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Good morning, everyone. I have a file and I divided it into three parts, say file F is divided into three parts A, B and C. Is it right if I say "Part A comes from file F" or "Part A is derived from file F"? Thanks in advance.

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, Chenmunka, Hellion, Drew, 200_success Nov 11 '14 at 18:28

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comes from would be the common usage. derived from would be more applicable in a technical context.

  • I am sorry if I introduce my course knowledge here and make you confused. But in my context, I decompose a file into 3 data packets to transmit the file in network. Is it right if I say "the name of the file data packet A comes from is transformer.mp4"? – Zongyi Zhao Oct 11 '14 at 0:19
  • Aha! In that technical context you seek greater technical precision so, in that instance, derives from is more precise, and so, more appropriate. – John Oct 11 '14 at 0:47
  • In this case I dislike comes from is because the verb is is and the subject is the name of the file. The infinitive phrase data packet A comes from separates the two. So, personally, I'd rather read something like "The name of the file (transformer.mp4) is derived from data packet A". – John Oct 11 '14 at 0:58
  • In fact, I define the name of a data packet as <file-name>/<sequence-number>, so I want to give the definition of the <file-name> component here. Is it right if I say "the <file-name> component is the name of the file the data packet is derived from"? – Zongyi Zhao Oct 11 '14 at 1:05
  • The structure of that sentence is technically correct, but the meaning is very unclear: which is is the verb of that sentence? What is the subject of the sentence? – John Oct 11 '14 at 1:12
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You can say

A is a part of file F.

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Part A comes from file F

This would mean that you've simply taken part A out of file F

Part A is derived from file F

This would mean that you've taken part of file F and then edited and modified it somehow. Normally you wouldn't call that a 'part'. Instead you might say that "File G is derived from part A of file F".

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