I have used information from your books and blogs for many years and have learned a lot in the process — they are fantastic, thank you!
I have a question, and google and www.dictionary.com and my other sources have failed to deliver a satisfying answer... And while pondering what to do, I thought I'd ask you:
What is the right word to follow the verb ensure, e.g. he ensures the quality of his products... — what comes next: by using? through using? or simply using?
The first part of my sentence is ' XX ensures the quality of his products, the second part of the sentence 'exacting manufacturing process'.
I'd love to know
* how best to combine the two parts of my sentence
* what to call the word I'm looking for ...
* a source where I can find an answer to this type of question...
Thank you. Much appreciated!
- - - ---
Whenever I find myself in a similar quandary I usually throw away the awkward construction and start again. There's always another way to say what you mean.
In this particular sentence you could write:
He ensures the quality of his products by using an exacting manufacturing process.
That would be correct. But exacting manufacturing is a bit confusing. That may be why you are struggling with this particular sentence.
That's why I would not try to hammer the original sentence into shape. A sentence may be grammatically correct and yet still be unclear, and clarity trumps correctness every time!
He ensures the quality of his products through a rigorous, well documented manufacturing process.
So while your question was beautifully clear, I don't think it was quite the right question :-)
The best question is always: "How can I say what I mean in the clearest possible way?"
You also asked for the name the word you were looking for, and a source which answers this type of question.
The word by is a preposition. As for a source for similar answers, I don't like any of them. In forums, I often see writers struggling to save a sentence with grammar, when grammar alone cannot save it.
Is that a help? I hope so!
Photo by Janeen on Flickr. A-NC-ND Creative Commons.