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Shouldn't "how many years" be followed by a clause(complete sentence)? "There's a fascinating measurement called "years of life lost," **which measures *how many years* shy of the realistic life expectancy people die.** So if a person can hope to live to age 86 but they die in a car accident at age 21, those 65 years are considered "lost years of life" due to car accidents." - I feel like the part following "how many years" here lack a verb, because the part starting with "how many years~" is not a complete sentence. For example in the sentence below, "How many years **has the man worked for the company?**" there's a complete sentence with a subject and a verb(the man, has worked) after "how many years". And it seems like "shy of" also needs a verb like in the sentence, "Tom Cruise **is** four years *shy of* his 60th birthday." So, isn't there something wrong with the quoted sentence above? Even though it's not a verb, I still feel like there's a missing part in it.
Sep 2, 2019 1:16 AM
Answers · 3
The sentence is fine. You're right that the part starting with 'how many' isn't a complete sentence, but it doesn't need to be. The verb in the whole sentence is the 'is' that is part of 'There's'. That's the same as your Tom Cruise example. The verb in the clause is 'die', but it's in a different order, as is your 'has the man worked', which is also not a sentence. It is a question. If you rearrange the clause, you could ask (admittedly a little awkwardly) "people die how many years shy of the realistic life expectancy?" Perhaps a grammarian can better answer how sentence order changes in clauses?
September 2, 2019
I think your confusion lies in the fact that 'how many years' is a statement, not a question. The rest is said by the previous answers
September 2, 2019
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