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  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default question

    The sentence:

    If there is one fact more than any other which stands out in the history of science, it is the remarkable extent to which great discoveries and youthful genius stand associated together.

    I'm kind of puzzled by "more than any other" above. Which part of the sentence does "more" modify?

    I think it's the same as:

    If there is one fact which stands out in the history of science more than any other...

    and "more" modifies "stands out", but I'm not sure on this one...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    The sentence:

    If there is one fact more than any other which stands out in the history of science, it is the remarkable extent to which great discoveries and youthful genius stand associated together.

    I'm kind of puzzled by "more than any other" above. Which part of the sentence does "more" modify?

    I think it's the same as:

    If there is one fact which stands out in the history of science more than any other...

    and "more" modifies "stands out", but I'm not sure on this one...
    If there is one fact more than any other fact....

    The fact that stands out more than any other fact is the remarkable extent to which great discoveries and youthful genius stand associated together.

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: question

    So my interpretation is correct?

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    Default Re: question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    So my interpretation is correct?

    I think it's the same as:

    If there is one fact which stands out in the history of science more than any other...

    and "more" modifies "stands out", but I'm not sure on this one...
    If there is one fact which stands out in the history of science more than any other fact which stands out in the history of science....

  5. #5
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: question

    So, I take it that my interpretation is correct.

    Tell me. Is it a common collocation? I mean, "more than any other" should belong to the which-clause. Does

    A+(which B [adverb/adverbial])=>A [adverb/adverbial]+(which B)

    happen often in actual writing? Or is it rare?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'm not sure of your ineterpretation. Here it's ellipsis and you need to reconstruct to get the word 'fact' in to see what is being modified.

  7. #7
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'm not sure of your ineterpretation. Here it's ellipsis and you need to reconstruct to get the word 'fact' in to see what is being modified.
    Ellipsis! I didn't realize that!

    So what is the complete sentence? Is it like:

    If there is one fact which stands out in the history of science more than any other fact which stands out in the history of science....

    as Cas says? (I didn't realize either that Cas meant it was ellipsis...)

  8. #8
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    tdol, isn't it also possible to take "more than any other" as parenthetical ?

    I think your ellipsis theory works, but to me (and to my students) it seems a bit a roundabout approach.

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    tdol?

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    To me, ellipsis seems the less roundabout way of rebuilding something. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but it seems perfectly logical to me, like Cas. The parenthetical idea works as well, but is more'round the houses'.


    PS- I'm getting ready to move countries, so I might no be in every day over the next few days, but I will always get around to checking these threads.

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