# Thread: the amount of time children watched TV

1. ## the amount of time children watched TV

Hello.

Would you take a look at the following?

Parents were encouraged to monitor strictly the amount of time their children watched television or spent on computers in order to make them lose their weight.

What kind of sentence structure does the "the amount of time their children watched television or spent on computers" have?

1. the amount of time their children watched television or (the amount of time their children) spent on computers

Or

2. the amount of time their children watched television or (the amount of time) spent on computers

If #1 is correct, I still don't understand the part. According to #1, I think the former part has the following sentence structure:

3. the amount of time (which / that) their children watched television or the amount of time (which / that) their children spent on computers

I think #3 is strange because the following seems strange too.

4. Their children watched television several hours.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd help me with this.

Thank you very much in advance.

yamyam

2. ## Re: the amount of time children watched TV

Originally Posted by yamyam
Parents were encouraged to monitor strictly the amount of time their children watched television or spent on computers in order to make them lose their weight.
If you felt the need to expand this for clarity, you would probably end up with:

Parents were encouraged to monitor strictly the amount of time that their children spent on computers and/or (watching) television.

3. ## Re: the amount of time children watched TV

The structure is highly condensed and actually represents:

Parents were encouraged to monitor strictly the amount of time for which their children watched television or the amount of time that their children spent on computers in order to make them lose their weight.

Although it is true that we would not normally omit the preposition in

They watched TV for two hours.

strangely, it is not at all uncommon for both the 'for' and its implied object pronoun to be omitted in the corresponding relative construction, as in your original sentence.

A similar omission is also natural in interrogatives relating to length of time, so that e.g.

How many weeks did you wait?

is rather more idiomatic than the corresponding full form

For how many weeks did you wait?

Noun phrases from which a preposition has been omitted are termed 'adverbial objectives', and, although generally no more than an informal option (as here), are occasionally obligatory, e.g. 'next Tuesday' in

He's coming here next Tuesday.

(not *...on next Tuesday)

4. ## Re: the amount of time children watched TV

Hello Philo2009.

Thank you very much for the detailed instruction to my question.
It is quite helpful to me.

Thanks again,

yamyam

5. ## Re: the amount of time children watched TV

Originally Posted by yamyam
Hello Philo2009.

Thank you very much for the detailed instruction to my question.
It is quite helpful to me.

Thanks again,

yamyam

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