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    #1

    I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    Hi, teachers.
    I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, understandable or understandably' in this sentence.
    I have no answer, so I need your opinions.
    Please help.
    Thank you.

    Visitors are delighted by a meteor shower every year and -------- so.
    (A) understand (B) understandable (C) understood (D) understandably

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    (D) understandably

    Not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Sykang:

    Mr. Wai has already given you the answer.

    I am replying because your sentence greatly interested me.

    1. First, it is important to identify the parts of speech: understand (= the infinitive or base form); understandable (= the adjective); understood (= the past tense); and understandably (= the adverb).

    2. In my OPINION, your sentence is a shorter (and more natural) way to say something like:

    "Visitors are delighted by a meteor shower every year, and they understandably are delighted by a meteor shower every year."

    a. As you can see, it would sound strange to speak / write like that.

    3. Thus, I feel that the shorter sentence is something like:

    "Visitors are delighted by a meteor shower every year, and they understandably are so."

    a. "so," I feel, means something like "that."

    i. "That" refers to the idea of being delighted by a meteor shower every year.

    4. But even that sentence is too long, so we delete (drop) some words and we get your sentence:

    "Visitors are delighted by a meteor shower every year, and (they) understandably (are) so."

    a. We need the adverb "understandably" because:

    i. Some people would say it modifies the verb "are."

    ii. Other people would say it modifies the whole sentence "they are so."




    James

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    We need the adverb "understandably" because ... it modifies the verb "are."
    I guess it modifies the word 'so' and I may say 'they are understandably so', am I wrong?

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    #5

    Re: I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Mr. Wai:


    You believe that "understandably" modifies "so."

    Of course, I cannot say that you are right or wrong. You may, indeed, be right.

    When I first read the OP's sentence, I, too, thought that "understandably" modified "so."

    But there is a problem: while dictionaries do, indeed, parse "so" as an adverb in that kind of sentence, other dictionaries parse it as a pronoun in that kind of sentence. (I choose to believe the latter.)

    In any case, I do feel that "understandably so" is an ELLIPSIS of a much longer sentence.

    I suggested one possibility.

    I am VERY eager to hear what you think the "complete" sentence may be.

    This whole matter confuses me, and understandably so!


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 28-Jul-2014 at 11:12. Reason: I forgot the disclaimer "Not a teacher."

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    #6

    Re: I am not sure which to choose 'understand, understood, ~understandably'.

    'This whole matter confuses me, and the matter is understandably confusing to me!'
    Is it possible?

    Not a teacher.

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