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  1. #1
    magdalena is offline Member
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    two alternative sentences which is better?

    If we decide to process it in March what is the latest when we have to do it provided the order must be received by the agreed date?

    could it be:

    if we decide to process it in March and the file must be received by the agreed date, when can we send it at the latest?

  2. #2
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    mayita1usa is offline Member
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    Re: two alternative sentences which is better?

    I prefer the second because it is simpler, although I would also add a comma after "in March," for clarity.

  3. #3
    ian_k is offline Newbie
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    Re: two alternative sentences which is better?

    The unclear antecedent (noun reference) of the two instances of "IT" and the use of passive voice make both sentences confusing.
    In sentence 1: does the second "IT" refer to the same antecedent as the first "IT" or to "process it" ? ... and in the passive sentence, who is the recipient of the order? "we" or someone else?
    In sentence 2: does the two "IT"s refer to "the file" or to something else? ... and in the passive sentence, who is the recipient of the file? "we" or someone else?

    You need to clarify the sentence(s), e.g. simplify the first part (probably into something like : "If we decide to proceed in March...", or "If we start the process in March...") and avoid Passive structure in transactional communication.

  4. #4
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    Re: two alternative sentences which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by magdalena View Post
    If we decide to process it in March what is the latest when we have to do it provided the order must be received by the agreed date?
    That's OK, though it might be clearer to use 'goods' or 'shipment' instead of 'order'
    if we decide to process it in March and the file must be received by the agreed date, when can we send it at the latest?
    That's not so clear, If the 'it' is 'the file', as I assume it is, then reverse the order.

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: two alternative sentences which is better?

    This is where my minimalist tendencies come in. I'd say simply "What's the latest we can ship the file to ensure it will be received by deadline?"
    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.

  6. #6
    ian_k is offline Newbie
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    Re: two alternative sentences which is better?

    Yes. I'm all for minimalist. Nothing beats simplicity.

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