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    #1

    make the machine of a smaller size

    Hi,

    I'm wondering whether the boldaced phrase in the following should be "make a machine of a smaller size," "make the machine in a smaller size," or "make the machine of a smaller size."

    So I began the project of constructing my own helicopter. However, as parts for the regular size were out of stock, I decided to make the machine of a smaller size.


    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 01-Jul-2020 at 09:44.

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    #2

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Source and author?

    Three of the last four words are unnecessary.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    I modelled it on a sentence in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I'd like to see how the prepositions are used.

    If a prepositional phrase has to be used, which one is correct?

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    #4

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Writing styles have changed a lot in two hundred years. Wordiness was considered elegant in Shelley's era. Now it's just ponderous. Here's a modern way to use extra, unnecessary words to express the idea: I decided to make the machine in a smaller form factor.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Writing styles have changed a lot in two hundred years. Wordiness was considered elegant in Shelley's era. Now it's just ponderous. Here's a modern way to use extra, unnecessary words to express the idea: I decided to make the machine in a smaller form factor.
    I think "in" should be used, too. But Mary Shelley wrote the following:

    Nor could I consider the magnitude and complexity of my plan as any argument of its impracticability. It was with these feelings that I began the creation of a human being. As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature; that is to say, about eight feet in height, and proportionably large.

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    #6

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Her sentence was fine when she wrote it two hundred years ago. It's not a good model for a 21st-century learner.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Could it be that the "make" in the original means "to cause to become"? That way, the "of a gigantic stature" (= gigantic) would be easily understandable.

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    #8

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Could it be that the "make" in the original means "to cause to become"? That way, the "of a gigantic stature" (= gigantic) would be easily understandable.
    No. She meant "make it really big".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    No. She meant "make it really big".
    That's exactly what "to cause (sb or sth) to become" means. To make it big is to cause it to become big.

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    #10

    Re: make the machine of a smaller size

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    I modelled it on a sentence in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I'd like to see how the prepositions are used.

    If a prepositional phrase has to be used, which one is correct?
    If you're trying to create a sentence in exactly that form, it would have to be one of these:

    - I decided to make a machine of a smaller size.

    - I decided to make the machine ina smaller size.

    But as the others have already explained, neither would be as natural as something like "I decided to make a smaller one."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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