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Which is the best matching?

  1. I made an analysis on the software which I bought.
  2. I made an analysis of the software which I bought.
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It's usually an analysis *of * something... but the context isn't entirely clear to me: could you use this phrase in a complete sentence? And what is the function of those quotation marks? –  Cerberus Jun 3 '11 at 4:52
    
In both structures there is redundancy. Simpler to say "I analysed the software which I bought". –  toandfro Jan 20 at 8:31
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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

"Of", and I would change the verb as well:

I performed an analysis of the software. (Or an assessment?)

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"On" is often used in informal language to mean "about", so you can informally listen to or read "analysis on" or "analyse on". The correct proposition here is "of". However, semantic explanations of its use are pointless, because it is not a matter of meaning, whcih can vary depending on (and not "depending of") what is being analysed. It is all about something called collocation.

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Analysis on is incorrect (unless you were physically situated on the code as an analysis of something transpired).

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It is actually unclear to me what you mean.

"I made an analysis of the software" means that the software was the subject of your analysis.

"I made an analysis on the software" is unclear, but might mean that you used the software to perform an analysis of something else.

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It's better to use 'of' for one or two reasons:

"On" can mean different things. For example, it could mean you did the analysis using the software,

i.e."I looked up the word on the dictionary", meaning you used the dictionary to look up the word.

"On" can also mean you did your analysis on top of the software, although this is obviously not the case in this sentence, it could be easily misunderstood in other sentences like:

"He did his research on the bed", giving the impression that either he did it on top of a bed or he did a research on a particular bed,

So, although they both mean the same in this case, 'of' is a better choice, and probably the reason why it sounds better too.

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Would someone point out the fault in my answer? –  Thursagen Jun 3 '11 at 7:29
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It wasn't me that downvoted, but "I looked up the word on the dictionary" certainly isn't part of my English, or anybody else's I know. –  Colin Fine Jun 3 '11 at 14:20
    
@ on the dictionary would make sense if dictionary was a system -" I looked up the answer on PubMed", or "on the OED site". –  mgb Jun 3 '11 at 15:00
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