Ethan Lee
A piece of writing for correction I'm reviewing a piece of writing for a colleague of mine. The original goes: "According to the 2017 survey, for students who graduated for 3-years, about 80 percent of the University graduates are in employment. The other 20 percent students are mostly prepare advanced studies or exams for government jobs." Here is my revision: "According to the 2017 survey of the students who have graduated from the University for 3 years, about 80 percent are in employment, while the other 20 percent are mostly preparing exams for advanced studies or government jobs." I have questions: 1. Those who have graduated can still be called "students" in the first half of the paragraph? If not, how should I rephrase it? 2. Should I use past tense "were" instead when describing the survey result? 3. The percentage of 80 (and of 20 as well) is a singular or plural count noun here? Should I use "is" instead of "are"? 4. Any suggestions to make this piece better overall are welcome. Thank you very much!
Nov 8, 2018 6:41 AM
Answers · 6
(Part Two) 3. The percentage of 80 (and of 20 as well) is a singular or plural count noun here? Should I use "is" instead of "are"? (A percentage represents a portion of a whole quantity. For example, if there are 100,000 graduates in 2017, 80% of 100,000 would be 80,000 graduates (plural noun). Therefore, "are" or "were" should be used, depending on the use of present or past tense respectively. On a separate note: (A) If you are referring to the NUMBER represented by a percentage, it can be a singular or plural noun. Example: More than 50% of the RESIDENTS in Barrow ARE Alaska Natives. ("Residents" is a countable noun) / About 21% of AIR IS oxygen. ("Air" is an uncountable noun) (B) If you are referring to THE PERCENTAGE itself, it is a singular noun. Example: The PERCENTAGE of graduates HAS plateaued in recent years. (C) If you are referring to more than one percentage, they are referred collectively in the plural form. Example: The PERCENTAGES of homicide and burglary HAVE fallen over the years. 4. Any suggestions to make this piece better overall are welcome. "According to [a] 2017 survey of the students who have graduated from the [university] for [three] years, about 80 percent [of these graduates / of all respondents] [were] in employment while [most of the rest were] preparing [for their] exams for advanced studies or government jobs." * There are many ways to edit your sentences. Mine is merely one of the many.
November 8, 2018
(Part One) "According to the 2017 survey of the students who have graduated from the University for 3 years, about 80 percent are in employment, while the other 20 percent are mostly preparing exams for advanced studies or government jobs." Questions: 1. Those who have graduated can still be called "students" in the first half of the paragraph? If not, how should I rephrase it? (Yes, as you have used "have graduated", it is understood that these people who are graduates NOW were students BEFORE they "have graduated". The use of present perfect tense describes something that took place in the past and the effect of the event is still ongoing now. Another example: "The people who have perished are honoured as war heroes." In this second sentence, it is true that these people no longer exist, but just before they were killed, they were people who were alive. The use of "have perished" connects their death during the war to the present moment when they are honoured.) 2. Should I use past tense "were" instead when describing the survey result? (These people graduated in 2014, so three years later, a survey was conducted in 2017 which was still in the past (it is now 2018). The results (80% employed versus 20% unemployed for various reasons) were describing a situation in the past; therefore, the past tense should be used. Example: "..., about 80 percent [of respondents were] in employment, while the other 20 percent [were] mostly preparing exams for...."
November 8, 2018
is this for IELTS or something?
November 8, 2018
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Ethan Lee
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Hakka), Chinese (Taiwanese), English
Learning Language
English