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  1. #1
    kingtrn is offline Newbie
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    a banner that read

    I meet this sentence: "At mile 23 of his first marathon, Kyle had all but given up, until he noticed his friends and family holding a banner that read, “Go Kyle”; galvanized, he broke into a gallop, finishing the last three miles in less than 20 minutes."

    Please help me to point out which grammar point at that bold text? What is the form of "read" in that sentence? (present, past or past participle?)

    In my opinion, the bold text should be either "a banner which is read `Go Kyle`" or "a banner read `Go Kyle`", not "a banner that read, `Go Kyle`", is it correct?
    Please help me correct anything wrong in my post. I really appreciate and am very grateful for that.

  2. #2
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: a banner that read

    "Read" here is in the past tense. Your opinion is not correct.

  3. #3
    kingtrn is offline Newbie
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    Re: a banner that read

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    "Read" here is in the past tense. Your opinion is not correct.
    Can you give some further explanation? Is it some kind of common use in English? I don't understand why it is in the past tense. I think the banner cannot read itself. It has to be read by people, doesn't it?
    Please help me correct anything wrong in my post. I really appreciate and am very grateful for that.

  4. #4
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: a banner that read

    It is in the past because the rest of the sentence is in the past (had, noticed, broke). You are right that the banner cannot read itself but in English, we say "a banner reads ABC" to mean we read ABC on the banner.

  5. #5
    kingtrn is offline Newbie
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    Re: a banner that read

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    It is in the past because the rest of the sentence is in the past (had, noticed, broke). You are right that the banner cannot read itself but in English, we say "a banner reads ABC" to mean we read ABC on the banner.
    That's exactly what I want to know, thank you very much!

    By the way, could you please help to paraphrase this sentence: "Kyle had all but given up"? I don't get the exact meaning of this idiom. What is it equivalent to?
    Please help me correct anything wrong in my post. I really appreciate and am very grateful for that.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: a banner that read

    It means he was very close to giving up. He was almost at the point of giving up but then he saw the banner and it reinvigorated him.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: a banner that read

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtrn View Post
    a banner which is read
    That's incorrect as it has two verbs; only one is needed there.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtrn View Post
    or "a banner read
    That's incorrect because it's missing a relative pronoun.

    In "a banner that read", "that" is a relative pronoun and it means "which". And the verb "read" is in the past form.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: a banner that read

    You could use a banner reading.

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