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it or we

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01:03 Apr 16, 2018
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical - Other
English term or phrase: it or we
After examining the data gathered from the survey for this study, it could be concluded that the criteria we created to evaluate training in low-frequency electroacupuncture may be used as evaluation criteria.


After examining the data gathered from the survey for this study, we concluded that the criteria we created to evaluate training in low-frequency electroacupuncture may be used as evaluation criteria.


Which is better it or we?

Thank you very much for your kind advice.
Sue-my
Local time: 16:59


Summary of answers provided
4 +4we
Charles Davis


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
we


Explanation:
Both your examples are grammatically correct, though "it could be concluded that" in the first is not very elegant, and moreover it is ambiguous, because "could" could be either past or conditional (it could mean either "it was possible to conclude that" or "it would be possible to conclude that"). But in any case, there is a strong preference nowadays for the active voice in medical research writing, and "we concluded" is definitely preferable.

It is also worth mentioning that your two versions are not exactly equivalent; the first refers to the possibility of drawing a given conclusion, whereas the second states that a given conclusion was drawn. If you wanted to use the active voice, as in the second version, but retain the idea of possibility expressed in the first version, you could say "we were able to conclude that".

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 68

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Björn Vrooman: Good summary, I think: https://cgi.duke.edu/web/sciwriting/index.php?action=passive... One of the biggest issues is nominalization (guilty as charged over here). The second part of the sentence needs some changes, though (2x criteria / 2x evaluate).
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Björn! Yes, there are those other problems too...

agree  Tina Vonhof: This 'depersonalization' in research writing should be a thing of the past. It is vague and does not add anything to the credibility of the conclusions.
9 hrs
  -> Thanks, Tina :-) I quite agree, and that's the consensus nowadays.

agree  Robert Forstag
11 hrs
  -> Thank you, Robert :-)

agree  acetran
1 day 1 hr
  -> Thanks, acetran :-)
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