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]. Commented Jul 19, 2020 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'. Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 14:52
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    How does your proofreader's intuition react to the phrases "as Smith analyses it" and "[ by / under ] Smith's analysis"? Commented Jul 19, 2020 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
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


How about use both?

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

  • Or Smith's analysis suggests..
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 13:37
  • or "This process, in Smith's analysis, is a way to reflect on..." Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 14:07

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