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Assume you have a sentence where nk verbs v(1), ..., v(nk) should be correlated to n subjects s(1), ..., s(n), and you would like that, for each i = 0, ..., k-1, v(ni+1), ..., v(ni+k) are correlated only to s(i). Can anything in these lines be accomplished by an appropriate use of "or'', "and'', and commas? A concrete example would be as follows:

[...] the obvious advantage of the underlying philosophy is, in fact, that various constructions, or questions, or theorems and conjectures can be conceived and performed, or formulated and answered, or stated and/or proved once and for all, without any need to replicate them in each case as if they were completely unrelated.

Here, the subjects are "constructions", "questions", and "theorems and conjectures", and the corresponding verbs are "conceived" and "performed", "formulated" and "answered", and "stated" and "proved". Does the sentence sound correct? An alternative phrasing would be as follows:

[...] the obvious advantage of the underlying philosophy is, in fact, that various constructions can be conceived and performed, and questions formulated and answered, and theorems and conjectures stated or proved once and for all, without any need to replicate them in each case as if they were completely unrelated.

But for some reason this sounds even more weird to me. Thank you in advance for any help or suggestion.

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    I can't address your first paragraph at all, but as a native speaker, both sound fine grammatically, with the second one being easier to read/understand because of the lesser cognitive load required in processing the modules. – anongoodnurse May 18 '14 at 9:51
  • Thanks! That's already helpful. Yet, I'd really like to understand how I'm supposed to behave in general, since this kind of situations do often occur to me. – Salvo Tringali May 18 '14 at 10:08
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    It might be better addressed on the mathematics site! – WS2 May 18 '14 at 10:09
  • @WS2. I see the point, but they would almost surely argue that the question is better suited for an English forum! :-) – Salvo Tringali May 18 '14 at 10:10
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    I would not repeat the and or or before each enumerated set, only before the last one. “Constructions can be achieved and performed, questions formulated and answered, and theorems and conjectures stated or disproved once and for all” sounds perfectly natural and idiomatic to me. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 18 '14 at 10:12
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Firstly, because your verb constructions are passive, you are trying to correlate objects, and not subjects, with their verbs. So with that minor point out of the way:

In your first example sentence, there is no way to discern with certainty to which object each of your subsequent verbs corresponds. The ambiguity ensues from the long list of verbs being saved until the end of the sentence.

It reads as if each object in turn has all the verbs applied, such that various constructions 'can be conceived and performed, or formulated and answered, or stated and/or proved' as can questions, theorems, and conjectures.

It is far clearer to have each verb acting upon its object immediately, as in your second example, keeping in mind Janus's comment about the use of 'and'.

However, if you really want to pull off the parallelism of your first example, you would need an equal number of verbs and objects (the fewer the better) and to include 'respectively' to indicate the mode of correspondence between the list of objects and the list of verbs, as in:

Bananas, beer, and football were respectively eaten, drunk, and played.

'Respectively' is not really needed in this simple example, but would certainly help in your more complicated sentence.

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