I am writing a thesis, and the tone of my writing is technical. At a few places, I need a specific verb to describe how a particular process/method/technique relates to another process/method/technique. For example, a particular process only focuses on one aspect of a second process but not other aspects of that process. I find it hard to express this.

For example, I want to say:

"the dependence computation process concerns only the connectivity relationship among nodes"

but I feel that "concerns" sound like a human word; it is weird to say that a process/method/technique "concerns" something.

I could replace the word with "cares", "is interested in", but still it looks weird.


Let me clarify a bit: "concerns"/"cares"/"is interested in" are words that seem to anthropomorphize the process/method/technique. So I'm looking for a verb which describes the same meaning but can be used by inanimate objects.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  • Just as I might suggest changing "human word" to "a word that 'relates' [primarily] to humans" in your question, maybe you could replace 'concerns' with 'relates' in your example.. – Papa Poule Apr 2 '15 at 15:40
  • @JimReynolds I think there are some subtle differences. It's more appropriate to use "applies only to" to the domain in which the method is used. But here I want to focus on the method itself (e.g. the method has only one target to aim and not anything else). – Erencie Apr 2 '15 at 15:42
  • 1
    Quantum physics concerns itself with the study of the constituent elements of nature which are divided into discrete units or packets of energy called “quanta.” You're completely mistaken if you suppose there's anything "incorrect" about such usages. But it's true that in more "formal" contexts many people wouldn't like to see similar usages involving to care, to be interested in. – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '15 at 16:01
  • As above, the better question might be if an anthropomorphization is weird to typical English readers, or only to you. In fact, you wrote "it looks weird". Do you mean that "it" has sight? Weird!!! – Jim Reynolds Apr 2 '15 at 16:17

Your could use instead:

"the dependence computation process is /related/connected/ only to the connectivity relationship among nodes"

"the dependence computation process /involves/implicates/ only the connectivity relationship among nodes"

"the dependence computation process touches only on the connectivity relationship among nodes" [weaker and fuzzier]

but "concerns" is correct as shown by these edited (one hopes!) and published examples at Google Books:

"computation concerns only" About 29 results

E.g., surely this is a native speaker:

The Economics of Enterprise - Page 69

Herbert Joseph Davenport - 1919 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions

The cost computation concerns only the future supply.

  • Do you mean that the sentence structure of "<inanimate object> concerns <another inanimate object>" is actually correct? – Erencie Apr 2 '15 at 15:56
  • @Erencie see my edited answer. – Marius Hancu Apr 2 '15 at 16:03

"the dependence computation process isolates the connectivity relationship among nodes":

1.1 Identify (something) and examine or deal with it separately:



"Targets only the" or "focuses on only the/focuses only on the" would perhaps not contain the humanistic value that you see in "concerns."


. . . [C]oncerns itself only with . . . .

Or perhaps

. . . applies only to . . . .

. . . relates only to . . . .


As a verb, concern means to be relevant to something.

Similar words: pertain, refer, relate, touch, touch on

Focus only on one aspect of things but not the other

"the dependence computation process is limited to the connectivity relationship among nodes".

"the dependence computation process is associated with the connectivity relationship among nodes".

Associated- make a logical or causal connection (vocabulary.com)

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