stop or comma

diamondcutter

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5a7654af2bb203bebcbc14d7c5f71d7.jpg

This (the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl) is a giant calendar. There are stairs on each face: north, south, east and west, each with 91 steps. And the top step makes 365. One for each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something.

Source: Kid’s Box 6, CUP

I think the stop behind 365 should be a comma like this:

And the top step makes 365, one for each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something.

What do you say?
 

emsr2d2

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If I had to write it, I'd remove the full stop after "91 steps" and continue the sentence with "and the ...". I'd use the full stop after "365" as they did. I'd start the final sentence with "There's one for ...".

Your version is correct but I don't have an issue with the original ending the sentence at "365".
 

Tdol

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How about:

And the top step makes 365 - one for each day of the year - but I think we’ve missed something.
 

diamondcutter

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How about rewriting “One for each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something” like this?

One step is for each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something.
 

diamondcutter

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But in #2, Emsr2d2 changed “One for each day of the year" as follows.

"There's one for ..."

Does that mean the phrase could be made into a complete sentence?
 

jutfrank

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The part of the text currently written as One for each day of the year is not a sentence in its own right. It's an extension of the sentence that precedes it. That's why a dash would be a good way of transcribing it:

And the top step makes 365—one for each day of the year.
 

diamondcutter

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Thanks, Jutfrank.

When translated into Chinese, the equivalent of “One for each day of the year” is a complete sentence, and that’s why I want to know how to change it into a complete sentence in English. That’ll be easier for Chinese students to understand. It’s unnecessary for native speakers to do the changing but it makes good sense for learners in China to do so. I know the phrase is good as it is but could you please help me to change it into a complete sentence?
 

jutfrank

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When translated into Chinese, the equivalent of “One for each day of the year” is a complete sentence,

Really? Chinese sentences don't need verbs?

and that’s why I want to know how to change it into a complete sentence in English.

You just can't do that. You can't make a noun phrase into a sentence, and you shouldn't even try. What I've written in post #8 is a sentence, which includes the noun phrase in question. Moreover, what I've written is precisely the sentence that the writer had in mind (minus the 'but' clause). That means it expresses the entire thought.
 

diamondcutter

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I mean the Chinese translation for “One for each day of the year” is a complete sentence with a verb. There are few prepositions in Chinese, so mostly, English prepositions are translated into verbs in Chinese. The Chinese for “One for each day of the year” is 每个数字代表一年中的一天, which means “one number stands for each day of the year”.
I wonder if it’s possible that the verb “stands” is omitted in the original “One for each day of the year”. That is to say, the whole sentence could be like this.

And the top step makes 365, and one number stands for each day of the year.

Do you think my new version above makes sense and has the same meaning as the original?
 

5jj

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I wonder if it’s possible that the verb “stands” is omitted in the original “One for each day of the year”.
Nothing is omitted in the original. See post #8.
That is to say, the whole sentence could be like this.

And the top step makes 365, and one number stands for each day of the year.
No. It's each step that represent a day of the year, not each number. There is no mention of numbers, apart from 91 and 365.

If you wish to translate the original into meaningful Chinese, you may have to add words. but you can't change the original English without changing the meaning.
 

diamondcutter

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Thank you all very much for your replies.

But I have one more question.

I wonder whether “one for each day of the year” in that context is a noun phrase or an absolute nominative structure.
 

Tarheel

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Well, it doesn't seem to be a noun phrase, so maybe it's the other thing.
 

diamondcutter

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I have a new idea. What about replacing the preposition “for” with the participle “representing” like this?

...one representing each day of the year...
 

5jj

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You mean like sentence below?

And the top step makes 365. One representing each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something.

It's the same as with for. It doesn't work. Change the full stop to a comma, and it's OK.
 

diamondcutter

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I mean the whole sentence like this.

And the top step makes 365, one representing each day of the year, but I think we’ve missed something.
 
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