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    #1

    according to

    Gentlemen:
    Do you find the following sentence somewhat awkward:
    According to my experience, I believe/I claim that...
    My reasoning is that "according to" basically means "in someone's opinion" or "according to what someone else says/writes", and not "speaking from my own experience". What do you think?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: according to

    Quote Originally Posted by HighPriest View Post
    Gentlemen:
    Do you find the following sentence somewhat awkward:
    According to my experience, I believe/I claim that...
    My reasoning is that "according to" basically means "in someone's opinion" or "according to what someone else says/writes", and not "speaking from my own experience". What do you think?
    Are you saying that "According to my experience, I believe/I claim that..." is redundant because, if you say "I believe ...", then you are obviously speaking from your own experience?
    If so, yes you have a case.

    However, "I claim ..." doesn't contain this redundancy, because you could be claiming it on the basis of what somebody has said, based on their experience. You could also 'believe' something based on someone else's experience. In fact, most of peoples' beliefs are based on the experiences of others, simply because a person can only experience a very limited number of things personally compared to the number of things they are expected to believe. Education depends on it.

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    #3

    Re: according to

    Thanks, Raymott. Actually, the question wasn't about redundancy. An American argued that they do not say "According to my experience, I claim that..." I take it you find this sentence perfectly legit - do you have any idea why another native speaker felt differently about it?
    My guess was that we use "according to" to refer to other people's opinions; thus, it would be wrong to say "according to me/us", so perhaps it might not be a good idea to use "according to" when referring to one's own experience?

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    #4

    Re: according to

    I think "according to" means to refer something from an outside source like a particular person, book or document but not that of one's own.
    So you would not say "according to my opinion" but "in my opinion".
    With this logic, I would say "In my experience, I believe/claim..." rather than "According to my experience, I believe/claim....".
    (Not a teacher)

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    #5

    Re: according to

    Quote Originally Posted by HighPriest View Post
    Thanks, Raymott. Actually, the question wasn't about redundancy. An American argued that they do not say "According to my experience, I claim that..." I take it you find this sentence perfectly legit - do you have any idea why another native speaker felt differently about it?
    My guess was that we use "according to" to refer to other people's opinions; thus, it would be wrong to say "according to me/us", so perhaps it might not be a good idea to use "according to" when referring to one's own experience?
    I see the American person's point.
    "In my opinion" would be much better than "According to me", which I would never use.
    However, "according to my experience" is different. I'd call it good English. "My experience" does not reflect the totality of "me".
    You could legitimately say, "I believe in God, even though, according to my experience so far, I have no empirical evidence for gods."

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    #6

    Re: according to

    Okay, that makes sense. Thanks!

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