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  1. #1
    Richard Togher is offline Junior Member
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    Sentence construction

    I would like to ask if the following line, taken from a song, is correctly constructed:

    "The handbags and the gladrags
    that your poor old granddad had to sweat to buy"

    This seems to suggest that the granddad sweated handbags and gladrags.

    Is such a construction gramatically correct, or is the lyricist using artistic licence

    i know there are cases of 'transferred epithets' which attach words to parts of the sentence they don't belong to eg "an absent-minded cup of coffee" - PG Wodehouse

    Might the lyricist be using a similar device for effect?

    Similarly could i say "the house which i worked so hard to pay for"

    Many thanks, forum members

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Re: Sentence construction

    Yes, there is artistic license for song lyrics and poems.

    No, you cannot end a sentence in "for." (but you could in a poem or song)

  3. #3
    mary joe is offline Member
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    Re: Sentence construction

    Yes, I think that lyrics can be grammatically incorrect and you mustn't use them when you are learning English. But, why can't we use "for" at the end of a sentence. Does it mean that in speaking English you can't use it as an end of your statement? Thanks.

  4. #4
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Re: Sentence construction

    "The handbags and the gladrags
    that your poor old granddad had to sweat to buy"


    This seems to suggest that the granddad sweated handbags and gladrags

    No, it means that the handbags and the gladrags are things that your grandad worked so hard for that he would sweat

    .In order to buy those things, he had to work very hard to earn money.



  5. #5
    Richard Togher is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Sentence construction

    May I ask Susiedqq if the sentence is correctly constructed as it stands - could i similarly say "the house i had to sweat to buy."

    My query can be more clearly demostrated if i wanted to buy 'water'
    i.e. "The water i had to sweat to buy"

    - Here, there is a possibilty of confusion, because 'water' is something which you actually 'sweat'; yet, using the logic of the song lyrics, it could me "I had to work hard ('sweat') to earn money with which to buy the water"

    Many thanks!

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