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    #1

    inversion

    I came across this sentence:



    Not only had the Soviet Union not had a proletariat revolution, but the Soviet Union lacked the essential component in having one; they lacked an actual proletariat.



    Even if I think that I am able to understand this meaning, I am not sure about its grammar. Why is there used twice the word "had" in the first part. Why is not sufficient just Not only had the Soviet Union a proletariat revolutionů? Is it that for the purpose of emphasizing?

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    #2

    Re: inversion

    It is the past perfect of the verb have- had had. If you wanted to use the past, it would be Not only did the Soviet Union have....

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: inversion

    "Not only had the Soviet Union a proletariat revolution" is the opposite of "Not only had the Soviet Union not had a proletariat revolution".
    What this is saying is "The Soviet Union did not have a proletarian revolution. Not only that, it didn't even have a proletariat."

    The argument is probably that the proletariat, for what it was, had nothing to do with the revolution, which was set off by a bunch of students who had probably never done a day's honest work in their lives.
    Last edited by Raymott; 07-Jun-2014 at 20:46.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: inversion

    But the sentence says that the Soviet Union did not a have a proletariat, which is impossible.

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    #5

    Re: inversion

    Maybe it's overstating the shortage of numbers a bit.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: inversion

    Whatever the sentence is doing, you can't say an interpretation is wrong simply because that would make something impossible.
    "Pigs can fly" is a sentence with a meaning which can be explained no matter how unlikely or impossible it is.
    One would have to know the author of the original sentence and the context in which it was written to be able to analyse it correctly, but one tires after the first half a dozen requests for context after logging on.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: inversion

    Yes, but grammatical sentences that are clearly false can be criticized.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes, but grammatical sentences that are clearly false can be criticized.
    But there's no context by which to base any criticism. It could a joke. It could be an example of a bad history thesis. It could be, as I implied, someone who is downplaying, hyperbolically, the role of the proletariat in the Russian Revolution.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: inversion

    Yes, and it could simply be false. I would go with that.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: inversion

    We won't have much to do on this site if we only agree to look at, criticise, consider pieces of writing which are well-written and factual.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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