Why do I see a purple error message?

If you see a purple error message instead of your concept-label or verb/adjective/pronoun, then the software could not determine the conjugation.

Usually, the software will provide you a hint on what went wrong. You can see this hint by hovering your mouse over the purple error message.

If this does not help, then check the following steps:

  • For concept-labels:
    • Check whether you inserted the required grammatical word into the concept-label. For example, if you requested the word to be shown in plural (e.g., through @plural), then you must ensure that the plural version of that concept label effectively exists.
      • For languages with grammatical cases, you must ensure that a concept-label exists for that grammatical case.
      • Be aware that concept-labels cannot only be defined at the level of the concept (i.e., stored within the concept’s file), but can also be adhoc “overruled” (e.g., when you chose another concept-label in the popup-window of the Terms menu of Assemble Document). Even when you properly stored all required grammatical words for the concept-label in the concept’s file, you may not have done so when overrruling that concept-label from within the Terms menu.

        If such is the case, then you can either complete the adhoc-defined conceptlabel through the popup-window of the Terms menu. Alternatively, you can remove that adhoc-defined conceptlabel by clicking on the red “Revert to default” button in the popup-window.
  • For conjugated verbs/adjectives/pronouns:
    • Check whether you properly associated the conjugated word with a concept. For example, in simple clauses with only one concept, it can be sufficient to simply put <angular brackets> around a verb or adjective. However, when multiple concepts exist, as well as in some edge-cases, the software may not be able to reliably figure out which concept to associate with. In such case, you should explicitly refer to the concept within the angular brackets, e.g. <adjective: #concept>.
    • It may be the case that the word (or the required grammatical combination — e.g., third person plural in nominative case) was not found in the software’s internal dictionary. In such case, you can resolve the error by adding the relevant entry to the mini-dictionary.

Do I need to create two different versions of a Concept for the singular and plural?

In many contracts, the same term happens to be used in both the singular and plural form. The typical example is term “Party”, which is also used as “Parties”. 

The question arises whether, in ClauseBase, you should create two different Concepts in such situation. 

  • For grammatical purposes, it is not necessary to create two different Concepts for the same term. After all, assuming you have specified both the singular and the plural form in the concept label of the Concept, the special functions @singular and @plural allow you to easily different between the two grammatical forms.
  • From a legal perspective, it may be the case that you want to either assign a different meaning to the singular and plural form, or at least explicitly clarify how the singular and plural form should be interpreted. (E.g., in contracts with more than two parties, it may be ambiguous whether “the Parties” refers to “at least two parties (but not necessarily all of them)” or instead to “all of the parties”.)

    In such case, many legal experts will insert two different entries in the definition list, one for the singular form and one for the plural form.

    If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you will indeed have to create two different Concepts. The reason is that if you create only one Concept, and force its singular or plural form through @singular and @plural, then ClauseBase will only insert one entry into the definition list. You will probably want to ensure that the default concept label for the singular Concept is the singular form of the term, while the default concept label for the plural Concept is the plural form of the term