2

I'm trying to write a short scientific article and ended up with this sentence:

Now we show the result of the analysis of the sequences of events with the data from the study.

As you can see there are too many "of" and I think native English speakers don't like it.

How would you write it instead?

I could try to say
the result of the events sequences analysis with the data from the study.

But it sounds strange.

I know there are some general rules but coming from a different language it's not always easy to apply them.
I can't see any "possession" here.

PS: I could even use another "of" instead of "from" I could even use another "of"

the result of the analysis of the sequences of events with the data of the study.

  • 2
    So you'd like to show the event-sequence analysis results, right? – tchrist Dec 28 '18 at 21:30
  • 2
    You could replace “the analysis of” with “analyzing”. – Laurel Dec 28 '18 at 21:34
  • 1
    Remember that nouns used attributively are almost always in the singular. Your examples are not grammatical using them in the plural. And what dies this have to do with apostrophe-s possessives? Not sure I see where you need an apostrophe at all. – tchrist Dec 28 '18 at 21:35
  • 2
    Saxon genitives always need apostrophes, so your proposed rewriting is not correct. I don’t think there’s much wrong with the original, though, except in most contexts we talk about a single sequence of events (but since I don’t know your context, I don’t know if you are in fact talking about one analysis which analysed several different sequences, each with its respective events). If you really want to get rid of an of, you could write “analysis into” instead – it’s rarer, but does occur. I don’t think there’s any real need, though. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 28 '18 at 21:38
  • 1
    @skan by the way, your suspicion that too many ofs in a row feels awkward in English is correct. – Andy Dec 28 '18 at 21:48
1

"events sequence" is grammatically incorrect, but "event sequence" is perfectly valid. In general, it's incorrect to use the plural for an attributive noun. All nouns except the final must be singular, though there seem to be weird exceptions ("Natural Sciences Research")

You could say

the result of the event sequence analysis

Or

the result of analyzing the event sequences

Or

the event sequence analysis results

"The event sequence analysis result" is also grammatically correct but sounds weirder than with "results" to me.

I don't think the fact that there are multiple sequences is of much consequence here. But if that's important to you, the most natural and grammatically correct way to state this unambiguously is:

The result of the analysis of the event sequences

  • I have many sequences and each of them is composed by many events. Say for example the diseases that each person suffer along his life. And I analyze altogether, on a single analysis. – skan Dec 28 '18 at 21:40
  • @skan yes, that much was clear from your of chain. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to be this precise about what's singular and what's plural in a noun phrase while maintaining grammatical correctness. I doubt it's necessary to be so precise in an abstract or introduction, but that's your call. – Andy Dec 28 '18 at 21:43
  • @skan You must still use the singular for all but the last noun. – tchrist Dec 28 '18 at 21:44
  • OK, thanks. Then can I also keep my original long "of" sentence or do you suggest to use your sentences instead? – skan Dec 28 '18 at 21:44
  • 1
    @skan I'd recommend "the analysis of the event sequences", with or without "the result of" – Andy Dec 28 '18 at 21:45

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.