2

I have a question on English style.

Take the following sentence:

Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program.

When translating into English, I am often confronted with the awkward situation of using two verbs (in this case, acceptance and rejection) with a common object (the program). Is this the best stylistic choice for this situation? Would

"Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to the program or rejection from it."

sound any better?

I'd love to hear your opinions.

4
  • 1
    I had to check that there wasn't a candidate named Shabbat. That aside, either of your alternatives is acceptable, though bib's commas are helpful. But you need to understand that 'acceptance' and 'rejection' are not 'verbal nouns' in the usual sense of the term. Also see here. Almost all nouns have associated verbs. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '14 at 11:29
  • Is there a term for these nouns then? That is- nouns created from verbs (or vice-versa)... – Ilanysong Jun 5 '14 at 17:12
  • By the way, "Candidate Shabbat" is simply the name of an event, Sabbat being the Hebrew word for "Sabbath". It's a weekend in which candidates are evaluated... FYI – Ilanysong Jun 5 '14 at 17:13
  • The term 'deverbal noun' ('... a deverbal [noun] is a verb that has been converted to a noun by the addition of an appropriate morpheme') is used, but verbal nouns also fit this definition. The difference is that 'As Sidney Greenbaum notes in The OCEL (1992), "Verbal nouns contrast with deverbal nouns (other kinds of nouns derived from verbs, such as attempt, destruction, and those nouns ending in -ing/s that do not have verbal force... such as buildings)" ' [trimmed] – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '14 at 22:24
1

Often the subsequent verb/preposition phrases are set off by commas.

Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to, or rejection from, the program.

While commas are routinely used to set off elements in series longer than two, in this case, such use helps to indicate that the first verb/prepositional phrase is not quite complete since it is separated from its object.

While your alternate construction also works, the first is not incorrect, especially when helped with punctuation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.