Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Mar 8 2010   2:29PM GMT

Working with dependent clauses and references

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
A business rules engine allows users to specify logic to a computer, ________________________
a. which will then be executed.
b. which will then execute it.


Answer: b

Explanation:
The last part of the sentence is a dependent clause, which we understand refers to the nearest noun, “computer.” So the first sentence would suggest that the computer will be executed, which makes me think of Dave pulling the plug on Hal.

Let’s look at a variation that might serve to clarify:

The CEO is going to describe the plan to the team, which will then be executed.

Unless this is an “I could tell you — but then I’d have to kill you” situation, we’d better change that to:

The CEO describes the plan to the team, which will then execute it.

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  • Stevegs
    I wonder how many people will get the reference to the Stanley Kubrick movie scripted by Arthur C Clarke - "2001"... Daisy, Daisy, give me.... steve *********** But it's a classic! I probably should go back in and add a link, though... Ivy
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