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  1. nininaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Exclamation The time during which...

    I think one of the most confusing parts of English grammar is the following structure. Since I started learning relative clause in English, I have had difficulty understanding it.
    I haven't known how this preposition comes before relative pronoun. However, I've know in some cases these prepositions are relevant to the verb in the clause, but everyday I happen to see these kind of structures that use prepositions like this, which is not related to the verbs in the clause.
    Now, I want to know why we use 'by' with standard or 'at' with rate? Do we, learners, have to memorize them? Or there is a rule for them? It would be great if introduce sources like websites, books to study them.
    I am not sure. Maybe I was wrong, and all of these prepositions implied in the verbs in the clause.I'm confused with which one to apply when constructing sentences around these.

    The rate at which ...
    The standard by which...
    The time during which...
    The speed at which...
    The topic of which...
    The situation in which...
    Last edited by nininaz; 06-Mar-2017 at 16:56.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    I think one of the most confusing parts of English grammar is the following structure. Since I started learning relative clauses in English, I have had difficulty understanding it.
    I haven't known how this preposition comes before relative pronoun. However, I've know in some cases these prepositions are relevant to the verb in the clause, but every day I happen to see these kind of structures that use prepositions like this, which is not related to the verbs in the clause :
    Now, I want to know why we use 'by' with standard or 'at' with rate? Do we, learners, have to memorize them? Or there is a rule for them? It would be great if introduce sources like websites, books to study them.
    I am not sure. Maybe I was wrong, and all of these prepositions implied in the verbs in the clause.I'm confused with which one to apply when constructing sentences around these.

    The rate at which ...
    The standard by which...
    The time during which...
    The speed at which...
    The topic of which...
    The situation in which...
    Ow. You're right. That is hard!

    I'm not a grammarian, but I'm sure you'll hear from one on this thread. Meanwhile, here are some generalizations:

    The rate at which ... Here you're talking about one specific rate, like twenty miles per hour. You're answering the question "What rate?"
    The standard by which... Here you're talking about a range or set or principle used to judge or compare.
    The time during which... Here you're talking about duration or a time period. Lunch is a time during which you eat.
    The speed at which... Just like your rate example, you're talking about one specific speed.
    The topic of which... This is awkward English but not wrong. Of often shows what something belongs to or is part of or is being refered to.
    The situation in which... This is about placement. You're placed in a situation.

    I know that doesn't tell you much. Let's see what others say.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: The time during which...

    I'm not sure I understand what's confusing you. The prepositions you mention have nothing to do with relative pronouns (except in your examples.) The following advice is for learning the prepositions. Look at the following preposition phrases and try to connect in your mind the prepositions with the noun phrases:


    • at a rate
    • at a speed
    • by a standard
    • during a time
    • in a situation


    (Note that other prepositions may be possible, depending on the meaning intended.)

    When you've done this enough times to make a permanent connection (or 'collocation') between the words in your memory, you can proceed by adding more words (more 'context') to make more natural examples of the language. This will make it easier for you to make sense of, and therefore easier to learn and use, the target language. For example:


    • at a steady rate
    • at high speed
    • by my standards
    • during a time of great affluence
    • in a very tricky situation

    (Of course, you would normally need a teacher or a native-speaker or a dictionary to help with this.)

    Next, to develop even further you could add even more context and even more sense by making complete sentences, for example. And by internalising these sentences you will be internalising the vocabulary you want to learn.

    This is just one suggestion.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The prepositions you mention have nothing to do with relative pronouns (except in your examples..


    The way we use prepositions is among the least logical of things we have to deal with in most languages that I know of, nininaz. Why do the English watch things on television. the French watch them at the television and the Germans watch them in the television?

    Nobody knows. We just have to accept that the way we use prepositions is idiomatic. The way we use them in relative clauses is normally exactly the way in which we use them elsewhere.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The time during which...

    The polar ice caps are receding at the rate of 2 cm per year.
    The rate at which the polar ice caps are receding is 2 cm per year.

    In the above, the original sentence has a preposition which doesn't disappear when we use a relative pronoun. We can't say "the rate which the polar caps are receding is 2 cm per year." That would be incorrect.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    He offered me a rate of $50 per hour, but I turned it down.

    The rate which he offered me was $50 per hour.

    Here, there is no preposition in either.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Is that what you're asking about?

  6. nininaz's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Is that what you're asking about?
    YES. This is exactly what I wanted to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    In the above, the original sentence has a preposition which doesn't disappear when we use a relative pronoun. We can't say "the rate which the polar caps are receding is 2 cm per year." That would be incorrect.
    Thanks teacher. The above explanation was EXACTLY what I meant to know by posting this thread.
    So how can we know that? As Jutfrank said should we practice more?

  7. teechar's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    As Jutfrank said should we practice more?
    That's right.
    As an exercise, you can start with "standard". Write two simple sentences using the word "standard". Use "by" in only one sentence. Do not use relative pronouns in either.

  8. nininaz's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post


    Nobody knows. We just have to accept that the way we use prepositions is idiomatic. The way we use them in relative clauses is normally exactly the way in which we use them elsewhere.
    For example in the following sentence,
    "it is the standard by which all others are measured." I know 'by' is comes from 'are measured ' as a passive verb.
    But in the following I don't know why the writer used 'by':
    "It is a standard by which you judge, decide about, or deal with something."

  9. teechar's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    "It is a standard by which you judge, decide about, or deal with something."
    Where did you find that sentence?

  10. nininaz's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The time during which...

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Where did you find that sentence?
    In the Cambridge dictionary:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...lish/criterion

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