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    #1

    Could anyone help me to analyse the clauses "embedded" in this sentence?

    Hi,

    Could anyone tell me how to analyse the clauses, including sub-clauses, in following sentence?

    "This is what they understood the Presidentís testimony to be"

    Thank you very much!

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    #2

    Re: Could anyone help me to analyse the clauses "embedded" in this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by thincat View Post



    "This is what they understood the Presidentís testimony to be"
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Thincat:


    I have two books that explain such a sentence in two different ways. The "troublemaker" is that word "what."

    Well, I always take the harder approach.

    Look at this sentence from that book: "(You) do what is right."

    My book says that it should be parsed as: (You) do that which is right.

    "Which is right" is an adjective clause that modifies "that."

    Therefore, the book, I presume, would parse your sentence as:

    "This is that which they understood the President's testimony to be."

    * "which they understood the President's testimony to be" would be an adjective clause.

    Source: House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (copyright 1931 and 1950).

    *****

    Would you like an easier analysis? OK. Here is the other book's idea.

    Its sentence is: "That is not what I meant."

    The book says that "what I meant" is a noun clause. It is the subjective complement of "that."

    Thus, I presume, that book would parse your sentence as:

    "What they understood the President's testimony to be" is a noun clause acting as the subjective complement of "This."

    Source: Pence and Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (copyright 1947 and 1963).


    James


    P.S. Messrs. Pence and Emery remind us that "[O]ften there is more than one good explanation for a construction in English grammar."

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