【英語論文の書き方】第46回 Problematic prepositions scientific writing: by, through, and with -3つの前置詞について

2017年7月28日 15時52分

第45回 は
(1) Think, propose, suggest, consider, believeの使い分け
(3) 論文のAcknowledgmentsセクションで研究に携わってくれた方の名前を記載する際の注意点

(1) Problematic prepositions scientific writing: by, through, and with 

(2) Finding the correct names of scientific equipment and its suppliers

(3) Ensuring the best quality of papers that you submit for publication


In this review, first we look at three prepositions that are commonly used incorrectly in scientific writing. We then examine ways of finding the correct names of scientific equipment and its suppliers, and conclude with a few remarks on ensuring that the papers you submit for publication are of the best possible quality.

(1) Problematic prepositions scientific writing: by, through, and with

The words by and through (meaning by means of) can generally be used interchangeably in scientific writing. However, note that by is normally followed by the “-ing” form of a verb (e.g., “X was achieved by increasing Y”), whereas through is normally followed by a noun or a noun phrase (e.g., “X was achieved through an increase in Y”).
In contrast to by+ the “-ing” form of the verb, if you use by means of (which has the same meaning as by but is slightly more formal-sounding), then this expression should be followed by a noun or noun phrase (e.g., “X was achieved by means of an increase in Y”).
While we’re on the subject of by, it can also be used with the meaning of “according to” (e.g., “Table 1 shows the compounds [classified] by molecular weight”). The important point to remember in these “by X” expressions is to use the singular form, because the basic meaning is “according to each X.”
Here are two examples:
Population trends by country (not “by countries”)
Classification of schools by curriculum (not “by curricula”)
Next, let’s look at with. Although by and with are often used interchangeably when describing how something is done, by is normally used to indicate an action to achieve a desired outcome using the “-ing” form of a verb, as mentioned earlier (e.g., “the solution is mixed by stirring it”), whereas with is normally used to indicate the tool, object, etc. that is used to achieve the desired outcome (e.g., “the solution is mixed with a stirring rod”).
With can also be used to describe a relationship between two changing phenomena; that is, “X [  ] with Y,” where [  ] denotes a verb. Here are two typical examples, together with alternative expressions that could be used:
X increases with time (or: over time, with the passage of time).
X decreased with accelerating Y (or: as Y accelerated).
Note that the expression after with is usually singular; for example, “the coercivity of the specimens increased with the annealing temperature (or: increased with increasing annealing temperature)” (not “temperatures”).
There are many other usages of by, through, and with, but the above comments will hopefully clarify some common points of confusion.

(2) Finding the correct names of scientific equipment and its suppliers

In scientific writing, and other contexts as well, naturally we have to write the names of products and companies–such as scientific equipment used in experiments, and its suppliers–correctly.
Starting with the company name, the easiest way to check the English name of a company (including a Japanese company) is to go to the main home page of the company’s website and scroll down to the “Copyright” notice at the bottom. There, even in Japanese-only websites, you will often find the company’s official English name. Another way is to check the company’s annual report, etc. on the website. A third possibility is to look at the company’s history. Often you will find an entry for a certain year stating that the company’s name was changed to such-and-such. For the names of products such as scientific equipment or materials, a search of the same website should reveal the correct names.
There is one pitfall that needs to be mentioned here: Often, Japanese companies in particular write their official English name in all-uppercase (XXXX) style, or incorrectly in some way. To give a hypothetical example, a company might call itself “BEST INNOVATORS Co., Ltd.,” or perhaps “Best Innovators CO.LTD.” It is best to avoid writing company and product names in all-uppercase style if possible. Of course, if the name is an abbreviation (such as “IBM”), we have to use the all-uppercase style. However, there are cases in which a company’s logo is written in all-uppercase style (e.g., “SONY”), but the actual name of the company is written with only uppercase initial letters (“Sony Corporation”).Often, if the registered name of a company or the trademarked name of a product is written in all-uppercase or in an incorrect form (e.g., “CO.LTD.”), editors will change the name to match the standard English style and will correct such mistakes. I personally would change “BEST INNOVATORS Co., Ltd.,” to “Best Innovators Co., Ltd.,” even if the former name is the officially registered name, because it makes too much of an impact on the page if written in all-uppercase style.

(3) Ensuring the best quality of papers that you submit for publication

I have heard about a recent trend toward authors asking for their papers to be checked without the references, figures and tables (including their captions), etc. However, I believe that it is important to include all figures, tables, and references when sending a paper to be checked by a native-speaking editor, before submission to a journal. Partially checked papers will inevitably be poor in quality in some parts, the editor of the journal will not be happy, and the paper will probably be evaluated more severely by the peer reviewers. It’s best to be safe by having your paper properly checked as an integral whole, rather than with some parts missing.
I hope that the above advice is useful to you in your daily work.
Sincerely yours,
Bob Gavey
For World Translation Services, Inc.





第1回 if、in case、when の正しい使い分け:確実性の程度を英語で正しく表現する
第2回 「装置」に対する英語表現
第3回 助動詞のニュアンスを正しく理解する:「~することが出来た」「~することが出来なかった」の表現
第4回 「~を用いて」の表現:by と with の違い
第5回 技術英文で使われる代名詞のitおよび指示代名詞thisとthatの違いとそれらの使用法
第6回 原因・結果を表す動詞の正しい使い方:その1 原因→結果
第7回 原因・結果を表す動詞の使い方:その2 結果→原因
第8回 受動態の多用と誤用に注意
第9回 top-heavyな英文を避ける
第10回 名詞の修飾語を前から修飾する場合の表現法
第11回 受動態による効果的表現
第12回 同格を表す接続詞thatの使い方
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第14回 「特別に」を表す英語表現
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第16回 「つまり」「言い換えれば」を表す表現
第17回 寸法や重量を表す表現
第18回 前置詞 of の使い方: Part 1
第19回 前置詞 of の使い方: Part 2
第20回 物体や物質を表す英語表現
第21回 句動詞表現より1語動詞での表現へ
第22回 不定詞と動名詞: Part 1
第23回 不定詞と動名詞の使い分け: Part 2

第24回 理由を表す表現


第25回 総称表現 (a, theの使い方を含む)
第26回 「研究開発」を表す英語表現

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第28回 「時制-現在形の動詞の使い方」

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第31回  比率や割合の表現(ratio, rate, proportion, percent, percentage)

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第39回 Quality Review Issue No. 21  previous, preceding, earlierなどの表現のちがい

第40回 Quality Review Issue No. 20 using XX, by XXの表現の違い

第41回 Quality Review Issue No. 19 increase, rise, surgeなど動詞の選び方

第42回 Quality Review Issue No. 18 論文での受動態の使い方

第43回 Quality Review Issue No. 17  Compared with とCompared toの違いは?
第44回 Reported about, Approach toの前置詞は必要か?
第45回 Think, propose, suggest, consider, believeの使い分け


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