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    #1

    sentence structure

    I am trying to come to grips with some of my sentence structures. This is a typical example of one I am struggling wih:

    "At one end of the building was a wooden bench with crushed cardboard boxes stacked on top. At the other was a large roller door for vehicle access."

    I know it is wrong because the second clause is not a complete senetence, however it sounds wordy to repeat "other end of the building". So what is the correct way to do it? This is some of my alternate thoughts:

    ...on top and at the other was...
    ...on top; at the other was...
    ...on top and at the other end was...
    ...on top, and at the other end was...

    Please help! Thanks.

  1. Munch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: sentence structure

    Actually the first sentence is OK.

    "At one end of the building was a wooden bench with crushed cardboard boxes stacked on top. At the other was a large roller door for vehicle access."

    In English we often omit words when the context is clear. I am no grammar expert, but it seems to me that "the other" is a noun phrase. The English parser here agrees with me! It is a complete sentence.

    1. At the other was a large roller door for vehicle access.
    2. At the other end was a large roller door for vehicle access.
    3. At the other end of the building was a large roller door for vehicle access.


    All are correct. Number 2 is most natural for me, 3 might be used to be very careful with words in a formal document, or when speaking or writing for children. Number 1 would be natural for many native speakers and writers of English.

  2. Banned
    Interested in Language
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    #3

    Re: sentence structure

    Existential sentences with initial space adjuncts is the issue at hand.

    A + there + V + S

    At one end of the building(, there) was a wooden bench with crushed cardboard boxes stacked on top.

    Since the place adverbial, "At one end of the building", provides in itself the condition enabling us to position the subject after the verb, there is no grammatical requirement for "there" to be present.

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