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I wish to improve this sentence, which sounds bad to me but maybe acceptable:

Are traditional investors at disadvantaged against high-frequency traders?

should I say:

  • Are traditional investors at disadvantaged versus high-frequency traders?
  • Are traditional investors at disadvantaged relatively to high-frequency traders?

any other suggestions?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

All three sentences that you've posted are ungrammatical. I would write

Are traditional investors at a disadvantage, relative to high-frequency traders?

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Great! that sounds better. –  CharlesM Jul 15 '12 at 17:13
    
I agree, the three sentences in question are ungrammatical. But note that besides "Are they at a disadvantage, relative to ..." being ok, so is "Are they disadvantaged, relative to ..." (and with a small difference in meaning). –  jwpat7 Jul 16 '12 at 5:01

It is to put at a disadvantage

Definition

I suggest

Do high-frequency traders put traditional investors at a disadvantage?

Or

Are traditional investors put at a disadvantage by high-frequency traders?

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1  
This isn't quite the same. These suggestions include an implication that it's a conscious action of the high-frequency traders to put the traditional investors at a disadvantage. While this may be true, the original sentences do not make this implication. –  DavidR Jul 15 '12 at 11:11
    
Right - so what is the passive version? Versus, relative to, something else? –  mplungjan Jul 15 '12 at 12:40
    
I would use David Wallaces's suggestion. –  DavidR Jul 16 '12 at 10:09

None of your three questions above is correct. You should choose between:

Are traditional investors at a disadvantage?

Or,

Are traditional investors disadvantaged?

Next, about the preposition, you can choose among:

  • with

Ex. Long-term Sellers Disadvantaged with eBay TRS

  • against

Ex. Are Devils at a disadvantage against much-traveled Kings?

  • compared to

Ex. Etsy stores are at a disadvantage compared to online stores.

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I would say "compared with" would have been better in that last example: dailywritingtips.com/compared-to-or-compared-with –  JLG Jul 15 '12 at 15:40

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