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    #1

    what / why

    Hello, everyone,
    I would appreciate it very much if you could help me with this question:
    Country life gives him peace and quiet, which is _____ he can't enjoy living in big cities.
    A why
    B what
    C where
    D that
    The answer is B, but I think it should be A.

    Many thanks in advance.


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    #2

    Re: what / why

    Country life gives him peace and quiet, which is _____ he can't enjoy living in big cities.
    A why
    B what
    C where
    D that


    Instead of using 'which', break this into two sentences:
    1.Country life gives him peace and quiet.
    2. Peace and quiet is why he can't enjoy living in the big cities.
    That is, the reason why he doesn't like living in the city is because it's quiet; and country life gives him peace and quiet, so apparently, he doesn't like living in the country either. BUT THIS IS NOT THE INTENDED MEANING OF THE SENTENCE YOU GAVE.

    Compare:
    Country life gives him peace and quiet.
    Peace and quiet is what he can't enjoy living in the big cities (because of all the people and phone calls and traffic and sirens and neighbours' radios and TVs blaring.
    In contrast, what he can enjoy about the country is all that peace and quiet.

    Does that help?
    Last edited by David L.; 13-Jan-2008 at 05:54.

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      • Chinese
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    #3

    Re: what / why

    Thank you!

    Re: Peace and quiet is what he can't enjoy living in the big cities

    what about these?

    Peace and quiet is what he can't enjoy by living in the big cities ?
    or
    Peace and quiet is what he can't enjoy , living in the big cities ?

    Can which refer to the whole previous sentence instead of only the peace and quiet? In such a case,
    could Country life gives him peace and quiet, which is why he can't enjoy living in big cities. be possible?
    Last edited by henz988; 13-Jan-2008 at 06:27. Reason: add some information


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    #4

    Re: what / why

    I substituted 'peace and quiet' for 'which' in the sentences to help clarify the difference in meaning when we then used ' what' and 'why'.

    However, the sentence I formed,
    "Peace and quiet is what he can't enjoy ..." is not how a native speaker would say it. Also, you used the plural 'cities' and used the article 'the' - these complicate the meaning. Let's make things simpler.
    You are asking about the difference in meaning between ..."enjoy, living in..." and "...enjoy by living in..."; so let's change the sentences to what a native speaker would say:
    He can't enjoy much peace and quiet, living in a big city.
    What the speaker is actually saying is," ...peace and quiet, living as he does in a big city." So the meaning is, he is unable to enjoy any peace and quiet because he lives in a city, (and we know from our own experience that cities are noisy.)

    "...peace and quiet by living..."
    When we use 'by' with a verbal noun (living, going, eating, taking), then 'by' indicates how something can be achieved: 'mosquitoes can be killed by spraying with insecticide';
    So: "By living in a big city, I can go to theatres and museums whenever I want."
    and
    "I can enjoy peace and quiet by living in the country."

    could "Country life gives him peace and quiet, which is why he can't enjoy living in big cities" be possible?
    Yes. We understand already that country = peaceful/city=noisy, so the logic of the statement is fine.

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