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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    Question 'as' being used as a relative pronoun

    I have been asked by my co-worker to find a simple explanation fo the use of 'as' in a sentence from Black Beauty. To her it is being used as a relative pronoun, but I am having trouble finding references to this use in any grammar books.....

    The sentence....

    ... he gave him such a box on the ear as made him roar with the pain and surprise.

    In Swan there was the following entry:
    as- and -than clauses with missing subject or object:
    - can introduce clauses in which there is no subject or object pronoun (rather as if 'as' and 'than were relative pronouns). Clauses with no subject pronoun are mainly used in a formal style.

    eg Anne's going to join us, as was agreed last week.

    I also found the following entry in a Longman Dictionary about 'as' which seems to fit the sentence from Black Beauty (I think?)

    as - used as a conjunction
    in the way that someone says or that something happens, or in the condition something is in.
    eg The money was repaid, as promised.
    He did not need to keep moving house, as his father had.

    I am not familiar with this use of 'as' and am at a loss as to how to explain it!!

    My co-worker translated the following from her grammar book (written in Japanese)

    In the structure such A as..., as is used as a relative pronoun and it adds more information about what kind of thing or person A is.

    To me this does not seem to match the use of 'as' in the sentence and I also think it is not the same use of 'such', so I do not think this explanation is correct.

    Can anyone help me understand this????


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: 'as' being used as a relative pronoun

    It's very easy, just think "as" for "that" and you will understand the full meaning. However, if it's not well explained, you can always think abou it as an action that happened at the same time^^^P^^^^^^

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: 'as' being used as a relative pronoun

    Understand that Black Beauty was written in 1877!! - and so some use of language will have changed a lot since then...and this is one of the words which is no longer used in this manner. As sneffels, says, translate it as "that" - but don't use it that way in your own writing! You'll seem very old-fashioned.

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