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Thread: "Which"

  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
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    Question "Which"

    An extract from "The Motor Vehicle".

    "Petrol enters at I and, passing to the dome D through the circular filter gauze F which surrounds the central turret, enters the pump chamber through the inlet valve V1."

    Q: Is it possible that which may be referring either to the dome D or to the circular filter gauze F depending on the context or should it (which) stick only to the latter (the circular filter gauze F)?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by suprunp; 11-May-2011 at 11:09. Reason: .

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Which"

    Hi suprunp

    As an NES, but not a teacher, my understanding would be that it refers to the filter, not the dome.

    If I had meant the dome I would have said something like:

    "Petrol enters at I and, passing, through[\via] the circular filter gauze F, to the dome D which surrounds the central turret, enters the pump chamber through the inlet valve V1".

    I admit it's a bit of a mouthful!

    Hope this helps
    R21

    PS I'd probably also have used the word "that" rather than "which".

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    Default Re: "Which"

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    An extract from "The Motor Vehicle".

    "Petrol enters at I and, passing to the dome D through the circular filter gauze F which surrounds the central turret, enters the pump chamber through the inlet valve V1."

    Q: Is it possible that which may be referring either to the dome D or to the circular filter gauze F depending on the context or should it (which) stick only to the latter (the circular filter gauze F)?

    Thanks.
    The relative clause always seems to modify the closest antecedent. That's why in your writing you want to make the clause snuggle as close together with its antecedent as possible so as to avoid misplaced modifiers.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Which"

    Talking of misplaced modifiers.

    Would you view the sentences stated below as grammatically incorrect?

    Thanks.

    But the response being ambiguous, he repaired to Troezen to consult his wise friend Pittheus, who reigned over that city, by whose advice he contracted a secret marriage with his friend's daughter Aethra.


    Minos, king of Crete, having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea, the god caused a magnificent bull to emerge from the waves in order to test the sincerity of the Cretan king, who, in making this vow, had alleged that he possessed no animal, among his own herds, worthy the acceptance of the mighty sea-god.

    (The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. by E. M. Berens)

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    Default Re: "Which"

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Talking of misplaced modifiers.

    Would you view the sentences stated below as grammatically incorrect?

    Thanks.

    But the response being ambiguous, he repaired to Troezen to consult his wise friend Pittheus, who reigned over that city, by whose advice he contracted a secret marriage with his friend's daughter Aethra.


    Minos, king of Crete, having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea, the god caused a magnificent bull to emerge from the waves in order to test the sincerity of the Cretan king, who, in making this vow, had alleged that he possessed no animal, among his own herds, worthy the acceptance of the mighty sea-god.

    (The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. by E. M. Berens)
    I don't like 1. 2 is correct but I wouldn't recommend writing like that. It reads unnecessarily cumbersome, especially given the simplicity of the ideas and of the narrative. There's no reason for it to be complicated. I consider that poor style -- the form doesn't go well with content.

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    Default Re: "Which"

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    I don't like 1. 2 is correct
    Would you be so kind to extend your statement?
    Are those parts of the sentence set off in red connected?

    Minos, king of Crete, having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea, the god caused a magnificent bull to emerge from the waves in order to test the sincerity of the Cretan king, who, in making this vow, had alleged that he possessed no animal, among his own herds, worthy the acceptance of the mighty sea-god.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: "Which"

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Would you be so kind to extend your statement?
    Are those parts of the sentence set off in red connected?

    Minos, king of Crete, having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea, the god caused a magnificent bull to emerge from the waves in order to test the sincerity of the Cretan king, who, in making this vow, had alleged that he possessed no animal, among his own herds, worthy the acceptance of the mighty sea-god.

    Thanks.
    Minos, king of Crete, having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea, = noun phrase

    the god (subject) caused a magnificent bull to emerge from the waves in order to test the sincerity of the Cretan king, = main clause

    who, in making this vow,
    had alleged that he possessed no animal, among his own herds, worthy the acceptance of the mighty sea-god. = relative clause

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Which"

    Help me get this correct.

    Is this part a dangling modifier? :

    ...having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea,...

    And in case it is not would this kind of sentences be correct? :
    "Minos, king of Crete, having turned the corner, a handsome school building appeared."

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    Default Re: "Which"

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Help me get this correct.

    Is this part a dangling modifier? :

    ...having vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon any animal which should first appear out of the sea,...

    And in case it is not would this kind of sentences be correct? :
    "Minos, king of Crete, having turned the corner, a handsome school building appeared."
    No it's not a dangling modifier. It's part of a noun phrase.

    Yes your sentence is technically correct but highly unlikely.

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