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  1. infiniteone's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 31
    #1

    "All other things being equal....."

    There are two examples below.

    A: The phone's camera is very important to you.All other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    B :The phone's camera is very important to you. All the other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    I think B is proper. With the phone removed from consideration, things to consider is "the rest" except the phone. But, It seems that native speakers use both and the "A"-type expression seems to used more often.
    As a non-native speaker, I am so confused which to use.
    I need help.
    Last edited by infiniteone; 12-May-2010 at 15:41.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: "All other things being equal....."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    There are two examples below.

    A: The phone's camera is very important to you.All other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    B :The phone's camera is very important to you. All the other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    I think B is proper. With the phone removed from consideration, things to consider is "the rest" except the phone. But, It seems that native speakers use both and the "A"-type expression seems to used more often.
    As a non-native speaker, I am so confused which to use.
    I need help.
    A. is idiomatic. You don't say "the".
    You could use "the" if you have a list of specific other things in mind (such as the functions of a phone), but generally when you use this expression, you don't. I can't recall a native using "the".
    E.g: "University A has a better teaching staff than University B. All other things being equal, I'd go to University A."
    The point is, you don't have a list of "all the other things" because, by definition, everything but the teaching staff is included.

  3. yuriya's Avatar
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      • South Korea
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    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 168
    #3

    Smile Re: "All other things being equal....."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    There are two examples below.

    A: The phone's camera is very important to you.All other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    B :The phone's camera is very important to you. All the other things being equal, you'll buy the phone with the best camera.

    I think B is proper. With the phone removed from consideration, things to consider is "the rest" except the phone. But, It seems that native speakers use both and the "A"-type expression seems to used more often.
    As a non-native speaker, I am so confused which to use.
    I need help.
    It's a little confusing but I see what you mean. But then, English itself is not that logical as the logic would dictate. All you have to do is loosen up a little. Personally, other things being equal is the most familiar expression.

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