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  1. #1

    ascribed "to"

    Please see the following sentence:

    We have sequenced the 36 chromosomes of the 32.8-megabase haploid genome of Leishmania major (Friedlin strain) and predict 911 RNA genes, 39 pseudogenes, and 8272 protein-coding genes, of which 36% can be ascribed a putative function.

    I thought “to” is necessary after “ascribed”.
    Will the meaning be different when there is and there is not “to” after “ascribed” in this sentence?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: ascribed "to"

    It's fine the way it is. Structure is the key.

    ascribe is a double object verb: it takes a direct object and an indirect object, and you can switch them around, like this,

    [1] They ascribe to the conjunction the meaning of . . . .
    [2] They ascribe the meaning of . . . to the conjunction.

    Note, [1] and [2] are in active voice. In passive voice, the direct object takes over the structural subject position,

    [1] The meaning of . . . is ascribed to the conjunction.
    [2] To the conjunction, the meaning of . . . is ascribed.

    In [2], the indirect object is topicalized, or moved to the front for emphasis.

    Now, in our examples below, 'be ascribed' looks a lot like passive voice:

    [3] . . . genes, of which 36% can be ascribed (by us to have) a putative function.


    Here's the same sentence, without the 'of which' phrase,


    [4] 36% of the genes can be ascribed (by us to have) a putative function.

    Active voice yields [5] and [6],

    [5] We ascribe a putative function to 36% of the genes.
    [6] We ascribe to 36% of the genes a putative function.

    Look! In [6], there's the missing 'to' you've been looking for.

    All the best,

  3. #3

    Re: ascribed "to"

    Casiopea,
    Thank you so much!!!!!
    Your explanation is very kind and easy to understand.
    It's unbelievable that I can have such a nice teacher for free!
    I really appreciate it.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: ascribed "to"

    You're most welcome, pink dragon.

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