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I am writing a paper about car drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. And I would like to use transportation modes in my text as well. However, I am confused about some phrases:

  1. Is "Walk" or "Walking" the right word for a transportation mode? For example:

In this paper, we consider the modes motorized vehicles, bike and walk.

  1. Which one is right:
    The results of the modes motorized vehicles and bike or motorized vehicles and bike modes...?
    I would assume the same rule when I am writing about several modes or just one mode, right? Because it sometimes sounds wrong to my ears!
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    Bike is an informal abbreviation of bicycle. I think cycling and walking would be better. Jul 15, 2022 at 14:46
  • Thanks for your comment @KateBunting.
    – Hekd
    Jul 17, 2022 at 9:16

3 Answers 3

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"Walking" is a way to transport oneself, but if you were to list modes of transport that correspond with "car" and "bicycle," then you'd say "on foot" (e.g., Your choices for mode of transport are car, bicycle, or on foot.). In order to use "walking," you'd correspondingly use gerunds for the other two (e.g., Your choices for mode of transport are driving, bicycling, or walking). In order to use "walk," you'd likewise use infinitives for the other two (e.g., As your mode of transport, you can drive, bike, or walk.). It's an issue of parallel structure, needing to make the items in the list grammatically agree in type.

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  • I think I'd prefer cycling (no-one uses bicycling nowadays, do they?) and cycle (bike is a bit informal). But otherwise, yes: parallelism or lack of it is why the original sentence sounds off.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 16, 2022 at 8:15
  • @AndrewLeach - Maybe, but quite arguably maybe not. It's neither here nor there, though. I used those words simply as examples of contexts in which the asker might aptly use "walking" and "walk," which are specifically asked about in this question, this question being about what terminology to use for the mode of transport involving being a pedestrian using the context and examples the asker used, which only incidentally include terminology used for the mode of transport involving being a pedaler. Jul 16, 2022 at 14:15
  • @AndrewLeach - Now, maybe it's being asked about in 2, or maybe not. Who knows? I couldn't make heads or tails of what 2 is trying to say, and I doubt anyone else could, either, never mind how 2 is inappropriate and should be deleted and asked as a separate question since each question is to have only one question, not two. So, what with 2 being incomprehensible and 2 being inappropriate, such that it quite possibly may end up getting edited out by a moderator or by the asker after being told to do so by a moderator, I chose to simply ignore it in my answer, whatever it may mean. Jul 16, 2022 at 14:22
  • @BenjaminHarman: thank you for your comprehensive answer and examples. What I meant with the second question is: should I write: The results of the modes motorized vehicles and bike are... or The results of the motorized vehicles and bike modes are...
    – Hekd
    Jul 17, 2022 at 9:03
  • Regarding the second example: Are driving, bicycling, and walking not actions? What I would like to have is a list of the "tools" that enable the transportation? Then I believe my best choice would be the first option you suggested.
    – Hekd
    Jul 17, 2022 at 9:24
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After re-reading your question details a few times, I've interpreted it as follows:

"In this paper, we consider the following modes: motorized vehicles, bike and walk."

I see this as an introductory paragraph of a paper on modes of transportation. Given this assumption, the following sentences could both work:

"In this paper, we consider the following modes: motorized vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrian travel."

"In this paper, we consider the following modes: motor-vehicle operation, cycling, and walking."

My inclination would be to suggest the second, as it is more pleasing to the ears and will likely be more appreciated by your listeners/readers.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Regarding the second option: wouldn't be better to use driving instead? But then are these really transportation modes? To me they look like actions not modes
    – Hekd
    Jul 17, 2022 at 9:11
  • @Hekd I would think driving would be better, but you did specify motorized vehicles, and not all motorized vehicles are driven, nor are all driven vehicles motorized. So I just kept it consistent. A "mode of travel" is not synonymous with an object by which the mode is acted upon. So I would say that the mode is closer to the action itself; driving is a mode of travel, as is walking, and cycling, and operation of a motor-vehicle. So the verb (action) is, in reality, the mode itself.
    – Blue Dev
    Jul 19, 2022 at 13:03
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Another option to consider:

Go on foot

Drive

Cycle

These three go well together, and would, as a set, form an option.

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  • Could you flesh this out a little to answer the question? We are so influenced by what g** maps dictates as the nomenclature that your human input is worth keeping.
    – livresque
    Jul 16, 2022 at 5:15
  • @livresque - I'm saying that these three go together, and would, as a set, form an option. Do you want me to provide definitions for the three members of the set? Jul 17, 2022 at 0:32
  • As you can see, this got flagged for low quality. I preferred to comment rather than recommend deleting. You could edit your comment into your answer, eh?
    – livresque
    Jul 17, 2022 at 2:31
  • @livresque - let me know if additional expansion of my answer is called for, and if you have any suggestions for how to do that, other than including definitions (which I'm hesitating to do, since all three are well known). Jul 17, 2022 at 3:23

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