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  1. #1
    Honore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Sentence Structure, Vocabulary, and Grammar

    "If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and even alarming to the than of the social theory of life, no less strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient times seemed the requirements of the social doctrine when it was not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results." - Leo Tolstoy

    Leo Tolstoy - The Kingdom of God is Within You - Chapter V

    Dear Teacher,

    For the sentence given above, I appreciate if you please let me understand:

    1. Structure: is it inverted and is it possible to rewrite as:

    If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and even alarming to the than of
    the social theory of life, the requirements of the social doctrine seemed no less strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient times when it was not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results.

    Does the word "it" stand for "the requirements of the social doctrine"?

    2. The phrase "than of": what does it mean?

    3. Tense harmony: Why is the first if-clause in present tense, while the rest in past?

    Thanks and regards.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Sentence Structure, Vocabulary, and Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Honore View Post
    "If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and even alarming to the than of the social theory of life, no less strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient times seemed the requirements of the social doctrine when it was not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results." - Leo Tolstoy
    1. Structure: is it inverted and is it possible to rewrite as:

    If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and even alarming to the than of
    the social theory of life, the requirements of the social doctrine seemed no less strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient times when it was not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results.

    Yes, and this is more natural in modern English.

    Does the word "it" stand for "the requirements of the social doctrine"?

    It possibly stands for just "the social doctrine".

    2. The phrase "than of": what does it mean?

    I have no idea. I think there must be a misprint here. In some versions I found, the word "man" replaced "than"; it is still difficult to understand. Perhaps someone knows what the original Russian version is.

    3. Tense harmony: Why is the first if-clause in the present tense, while the rest is in the past?
    See below..
    The tenses fit. Here is a simpler example:

    If this seems difficult nowadays, it seemed impossible only ten years ago.

    Here "if" has the idea of " "if (and this is almost certainly the case)...

  3. #3
    Honore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Sentence Structure, Vocabulary, and Grammar

    Thank you very much sir. Regards.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sentence Structure, Vocabulary, and Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Honore View Post
    "If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and even alarming to the fan of the social theory of life, ...
    Hey, it's a complete guess, but maybe it was dictated. It works.

  5. #5
    Honore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Sentence Structure, Vocabulary, and Grammar

    Thank you very much sir. That word replacement looks fine.

    As a matter of fact, I thought of it as a typo when I first saw while reading on my Kindle, but since it is still the same in a different text on Internet, I had to ask here. Probably, the Kindle version also uses the same source.

    Regards

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