I added a bunch of B. In some cases, B replaced A. In other words:

I added B, and replaced with B.

How can I write that more succinctly?

Added and replaced B

The above is not correct, because it implies B was replaced with something else.

Added and replaced with B

The above is ambiguous, as it could be interpreted as "Added with B, and replaced with B". "Added with B" is not something I did.

Is there a single word I could use instead of "replace with"? Is there another way to formulate the sentence without repeating B or adding A?

Edit: More verbosely:

I added MyNamespace.MyInterfaceFunction to classes which did not already have a similar function, and replaced the similar functions with MyNamespace.MyInterfaceFunction in those that did.

  • Of course, "replacement B" implies exactly what I want. Now I just need to turn it into a verb, so... "added and replacementified B"? Turns out verbification does have its uses.
    – Fax
    Jun 5, 2019 at 11:54
  • If you replaced something with B, the addition is implied.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 5, 2019 at 11:54
  • I introduced B in place of A. Look we really need to know the context -- cooking? Chemistry? Also, do you need to leave it vague, where the reader doesn't know if you added extra B, or only substituted B in place of A? Jun 8, 2019 at 23:29
  • @aparente001 Good point. The context is a code commit message for a version control system, where A and B are different versions of a function. Multiple classes were changed. Some classes did not already have the function, and others had an obsolete version of it.
    – Fax
    Jun 11, 2019 at 15:27
  • I replaced A with B where necessary. Jun 11, 2019 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


I would move away from the verb replaced, since it results in an ambiguous interpretation.

Instead, use something synonymous but also more explicit in terms of a simple sentence construction:

I added and substituted B.

Although really, as a single sentence that describes everything, it should be a bit longer:

I added and, in some cases, substituted B.

  • I like the longer sentence. I also thought "substitute" was a good candidate, but I'm not so sure after reading the Wiktionary entry: The verb "to substitute" can be used transitively in two opposite ways. "To substitute X" may mean either "use X in place of something else", or "use something else in place of X".
    – Fax
    Jun 6, 2019 at 21:12
  • @Fax I wouldn't rely on Wiktionary. Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries, for example, both have more useful entries. Jun 7, 2019 at 6:35
  • Interesting. The definitions in both dictionaries support your case, but Oxford Dictionaries has a "Usage" section which seems to contradict it: Despite the potential confusion, the [‘replace someone or something with something else’] use is well established, especially in some scientific contexts and in sport (the top scorer was substituted with almost half an hour still to play), and is now generally regarded as part of normal standard English
    – Fax
    Jun 7, 2019 at 8:41
  • 1
    @Fax Although context can make a difference, I think the specific syntax is also important. It seems that when you say was substituted* (that specific verb tense) it leads to something that can mean the opposite of the normal use. But if if were to just say the top player substituted (without the was) I would interpret it as meaning that the top player came on, not off, the field. But even if it's ambiguous in some situations, the surrounding text should make it clear. In the particular sentence in this question, I don't think there is any ambiguity. Jun 7, 2019 at 13:31

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