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    #1

    Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    Hello teachers and fellow English learners,

    I am having a hard time to understand the following sentence:

    "The child to which games are not yet familiar, will get a mind for calculating and reflecting which will prepare it without any doubt, to the study of mathematics and will make that easy for them."

    The sentence is supposed to be a translation for a French one, and the English version is from a book published in 2003, so I assume it is modern English. BTW, the title of the book is "The Tangram Book" and its author is Jerry Slocum.

    What does the first "which" stand for in the quoted sentence? Could it stand for the child?

    What does the second "which" stand for? Could it stand for something that is not mentioned in the sentence?

    Does the word "them" mean "the child?" Is it better to use "him" or "her" instead because "the child" is singular?
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    Warning: Take my words at your own risk, because I am neither a teacher, nor a native English speaker.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    I think it's a poor translation. I'd like to see the original French text.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    The first "which" appears to stand for "child". "Whom" would be better.

    The second "which" stands for "calculating and reflecting".

    Yes, "them" stands for "child". It is common to use the plural pronoun when the gender is not known.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbei View Post
    What does the second "which" stand for? Could it stand for something that is not mentioned in the sentence?
    I think the antecedent must be mentioned in the same sentence and near the relative pronoun.
    I am not a teacher. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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    #5

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    The child to which games are not yet familiar, will get a mind for calculating and reflecting which will prepare it without any doubt, to the study of mathematics and will make that easy for them."

    Children who are not yet familiar with/exposed to games will be trained in the mental skills of calculating and reflecting (through Tangram), which would prepare them well for the study of mathematics.

    not a teacher

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    Children who are not yet familiar with/exposed to games will...
    I would omit 'who are'.

    Not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I would omit 'who are'.

    Not a teacher.
    I agree the phrase is optional but it sounds better.

    not a teacher

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Please help me analyze a complex sentence

    Perhaps the omission of the optional phrase can make the complicated sentence more readable.

    Not a teacher.

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