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  1. #1
    svenor is offline Newbie
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    Default Correct position of "whereas" in a sentence

    Hi, there.

    I am proof-reading some paper, and there is one (admittedly minor) point that has caught my attention. The sentence in question pretty much goes like

    Whereas the results do not change significantly, the overall quality improves.
    I am not happy about the position of the word "whereas". I would rather move it to right after the comma. Alternatively, I can imagine to exchange "Whereas" with "While".

    Searching the internet, I have found some very nice pages about the whole "while"/"whereas" issue. While it was nowhere stated explicitly that starting a sentence with "Whereas" was wrong, it was not done so in any of the example sentences.

    Thanks to anyone who can clear up the situation a bit. (Though I apologise for bothering you all with this stupidly unimportant question.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Correct position of "whereas" in a sentence

    It's fine. Here's just one example. It's from a writing guide. (Note that, the author uses this example to explain quotation marks.)
    In the novel, Mother Tongue, the main character, María, points out the biased nature of our media: “Because your skin is brown, what you say will be followed by words like Romero claimed. Whereas if you were white, it would read Romero said” (Martínez, 33).

  3. #3
    svenor is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Correct position of "whereas" in a sentence

    Hi, soup! Thanks for your quick answer!

    I am okay with the original sentence, now that you've said it's alright.

    However, let me point out that the example that you have brought in does not really reflect my problem. My point was, that I thought the word "whereas" was always to be placed inbetween the two pieces of contrasting information. So did the writer of Mother Tongue in your example: the second sentence, beginning with "Whereas", contrasts what has been said before. Whereas in the case of my original sentence, the word "whereas" was put right in front of the two contrasting pieces. Sorry for not making myself clear.

    So your example may not answer my question, but the fact that you don't see a problem with that sentence does!

    Thanks again for your help!

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    'whereas' is a conjunction meaning 'in contrast or comparison with the fact that...' :
    "They regard this race with deadly seriousness, whereas we're just in it to have fun."

    'while', as a conjunction, can have a similar meaning to 'whereas', in indicating a contrast. In that case, 'whereas' is (i) more formal (ii) is more strongly indicating that a contrast exists eg He likes coffee, while I like tea.
    compare: "Democracy believes in freedom and liberty, whereas Communism is tantamount to slavery."

    I wonder, when people place the 'Whereas' at the beginning of the sentence, if they are confusing it with a similar meaning of 'while' as a conjunction, meaning 'in spite of the fact that'...; 'although' , as in your original sentence:
    "While the results do not change significantly, the overall quality improves."
    'whereas' has been used incorrectly in your original sentence.

    “Because your skin is brown, what you say will be followed by words like Romero claimed. Whereas if you were white, it would read Romero said” (Martínez, 33).

    this is an 'artifical' start to the sentence, which is really:
    “Because your skin is brown, what you say will be followed by words like Romero claimed, whereas if you were white, it would read Romero said.".

    It is similar to my starting a sentence with 'and'.
    Hurry up or the shop will have sold out of my newspaper. And don't forget milk!
    Last edited by David L.; 13-Jun-2008 at 14:54.

  5. #5
    CLC.SekZ is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Correct position of "whereas" in a sentence

    Hello David L.,
    Thank you for your information, it has been very helpful. To further clarify, I'm curious if the following sentence is acceptable:

    "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes funding for many long-term changes, federal tax cuts, unemployment benefits, social welfare, education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Whereas the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, consisted primarily of tax rebate checks."

    This would clearly be an artificial sentence, as you mentioned, but it feels more natural. Is it preferable to use an artificial sentence when following a list?
    Last edited by CLC.SekZ; 28-Mar-2009 at 18:28.

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