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  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    If it does, it does so

    Hi,

    Please have a look at the following fragments:

    1. Such an approach may seem strange to you. If it does, it does so because...
    2. Such an approach may seem strange to you. If it does, this is because...
    3. Such an approach may seem strange to you. If it does, it is because...
    4. Such an approach may seem strange to you. If so, this is because...


    Here's what I think about these versions:

    - I like the 1st version because it sounds kind of emphatic, thanks to the parallel construction. For this very reason, however, this construction should be used when the emphasis is needed.

    - The 2nd version is OK, though some readers might have a moment of hesitation whether this refers to the approach or to the fact that the approach may seem strange. Perhaps, thus, this sentence is not the best one?

    - The 3rd version is clumsy because of the confusing use of it in the second sentence. The first it refers to the approach while the second it refers to the fact that the approach may seem strange.

    - The 4th version seems OK. I mean, I don't see the same problem as I did in the 2nd version.


    Do these considerations make sense?

    Thanks,
    nyggus

  2. #2
    cereal_chick's Avatar
    cereal_chick is offline Member
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    Re: If it does, it does so

    Out of the four sentences you have there, (4) is definitely the best, owing to the presence of "if so", which is a very (possibly the most) natural thing to follow a sentence like "such an approach may seem strange to you". I would tend to agree that (1) is rather emphatic, but it does sound a little strange. I cannot help but imagine someone saying this out loud to be punctuating each syllable of "it does so because" in frustration or excitation of some kind.

    I do not see the problem of reference that you have identified for (2) and (3). The meaning is perfectly clear, whether you use "this" or "it" in the next clause. However, I myself would not use any of these second clause constructions. I would be much more inclined to say "if so, that is because..." It is simply more natural.

    P.S. Your written English is excellent, well done.

    [Not a teacher]

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