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    The subject of "observe" ?

    Hello Everyone,

    What is the subject of "observe" in the following sentence and what does " observe" mean here?

    NEW YORK – Rites of remembrance and loss marked the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, familiar in their sorrow but observed for the first time Saturday in a nation torn over the prospect of a mosque near ground zero and the role of Islam in society.



    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    Re: The subject of "observe" ?

    * not a teacher nor a native speaker*

    Here, "to observe" means to perform the customs, the rituals connected with a specific event, day ( in your case 11.09).

    I would say that the structure "Rites of remembrance and loss" has the role of a direct object and the subject is implicit. The Americans ( subject) observed the rites of remembrance (DO).

    I hope that helps.

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    Re: The subject of "observe" ?

    (Rites of remembrance and loss) [subject] marked (the ninth anniversary[object] (of the Sept. 11 attacks)),

    {they (the rites) were} familiar in their sorrow but {they[subject and objekt] were} observed (for the first time Saturday) (in a nation (torn)) (over the prospect) (of a mosque) (near ground zero) and {torn (over)} (the role) (of Islam) (in society.)
    {these brackets are stuff that was elided}

    The subject of observed is its object 'the rites of loss and remembrance'. Those are what were observed. Or observed is an adjective, balanced over a copular 'were', describing 'they' = 'the rites of loss and remembrance'. You can argue either way, the result is the same: the observed rites of loss and remembrance'.

    'observe' comes from an old root 'to hold to' 'to protect' 'to keep to' In connection with rites, it means to honour old customs.

    Last edited by Pedroski; 12-Sep-2010 at 10:20. Reason: 清楚了 mistake

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