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  1. rainous's Avatar
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    #1

    never to be seen again

    After a family gathering in 1966, Vangerís teenage great-niece Harriet abruptly vanished, never to be seen again.

    Hi,

    Has something been omitted before "never"?

    Could someone help me parse this sentence?

    Thanks

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: never to be seen again

    I'll have to leave the parsing to somebody else, but nothing is missing from your sentence.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: never to be seen again

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    After a family gathering in 1966, Vangerís teenage great-niece Harriet abruptly vanished, never to be seen again.

    Hi,

    Has something been omitted before "never"?

    Could someone help me parse this sentence?

    Thanks
    The last phrase means, "And she was never seen again".

  4. rainous's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: never to be seen again

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The last phrase means, "And she was never seen again".
    I see. Is it possible to rephrase it as "...vanished to not (or "not to") be seen again." then?
    Last edited by rainous; 21-Dec-2011 at 11:07.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: never to be seen again

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    I see. Is it possible to rephrase it as "...vanished to not be seen again." then?
    No, you can't. Firstly, it's wrong grammatically and secondly, it gives the impression that that is why she vanished - so that she would never be seen again. (In fact, if I recall the story, that is why she vanished, but the readers don't know this at the time, and the author doesn't want to tell them).

    It's complicated because, by the time the book ends, she has been seen again, so in retrospect it's wrong. But I'd suggest that, since it's a well-known idiom, not to play with it.

  6. rainous's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: never to be seen again

    Let me ask you one last question and I will stop harassing you.

    I have to say I still can't come to terms with the idea of an idiom being placed right at the tail of a complete sentence with a mere comma.

    Am I pushing it too far to think that "and she was" (or something similar to that) is being implied where the comma is?

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: never to be seen again

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    Let me ask you one last question and I will stop harassing you.
    Thats fine. I don't mind honest follow-up questions until they start getting silly.

    I have to say I still can't come to terms with the idea of an idiom being placed right at the tail of a complete sentence with a mere comma.
    Well, that is strange. Where did you learn this restriction upon the placement of idioms?

    Am I pushing it too far to think that "and she was" (or something similar to that) is being implied where the comma is?
    Yes you are, if you mean "by the comma". You'd normally expect a comma there, whether she turned up again or not. However, the use of the phrase itself, taken within the context of the rest of the story, could give that impression.*
    As you know, Harriet Vanger was found in Australia by Blomqvist, in his investigations.

    PS * This is a literary technique called "foreshadowing".
    Last edited by Raymott; 21-Dec-2011 at 11:54.

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