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Which one of the following two sentences is more correct?

  1. We use the same space as is specified in Chapter 1.
  2. We use the same space as specified in Chapter 1.
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Thanks for your answers! –  Anand Sep 25 '12 at 13:16
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6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you have previously asked questions about Hilbert spaces, it's likely that this is in the context of a mathematical text book. In this case, either would be acceptable and interpreted the same way. However, if the book were expected to be read non-sequentially, i.e. it is a reference which could be accessed at any chapter without having previously read other chapters, then (1) would be used to emphasize directing the reader to the specification in chapter 1; if the book was a tutorial text, where the reader would be expected to read this phrase only after reading chapter 1, then form (2) would be more likely.

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Dear StarNamer, you are right. I am a graduate student in mathematics department. I am writing my thesis now. :-) Thanks for your answer. I understand more the subtlety between these two expressions. –  Anand Sep 25 '12 at 23:28
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Since a thesis (being an advanced tutorial text!) is normally read sequentially, form (2) would be correct. –  StarNamer Sep 25 '12 at 23:32
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(1) can be defended, but might be attacked. (2) is above reproach.

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There is nothing wrong with either of those. The first merely adds an unnecessary (but not ungrammatical) word. It is a matter of style which you would choose.

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(2) "As specified" is better usage as in (1) there is a certain disagreement of the verb with the noun, although it can be used in certain cases.

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We may condemn (1) as unclear, since it is too close in meaning to

'we use the same space, as we were instructed to do in Chapter 1'

-- a meaning it currently misses only for lack of a comma before 'as'; and the mind tends all too quickly to fill that comma in. (2) unambiguously means 'we use the same space as that space used in Chapter 1', and if that is truly what (1) intended, then Robusto's point about the extraneous 'is' comes into play.

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If you were to use (1), I would think you'd say it as:

We use the same space as it is specified in Chapter 1.

Both original sentences are correct though.

(But personal preference leads me to say that (2) is more correct than original (1))

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