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Thread: object

  1. #1
    Progress is offline Member
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    Default object

    The following sentences are excerpts from a text book.

    In Cairo today, 25,000 people make a living from other peoples rubbish. Every morning the Zabbaleen people go out and look for the rubbish dumps. They take the best things they find to sell in the market.

    I would like to ask you to teach me the grammatical structure of this part the best things they find to sell in the market. The subject of the sentence is they. The verb is take. I think from the best to market is the object. Between things and they, a relative pronoun that is omitted. The antecedent is the best thing. If you had to separate the sentence, how would you do? I mean: They take the best things. They can find the best things to sell in the market. If so, in the latter sentence the best things is the object of the verb find and also the object of the infinitive and verb transitive sell? In that case, the infinitive is used as its adjective usage. Or in this case the infinitive sell is a verb intransitive? Then the infinitive is adverbial

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: object

    Ex: They take the best things they find to sell in the market.

    Here's how I'd separate the two:

    They take the best things.
    They find the best things to sell at the market.

    All the best.

  3. #3
    Progress is offline Member
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    Default Re: object

    Thanks Casiopea and long time no see!

    What do you think about the infinitive part? Is the verb sell a verb transitive or intransitive? When it is translated into Japanese, as you may know, it is a big matter, which always bothers me. Do you think it is ok to say that the best things they find to sell in the market is the object of the verb take?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: object

    I agree with your analysis. Note that, the infinitive to sell modiifies the best things. You can test that assumption by making the infinitive finite, like this, the best things are sold at the market.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: object

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress
    Do you think it is ok to say that the best things they find to sell in the market is the object of the verb take?
    Yes, I would say so.

    ***

    You've discovered one of the more interesting phrase-structures in English to analyse (<- I used it, see?):

    They take things.

    ->

    They take the best things.

    -->

    They take the best things they find.

    -->

    They take the best things (they find) to sell in the market.

    ***

    Aside:

    These are good things. (Are they generally good? No, they're "good to sell")

    -->

    These are good things to sell.

    -superlative->

    These are the best things to sell. (The best things of all things? No, just of the the best things they find.)

    -->

    These are the best things they find to sell.

    These are (a) the best things they find
    and (b) the best things to sell.

    Individually, neither (a) nor (b) is true. (a) is incomplete, because the intention to sell is missing. (b) is wrong, because there are better things to sell (but most of them they won't find in the rubbish). So (a) and (b) work together to create a new meaning.

    Or differently put:

    Of the things they found the ones they took are "best to sell".

    ***

    Other examples:

    1. This is the nicest coat I own to wear.
    2. This is the most challenging person I know to play chess with. (Prepositional phrase instead of direct object, here)

    Now consider:

    3. This is the easiest etude I learnt to play on the piano.

    Is this sentence an example of the type? That's an interesting question I have no clear answer for. Consider:

    ?1.a Of the coats I own to wear, this is the nicest.
    ?2.a Of the persons I know to play chess with, he is the most challenging.

    3.a Of the etudes I learnt to play on the piano, this is the easiest.
    __

    1.b Of the coats I own, this is the nicest to wear.
    2.b Of the persons I know, this is the most challanging to play chess with.

    3.b Of the etudes I learnt, this is the easiest to play on the piano.

    See the difference?

    If you interpret 3. as 3.b it's of the type, but if you interpret it as 3.a it isn't.

    *****
    And now:


    4. They take the best things they find to sell in the market.
    4.a Of all the things they find to sell in the market, they take the best.
    4.b Of all the things they find, they take the best to sell in the maket.

    Make up your own mind.

  6. #6
    Progress is offline Member
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    Default Re: object

    Thanks Casiopea. I see.
    Thanks Dawnstorm for explaining precisely.

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