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Which one could be used more correctly in the context:

This study allowed an analysis of financial results and the identification of possible causes of negative results from the company that was studied and, as is known in the national media, the situation is widespread.

.

This study allowed an analysis of financial results and identifying possible causes of negative results from the company that was studied and, as is known in the national media, the situation is widespread.

Perhaps the following sentence is more accurate?

The survey allowed an analysis of the company’s financial results and identifying possible causes of its negative results and, as is known in the national media, the situation is widespread

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Never mind the semantics, there are two nouns that the verb references, the first being analysis (not analyzing). The corresponding other word would naturally be identification, (not identifying). –  Kris Sep 29 '12 at 10:51
    
Phrase “the situation is widespread” is vague and clichéd; phrase “as is known in the national media” is non-native. What to use instead (eg, “according to media sources” or “as reported in national media”) depends on what is meant. –  jwpat7 Sep 29 '12 at 14:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I like the first one better, simply because it's more parallel. In other words:

This study allowed a [noun] of [something] and the [noun] of [something else]...

Alternatively, the sentence could be structured:

This study [verbed] [something] and [verbed] [something else]...

Using this construct, the sentence would read:

This study analyzed financial results and identified possible causes of negative results...

I think the sentence seems 'tidier' when such parallelism is used, as opposed to:

This study allowed a [noun] of [something] and [verbed] [something else]...

If you really wanted to use that construct (as you did in your second sentence), I'd make it so that the verb was past tense, to match the tense of allowed:

This study allowed an analysis of financial results and identified possible causes of negative results...

Yet another way you could say it would be:

This study allowed an analysis of financial results, identifying possible causes of negative results...

In that last case, identifying possible causes becomes a clarification. Instead of saying that the study had two aims (which is what my previous structures did), it's saying that there was one primary aim of the study (i.e., analyzing results), and that part of this analysis was identifying possible causes of negative results. So, which is better really depends on what you're trying to say.

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I would only suggest breaking the parallel structure when there's some difference about the two things that you want to accentuate. –  David Schwartz Sep 29 '12 at 12:44

Both are grammatical. The identification of focuses more on the result. It implies the author is more interested in the result of the possible causes. While the gerund form identifying focuses more on the process of possible causes. That said, one is no more or less accurate than the other in the the given context and different writers may opt for one over the other based on the context at issue.

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+1, but in the gerund case I would drop the "and" placed before "identifying". Of course, as I'm not native of English language, I'm unsure if this dropping is effectively correct. –  user19148 Sep 29 '12 at 9:16
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@Carlo_R. You are right. But that was not OP's concern. –  Noah Sep 29 '12 at 9:19

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