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These observations suggest that the ability to access our memories changes, depending on the particular situation, and is affected by change in time (or by advancing age).

The above sentence is taken from a Master's thesis. I felt that the sentence could be improved. The below is my modified version.

These observations suggest that the ability to access our memory changes depending on particular situations, and is affected by change in time (or by advancement in age).

The reason for changing memories to memory is because I don't think memory is countable in the context. I changed from 'the particular situation' to 'particular situations' because there is no definite situation, but many particular situations(which are not definite). I changed 'or by advancing age' to 'or by advancement in age' to agree more closely with 'change in time', where there is no 'ing'. I think both 'advancement of' and 'advancement in' are acceptable, but I chose the latter to agree more closely with 'change in time'.

Please tell me if I'm on the right path to glory. Thanks teachers.
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Hi,

I don't understand what you mean by 'change in time'. Please explain.

Clive
Really? Change in time as in passage of time. So for example, as time passes, memory gets worse. Or with change in time, memory gets worse.
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I posted as anon.. so I post again:

Really? Change in time as in passage or passing of time. For example, with passage of time, memory gets worse. Or with change in time, memory gets worse.
Hi,

These observations suggest that the ability to access our memories changes, depending on the particular situation, and is affected by change in time (or by advancing age).

The above sentence is taken from a Master's thesis. I felt that the sentence could be improved. The below is my modified version.

'Memory/memories' are slightly odd terms. A person commonly speaks of 'my memories' as the '"pieces of mental video" that he stores in his 'memory', ie where 'memory' means the 'storage place in my brain". I'm not sure, but I think the former is the meaning that you intend. Is that right? I suggest this.

These observations suggest that the ability to access our memories changes depending on the particular situation, and is affected by the passage of time.

'The passage of time' is much clearer than 'the change of time'. It also seems to include the meaning of 'advancing age'.

I changed from 'the particular situation' to 'particular situations' because there is no definite situation, but many particular situations(which are not definite). I prefer the singular, because it suggests to me 'all particular situations', whereas the plural sounds to me like 'some particular situations'.

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks Clive for your reply.

'Memory/memories' are slightly odd terms. A person commonly speaks of 'my memories' as the '"pieces of mental video" that he stores in his 'memory', ie where 'memory' means the 'storage place in my brain". I'm not sure, but I think the former is the meaning that you intend. Is that right? I suggest this.

These observations suggest that the ability to access our memories changes depending on the particular situation, and is affected by the passage of time.


No, I am of the opinion that it should be the latter definition of memory, since it seems to relate more to the context of the sentence. I think the important thing is the access of information storage that is memory, not accessing of individual pieces of memory. I don't know if you agree with that though, and if it's debatable (I don't know if it's idiomatic to say 'our memories' in that context, overruling my reasoning). If the latter definition is used in your revised sentence, I come up with "These observations suggest that the ability to access our memory changes depending on the particular situation, and is affected by the passage of time." I only omitted the 's', and I think that's right(grammatically). In retrospect, I'd probably use "one's memory" rather than 'our memory' in keeping with the more formal tone of any thesis.

I prefer the singular, because it suggests to me 'all particular situations', whereas the plural sounds to me like 'some particular situations'.

Ok, I see. Would you still use 'depending on the particular situation'? I'm not sure why 'the' is needed, as it seems to imply to me that the particular situation is known, which is not; it is just any situation that is different than others.

Besides that, would you omit the ',' after 'changes'? I think it should be omitted because it slows down the pace of the sentence without making the sentence any clearer.

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Hi again,

No, I am of the opinion that it should be the latter definition of memory, since it seems to relate more to the context of the sentence. I think the important thing is the access of information storage that is memory, not accessing of individual pieces of memory. I don't know if you agree with that though, I think that's really for you to decide, based on the details of what you are studying.Emotion: smile

In retrospect, I'd probably use "one's memory" rather than 'our memory' in keeping with the more formal tone of any thesis. OK.

Ok, I see. Would you still use 'depending on the particular situation'? I'm not sure why 'the' is needed, Simply put, the grammar requires it.

Besides that, would you omit the ',' after 'changes'? I think it should be omitted because it slows down the pace of the sentence without making the sentence any clearer. Yes, I agree.

Clive
Thanks Clive.
Hi Myyol,

This is my take. You are right about "memory" being an uncountable noun. Having said that, depending on the context, it's possible that it can be plural. Consider this. There are times you can recollect events very vividly from years ago but what you ate two days ago for lunch was forgotten. In this type of context or similar, "memories" is acceptable in my opinion.

In your sentence, "change of time" could be confusing. I would suggest an alternative " by passing of time" or simply "aging".
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