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Is this grammatically correct?

Pink line represents harmonic oscillations of the spring that force was applied to.

If not what's wrong and how to make it correct?

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closed as off topic by coleopterist, Kris, Rory Alsop, tchrist, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Feb 27 '13 at 16:39

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Proofreading is off topic on this site. Please read through the FAQ. –  coleopterist Feb 27 '13 at 6:31

2 Answers 2

No, first of all there should be an article at the beginning ("The" or "A"). The rest might be considered correct, but some would say that you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. So the corresponding sentence would then be:

The pink line represents harmonic oscillations of the spring to which force was applied.

Of course this sounds more formal, but it is also more readable.

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1: "To" is a preposition, not a pronoun. 2: There is only an ersatz rule in English the forbids ending sentences with prepositions. 3: Your sentence is grammatically correct and more formal than the more idiomatic option: "The pink line represents harmonic oscillations of the spring that force was applied to". 4: Both sentences are equally readable to me, but most native English-speakers would probably choose the one in #3 rather than your more formal one, even for a formal essay. –  user21497 Feb 27 '13 at 9:31
    
@Bill: ersatz rule should be compounded. There are only 8 Google hits at my space-time coordinates, but I intend to change that quite rapidly. The Collins and AHDEL definitions of ersatz complement each other nicely: made in imitation of some natural or genuine product; artificial // an imitation or a substitute, usually an inferior one. –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 27 '13 at 10:58
    
@BillFranke: Of course, you're right it's a preposition, too hasty there, I'll edit it. I would still say that in this context the more formal one is more readable even if it sounds a bit stiff, because of the distancing of the preposition, but I would agree yours is more common. The main point, though, was the missing article. –  Anders Svensson Feb 27 '13 at 11:01
    
I'd go with even more definite articles, as the force (not necessarily uniform or always non-zero) has surely already been mentioned, which force in turn defines the (amplitude etc of the) oscillations: The pink line represents the harmonic oscillations of the spring to which the force was applied. –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 27 '13 at 11:10

The sentence is grammatically incorrect because it requires a the before "pink line":

The pink line represents harmonic oscillations of the spring that force was applied to.

This is grammatically correct and idiomatic native-speaker English. It's not as formal as the sentence in Anders Svensson's answer, but I doubt (16 years editing experience for dozens of international biomedical journals, most of which demand clear but idiomatic and formal English prose) that most editors or peer reviewers would care which one you used. I prefer formal writing to informal writing for technical prose, but I don't think I'd change that force was applied to to to which force was applied. I even look forward to the day when we can use contractions in formal journal articles.

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