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Thread: Explain it for listeners to understand it

  1. #1
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    Explain it for listeners to understand it

    A:How shall I explain it?
    B:Explain it for listeners to understand it.

    Could you advise me please? I would like to ask about a manner in my first sentence. Do you think my answer is acceptable?

    Thank you.
    I would appreciate any corrections to my posts.

  2. #2
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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    (B) is not well worded. Better to say, "Explain it in a way so that listeners will understand it" or "Explain it in a way so that it will be understandable to listeners."

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Thank you. And what do you think of this option?

    Explain it in a way for listeners to understand it
    I would appreciate any corrections to my posts.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Quote Originally Posted by slovac View Post
    Thank you. And what do you think of this option?

    Explain it in a way for listeners to understand it
    A better option would be: Explain it in such a way that listeners can understand it. (better than the one above, not better than MuttQuad's suggestions)

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Thank you.
    I would appreciate any corrections to my posts.

  6. #6
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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Could I ask about whether MuttQuad's sentences are not purpose sentence? Because SO THAT often refers to a purpose sentence.
    I would appreciate any corrections to my posts.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    I would actually use that and not so that.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Thank you.
    I would appreciate any corrections to my posts.

  9. #9
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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Or: "explain it so listeners can understand it."

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Quote Originally Posted by Egmont View Post
    Or: "explain it so listeners can understand it."
    That's the way I would say it.
    Reunite Gondwanaland!

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    I really don't understand this phrase, because...

    ... if you "explained it" any other way than "so that [your] listeners can understand it," then you didn't explain it.

    In other words "explain it so listeners can understand it," to me, is the same as "explain it."

    In other words, it's not a natural phrase; therefore discussing it is potentially counter-productive.

    There are many similar, valid phrases: "Explain it in terms clear enough for the average listener to understand," "Explain it thoroughly so your listeners won't have any questions," "Explain it so thoroughly that your listeners won't have any questions," etc. But this sentence does not feel natural at all to me.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Quote Originally Posted by lucas-sp View Post
    I really don't understand this phrase, because...

    ... if you "explained it" any other way than "so that [your] listeners can understand it," then you didn't explain it.

    In other words "explain it so listeners can understand it," to me, is the same as "explain it."

    In other words, it's not a natural phrase; therefore discussing it is potentially counter-productive.

    There are many similar, valid phrases: "Explain it in terms clear enough for the average listener to understand," "Explain it thoroughly so your listeners won't have any questions," "Explain it so thoroughly that your listeners won't have any questions," etc. But this sentence does not feel natural at all to me.
    I guess you've never read a Fed Chairman's explanation of the results of it's latest meeting. Or the bureaucrats' explanations of the universal electronic spying program that 's just been unveiled. Or State's explanation of the whole Benghazi incident.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    I really don't understand this phrase, because...
    ... if you "explained it" any other way than "so that [your] listeners can understand it," then you didn't explain it.
    In other words "explain it so listeners can understand it," to me, is the same as "explain it."
    But there are two ways to read it, Lucas, because there are two ways to read "so" (forget the unnecessary "that"): (1) in such a way; (2) in order that. You're assuming the first, a way of explaining; obviously any other way would be pointless. But the second does make sense, giving a reason to explain it.

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Quote Originally Posted by Parla View Post
    But there are two ways to read it, Lucas, because there are two ways to read "so" (forget the unnecessary "that"): (1) in such a way; (2) in order that. You're assuming the first, a way of explaining; obviously any other way would be pointless. But the second does make sense, giving a reason to explain it.
    Wouldn't sentence (2) have to be: "explain it so that listeners will understand it"?

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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    Wouldn't sentence (2) have to be: "Explain it so that listeners will understand it"?
    I don't think so; in my opinion, the "that" is superfluous with either interpretation. But, it occurs to me, perhaps I'd insert a comma in the #2 sense: "Explain it, so listeners will understand it." I think it's clear then that "so" = in order that.

  16. #16
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    Re: Explain it for listeners to understand it

    We can drop the "that." I was talking about can. The verb "can," to me, makes the "in order that" reading impossible and the sentence needs to be rephrased.

    If we have "explain it so listeners can understand it," to me, it has to be #1 - "explain it in a manner [that] listeners can understand."

    If we tried to read it as #2, "in order that," the sentence would be "explain it in order that listeners can understand it," "in order that listeners be able to understand it." But by the logic of the sentence the listeners must already be able to understand it when you begin explaining it; their ability to understand is the precondition of your explaining and not the result of your explaining.

    Maybe contrast would help:

    Explain it so [that] listeners can understand it = Explain it in order that listeners can understand it
    Explain it so [that] listeners can do it themselves in the future = Explain it in order that listeners can do it themselves in the future
    Explain it so [that] listeners will understand it = Explain it in order that listeners will understand it

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