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  1. #1
    High on grammar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Parallel structures

    Dear English Teacher:
    Which of the following is(are) correct?

    A."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that he lied about it"



    B. Mike’s teacher was angry not so much when he broke the window as when he lied about it"

    C."Mike’s teacher was as angry when he broke the window as when he lied about it”.



    D“Mike’s teacher was less angry when he broke the window than when he lied about it”.




    E."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that when he lied about it"



    F.“Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that when he broke the window as that when he lied about it"



    Thanks

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    Quote Originally Posted by High on grammar View Post
    Dear English Teacher:
    Which of the following is(are) correct?

    A."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that he lied about it"


    B. Mike’s teacher was angry not so much when he broke the window as when he lied about it"

    C."Mike’s teacher was as angry when he broke the window as when he lied about it”.


    D“Mike’s teacher was less angry when he broke the window than when he lied about it”.


    E."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that when he lied about it"


    F.“Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that when he broke the window as that when he lied about it"



    Thanks
    A, B, E, F are completely unnatural. I cannot think of any way to start a natural sentence with "Mike's teacher was angry not so much that ..."

    C and D are both possible. In both cases though, I have no idea whether "he" (who broke the window and lied about it) refers to Mike or to his teacher.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    nelson13 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Parallel structures



    A."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that he lied about it"

    E."Mike’s teacher was angry not so much that he broke the window as that when he lied about it"
    I can't understand why the two parts in sentence E don't run parallel to each other.

    For sentence A, I think it is correct. In this case THAT means BECAUSE, and this usage seems not to be as commonly used nowadays as one or two centuries ago. A modern usage of it retained is 'I did this, not that it..., but that it...'

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    The only way I can make E natural is:


    Mike's teacher was angry - not so much that Mike had broken the window but that he had lied about it.

    That is similar in construction to A. The main issue with all of them is that there needs to be a natural break after "Mike's teacher was angry". I have used a dash. At the very least it requires a comma.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    High on grammar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    A few of his accusers were upset not so much that bribes were expected as that they hadn't worked.
    The King's Bench: Bailiwick Magistrates and Local Governance in ... - Page 88

    Correlative Conjunctions: A Writer's Guide
    Not so much...as. Faulty: "Joe's parents were upset not so much that he broke the vase as at his lying about it." Not so much is followed by a clause, but as is followed by a prepositional phrase. Possible solutions: "Joe's parents were upset not so much that he broke the vase as that he lied about it" (two parallel clauses) or "Joe's parents were upset not so much at his breaking the vase as at his lying about it" (two parallel prepositional phrases).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    Quote Originally Posted by High on grammar View Post
    A few of his accusers were upset not so much that bribes were expected as that they hadn't worked.
    The King's Bench: Bailiwick Magistrates and Local Governance in ... - Page 88

    Correlative Conjunctions: A Writer's Guide
    Not so much...as. Faulty: "Joe's parents were upset not so much that he broke the vase as at his lying about it." Not so much is followed by a clause, but as is followed by a prepositional phrase. Possible solutions: "Joe's parents were upset not so much that he broke the vase as that he lied about it" (two parallel clauses) or "Joe's parents were upset not so much at his breaking the vase as at his lying about it" (two parallel prepositional phrases).
    What point are you trying to make by posting this?

  7. #7
    High on grammar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    this is an example of the construction that I asked about and that I found on googlebooks. One one hand I am being told that this form is unnatural and on the other I find examples of it in grammar guides and also in print. I would like to know which is right. I am here to improve my English, after all.

    Thanks
    Last edited by High on grammar; 29-Nov-2012 at 21:59.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    Ems wrote, "I cannot think of any way to start a natural sentence with "Mike's teacher was angry not so much that ...". There are no citations in the British National Corpus for adj + not so much that, and only one in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. This is clearly a very rare construction; many would consider it unnatural.

    Incidentally, if you quote from a book, please credit your source.

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    High on grammar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Ems wrote, "I cannot think of any way to start a natural sentence with "Mike's teacher was angry not so much that ...". There are no citations in the British National Corpus for adj + not so much that, and only one in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. This is clearly a very rare construction; many would consider it unnatural.

    Incidentally, if you quote from a book, please credit your source.
    Could you please tell me how I can use "the the British National Corpus". The last time I went to that Site it didn't allow me to check a sentence pattern. All I could do was look up simple words, that's all.
    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Parallel structures

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Incidentally, if you quote from a book, please credit your source.
    I've found it :
    Bernstein, Theodore, The Careful Writer, a style guide published some fifty years ago.

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