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I am writing a manual for user to use a web application.

One of the function requires user to key in the date, and then the number of weeks before that date, the number of weeks needs to be smaller than 52 weeks and greater than 25 weeks. But I think the phrase "smaller than 52 weeks and greater than 25 weeks" is a bit too clumsy, is the following OK?

Number of weeks for data retrieval is limited within 25 to 52 weeks.

I wonder if limited within or limited between is grammatically correct.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If I absolutely had to choose between these two alternatives, I would pick "limited between", but generally speaking, I would go with "limited to", as in:

The number of weeks for data retrieval is limited to 25–52.

(Notes: that's an en dash, I've added a the, and I don't repeat the word weeks.)

The British National Corpus does not have a single cite for "limited between" or "limited within", but it has 1343 cites for "limited to", including several cites for value ranges, e.g.:

  • [...] limited to 1 to 1.5p on a pint of beer [...]
  • [...] limited to 15 to 18 per cent for a transitional period [...]

It even has two cites for "limited to between" (but again, none for just "limited between").

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+1 for using the British National Corpus –  lokheart Jul 25 at 4:25

I'd re-write it like this:

Number of weeks for data retrieval must be between 25 and 52.

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"...inclusive". Otherwise a mathematician, computer scientist, or logician would first read this as 26-51 being the valid values. (And then probably decide that's not what you meant, but why introduce the ambiguity?) –  Monica Cellio Jul 18 '11 at 12:49

Would a simple:

number of weeks (range: 25 to 52)

be enough?

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What's your audience?

I ask because mathematicians, engineers and scientists have a precise way of communicating non-inclusive ranges:

  • x is in (25, 52)

  • 25 < x < 52

If you have a sufficiently technical audience, they'll know what that means.

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Hah, you beat me to the punch. It's square brackets for inclusive endpoints of intervals, though. –  Jon Purdy Nov 9 '10 at 17:57

Both "limited within" and "limited between" sound to me like in a certain time interval, data retrieval is limited (so if it's now 53 weeks since [something], retrieval is unlimited, while last week, it was limited). Naturally, this makes no sense in context, so there's definitely a problem somewhere.

The best solution is probably something like what VonC suggested: label the field with text that identifies the nature of the value to be entered, and then separately provide a range of valid values.

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