2

In the extract

It will be said that men will not work well if the fear of dismissal does not spur them on. I think it is only a small percentage of whom this would be true at present.

could the second sentence be rephrased as

I think this would be true only for a small percentage of men at present.

?

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    If you want to be strict about keeping the grammar of the original, the rephrased sentence should read I think this would be true only of a small percentage of men at present. But for and of mean the same thing here. Jan 11 '18 at 13:11
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    The original sentence sounds awkward to me. "percentage of" is usually followed by a noun representing the whole group, like "men" in your second phrase. A pronoun like "whom" doesn't really fit there. "small percentage of men for which this sould be true" is better.
    – Barmar
    Jan 14 '18 at 8:14
  • No. You should avoid repeating words where possible, in this case "men". "Whom" is the correct use of a back-reference that connects the two sentences.
    – aaa90210
    Jan 16 '18 at 1:36
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    You could try something like I think this would currently be true for only a small percentage of them
    – Henry
    Jan 23 '18 at 0:28
  • You could rephrase it as such, but surely, 'I think it is only a small percentage for whom this would be true at present', is better?
    – JDF
    Mar 20 '18 at 14:56
1

My recommendation is:

It will be said that men will not work well if the fear of dismissal does not spur them on. This is true of only a small percentage of men at present.

I have removed "I think" because it weakens the sentence. You are, by definition, discussing your thoughts.

Although you didn't ask for comments on the first sentence, it is also awkward, despite being technically correct. You could greatly simplify it and make it gender-neutral by rewriting the whole thing as:

It has long been said that the fear of losing their paycheck is what makes people work, but most workers these days are motivated by deeper goals.

This may be an acceptable solution for you if your essay is going to be about people's reasons for working. If that is not the case, I suggest you play around with the words in your original sentence until it sounds more natural.

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  • Without “I think”, the sentence could be understood to imply that the speaker has clear empirical evidence. Preemptively expressing uncertainty protects the speaker's credibility in case the ratio is later disproven. Mar 26 '20 at 20:06

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