One or it?

Status
Not open for further replies.

hanky

Key Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
Good day,
Could you tell me which sentence below sounds better?
1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
I go with the first one.
Thanks.
 

aziz abd

Key Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Arabic
Home Country
Morocco
Current Location
Morocco
Good day,
Could you tell me which sentence below sounds better?
1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
I go with the first one.
Thanks.
Both may be correct depending on who (one) or what (it) is carrying the experiment.
- If you refer to some researcher doing the experiment, then (one) is correct.
- If you mean that some changes have been made in the data, then (this change:it) is correct.
 

tedtmc

Key Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
Good day,
Could you tell me which sentence below sounds better?
1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be able to increase the charge of electrons ... (what is 'it' anyway?)
I go with the first one.
Thanks.

It's awkward to keep using 'one'.
Let us assume that the charge of the electrons can be increased.

not a teacher
 

2006

Banned
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Good day,
Could you tell me which sentence below sounds better?
1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
I go with the first one.
Thanks.
Both can be correct.

"one" can refer to a person (or a group of people) or to one way/technique/attempt/etc.

"it" can refer to all the above except for people.
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Good day,
Could you tell me which sentence below sounds better?
1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
I go with the first one.
Thanks.
2. is not good.
Let us assume that it would be possible to increase the charge of electrons ...
"It is able" doesn't mean "it is possible". With your sentence 2, you'd have to ask, "Is what able to increase the charge of electrons?"
 

2006

Banned
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
2. is not good. I don't agree.
With your sentence 2, you'd have to ask, "Is what able to increase the charge of electrons?" "it" is a technique, method, machine, etc.
2006
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
2. is not good. I don't agree.
With your sentence 2, you'd have to ask, "Is what able to increase the charge of electrons?" "it" is a technique, method, machine, etc.
That's true, you can postulate a scenario in which 2. is good.

But the OP presented the two sentences and asked which was better - the implication being that the meanings were similar. I meant that 2. is not good if you are taking "it" to be the subject of an impersonal verb, as in "It is possible".

Certainly you are right if "it" has a concrete referent, and this does make them both correct.
 

hanky

Key Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
Hi,
thank you all for your kind help. I have changed the second sentence a little bit as suggested.

1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be possible to increase the charge of electrons ...

Now, which sentence sounds better?

PS: The fact is that the charge of an electron cannot be changed so we are aware that the two sentences describe a thought experiment. "One" in the first sentence refers to the person who's doing this thought experiment. "It" in the second sentence, as I understood, play the same role as "It" in "It's know that ..." (quasi subject?).
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Hi,
thank you all for your kind help. I have changed the second sentence a little bit as suggested.

1/ For example, let us assume that one would be able to increase the charge of electrons ...
2/ For example, let us assume that it would be possible to increase the charge of electrons ...

Now, which sentence sounds better?

PS: The fact is that the charge of an electron cannot be changed so we are aware that the two sentences describe a thought experiment. "One" in the first sentence refers to the person who's doing this thought experiment. "It" in the second sentence, as I understood, play the same role as "It" in "It's know that ..." (quasi subject?).
Exactly.
But if you're going to make an assumption, you might be able to assume that "it is possible" rather than "it would be possible".
This would be my preference:
2/ For example, let us assume that it is possible to increase the charge of electrons ...
 

tedtmc

Key Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
For example, let us assume that it is possible to increase the charge of electrons ...

This is the same as

let us assume that the charge of electrons can be increased

as I suggested.

I thought in science, you are only concerned with whether something can or cannot be done. Why bother with who or what (it) is going to do it?
 

hanky

Key Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
Exactly.
But if you're going to make an assumption, you might be able to assume that "it is possible" rather than "it would be possible".
This would be my preference:
2/ For example, let us assume that it is possible to increase the charge of electrons ...
Hi Raymott,
I used "it would be possible" rather than "it's possible" because that I assumed is contrast with the truth (we are likely to say "If I were you" but not "If I am you"), am I right? To be safe, maybe I go with the first sentence.
Thank you.
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Hi Raymott,
I used "it would be possible" rather than "it's possible" because that I assumed is contrast with the truth (we are likely to say "If I were you" but not "If I am you"), am I right? To be safe, maybe I go with the first sentence.
Thank you.
If you assume something is true, you don't have to use the subjunctive. You'd say: "Let's assume I was you." or "Let's assume I am you". If you assume something for a mind exercise, you pretend it is true, and use the grammar for true things.

To give tedtmc his due, his correction of 2. is probably the simplest way of saying what you want.
 

2006

Banned
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
That's true, you can postulate a scenario in which 2. is good.

But the OP presented the two sentences and asked which was better - the implication being that the meanings were similar. I meant that 2. is not good if you are taking "it" to be the subject of an impersonal verb, as in "It is possible".

Certainly you are right if "it" has a concrete referent, and this does make them both correct.
One problem is that we often don't know what the level of the poster's understanding is.
So when they ask something like 'Which one is (better)(correct)?', we may not be sure if the actual words the poster uses to ask the question is what they really mean.
Also, other students read the answers and that may cause us to answer in a more comprehensive way. (at a 'higher level') Of course, the most important person is the one who asks the question.

Interestingly, both of the first two responders answered that both can be correct. But no doubt, there can be more than one way to perceive and answer the question. :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top