Interested in Language
1--Shrewd politician as he was, John tried to adopt a centrist stand on every issue.
2--Shrewd poltician that he was, john tried to adopt a centrist stand on every issue.
3--A shrewd politician as he was, John tried to adopt a centrist stand on every issue.
Please advise if all these three sentences are grammatically sound. Thank you.
If you want to use "as", then you can say "As shrewd a politician as he was, John tried ..."
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
NOT A TEACHER
Thank you so much for asking that question. It forced me to think very hard and do some research. I am delighted to share my findings with you.
1. Here are two similar sentences from a great grammar book. *
a. "Dora did not reply, gentle creature that she is."
b. "She makes the first advances, dear kind soul that she is."
2. The scholar says that those sentences are an abridgement (a shorter way) of a clause of reason.
a. I think that your sentence means something like:
Because he was a shrewd politician, he tried to adopt a centrist stand on every issue (so that he would not
anger too many people). We call that a middle-of-the-roader.
3. In my opinion only, I would not use "As shrewd a politician as he was." Let me try to explain.
a. Look at this bad example of mine:
i. As shrewd a politician as he was, he made one big mistake and lost the election.
ii. This is, I believe, a clause of concession. That is, it means something like "Although he was a shrewd politician,
(this time) he made one big mistake and lost the election."
* Professor George Oliver Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (Vol. II), pages 315 and 333.