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    #1

    Function of What

    In what could prove to be a historic step in removing the atmosphere of animosity between India and Pakistan, both countries have agreed to completely revise the Bilateral Visa Agreement, as part of the Confidence Building Measures aimed to promote peace in the region.

    Dear all,

    As whatcan function as combined noun and relative pronoun, can we replace what , mentioned in the above line, with "in doing something that".

    In doing something that could prove to be a historic............

    Second, Is phrase as part of the Confidence Building Measures an appositive.

    Regards
    Rajan
    Last edited by rajan; 16-Feb-2012 at 04:16.

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    #2

    Re: Function of What

    A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) May I start the discussion?

    (2) As you said, "what" in your sentence is a relative pronoun.

    (3) My books tell me that it is usually interpreted as:

    that which / the thing that

    (4) I do not know whether it can be interpreted as "doing something that."

    (5) I shall wait along with you for someone else to answer both this question and

    your second question, which I also find very interesting.

    Have a nice day!

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    #3

    Re: Function of What

    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) It is 3:50 a.m. here in California, and I have sadly noticed that no one has yet answered your two questions.

    (2) I have been thinking all night about your second question, and I have some thoughts only. Remember: only a teacher can give you the answer.

    (3) My teachers taught me to simplify a sentence before trying to analyze it.

    (4) So I have simplified your sentence to:

    In what could be a historic step, India and Pakistan have agreed to revise the

    Bilateral Visa Agreement as part of the Confidence Building Measures aimed at regional peace.

    (I have purposely NOT put a comma in front of the word "as." More discussion on that point later.)

    (5) I am 99.99% confident that the essential part of your sentence is "India and Pakistan have agreed to revise the Bilateral Visa Agreement."

    (6) I am 99.98% confident that "In what could be a historic step" and " as part of the Confidence Building Measures aimed at regional peace" are NOT essential. They are basically comments on the fact that "India and Pakistan have agreed to revise the Bilateral Visa Agreement."

    (7) Your question: Is "as part of the Confidence Building Measures aimed at regional peace" an appositive? I do NOT have the answer. It is only my feeling that it is not an appositive. So that is the reason that I did not put a comma in front of the word "as."

    (a) I think (only my opinion) that it may modify the predicate of the main sentence

    India and Pakistan have agreed to revise the Agreement as part of the Measures aimed at regional peace. (the predicate is in bold)

    (b) Here is what one excellent book says about "I don't care for rice as a steady diet."

    It says "as a steady diet" is a prepositional phrase that modifies "don't care for rice" (the predicate).

    (8) But I think that "as part of the Measures aimed at regional peace" could be an appositive if the sentence had been written as:

    As part of the measures aimed at promoting regional peace, India and Pakistan have agreed to revise the Agreement.

    (a) Here is a somewhat similar sentence from an outstanding grammar book:

    As a first step, I secured my vast property , so that the income would be certain.

    (The book says that "as a first step" is an appositive.)

    (9) IN SUMMARY:

    (a) I have given you only some thoughts to consider. Hopefully, a qualified person will

    answer us: Is the "as part ...." phrase in your original sentence being used as an

    appositive? I feel that the answer is probably NO. Let's see what the experts say.

    IMPORTANT: Do you know about the "Analyzing and Diagramming" forum at this

    website? Please go there and post your appositive question. The experts there may

    give us the answer.

    Have a nice day!

    Sources: Paul Roberts, Understanding Grammar (1954), page 257.
    George Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (1931), page 91 of the second volume.
    Last edited by TheParser; 17-Feb-2012 at 13:42.

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