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  1. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #1

    the position of 'as it were'

    Hello, Teachers.

    I have some questions about the phrase as it were.

    I found the following sentences in several dictionaries:
    (1) She seemed very relaxed in her natural setting as it were. (Oxford)
    (2) He'd been watching the water rising for two hours preparing to meet his destiny, as it were before help arrived. (Oxford)
    (3) Jim Radcliffe became our idol, as it were, the man we all wanted to be. (Longman)
    (4) I'd understood the words, but I didn't, as it were, understand the question. (Collins COBUILD)

    When I tried to write some sentences imitating the above examples, I felt uncertain of the position of the phrase as it were.
    According to those examples, it seems very arbitrary: at the end or in the middle of the sentence, before or after the words the phrase modifies. In (2), there is even no comma after the phrase—is this grammatical?
    But the arbitrariness have really caused some confusion to me, a beginner. Is there any rules to go for the position of this phrase and such ones?

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia

  2. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #2

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    Another question: what's the meaning of 'natural setting' in (1)?

    Thanks in advance again.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #3

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    'As it were' is something like 'so to say'. It is probably a Subjunctive form used as parenthesis.

  3. Kraken's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 333
    #4

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    ->As it were: adverb: as if it were really so; "she lives here, as it were"

    ->As it were (as if it were): a qualifying phrase used to apologize for or to relieve some expression which might be regarded as inappropriate or incongruous; in a manner.

  4. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #5

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    So, where to position this parenthesis?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #6

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    So, where to position this parenthesis?
    Anywhere but at the head of the sentence, I guess.

  5. Kraken's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 333
    #7

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    I don't dare guessing the meaning of "as it were" in each of your sentences, because I am not a native English speaker, and I'd rather learn from them on this one than just leaving a guess here.
    I am curious about it, too.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #8

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
    I don't dare guessing the meaning of "as it were" in each of your sentences, because I am not a native English speaker, and I'd rather learn from them on this one than just leaving a guess here.
    I am curious about it, too.
    I was not guessing about the meaning of 'as it were'. Its meaning I specified in the post above. The question was about the position of this expression in a sentence. My answer was anywhere except maybe the head of a sentence. But here I'm not sure, because it might be possible to make up a sentence starting with 'as it were'. By the way, 'dare' is followed by an infinitive.

  6. Kraken's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 333
    #9

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    If the shoe fits...

    I was not referring to you mate, you can take my honest word for it. You are entitled to your own opinions and so am I.

    I appreciate your correction tho.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #10

    Re: the position of 'as it were'

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
    If the shoe fits...

    I was not referring to you mate, you can take my honest word for it. You are entitled to your own opinions and so am I.

    I appreciate your correction tho.
    I misunderstood you. Everything is fine.

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