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What does 'they' refer to? I read these sentences in wikipedia: Most classical compounds translate readily into everyday language, especially nouns: bio- as ‘life’ -graphy as ‘writing, description’. Because of this, >>> the compounds of which they are part <<< (usually classical or learned compounds) can be more or less straightforwardly paraphrased: biography as ‘writing about a life’, neurology as ‘the study of the nervous system’. Does ' they' stand for ' most classical compounds' in the last sentence? Do you think the expression is perfect or acceptable?I mean 'they' looks far from the words it refers to. Do you yourself prefer writing sentences this way? If not, how would you possibly put it?
Jun 7, 2015 11:36 AM
Answers · 5
Yes, "they" refers to the word-forming elements mentioned in the first sentence. It is not perceived to be distant, because the 1st sentence has an obvious subject. The last subject is the main candidate for referencing words like "he/she/it/they". If we were referencing to "some noun at the end of the sentence" instead of the subject, we would have used something like "this" (outside the sentence) or "which" (inside the sentence) My grammar book, which was printed by Cambridge Press, provides an example: "The severe drought has resulted in a poor harvest. *It* has also affected livestock. [ It = the drought ] The severe drought has resulted in a poor harvest. *This* has led to famine in certain parts of the country. [ This = a poor harvest ]" Hope that helps.
June 7, 2015
Yes it refers to classical compounds and it is perfectly clear.I also write like this.
June 7, 2015
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