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Relative clauses Hi, there Should you say "Some people find RIDICULOUS the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things" or "Some people find the IDEA RIDICULOUS THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things" or "Some people find the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things RIDICULOUS" Which of these is right?
Jun 27, 2019 7:53 PM
Answers · 14
INCORRECT: "Some people find RIDICULOUS the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard -- regardless of economic status, origin, and place on the social ladder -- can have access to the same things." CORRECT: "Some people find the IDEA IS RIDICULOUS THAT everyone who works hard -- regardless of economic status, origin, and place on the social ladder -- can have access to the same things." CORRECT: "Some people find the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard -- regardless of economic status, origin, and place on the social ladder -- can have access to the same things IS RIDICULOUS. " English is an SVO language. Subject + verb + object. Normally, we would use the third structure above. However, since 'ridiculous' is so far away from the noun it modifies (idea), the second structure is more preferable here. (I also think it's clearer with 'is'.) Personally, I don't like any of the options because they are so wordy. If it were me, I would break it into two sentences: Some people find the idea that everyone who works hard can have access to the same things is ridiculous. This is because of variables like economic status, origin, and place on the social ladder.
June 27, 2019
1 - "Some people find RIDICULOUS the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things" 2 - "Some people find IDEA RIDICULOUS THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things" 3 - "Some people find the IDEA THAT everyone who works hard, regardless of economic status, origin and place on the social ladder, can have access to the same things RIDICULOUS" Sentence 1 is grammatical and easy to understand. Sentence 2 is ungrammatical. "find IDEA" is missing a determiner. Sentence 3 is grammatical but awkward because IDEA and RIDICULOUS are separated by a very long group of words. When sentence 3 is reorganized, it becomes clearer. For example, "Some believe that everyone who works ... can have access to the same things. Others find this idea ridiculous." [edited - Added information that shows that sentence 1 is grammatical.] Richard Marius and Melvin Page, A Short Guide to Writing about History (Longman, 7th ed. 20 I 0) , 139-140 http://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu/classes/204writingworkshop/pdfs/MariusPage2009StyleOCR.pdf [excerpt] For example, consider this sentence: Living in a much less violent society, the idea that every man, woman, and child in the United States has a right to his or her very own assault rille seems ridiculous to most Canadians. Who or what lives in that less violent society? The idea? The sentence is much clearer if rewritten like this: Living in a much less violent society, Canadians find ridiculous the idea that every man, woman, and child in the United States has the right to his or her very own assault rifle. Keep such qualifying phrases close to the words they are intended to modify, just as you would with adjectives and adverbs.
June 27, 2019
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