【英語論文の書き方】第53回 By 2020とup to 2020の違い

2018年2月6日 10時00分

(1) Present vs. past tense in mathematical expressions
(2) Tenses when describing scenarios, modeling processes, projections, etc.
(3) Some informal expressions that should be avoided in scientific writing
(1) By 2020 or up to 2020? Expressions related to years.
By 2020  up to 2020の違いにふれながら、「年」にまつわる表現を
(2) Other expressions denoting periods of time or durations
(3) Techniques to avoid using a numeral at the beginning of a sentence


In this review, first we look at various expressions related to years, then we turn our attention to other expressions related to periods or durations of time. We conclude with some suggestions about techniques to avoid using a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. 

(1) By 2020 or up to 2020? Expressions related to years.

Expressions related to years occur frequently in scientific writing, especially in papers dealing with modeling or forecasting of future scenarios. Many Japanese researchers tend to write expressions such as in the year 2020. However, it is actually not necessary to write the year here, unless you feel that there might be some ambiguity in the text if the year were omitted.
Now let’s look at the different nuances created when we use various prepositions, which are often a cause of mistakes when writing about years.
(a) in
When we use the preposition in with a year, we are usually only talking about something occurring during that year itself. Take care not to use in when you really mean up to or by. For example:
“The model shows that CO2 emissions will increase in 2020.”
This sentence looks wrong because it is extremely unlikely that a particular event will increase CO2 emissions specifically in 2020. What the writer is probably intending to say is “up to 2020.”
(b) up to
This implies something occurring from the present time (or continuing from before the present time) that will probably stop occurring during or after the year mentioned. For example:
“The model shows that CO2 emissions will increase up to 2020.”
The nuance created by using up to here is that the increase will no longer occur after 2020; that is, emissions will level off or perhaps decline in 2020 or from 2021 onward, unless an expression such as “and beyond” is added.
(c) by
The use of by usually indicates some form of target or deadline. The nuance that is often expressed when by is used is that something desirable will occur between now and the year mentioned, or that something undesirable will stop occurring. For example:
“The model shows that [the increase in] CO2 emissions will level off by 2020.”

(2) Other expressions denoting periods of time or durations

Next, we examine some examples of expressions denoting a period of time or a duration during which something occurs.
(a) from . . . to . . .
The use of from … to . . . indicates that the occurrence being referred to will start (or continue to occur) in the first year mentioned, and will stop (or no longer be predictable or measurable) by the second year mentioned. For example:
“The model shows that CO2 emissions will increase from 2020 to 2050.”
Hence, there is an emphasis on the beginning and ending points.
(b) between . . . and . . . / during the period . . .-. . .
When either of these two expressions is used, there is more emphasis on the overall period of time, rather than on the specific beginning and ending points. For example:
“The model shows that CO2 emissions will increase between 2020 and 2050 / during the period 2020-2050. (Note that we usually omit from in the latter expression; i.e., “the period 2020-2050,” not “the period from 2020-2050.”)
In this example, the increase might begin in, say, 2022 and level off by, say, 2049, so the beginning and ending years are not necessarily as specific as in the case of from … to . . . . However, it is also possible that the increase will, in fact, begin in 2020 and level off (or turn to a decrease) in 2050, so there are many cases in which expressions (a) and (b) are interchangeable.
(c) Expressions requiring extra care
The hyphen used in an expression such as 2020-2050 actually means to. Therefore, it would be incorrect to write “between 2020-2050,” because between is always used with and; we never say “between . . . to . . . .”
As regards the preposition during, I recommend using it only with an expression such as the period; e.g., “during the period 2020-2050.” 
Although some language purists object to using in when referring to a whole period, most writers feel that such usage is acceptable; e.g., “in 2020-2050.”
My own preference in scientific texts is to use an expression such as “during the period 2020-2050” the first time the period is mentioned, then “in 2020-2050” thereafter.

(3) Techniques to avoid using a numeral at the beginning of a sentence

In principle, a sentence should not begin with a numeral. Therefore, if you want to begin a sentence by mentioning a year or a period, this is a situation in which you will need to write, say, “The year 2020” or “The period 2020-2050.” In cases other than years or periods, the number could be written in words instead of numerals; e.g., “Seventy-four percent of the respondents stated that. . . .” Alternatively, the order of the words could be changed so that the number appears in the middle of the sentence rather than at the beginning; e.g., “Among the respondents, 74% stated that. . . .”
As always, I hope that these hints are helpful to you. Keep up the good work!
Sincerely yours,
Bob Gavey
For World Translation Services, Inc.





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第19回 前置詞 of の使い方: Part 2

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第23回 不定詞と動名詞の使い分け: Part 2

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第25回 総称表現 (a, theの使い方を含む)


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