Author Topic: Sentence structure  (Read 7183 times)

pedestrian

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Sentence structure
« on: November 02, 2010, 02:48:43 PM »
Hi, Jose,

Glad to has this platform to learn English !

I can understand the meaning of the following sentence; however i can not write the sentence like this. The most important is that I don't understand the sentence structure. I just know there is a main clause in the following sentence. What is the sentence structure of the other separated by comma?

The percentage of people from couple-with-children family in poverty is 12%, slightly higher than the average, more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family, lower than the average.

thanks ;)
pedestrian

Joe Carillo

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 08:01:00 PM »
Let’s look closely at the sentence you presented:

“The percentage of people from couple-with-children family in poverty is 12%, slightly higher than the average, more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family, lower than the average.”

That sentence is actually the “reduced” form of the following complex sentence with a nonrestrictive or nonessential relative clause:

“The percentage of people from couple-with-children family in poverty is 12%, which is slightly higher than the average, more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family, and lower than the average.”

The main clause is, of course, ““The percentage of people from couple-with-children family in poverty is 12%”; and the nonrestrictive clause is “which is slightly higher than the average, more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family, and lower than the average.” This nonrestrictive clause functions as an adjective clause modifying its antecedent noun “12%” as its subject.

In the version you presented, however, the nonrestrictive clause has been reduced to a modifying phrase through the elimination of the relative pronoun “which” and the operative verb “is” in that clause. In English, adjective clauses that use the relative pronouns “who,” “which,” and “that” generally can be reduced by dropping the relative pronoun and the form of the verb “be” used in the adjective clause. The reduction, which is meant to make the sentence more concise, converts the adjective clause into an adjective phrase, which, of course, is a simpler construction than an adjective clause. The reduction, however, can be done only if it doesn’t alter or distort the intended meaning or sense of the sentence. (Click this link to my previous posting in the Forum that discusses the reduction of adjective clauses to adjective phrases more extensively.)
 
In the “unreduced” version of the sentence you presented, there’s actually a series of three adjective clauses independently modifying “12%”, as follows:

1. “which is slightly higher than the average”
2. “which is more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family”; and
3. “which is lower than the average”

However, since they are constructed in serial enumerative form, only one “which is” is used for all of them. Of course, there should also be the conjunction “and” to indicate that the third item in the serial enumeration is the last, but this “and” was eliminated by the writer perhaps for stylistic purposes. This omission of “and” in such situations is called asyndeton, which is sometimes resorted to by some writers for emphasis or dramatic effect.

I hope that this has adequately explained the structure of the sentence you presented.

pedestrian

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 09:49:45 PM »
hi, Joe,

thanks for your reply. Your platform is very good to those people studying English.
I need to introduce this platform to many of my friend.

I need your comment how to learn English more effectively.
I confused to so many type of clause in English, like independent, dependent, noun clause, adjective clause, prepositional phrase, restrictive clause and non-restrictive clause...

Where can I study them more effectively ?
 ;)

Joe Carillo

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 08:36:43 AM »
You’re welcome, and thanks, too, for the compliment about Jose Carillo’s English Forum! It would be terrific if more people knew about this website’s existence, of course, so I greatly appreciate your idea of referring it to your friends.

Short of going back to school for special intensive studies, I don’t know how—and where—you can achieve greater mastery of English grammar and usage over the short term; perhaps Forum members who know of one or two such places can make a recommendation. In any case, I don’t believe you can achieve real mastery of English by simply taking a short-term grammar and usage course. It would require continuing self-study and lots of practice in reading, writing, and speaking English. And when you do this, you need to give yourself a year or at least several months to see a substantial improvement.

To give you a good head start, though, you may want to get a copy of my third English-usage book, Give Your English the Winning Edge. Part I of this book, “Building the English Sentence,” devotes 125 pages to an intensive discussion of the following aspects of the language: constructing the various types of English sentences, combining and linking ideas, establishing the logic of ideas, establishing relationships within clauses, harnessing the various grammar structures, managing the pronouns better, and mastering the English tenses. You can browse the book by clicking this link to this Forum’s Bookshop section.

Good luck in your continuing quest for better English!

pedestrian

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 11:39:11 PM »
thanks for your reply.

I think i will suggest your book, rather than this website for my friend. This could be the best to you.
I only recommended my brother to login to this forum; but he was banned for some reason. He has no intention to show any advertisment in here since he is now unemployed and has no relationship with that advertisment at all. Hope you can accept him again.  ;)

thanks
Pedestrain

Menie

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 07:50:47 PM »


1. “which is slightly higher than the average”
2. “which is more 5 % than that of couple-without-children family”; and
3. “which is lower than the average”




Shouldn't the second phrase read "which is 5% more than that of couple-without-children family"?

Joe Carillo

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Re: Sentence structure
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2010, 12:09:02 AM »
You're right, it should read "which is 5% more than that of couple-without-children family." I think it's a proofreading error.