4

How should I use the word both in the following sentence?

I have also been involved with ABET accreditation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at both / both at XX University and YY State University.

4
  • 1
    A comma might be included before 'both at', but they're both acceptable. 'At both' is probably higher-register. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 14 '17 at 16:17
  • 2
    This is subtle, but I would use "at both" if the program was somehow connected with or distributed between both locations, and I would use "both at" if the two identical programs were distinct from one another. – Davo Feb 14 '17 at 17:38
  • 1
    If I put "at" after "both" then I'd put another "at" after "and" to keep the two phrases grammatically parallel. – Andreas Blass Feb 14 '17 at 17:43
  • Thank you very much for the helpful comments. There were two distinct programs: I have a feeling that "Both at" reads more smoothly than "at both". Although according to the first answer below, it may "imply a pairing before the phrase's occurrence". – Hessam Mar 21 '17 at 18:25
0

both refers to two things or people together, and should be used next to words they refer to. both at/at both breaks this rule, but since there is only one pair in your sentence, people can still get the idea.

both at implies a pairing before the phrase's occurrence, and at both implies a pair afterwards. For example:

I have also been involved with ABET accreditation and grant writing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, both at XX University and YY State University.

If you use at both, you are referring to the universities:

I have also been involved with ABET accreditation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at both XX University and YY State University.

Since your pairing is at the end of the sentence, it would be best to use at both.

1
  • Thanks for the comments. I am trying to express that I have been involved in two separate programs (although both Mechanical Engineering), at different universities. "I have also been involved with ABET accreditation of mechanical engineering programs both at/at both XX University and YY University. " – Hessam Mar 21 '17 at 18:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.