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Thread: both of them

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    #1

    both of them

    "As their talk continued I noticed here and there a resemblance to French and Spanish, both of them languages I had previously heard among the sailors on the Thames." (The New World Beyond Treasure Island by Andrew Motion)

    Is "both of them" referring to both of French and Spanish? I don't quite understand the sentence structure of "both of them languages".
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

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    #2

    Re: both of them

    It's another way to say "which are both languages I had previously heard".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: both of them

    How should I parse the sentence? I feel something missing between "both of them" and "language".
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: both of them

    How about thinking of it as both languages I had heard. Presumably he had heard other languages.

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    #5

    Re: both of them

    Can I say "..., both of them I had..."?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

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    #6

    Re: both of them

    It may be clearer for you to omit both of them, a phrase added for emphasis.


    "As their talk continued I noticed here and there a resemblance to French and Spanish, languages I had previously heard..."
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

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    #7

    Re: both of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    Can I say "..., both of them I had..."?
    I can't see a way to fit that into the sentence, no.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Senior Member
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    #8

    Re: both of them

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I can't see a way to fit that into the sentence, no.
    How about "both of them that I had..."?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

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    #9

    Re: both of them

    That's even worse.

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