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I am writing a scientific article and I asked my self several times, which of the following examples is better style:

One approach for getting from one place to another one is driving a car. A car typically has a combustion engine and at least two wheels.

or

One approach for getting from one place to another one is driving a car which typically has a combustion engine and at least two wheels.

The problem is that I feel that I am overusing "which" if I follow the second approach, because my text consists of many phrases similar to the examples. On the other hand, I think that by using "which" the text sound a bit less formal but is more fluent to read. What do you think?

  • There's no reason to combine. "One approach" does not owe itself to "a car having a combustion engine ..." Semantics too need to be considered in structuring the content. – Kris Nov 28 '14 at 8:52
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Both are fine, but you require a comma preceding the subordinate clause (starting with "which"). Your examples demonstrate that sentences can be written in various structures, and variation in sentence structure improves your piece's readability. Don't forget the oft-misused semicolon and colon for structure variation, and even the very flexible dash (em dash, that is):

One approach for getting from one place to another one is driving a car; a car typically has a combustion engine and at least two wheels. (requires two complete sentences)

One approach for getting from one place to another one is driving a car: a combustible engine vehicle with at least two wheels. (only the opening clause must be a complete sentence -- the second clause would be capitalized only if it is an independent clause (which demonstrates the use of a dash, and I'm not sure there are any rules as to what must follow a dash).

Oops. Forgot parentheses:

One approach for getting from one place to another one is driving a car (typically comprising a combustion engine and at least two wheels).

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