A question related to the sentence structure

atakeris

Senior Member
Latvian
Hi guys,

Case: I wanted to talk about some interesting ideas we came up with during the meeting that could help us to better understand....

Question: Is this sentence structure correct? I mean, sometimes It seems for me incorrect to add dependent clause after the modification of a noun. Is it correct to do that? Or should I put "the could help..." straight away after "...ideas". Or should break this sentence into two sentences?

Thanks!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Perfectly correct. You have two relative clauses attached to the same thing. One of them has to come first. Sometimes the placement could cause ambiguity: if the second relative clause could be understood as attached to a noun in the first. Here, you might get an ambiguous reading 'the meeting that could help us . . .' Although it is possible for a meeting to help people, this doesn't seem ambiguous to me, and I wouldn't change your original sentence to avoid it.

    If you needed to change it to make clear that the two clauses were parallel, you could join them with 'and' (and use the same relative marker for greater clarity):

    some interesting ideas that we came up with during the meeting and that could help us to better understand . . .

    In speech the intonation would make it clear which noun 'that could' is attached to. It's not obvious in writing why it's attached to 'ideas', but as I said, it seems perfectly good just as it is. It would only be read in the correct way, I think.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You have added two "dependent clause after the modification of a noun": (i) we came up with during the meeting (ii) that could help us to better understand [...]. Both modify "ideas." There is nothing wrong with that structure.
    Or should I put the"that could help..."straight away immediately after "...ideas"
    No.
     
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