1

I've just written the following sentence for my academic essay:

Some educators believe that it is more advantageous for students to learn theories rather than facts, since theories help explain both past and future events.

Because I don't want to sound repetitive, I've decided to change the word theories for something that refers back to it, as shown bellow:

Some educators believe that it is more advantageous for students to learn theories rather than facts, since the first ones help explain both past and future events.

Is the second sentence correct? Is there a more formal way to convey the same idea?

I did search for explanation on the internet, but could not find any.

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Some educators believe that it is more advantageous for students to learn theories rather than facts, since it helps explain both past and future events. – Archie Azares Mar 20 '18 at 1:01
  • 1
    @ArchieAzares, Don't you think it may sound confusing if it use "it"? Because, as you can see, I have the words "theories" and "facts", so the reader wouldn't be able to understand which one I am referring to. – Caroline Mar 20 '18 at 1:07
  • 1
    not really. unless you cannot identify the subject on a certain sentence – Archie Azares Mar 20 '18 at 1:14
  • 1
    Former, prior, previous… – jtheletter Mar 20 '18 at 1:20
  • 1
    @ArchieAzares There's only one sentence under discussion and its subject is "some educators"; I don't see how that would help decipher "it". In fact, there doesn't seem to be any singular noun here to serve as the antecedent for the singular pronoun "it". – Andreas Blass Mar 20 '18 at 1:24
3

I think you want "the former".

From dictionary.com:

former1 —adjective

[...] being the first mentioned of two (distinguished from latter ): The former suggestion was preferred to the latter.

Another example:

Some educators believe that it is more advantageous for students to learn theories rather than facts, since the former help explain both past and future events.

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.