General Writing and Grammar Help/phrase

Advertisement


Question
Dear Roy,

In one technical description I have seen a phrase like "a first surface of the first tube contacts to a second surface of the second tube". Both of the terms designatig the surfaces was not defined in that text earlier. Taking into account the presence of the indefinite article, I would take it as "a first surface, of the first tube, contacts to a second surface, of the second tube", that is "a first surface (a part of the surface of the first tube) contacts to a second surface (a part of the surface of the second tube) of the second tube". Is this interpretation correct?

Nikolay.

Answer
Hello Nikolay

It's difficult to  answer this without knowing the full context.

But I think your interpretation is correct.

It seems odd (in English) to use the indefinite article A in connection with a tube.

It would be much more usual to say THE surface of a tube.

I hope that helps

Best wishes  

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Roy Johnson

Expertise

I can answer questions on English language, grammar, writing skills, and study skills. I am particularly experienced in the writing skills required for academic essays, term papers, reports, dissertations, and post-graduate theses.

Experience

I have forty years experience as a tutor and as the author of books on writing and study skills. For thirty years I was a tutor for the Workers' Educational Association, which specialises in courses for adult students and preparing mature students for university. I was also a tutor for the Open University between 1975 and 2010. During that time I have also written a number of books on writing and study skills. In the last ten years or more I have specialised in creating computer-aided learning materials and online learning courses.

Publications
"Making the Grade" (Manchester University Press) 1990 "Studying Fiction" (Manchester University Press) 1991 "Marking Essays" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Revision and Examinations" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Writing Essays" (Clifton Ress) 1996 "Study Skills" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Electronic Writing" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Improve your Writing Skills" (Clifton Press) 2010 "Writing Essays 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "English Language 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "Study Skills 2.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program]

Education/Credentials
My first degree was in mechanical engineering (HNC). I then switched to literary studies and philosophy. My second degree was a BA in English and American Literature (from Manchester University - UK). I also have an MA in Comparative Literary Studies, and my doctoral thesis (PhD) was in the relationship between literature and politics.

Past/Present Clients
Amber TV Anglia Polytechnic University Bath Spa University College The Beattie Partnership Blackpool & the Fylde College Bolton, Salford, & Trafford NHS Cedar Health Central Manchester Health Trust City College Manchester Coventry University David Rigby Associates East Lancs NHS Food Standards Agency Graduate Research Institute Granada Studios Higher Education Funding Council Hyde Clarendon College Kellogg’s UK Kingsmill Health Trust Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Liverpool University Manchester Airport Manchester City Council Manchester Metropolitan University MANCAT Manchester PCT (NHS) Manchester TEC North East Lancs PCT NorthWest Learning Grid Oldham Business School Open University Parrs Wood College Runshaw College Salford Mental Health Trust Save the Children Fund South Manchester Health Trust St John Rigby College St Mary’s Catholic High School SwimTime University of Bolton University of Central Lancs University College Chester University of Huddersfield University of Hull University of Manchester University of Salford West London Health Trust Winstanley College Manchester NHS Xaverian College

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.