I'm writing a paper and I have two questions about the sentence below.

The mineral derangements, represented by A and B, in the patients at the chronic phase after transplantation were strongly associated with the former C in a positive and negative direction, respectively.

, where A, B, and C are clinical parameters.

My questions are:

  1. I have two modifiers for the word "derangements;" one is "represented by ~" and the other is "in the patents ~." Is the order of these phrases correct? It sounds a little awkward to me.

  2. A was positively associated with C, while B was negatively associated with C. Does it sound strange when I say "in a positive and negative direction, respectively?" Let me know if there is a better way to write.

Thanks in advance, Nao

  • Thanks for your comment. The "definite article" you mentioned was... which one? I used so many definite articles in this sentences. That's another problem for me, though.
    – Nao
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 20:55
  • If you mean the measurements went up in one case and down in the other, I'd say so. Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 21:16
  • @EdwinAshworth Notwithstanding my own answer I think I agree with you.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


Your modifiers are unambiguous, no problem there.

Your positive (A) and negative (B) direction, respectively is clear.

I would say in/during the chronic phase.

But your sentence is long and not very easy to parse. This is not uncommon in scientific literature, but I would still advise you to split it. An example:

Two types[?] of mineral derangement occurred[?] in patients during the chronic phase after transplantation, represented by A and B; type A shows a strong positive correlation with C, while B shows a strong negative correlation with C.

Perhaps I did not understand the terminology of your paper well enough to phrase everything properly, but I would split the sentence in this way.


I. It sounds fine but I would drop the definite article. 2. I would re-arrange it slightly.

But my overall suggestion here would be to break it into two sentences: The mineral derangements in patients at the chronic phase after transplantation were studied. Those represented by A and B were associated with the former C, respectively in a positive and negative direction.

Reducing the sentence structure to manageable proportions would seem important, since I assume A, B and C, are merely substitutes for worded expressions.

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