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    #1

    How do you interpret this sentence? - confusion over these and those

    I am reading a sentence and I wonder how it should be interpreted properly.

    "There are more important things in life than grants and publications, but in the absence of those, we focus on what we can".

    My person who wrote this is an academic, and I assume that they have publications. Does the word "those" refer to the "important things in life", or the "grants and publications"?

    Do you interpret this as the person saying they focus on the papers and grants, because they lack the important things in life? Or are they saying they don't have enough papers and grants, so they focus on other things? It changes the meaning quite a lot, with the first interpretation being quite sad.

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    #2

    Re: How do you interpret this sentence? - confusion over these and those

    I suppose the word "those" refers to "important things in life".
    I guess your person says they focus on the papers and grants because they cannot focus on more important things in life.
    I believe the person means that the papers and grants don't lack the importance, but they are just less important than some other things.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: How do you interpret this sentence? - confusion over these and those

    Quote Originally Posted by mh8782 View Post
    "There are more important things in life than grants and publications, but in the absence of those, we focus on what we can".
    The meaning is unclear to me.

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