+0
Hi,

X is the minimal combination of attributes which discerns element A from element B.

The subject of "discerns" is "combination," so I'd say the singular is fine. However, I'm non sure whether the reader (the article is meant to address educated readers and specialists) will be misled by "attributes" and will think it's a typo or a mistake.

Any ideas or suggestions?
Many thanks! Emotion: smile
+0
I'd use "separate/distinguish" not "discerns" (which normally implies a human observer).
I'd use the plural, because each and every one of them is used for separating between the elements, thus you can't quite take them as a group and use the singular.
Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Marius HancuI'duse the plural, because each and every one of them is used forseparating between the elements, thus you can't quite take them as agroup and use the singular.
Thanks, Marius, but that's exactly how the methodology we are using works. What discerns two elements is the combination of attributes, not a single attribute. Also, the choice of "discern" is correct, since this theory is based on the concept of "indiscernibility relation."
I'm not going into details about the theory ... this would be quite boring ...Emotion: smile

I'm interested in understanding whether my sentence might be ambiguous from a purely grammatical point of view, since, as I said, it is meant for a specialized audience.
OK, if the combination is critical, is taken as a group, use the singular.
Pls mind that discern is mainly related to processes performed by the eye or mentally, thus by a human observer.
But you know what is used in that field, so stay with that.
Hi,
if it refers to "combination", use the singular. If it refers to "attributes", use the plural. You are not going to confuse anyone if you use the verbs the right way, provided the rest of the context is comprehensible of course, LOL. If you said "...the combination of attributes which are used to discern..."I personally would understand it's the attributes that are being considered.Emotion: smile
By the way, sometimes both a singular and a plural verb could work, if context allows you to be clear anyway.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Thank you both, K. and Marius, for your input.

Of course, I know that "combination" needs a singular verb, and "attributes" a plural one. Emotion: smile
I started having trouble with that sentence when I first read it out; that's probably because "attributes" is too close to "discerns." Emotion: sad