1

I reviewed both:

and I still cannot decide. According to the previous post my sentence should be:

If the number of I/Os of my circuit design exceeds the threshold which is required for the fast operation, then ...

This is because I could say "the fast operation of my circuit". But for me it sounds very odd without this extension.

I can leave out the "the"? If there is only a slight difference in the meanings... does it matter?

  • Definitely leave out the. A definite article with a nominalized action verb like operation refers not to the action but to some particular event or type of event involving the action. Generally, as Edwin suggests, you wouldn't want to say "the fast operation of my circuit" unless you were contrasting it to another slower circuit or to another, slower, way to operate the circuit. – John Lawler Dec 8 '13 at 19:52
5

If the number of I/Os of my circuit design exceeds the threshold which is required for the fast operation, then ...

strongly suggests contrast with 'the other possibility' (the slow operation).

If the number of I/Os of my circuit design exceeds the threshold which is required for the fast operation of my circuit, then ...

doesn't carry this suggestion. (Leaving out even apparently unimportant bits of sentences increases the scope for misconstruing.)

Since you're looking at a continuum here, I'd leave out the article:

If the number of I/Os of my circuit design exceeds the threshold which is required for fast operation, then ...

Without further context, the exact meaning of 'fast' is not well-defined anyway.

  • +1. Which seems to have pushed you past the 10k mark. Happy, erm, ‘anniversary’! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 8 '13 at 12:15
  • @Janus B J I can't usually understand the vast new privileges available. I'm waiting for the one where I can consign people who recalcitrantly abuse the Queen's English (assuming she still prefers her apostrophe) to the tower. Of course, I really mean my English, so I might be the first to be ellipted. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 8 '13 at 15:14

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