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I'm helping someone to write their academic paper. He wrote 'something is constant in one year.' But I feel the 'in one year' is a bit awkward. Do I need to change it? The meaning is that we are making an assumption that a certain variable remains constant in '1 year'. So it doesn't change during a certain year, while each year's value may be different.

  • Describe the data as yearly data – Jim Sep 14 '14 at 5:22
  • @Jim How about it is 'a yearly constant'? – cqcn1991 Sep 16 '14 at 7:41
  • No, that doesn't sound right. yearly data means that the data was collected each year, therefore there is a single value for each year: 1990: 1, 1991: 1.5, 1992: 2.1, 1993: 3.7 This of course means that that single data value is used for the entire year. – Jim Sep 16 '14 at 15:47
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Your friend's problem will be solved by writing "variable X {remains / remained / will remain} constant for one year", where in this context 'for' means 'during the period covered by'.

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  • I think 'remain constant for one year' focus on describing the unchanged property of the value, and possiblly implies that it will change next year. I just want to mention the variable is a yearly variable. How about 'remains constant within each year'? Is this proper? – cqcn1991 Sep 16 '14 at 7:29
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    @cqcn1991 - In that case, I suggest 'remains unchanged throughout a given year'. – Erik Kowal Sep 16 '14 at 7:34
  • Thanks, it sounds much more natural. But can I say it is just 'a yearly constant'? Is there any similiar expression for this? – cqcn1991 Sep 16 '14 at 7:40
  • @cqcn1991 - I'm afraid I can't think of one. Sometimes you just have to find a way to implement what you consider a sub-optimal solution. – Erik Kowal Sep 16 '14 at 7:43
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We could also say "the value is constant throughout the year". It does sound better this way. Unless if that 1 year has to be specified. For example, if the tests were done for several years and then a description of one of the years is given, we could then say "the variable was constant in that one year", which would imply that it was always varying in the other years.

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