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    #1

    The three questions we are facing today

    Now that I have your attention,

    Q1. "We will ship the product within 2 weeks of the receipt of the payment."

    Can you say "2 weeks from" instead of "2 weeks of"? A quick Googling shows many (but fewer) people use 'from' but please confirm whether this is strictly correct. I feel 'within' and 'from' are kind of redundant and shouldn't be used together.


    Q2. "The size of the material was measured by using a special device."

    Can you just say "...was measured using a special device", that is, without "by"? Again, the omission of the 'by' is quite commonly seen, but I feel this 'by' is indeed necessary. Here is my reasoning.
    "John was killed by using a knife." --->Means the murderer used a knife to kill John.
    "John was killed using a knife." --->Means John was using a knife when he was murdered.


    Q3. "Simultaneously to the merger of the company, John was appointed the chief of the marketing division."
    "Simultaneous to the merger of the company, John was appointed the chief of the marketing division.

    Which sentene is grammatically correct? Both? I feel the first one may be grammatically sounder, but the second one actually sounds as natural for some reason. Plus, I have sometimes seen/heard people use adjectives like adverbs to begin a sentence. The most notable example is "Most important, this decision will affect...", which has been bothering me, actually. Shouldn't this be 'Most importantly,"?
    Another (unconvincing) theory of mine is, the second sentence is grammatically incorrect, but the following sentence is correct; "Simultaneous to the merger of the company, John's appointment to the chief of the marketing division became official." The reasoning here is, 'merger' and 'appointment' are both nouns and they can be both modified by the adverb "simultaneous".

  1. kfredson's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju1ian View Post
    Now that I have your attention,

    Q1. "We will ship the product within 2 weeks of the receipt of the payment."

    Can you say "2 weeks from" instead of "2 weeks of"? A quick Googling shows many (but fewer) people use 'from' but please confirm whether this is strictly correct. I feel 'within' and 'from' are kind of redundant and shouldn't be used together.

    The two sentences are each correct but mean something different. The first means that it will ship sometime within those two weeks. It could be a day or a week or two weeks. The second one implies that it will be a full two weeks after the receipt of payment before it ships.

    Q2. "The size of the material was measured by using a special device."

    Can you just say "...was measured using a special device", that is, without "by"? Again, the omission of the 'by' is quite commonly seen, but I feel this 'by' is indeed necessary. Here is my reasoning.
    "John was killed by using a knife." --->Means the murderer used a knife to kill John.
    "John was killed using a knife." --->Means John was using a knife when he was murdered.

    You do not need to use "by" in the first sentence. The murder sentences are quite a different case, however. Here it would be strange to use the passive voice. Far better would be to say: "The murderer killed John with a knife." ("using" is implied.) If you do for some reason want to employ the passive, you might say:
    "John was killed by a [murderer wielding a] knife."

    I agree that the last sentence "John was killed using a knife" is highly ambiguous. He might not have been murdered at all. (Perhaps it was lightning that killed him.) In fact, it sounds like the beginning of a fine mystery novel!
    Q3. "Simultaneously to the merger of the company, John was appointed the chief of the marketing division."
    "Simultaneous to the merger of the company, John was appointed the chief of the marketing division.

    Which sentene is grammatically correct? Both? I feel the first one may be grammatically sounder, but the second one actually sounds as natural for some reason. Plus, I have sometimes seen/heard people use adjectives like adverbs to begin a sentence. The most notable example is "Most important, this decision will affect...", which has been bothering me, actually. Shouldn't this be 'Most importantly,"?
    Another (unconvincing) theory of mine is, the second sentence is grammatically incorrect, but the following sentence is correct; "Simultaneous to the merger of the company, John's appointment to the chief of the marketing division became official." The reasoning here is, 'merger' and 'appointment' are both nouns and they can be both modified by the adverb "simultaneous".

    I agree that "Simultaneous" sounds better here, and I would bet that most people--including grammar teachers--would say this. As for which is grammatically more correct, I really can't say.

    The whole sentence seems a bit awkward to me, however. I would reverse the order of the clauses, possibly replacing the word "simultaneous" with "just as":
    John's appointment to the chief of the marketing division became official just as the merger of the company was completed.
    I hope this is useful.



