a deserved if somewhat underwhelming victory over Slovakia

rukiak

Senior Member
japanese
Hello.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2010/matches/match_53/default.stm

There is some sentence I can't understand in the article of FIFA WC.
(Due to this forum rule, I will have to separate to 4 questions which were all in one article.)

1.(In the title)A superb strike from Arjen Robben and a late Wesley Sneijder goal gave Netherlands a deserved if somewhat underwhelming victory over Slovakia to seal their place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

"if somewhat underwhelming" is a some kind of adjective? Does deserved directly modify "victory"? And what does "seal" mean? (The verb is used several times in this article.)


Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    Yes, deserved modifies victory, and somewhat underwhelming can be replaced by dull. Seal can be replaced by ensure.

    A superb strike from Arjen Robben and a late Wesley Sneijder goal gave Netherlands a deserved but dull victory over Slovakia to ensure their place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I expect you know the adjective overwhelming.
    The opposite adjective, underwhelming, is often used somewhat flippantly to describe something that is really not very impressive.

    The Netherlands won, they had a victory over Slovakia, but it was not a very impressive win. I don't know why, because I know nothing about the match.

    ... a deserved, if somewhat underwhelming, victory...
    Both "deserved" and "somewhat underwhelming" are adjectives modifying victory.
     

    rukiak

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Thank you envie de voyager.
    And panjandrum, thank you for tips about underwhelming, but my biggest question was the way of use of "if" which is usually conjunction.
    Thank you.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Thank you envie de voyager.
    And panjandrum, thank you for tips about underwhelming, but my biggest question was the way of use of "if" which is usually conjunction.
    Thank you.
    Ah, OK :)

    In this case, "if" is equivalent to "although" or "even though".
    Here is the Merriam-Webster definition:
    4 : even though : although perhaps <an interesting if untenable argument>
     
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