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Thread: inherent in us

  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default inherent in us

    Is this a non-defining, non-restrictive usage like "an ability, (which is) inherent.."? Maybe the writer made a mistake, he should have written it as "an ability inherent in us". Or did he just try to say "Language is a kind of ability, and it is inherent in us"?

    suk28
    ex)Language is an ability, inherent in us. We can know the ability through studying the actual languages. Thus, one of the best reasons for studying languages is to find out about ourselves, about what makes us persons...

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: inherent in us

    Is this a non-defining, non-restrictive usage like "an ability, (which is) inherent.."?
    That's the way I would read it. You could also read the comma here as a "pause for effect."

    And I don't really see how your other two options end up making any difference in meaning. You understand that the ability is inherent in us.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: inherent in us

    After careful thoughts, this is how I understand it.
    1.Language is an ability, inherent in us = The ability of language can has lot of characteristics, and being inherent is one of them. Extra information.
    2.Language is an ability inherent in us = The ability of language is only inherent and it sounds weird(?). Restrictive information.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: inherent in us

    With or without a comma, it means that language is inherent. It doesn't mean that "inherent" is the only thing language is or that the only thing that is inherent is language.

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    Default Re: inherent in us

    Could you tell me why they are using a comma or not and what the difference is? All I learned so far was defining(restrictive) or non-defining(non-restrictive) usage.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: inherent in us

    I just did. The presence of a comma doesn't change the meaning at all. Here is seems to me to be a mental pause. The pause allows more emphasis to be put on the phrase "inherent in us all" than might be given if the sentence is rushed through.

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