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Felix
How should I understand the structure of sentence below ? Few people ask by what authority the writers of dictionaries and grammars say what they say. For me, I only can understand the structure like this, "Few people ask the writers of dictionaries and grammars to say what they say by what authority." Why there is no TO in the sentence?Few people ask that by what authority, the writers of dictionaries and grammars say what they say. Is it ok?
Feb 1, 2014 9:14 AM
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Answers · 5
I think the main confusion is the phrase "by what authority". It basically means "for what reason" and stands for "why". Also, "the writers of dictionaries and grammars" is the subject of "say". They say something. So, "to" cannot fit there. It would be wrong. "What they say" is the object. Also, although "ask" usually needs a person who is asked, in this case it's a general question. Few people ask [by what authority] [the writers of dictionaries and grammars] say [what they say]. Few (not many) people want to know why they say X.
February 1, 2014
Felix
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Other), English, Russian
Learning Language
English, Russian