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  1. #1
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Cool as the old teacher had taught

    In the following sentence:



    The light fell onto maps and records, and the pupil's own laborious copying as the old teacher had taught a quiet, chastened son of the Lord the history of his family.


    I find some difficulty with the tense used for the teacher: had taught. It seems it would be more suitable to use "as the old teacher taught." "Taught for simple past tense for an action is being done while the pupil is copying


    This "as" seems to be for "whereas" and not for "when"


    Am I missing some essential factor? Is the sentence saying some different thing? I understand that light (from windows) is falling over maps, records, and and over the work of copying attended by the pupil, and while doing so, the teacher is teaching about the history of the pupil's family.



    Thank You




    Last edited by Bushwhacker; 19-Nov-2009 at 10:48.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    In the following sentence:



    The light fell onto maps and records and the pupil's own laborious copying, as the old teacher taught a quiet, chastened son of the Lord, the history of his family.


    I find some difficulty with the tense used for the teacher: had taught. It seems it would be more suitable to use "as the old teacher taught." "Taught for simple past tense for an action is being done while the pupil is copying


    This "as" seems to be for "whereas" and not for "when"


    Am I missing some essential factor? Is the sentence saying some different thing? I understand that light (from windows) is falling over maps, records, and and over the work of copying attended by the pupil, and while doing so, the teacher is teaching about the history of the pupil's family.



    Thank You




    My reading of it is that it should be "taught" and that "as" here means "while", also I would change the punctuation as I have above. What is this book Bushwhacker?

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    That's possible, but it may be correct, if we imagine a bit more:


    The light fell onto maps and records, and the pupil's own laborious copying as the old teacher had taught a quiet, chastened son of the Lord the history of his family to do.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Am I missing some essential factor? Is the sentence saying some different thing? I understand that light (from windows) is falling over maps, records, and and over the work of copying attended by the pupil, and while doing so, the teacher is teaching about the history of the pupil's family.

    Precisely.

    It's an atrociously-phrased sentence; and neither attempt to salvage it works!

  5. #5
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    I took laborious copying to be a substantive gerund referring to actual parchments he had (previously) copied as his old teacher had taught him to do.

  6. #6
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Cool Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I took laborious copying to be a substantive gerund referring to actual parchments he had (previously) copied as his old teacher had taught him to do.

    According to what you say, I have now a doubt referring to the action of the teacher. If he's teaching the art of copying to the pupil, then, what about all the final part, that of the familiar history, which seems being taught by the teacher to the pupil. Is the teacher teaching to copy or the history?

  7. #7
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Well, I'm not sure, it was just a possibility. Your instincts about grammar are good, and the questions you've been raising lately are indeed oddities of an unusual author. :)

  8. #8
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Cool Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Well, I'm not sure, it was just a possibility. Your instincts about grammar are good, and the questions you've been raising lately are indeed oddities of an unusual author. :)
    Thank You for being so understanding.

    Fins una altra.

  9. #9
    Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Cool Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Am I missing some essential factor? Is the sentence saying some different thing? I understand that light (from windows) is falling over maps, records, and and over the work of copying attended by the pupil, and while doing so, the teacher is teaching about the history of the pupil's family.

    Precisely.

    It's an atrociously-phrased sentence; and neither attempt to salvage it works!

    Do you really think this paragraph has not solution? Is its ambiguity so hard to solve?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: as the old teacher had taught

    Wait.....total misunderstanding.

    The 'precisely' means I totally agree with what you said, (quoted, and in red).

    The 'atrociously-phrased sentence' is not yours, but...
    The light fell onto maps and records, and the pupil's own laborious copying as the old teacher had taught a quiet, chastened son of the Lord the history of his family.

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