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I have three methods such as

Method A, method B, and proposed method

They have similar properties, and thus they show a same drawback. I would like to write the sentence to express that issue. This is my sentence

Both method A, method B and proposed method utilize ID information, which makes these methods depends on number size.

My problem is that "both" often uses for two items. But my sentence has three items. Is it fine, if I use both to group 3 items as the above sentence. Do you have any word to express three items?

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No, the word both can't be used in this way. Both only ever refers to two things, never three. You don't need to use anything before the list. the fact that you list all three things and follow it with the third-person plural conjugation of the verb utilize indicates that all three items listed constitute the subject. However, if for whatever reason you want to use something like both that you could use for three things, then write it as follows:

All three, method A, method B and proposed method C, utilize ID information, which makes these methods depend on number size.

-or-

Method A, method B and proposed method C utilize ID information, which makes all three methods depend on number size.

-or-

Method A, method B and proposed method C all utilize ID information, which makes them depend on number size.

Be sure to note the correction to the conjugation of depends to depend.

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  • Thanks. So if i use the personal name such as John and Marry. Can I say "The Chan, Li and the proposed methods all ultilize local information and are non-convex energy which make these methods sensitive to the initial contour"
    – Jame
    Jan 6 '16 at 6:20
  • I'm not sure what you are asking because you don't use "John" and "Mary" in your example sentence and because I don't know what "Chan" and "Li" are. Whatever the case, the example sentence you've given isn't grammatically correct. One would never say, "All the John, Mary and Susan people also utilize..." Neither would one ever say, "All the sitting, standing, and walking around methods utilize..." You would do better just to comment here what you really intend to say because I'm otherwise hesitant of leading you astray. Jan 6 '16 at 6:21
  • Sorry, Because i want to refer to real case. In that case method A as Chan method, method B as Li method. I just put the personal name, instead of A, B in my real sentence. Hence, I would like say "The Chan, Li and the proposed method all are non convex...". I used "the" because "Chan, Li" already mention before
    – Jame
    Jan 6 '16 at 6:24
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    Yes! In that case, how you've written it in your comment 10 minutes ago is exactly right: "The Chan, Li and the proposed method all are non-convex..." (I realize it's probably just a typo, but be sure to leave it "non-convex," with a hyphen between "non" and "convex." Jan 6 '16 at 6:38
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    Now that I think about it, it flows better to put "all" on the other side of "are" as follows: "The Chan, Li and the proposed method are all non-convex..." Either way is fine, but semantically, more people would probably say it with "all" after "are" rather than before it. Jan 6 '16 at 6:42
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All of method A, method B and [the] proposed method utilize ID information, which makes these methods [dependent] on number size.

All is the word you are looking for, and has the advantage that it can be used for four or more methods.

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  • Thanks. Do I need add "the" before each method A, B...? Because A, B...appears second time in my paper. For example, all of the method A,.... In additions, If I replace A by personal name such as John, B as Marry. Can I use "All of the John, Marry and proposed methods..."
    – Jame
    Jan 6 '16 at 4:23
  • I would like to add more things. As your suggestion. I want to complete my real sentence as following chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/33895/…
    – Jame
    Jan 6 '16 at 4:34
  • All can work here but not constructed as, "All of method A, method B..." No that would mean are parts of method A. A construction that works here is "Method A, Method B and the/a proposed method all utilize ID information... Jan 6 '16 at 4:53
  • People don't generally use "all of" before a list. For example, nobody would say, "All of John, Susan, and Henry went to the store." Using "all of" in this way makes it appear that you are remarking on how minimal the list is. Moreover, when putting "all of" before something like a method, which presumably has multiple steps involved, could lead to one thinking that "all of" refers only to Method A, not the list, because people don't generally put "all of" before a list. In fact, I just did a Google search of the term "all of" and could not find a single instance where it preceded a list. Jan 6 '16 at 5:56
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    If Chan and Li are proper names of methods that people will readily understand as such, then you would write it like this: The Chan, Li and proposed method all utilize local information and are non-convex energy, which make these methods sensitive to the initial contour. However, depending on the scenario and whatever technical jargon there is in play, it could foreseeably be better to write: The Chan, the Li, and the proposed method all utilize... Jan 6 '16 at 6:32
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Three things happened at once; a, b and c

Three different things happened; a, b, then c

Three conflicting things happened, a, b but not c

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  • You should add some explanation of how and why you think these sentences answer the question. Feb 7 at 12:51

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