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In a past exam on technical writing, we were required to rewrite the italicized part of the following clause using nominalization, that is, turning verb phrases to noun phrases:

"[...] this approach has the ability to also recognize patterns that are modified from the way they are normally presented. [...]"

I might try rewriting it as "the way of their normal presentation." This sounds a bit weird to me, and I'm not sure if it is common to put a noun phrase after "the way of" in this meaning of "way".

How would you answer this problem?

EDIT: I misquoted the question a bit: the word presented was represented originally.

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migrated from ell.stackexchange.com Feb 1 '14 at 12:18

This question came from our site for speakers of other languages learning English.

I’d probably just get rid of ‘the way of’ altogether: “[…] patterns that are modified from their normal presentation.” – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 1 '14 at 12:36
May I ask why this question should be in ELU rather than in ELL? I'm a English language learner! – Pteromys Feb 1 '14 at 13:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The way they are normally presented is a relative clause, with some parts missing.
It comes from the way that they are normally presented, but that has been deleted.
This is common with relative clauses modifying way; they have to use that, because the wh-word that one would normally associate with the way is how, but how can't be used as a relative pronoun:

  • the time that they arrive ~ the time they arrive ~ the time when they arrive
  • the place that you found it ~ the place you found it ~ the place where you found it
  • the way that he did it ~ the way he did it,   but   *the way how he did it

The manner nominalization of present is presentation, and normal can modify it.
The problem is getting the subject they in; nouns don't have subjects.

However, the usual situation for nominalizing a clause is to add the subject as a possessive.
Thus, their normal presentation does the job. You don't need the way any more.
The nominalization their presentation means the way they're presented.
This is one of the benefits of nominalizing, if you're careful.

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Taking a wild guess;"[...] this approach has the ability to also recognize patterns that are modified from their [nominal] or “face value” perception [...]"

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