Predicting that X will probably change Y

The IA-CEPA is predicted to stabilise diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Predicting a change that does not take an object

If you want to say something will change, without mentioning the thing that will be affected by the change (the object of the change), then the writer of our opening example is using the right structure: Continue reading

Why these and not those?

These days a lot of people like to use smartphones and tablets. Those are popular because they can connect to the Internet.

OK so our writer is using those as a substitute for smartphones and tablets. However, it would have been better to use these: Continue reading

Referring to sources using substitution

It has been argued that expenditure needed for applying a circular economy tends to be high (Kirchher et al., 2017). However, their claim is easy to counter given the many economic benefits offered by a circular economy.

This writer has used their as a substitute for a source – Kircher et al. However, since the source is in brackets and has not yet appeared in the body of the text, we have to assume that the reader has not yet seen it! Only use a pronoun as a substitute if the noun you are substituting has already been mentioned in the body of the text: Continue reading

Quality or qualities?

Javorcik seems to be unaware of the ability of domestic companies to engage in improving their qualities.

Another countable / uncountable problem, folks! Later we’ll take a look at some examples of each and think about differences in meaning. Before you read the examples try this practice activity! Continue reading

As he says that..

As Ballard (2017) states that nicotine is more dangerous than alcohol.

OK so there is a group of reporting verbs that may be followed by that (+ independent clause), while there are others that don’t work with that:

Reporting verbs with ‘that’

  • Henderson (2013) writes that the double quantum matrix is a myth.
  • In 2015 it was discovered by Smith that elephants are more afraid of snakes than mice.
  • The findings of Jones et al. (2017) suggest that music education can lead to more general improvements in academic ability.

Reporting verbs without ‘that’

  • Henderson (2013) describes the double quantum matrix as a myth.
  • In his 2015 study of elephants, Smith identified a discrepancy between fear of mice and fear of snakes.
  • Jones’ research (2017) highlighted improvements in academic ability following music study.

As + that (?!)

This third category simply does not exist! As does not belong with that, so in our opening example we need either:

  • Ballard (2017) states that nicotine is more dangerous than alcohol.


  • As Ballard (2017) states, nicotine is more dangerous than alcohol.

Indonesian flag But NEVER:

  • As Ballard (2017) states that nicotine is more dangerous than alcohol.

Let’s discuss ‘discuss about’

A variety of arguments have been put forward to discuss about the difference between a linear economy and a circular economy.

Let’s see what has to say about discuss and talk:

talk about


As you can see, talk is often followed by about, but discuss is never followed by about!

  • Today I’m going to discuss about unemployment.
  • Today I’m going to talk about unemployment.
  • Today I’m going to discuss unemployment.

Hope that helps!