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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #1

    questions

    I would like to ask native speakers of English the following things. They are pars of a passage.

    For many ancient Central and South Americans, whether ( ) ( ) Inca, Maya, or Anasazi, astronomy was not a science as we tend to think of it. Rather, the movements of sun, moon, and stars were the journeys of gods personified. Watching the moon and stars moving, they thought gods were traveling in the night sky.
    To observe and predict those paths of gods in the sky was to know the fates of kings and empires, to discern the proper days for rituals, to forecast animal migrations, the season of the life-giving rain, and the time for planting. The information must have been accumulated over generations and generations, the observers using naked-eye sighing techniques to discover the patterns of movement in the universe. Their knowledge reached a level comparable to that of ancient cultures of the Old World

    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures which represented time.

    #1 whether (they)(were)
    #2 What does that refer to? I think it is level. Because their knowledge reached a level which is comparable to the level of ancient cultures…

    #3 What is the Old World? I think in this case, the central and south America before Spain attacked.

    #4 What does quarter mean? I think it is corner. Probably the picture of the earth’s surface is square.

    #5 What is the head of which? I think it is only figures

    Thank you very much.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #2

    Re: questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    I would like to ask native speakers of English the following things. They are pars of a passage.

    For many ancient Central and South Americans, whether ( ) ( ) Inca, Maya, or Anasazi, astronomy was not a science as we tend to think of it. Rather, the movements of sun, moon, and stars were the journeys of gods personified. Watching the moon and stars moving, they thought gods were traveling in the night sky.
    To observe and predict those paths of gods in the sky was to know the fates of kings and empires, to discern the proper days for rituals, to forecast animal migrations, the season of the life-giving rain, and the time for planting. The information must have been accumulated over generations and generations, the observers using naked-eye sighing techniques to discover the patterns of movement in the universe. Their knowledge reached a level comparable to that of ancient cultures of the Old World

    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures which represented time.

    #1 whether (they)(were) If you are asking if these words are implied the answer is yes.
    #2 What does that refer to? I think it is level. Because their knowledge reached a level which is comparable to the level of ancient cultures…
    Yes, you are correct..."that" refers to "level"

    #3 What is the Old World? I think in this case, the central and south America before Spain attacked. No, the "old world" refers to Europe. The Americas were the new world at that time as it had not been explored or discovered before by Europeans.

    #4 What does quarter mean? I think it is corner. Probably the picture of the earth’s surface is square. I think you are right here....well done.

    #5 What is the head?? of which? I think it is only figures. "Which" refers to "trees, animals, deities, and figures". If I only want the "which" clause to refer to "figures" I would write:

    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures representing time.

    Thank you very much.
    ........


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #3

    Re: questions

    Thank you very much, Naamplao, as always

    I would like to ask you about the question #5. Incidentally the head, I meant, the antecedent of the relative pronown which as you see because there was a native speaker here who wrote so, so I thouht it is more common for you.

    I know representing in your post is the present participle modifing the noun figures and used as a kind of an adjective. But I don't know why the relative pronoun which doesn't modidy only the word figures in that case. Would you please please explain it?


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #4

    Re: questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Thank you very much, Naamplao, as always

    I would like to ask you about the question #5. Incidentally the head, I meant, the antecedent of the relative pronown which as you see because there was a native speaker here who wrote so, so I thouht it is more common for you.

    I know representing in your post is the present participle modifing the noun figures and used as a kind of an adjective. But I don't know why the relative pronoun which doesn't modify only the word figures in that case. Would you please please explain it?
    Well it is a little confusing because the members of the group are so diverse, I agree.

    Actually I am tending to agree with you, now that I reread the sentence. I agree that "which represented time" does modify "figures" only.

    If I wanted to apply this clause to all of the items I would say:

    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures all of which represented time.

    Sorry for confusing you.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #5

    Re: questions

    Thank you extremely very much !!!


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #6

    Re: questions

    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures which represented time.

    There are many meanings for the word figure. What anther word would you use to mean figures in this case? Shapes of something?


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #7

    Re: questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    They drew a picture which showed the earth’s surface, and in each quarter there were trees, animals, deities, and figures which represented time.

    There are many meanings for the word figure. What anther word would you use to mean figures in this case? Shapes of something?
    In this context the reader should only think of "figures" as being shapes of some kind. Figures is the best choice actually in my opinion. It does not limit you to a kind of shape...it can be numbers, hieroglyphics, geometric designs...anything that is drawn.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #8

    Re: questions

    I see, Thanks naamplao

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