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

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


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

You can say

A is a part of file F.


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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