[Grammar] Bogota is at its most colourful...

Maybo

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Bogota is at its most colourful on a Sunday morning. Once a week, city highways are closed to motorised traffic and transformed into a blur of fluorescent lycra as thousands of cyclists, children on tricycles and teenagers on rollerblades whoosh past. This motley Tour de France passes under the stem gaze of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America, whose statue presides over the main square. They steer under the bell towers of the two-century-old cathedral, where the last hymns of morning mass reverberate inside,congregations in their Sunday best stepping out into the Andean sunshineThey pedal past the market at Paloquemao, where weekend shoppers wander among roses, sunflowers and lilies, flowers that only hours before were snipped from the surrounding countryside, soon to decorate weddings, funerals, birthday parties and dinner dates across the capital.

Source: http://mustseeplaces.eu/awesome-things-to-experience-in-bogota/

1. Bogota is at its most colourful on a Sunday morning.

"At its most colourful" means at Bogota most colourful time?

2. congregations in their Sunday best stepping out into the Andean sunshine.

Who step out?

3.They pedal past the market at Paloquemao, where weekend shoppers wander among roses, sunflowers and lilies, flowers that only hours before were snipped from the surrounding countryside, soon to decorate weddings, funerals, birthday parties and dinner dates across the capital.

Why does it use present tense for "pedal" ,but use past tense for "were snipped" ?
 
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teechar

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Re: grammar

1. Bogota is at its most colourful on a Sunday morning.

Does "at its most colourful" mean at Bogota's most colourful time?
Yes, it means Sunday morning is the time when Bogota is "most colourful."

2. congregations in their Sunday best stepping out into the Andean sunshine.
Who is stepping out?
The congregations (people worshiping in the cathedral).

3.They pedal past the market at Paloquemao, where weekend shoppers wander among roses, sunflowers and lilies, flowers that only hours before were snipped from the surrounding countryside, soon to decorate weddings, funerals, birthday parties and dinner dates across the capital.

Why does it use the present simple tense for "pedal" but uses the past tense for "were snipped"?
The present simple "pedal" indicates habit/routine/habitual action. The past simple passive "were snipped" is used because "hours before" necessitates a backshift in the above.
 

Maybo

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Re: grammar

They pedal past the market at Paloquemao, where weekend shoppers wander among roses, sunflowers and lilies, flowers that only hours before the flowers were snipped from the surrounding countryside, soon to decorate weddings, funerals, birthday parties and dinner dates across the capital.

Does it what the sentence mean? The flowers were snipped?
 
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teechar

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Re: grammar

that only hours before were snipped
In the above, "that" is a relative pronoun referring to "roses, sunflowers and lilies."

[STRIKE]Does it[/STRIKE] Is that what the sentence means- that the flowers were snipped?
Yes, that's right.
 

Rover_KE

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