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    #3

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    I'm not sure if I was being clear about the first question. The two sentences I want to compare are:

    "We will ship the product within 2 weeks of the receipt of the payment.", and
    "We will ship the product within 2 weeks from the receipt of the payment."

    Both have "within". Would you still say both are correct but mean different things?


    Another possibility is:
    "We will ship the product after 2 weeks from the receipt of the payment." Now this would, I think, mean what you suggested in your answer. i.e. it will take a full 2 weeks before shipping.


    Regarding Q3, would you say beginning a sentence with "More important," is correct English? (as opposed to "More importantly,")

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju1ian View Post
    I'm not sure if I was being clear about the first question. The two sentences I want to compare are:

    "We will ship the product within 2 weeks of the receipt of the payment.", and
    "We will ship the product within 2 weeks from the receipt of the payment."

    Both have "within". Would you still say both are correct but mean different things?


    Another possibility is:
    "We will ship the product after 2 weeks from the receipt of the payment." Now this would, I think, mean what you suggested in your answer. i.e. it will take a full 2 weeks before shipping.


    Regarding Q3, would you say beginning a sentence with "More important," is correct English? (as opposed to "More importantly,")
    I don't know about what is formally correct, but "within two weeks OF" is so closely collated that trying to change it to "from" just sounds off to me. Is that good enough? Maybe others will tell you that "within two weeks from" sounds normal enough to them.

    I can't quite find Q3 any longer, but "More importantly" would be an adverbial phrase to modify the entire following thought. It would be correct in that case, while "More important" would not be... but if the original were "More important is the case of X... " Then you are saying that X is more important, not the entire following observation.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    It appears that I am getting two, potentially contradicting, messages from two teachers (I'm not complaining. I just think it's interesting).

    kfredson says "Simultaneous to the merger of the company, John was..." sounds better than "Simultaneously to the merger of the company, John was..."
    (By the way, it has occurred to me that I should have said 'with' instead of 'to', but that's a different issue.)

    Barb_D says "More importantly, John was..." is better than "More important, John was..."

    In one case it is OK to start a sentence with an adjective as if it is an adverb. In other case it is not. How can this be?

    Here is one of the many actual examples of “More important,” I can find. I quote this from the British website called Historyworld (I believe the writer is English).
    “The frontiers of empire are slightly extended. More important, they become stabilized and properly defended.”


    Maybe “More important,” is an abbreviation for “What is more important is,”?
    That would also explain why starting a sentence with “Simultaneous to...”, “Similar to...” etc. as if it is an adverbial phrase is grammatically acceptable. To rephrase the sentence in question according to this theory: "(What was) simultaneous to the merger of the company (was that) John was appointed the chief of the marketing division."

    Any thoughts?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    I agree with "Simultaneous to the merger" but if it were just "Simultaneous, blah blah blah," then THAT would be "Simultaneously,..." The "to the merger" makes all the difference.

    The "more important" one is harder. Is it more important to the empires (or borders, or whatever it was?) Or is it more important for the reader to know this? If it's the later, then I would say "importantly" but I think it was more important to the empire.

    Some of this may be regional or personal preference. I wouldn't correct someone else who said otherwise, but it's how I would write it. (Well, I wouldn't correct anyone else anyway -- how rude is THAT? But you know what I mean.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: The three questions we are facing today

    I have since noticed that there are many more examples in which an adjective is used in the beginning of a sentence as part of an adverbial phrase:

    "Consistent with XXX,..." (not "Consistently with XXX,")
    "Regardless of XXX, ..." (not "Regardlessly of XXX,")
    "Relative to XXX,..." (not "Relatively to XXX,")
    "Independent of XXX,..." (not "Independently of XXX,")

    I still can't quite explain to myself why this is so (i.e. why you say "Independent of" instead of "Independently of", for example.)


    Some people also use these to start a sentence:
    "Most notable,..."
    "Quite contrary,..."
    "More interesting still,..."
    Like Barb has indicated, these probably belong to a different grammatical category than the above. I have almost convinced myself that they represent some sort of inversion and/or abbreviation. "Most notable (was that)..."

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