What is this, grammatically?

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Taka

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The sentence:

The river is grown over with water hyacinth. The plants, with their delicate flowers, rooted not in soil but in water, float along, and as your boat passes through, making a channel of clear water, they are pushed aside; but no sooner has it passed than they drift back with the stream and the breeze, and no trace that you have passed that way remains. So with us who have made little stir in the world

What is "that" there grammatically? To me, it seems pretty close to "where", a relative adverb, not like "which", a relative pronoun.

Is my interpretation correct?

Taka
 

MikeNewYork

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Taka said:
The sentence:

The river is grown over with water hyacinth. The plants, with their delicate flowers, rooted not in soil but in water, float along, and as your boat passes through, making a channel of clear water, they are pushed aside; but no sooner has it passed than they drift back with the stream and the breeze, and no trace that you have passed that way remains. So with us who have made little stir in the world

What is "that" there grammatically? To me, it seems pretty close to "where", a relative adverb, not like "which", a relative pronoun.

Is my interpretation correct?

Taka

"That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.

:wink:
 

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(deleted)

(The same massages as below posted accidentally deleted)
 

Taka

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MikeNewYork said:
"That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.

A conjunction it is, maybe. But don't you think it's replaceable with "where", like "no trace where you have passed that way remains"? (Remember, I said it's close to a "relative adverb", not a "relative pronoun").

Take another sentence like, say, "You are in a hurry the last time that I met you" for instance. Don't you think we can replace that with when? Or for still another instance, if I say "We need a place that we can stay for a few days", don't you think it's the same as "We need a place where we can stay for a few days"?
 

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Taka said:
MikeNewYork said:
"That" is acting as a conjunction there. It introduces the clause "that you have passed that way", which modifies trace. The only reasons that we would not call it a relative pronoun here are that it really doesn't refer to another word and it doesn't have a grammatic place in the clause.

A conjunction it is, maybe. But don't you think it's replaceable with "where", like "no trace where you have passed that way remains"? (Remember, I said it's close to a "relative adverb", not a "relative pronoun").

Take another sentence like, say, "You are in a hurry the last time that I met you" for instance. Don't you think we can replace that with when? Or for still another instance, if I say "We need a place that we can stay for a few days", don't you think it's the same as "We need a place where we can stay for a few days"?

Sorry, I missed your point. Yes, you can replace "that" with "where" there. I would call "where" a conjunction also, but the term "relative adverb" has its proponents. The problem then is with "that way". That becomes redundant with "where", IMO. It would be better as "no trace where you have passed remains". It would have a meaning slightly different from the other version, but it would be grammatical.

:wink:
 

Taka

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I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

*that way=using your boat
 

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Taka said:
I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

*that way=using your boat

For me, "that way", in the original, means "in that direction", "by that place". The idea is not that there is no trace that you used a boat. The idea is that the world will never know that you were there at all.
 

Taka

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MikeNewYork said:
Taka said:
I think it may be a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace (in) *that way", but I'm not confident about this one...

*that way=using your boat

For me, "that way", in the original, means "in that direction", "by that place". The idea is not that there is no trace that you used a boat. The idea is that the world will never know that you were there at all.

I see. And if it is a combination of "no trace remains" and "you have passed through the trace that way", you think it's redundant. Is that what you mean?
 

Taka

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Now I have an idea! Is the word "trace" used not as a physical mark, but as a metaphor for "evidence" or "a fact"? If it is so, then I think that the "that" of "no trace that" is the same as "that" of "no evidence that" or "no fact that".
 

Tdol

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I'd say 'no evidence'. ;-)
 

Tdol

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