Sentence completion

Sentence completion

Postby Léopold on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:54 am

Dear Prof

Let's consider the short text below.

Thus, from August 2009 to May 2010, 100 (1) … of fresh sardines measuring on average 24.94 cm (2) … and 2.99 cm (3) … with an average humidity of 66.66% and a fat level that (4) … 10.38 %, and 100 samples of smoked fish were taken (5) … (6) … fish smokers previously identified in the three abovementioned smoking sites.

Which option below is correct to complete each blank above ?

1-A. specimens / B. samples
2-A. long / B. in length
3-A. thick / B. in thickness
4-A. hovers around / B. hovers at / C. oscillates around
5-A. with / B. from
6-A. Ø / B. the

Thank you
Léopold
 

Re: Sentence completion

Postby prof on Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:27 pm

Most of the choices here are stylistic rather than grammatical. Therefore which ones you use are a matter of personal style, and the choices are determined by whether they make the sentences clearer and easier to read.

With this in mind, my version of the text would read:

Thus, from August 2009 to May 2010, 100 specimens of fresh sardines [measuring] on average 24.94 cm in length and 2.99 cm thick with an average humidity of 66.66% and a fat level that hovers at 10.38 %, and [a further] 100 samples of smoked fish were taken from the fish smokers previously identified in the three abovementioned smoking sites.

Use 'specimens' this is more accurate and the fact that these are samples is self-evident, and you say so later anyway.
'Measuring' is unnecessary and makes the sentence overly complex. We say 'in length' to give the reader more time to understand what we are talking about, but 'thick' because by now the concept is understood.

I have inserted 'a further' to make it clear that we are now talking about a different sample. 'From' is the best preposition to go with 'taken' and as we define which sites, 'the above-mentioned sites', the definite article should be used here.
prof
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