Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default What is this, grammatically?

    The sentence:

    The river is grown over with water hyacinth. The plants, with their delicate flowers, rooted not in soil but in water, float along, and as your boat passes through, making a channel of clear water, they are pushed aside; but no sooner has it passed than they drift back with the stream and the breeze, and no trace that you have passed that way remains. So with us who have made little stir in the world

    What is "that" there grammatically? To me, it seems pretty close to "where", a relative adverb, not like "which", a relative pronoun.

    Is my interpretation correct?

    Taka

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    13,802
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    The sentence:

    The river is grown over with water hyacinth. The plants, with their delicate flowers, rooted not in soil but in water, float along, and as your boat passes through, making a channel of clear water, they are pushed aside; but no sooner has it passed than they drift back with the stream and the breeze, and no trace that you have passed that way remains. So with us who have made little stir in the world

    What is "that" there grammatically? To me, it seems pretty close to "where", a relative adverb, not like "which", a relative pronoun.

    Is my interpretation correct?

    Taka
    "That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.

    :wink:

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default (deleted)

    (The same massages as below posted accidentally deleted)

  4. #4
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    "That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.
    A conjunction it is, maybe. But don't you think it's replaceable with "where", like "no trace where you have passed that way remains"? (Remember, I said it's close to a "relative adverb", not a "relative pronoun").

    Take another sentence like, say, "You are in a hurry the last time that I met you" for instance. Don't you think we can replace that with when? Or for still another instance, if I say "We need a place that we can stay for a few days", don't you think it's the same as "We need a place where we can stay for a few days"?

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    13,802
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    "That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.
    A conjunction it is, maybe. But don't you think it's replaceable with "where", like "no trace where you have passed that way remains"? (Remember, I said it's close to a "relative adverb", not a "relative pronoun").

    Take another sentence like, say, "You are in a hurry the last time that I met you" for instance. Don't you think we can replace that with when? Or for still another instance, if I say "We need a place that we can stay for a few days", don't you think it's the same as "We need a place where we can stay for a few days"?
    Sorry, I missed your point. Yes, you can replace "that" with "where" there. I would call "where" a conjunction also, but the term "relative adverb" has its proponents. The problem then is with "that way". That becomes redundant with "where", IMO. It would be better as "no trace where you have passed remains". It would have a meaning slightly different from the other version, but it would be grammatical.

    :wink:

  6. #6
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

    *that way=using your boat

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    13,802
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

    *that way=using your boat
    For me, "that way", in the original, means "in that direction", "by that place". The idea is not that there is no trace that you used a boat. The idea is that the world will never know that you were there at all.

  8. #8
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

    *that way=using your boat
    For me, "that way", in the original, means "in that direction", "by that place". The idea is not that there is no trace that you used a boat. The idea is that the world will never know that you were there at all.
    I see. And if it is a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace that way", you think it's redundant. Is that what you mean?

  9. #9
    Taka is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,074
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What is this, grammatically?

    Now I have an idea! Is the word "trace" used not as a physical mark, but as a metaphor for "evidence" or "a fact"? If it is so, then I think that the "that" of "no trace that" is the same as "that" of "no evidence that" or "no fact that".

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,706
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'd say 'no evidence'.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Is the following phrase grammatically correct
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Aug-2004, 20:54
  2. Feedback/answers must be grammatically correct
    By Anonymous in forum Comments & Suggestions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Feb-2004, 16:10
  3. Which is correct
    By ExK in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-Feb-2003, 17:29

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •