I'm proofreading an academic paper and have come across the following:

"This process, as Smith analyses, is a way to reflect on..."

Intuitively I'd prefer

"This process, as Smith explains/says/states, is a way to...'

I've come to the (possibly wrong) conclusion that it's somehow because these verbs can take 'that' as a complementiser/conjunction (or in the case of 'says', take a null complementiser):

"Smith says that it's possible..."/"Smith says it's possible..."

"Smith explains that..."

"Smith states that..."

While 'analyse' is a bit murkier to me:

?"Smith analyses that it's possible..."

However, I also think that 'analyse' bears a different semantic weight to 'say/state/explain', and I'd really like to keep (at least some of) its meaning, rather than just evade all this and change to 'say/state/explain'. I've tried substituting 'explore', 'investigate' and 'discuss' but I'm not sure that I'm not running up against the same problem with each of them. So my question, in two parts, is: a) Is my intuitive preference actually legit, or should I not worry about it and accept "as Smith analyses"? b) If my intuition is legit, is there a verb that acts structurally like one of those verbs that takes 'that', while remaining similar to the meaning of 'analyse'? Are 'explore/investigate/discuss' perhaps more satisfactory?

Apologies if this is a duplicate question - I made a few searches but wasn't sure how to frame the keywords, so was unsuccessful. Annoyingly I feel sure that I've come across this in my work before, but can't remember how/if I resolved it at the time...

  • 1
    This process, as deconstructed by Smith, is [whatever Smith thinks it is]. Recasting that highlighted element into the "subject": Smith's deconstruction says [blah blah]. – FumbleFingers Jul 19 at 12:41
  • I don't think analyse is one of the verbs that takes a that-clause. I have found Supreme Court has expounded that in order to discharge family debts or any other legal obligations, the head of the family (Karta) can sell the ancestral property and *no family member can challenge his decision in a Court of Law* on facebook though, and 'propound' means 'put forward as a theory, ruling ..., explaining in detail'. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 19 at 14:52
  • How does your proofreader's intuition react to the phrases "as Smith analyses it" and "[ by / under ] Smith's analysis"? – Gary Botnovcan Jul 19 at 16:30
  • @Gary Botnovcan - both those phrases seem good to me, perhaps because they introduce structural distance in some way. As Edwin Ashworth above says, it seems like 'analyse' doesn't take a that-clause: maybe your two instances provide the required support for 'analyse', in the absence of that-support? In the end I went for 'as analysed by Smith', but it seems there are many excellent options in this case. – Jevere Aug 3 at 13:29

How about use both?

This process, as Smith's analysis explains/says/states/explores/discusses/posits, is a way to...

| improve this answer | |
  • Or Smith's analysis suggests.. – Peter Jul 19 at 13:37
  • or "This process, in Smith's analysis, is a way to reflect on..." – Max Williams Aug 18 at 14:07

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.