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I am trying to find rules to answer questions by restating the question in the answer. However, I would like to do this with the least possible changes to the original question. Stylistically, the following example is not very nice in my view. I wonder if it is grammatically incorrect.

Q: What should one read to get a good overview of Western philosophy?
A1: What one should read to get a good overview of Western philosophy is ...

I think the following would be better:

A2: To get a good overview of Western philosophy, one should read ...

Is A1 grammatically wrong?

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  • Re: "I would like to do this with the least possible changes to the original question": Why? That seems like a mistake to me; it will make you sound like an automaton, and leave the asker wondering if you really understood the question.
    – ruakh
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 19:36
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it’s all about writing style. Both your sentences are grammatical.
    – Jim
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 19:37

1 Answer 1

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A2 is certainly a better option, although you might add "In order" to the beginning of the sentence for a less abrupt effect. A1 is ... borderline? It depends on who you ask.

When in doubt, think of rearranging the two parts of the sentence.

"One should read XYZ in order to get a good overview of Western philosophy,"

vs.

"XYZ is what one should read to get a good overview of Western philosophy."

The former sounds more correct, which is almost always a good indication that "In order to get a good overview of Western philosophy, one should read XYZ," is the sentence you're looking for.

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