all they want

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jullianus, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Hello.

    1a. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability all they want, but evidence has continued to confirm its troubling presence.(Korea university entrance exam)

    The relative pronoun 'that' is omitted between 'electability' and 'all'. 'all' is the adverb here and means 'much' or 'really'. The antecedent of the omitted relative pronoun(that) is 'electability'. Then, does this way make sense?

    Thank you always~.
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    1a. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability all they want. < This makes sense.

    1b. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability that all they want. < This makes no sense. But did you mean, 1c.?

    1c. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability all that they want. < This makes sense.
     
  3. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    If so, the antecedent of 'that' is all. the object of 'deny' is the impact of attractiveness. Then, what role does 'all' here? Can't the object of deny be the two things?
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    1a. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability all they want. = 1c. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability all that they want. = 1d.

    1d. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability as much as they like.
     
  5. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Then, is the antecedent of 'that' 'attractiveness'? and 'all' is adverb?
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Voters can deny ( the impact of attractiveness on electability ) all they want.

    The words in the brackets are a complete noun phrase.
    Voters can deny X all (that) they want. = Voters can deny X as much as they like.
     
  7. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    I'm not sure that 'that' has an antecedent, though if it does, then it's 'all'. I think that 'all' is an adverb here, and that it modifies 'deny'.
    But I would urge you not to take that as gospel. I think that 'all they want' is a slightly quirky expression, and it may just have exceeded my parsing powers.

    I think that it's more important that you understand the sentence, but it's not clear to me that you have. Do you think that you have? What do you think it means? (Cross-posted with Julian)
     
  8. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    As far as I know, 'deny' has only one object. 'the impact of attractiveness on electability' is the object. Therefore 'all' can't be the pronoun. As 'all' is adverb, 'all' can't be the antecedent of 'that'. But as the laungauge is not math, though I can't undertand this structure, I will understand with an idiomatic: deny x all they want.
     
  9. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    I'm not sure that anyone was suggesting that 'all' was a pronoun or that 'all' was the antecedent of 'that'. Be that as it may ...

    If you are to understand it 'with an idiomatic' then be sure to know what it means, and notice that it strongly collocates with the 'but' that follows.

    "You can deny it all you like, but X' = There's no point in your denying it because X'.
     
  10. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    One more quesiton. If I omit 'all they want', is the following sentence possible and correct?

    2a. Voters can deny the impact of attractiveness on electability, but evidence has continued to confirm its troubling presence.
     
  11. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    (2a.) :D Yes. 2a. has, in my opinion, all that is required to produce the same meaning as 1a., indeed we often see sentences of type 2a. used to produce exactly that effect.
     
  12. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    That's about all I can take. :D


    The dictionary here suggests that all here is a determiner acting as a pronoun. I've eaten all I can eat. You can read it all you want. In all these cases it can be replaced by "as much as". In your example sentence, the writer is expressing the position that voters have been denying it a lot without any impact on the "but" clause, while leaving out the "all they want" reduces this meaning to "some voters have denied it".
     

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