I do wonder 'substituting what for the numbers?' –  TimLymington Jan 21 '13 at 23:09
    
@TimLymington that's clear from context in the previous clauses I haven't included here. Hence I've apended "...," –  Mobius Pizza Jan 21 '13 at 23:35
1  
Welcome to EL&U. If there is context which sheds light on the question or makes it more interesting, please always include it in the question. You can add it now by editing the question. Also add the results of your own research efforts, such as dictionaries or grammars you consulted. Thanks. –  MετάEd Jan 23 '13 at 15:05
    
I find the juxtaposition of two nouns (“numbers results”) awkward, and join @Tim and MετάEd in wondering what context could make this make sense. –  Scott Jan 23 '13 at 18:10

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The first sentence would flow better as

... substitution results in z=3."

but "results" is, indeed, correct.

For your second example, unless you're referring to "firstly simple" polynomials, that part should read

"... modeled firstly by simple polynomials..."

Second, either hyphenate both types of polynomials or neither. The rest of your change is valid.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.