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I have some chained methods in my experiment like A→B→C . What is the best of way of expressing putting something new on this chain? Suppose that I want to add D to have A→B→C→D. Do I say I add D on the chain? into the chain? to the chain? etc. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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-1 Please share research you attempted, and any results. Close General Reference. – MετάEd Sep 4 '12 at 2:38
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In OP's specific case, D is being added to [the end of] the chain, so "to" is fine. But if the final sequence is A → B → D → C, then D was added (inserted, introduced, linked, etc.) into the chain.

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"Insert on a chain" seems awkward to me. What do you think? – Noah Sep 4 '12 at 15:04
@Noah: I think "Insert on a chain" is not something a native speaker would say often, if ever. As my answer implies, "into" is the normal preposition, but plain "to" is often used after "add" where the meaning is append. – FumbleFingers Sep 4 '12 at 15:14
What about insert in a chain? – Noah Sep 4 '12 at 15:46
I don't want to be drawn into how acceptable every different preposition might be. Opinions probably differ anyway. For OP's purposes (and yours, I'd have thought), it should suffice to say "into" is the normal preposition in this context. – FumbleFingers Sep 4 '12 at 16:06

Add would be assumed at the end of the chain, although append would be more specific. Or you could say do D after C. With C already known to be part of the chain, it should not cause any confusion.

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You would link D to C (or to the end of the chain). See the verb link in any dictionary.

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The terms append and prepend are common in math and computer science for exactly this kind of thing.

  • A→B→C→D

    D is appended to the chain.

  • D→A→B→C

    D is prepended to the chain.

You can also say that the chain is prefixed or suffixed by D, but these sound awkward (to me) outside the context of natural language.

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This answer can be improved by citing a reputable source. – MετάEd Sep 26 '12 at 4:20

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