A resilient and determined government official, Hoover's ...

omidnice

Senior Member
Turkish - Azerbaijani
Hi,

I came across the following sentence while reading the book "Essential Words for the TOEFL".

A resilient and determined government official, Hoover's tenure spanned one of the most important eras of modern US history.
Source: Essential Words for the TOEFL, 5th Edition, By Matthiesen

My concern is a grammatical point. As far as I know, "official" is a noun here, and I think "A resilient and determined government official" is a description of a person named "Hoover". Shouldn't the structure be like "A resilient and determined government official, Hoover, 's tenure ..."?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    You're absolutely right: It's grammatically incorrect. (Good for you, spotting the error!) The way it's written, the phrase "a resilient and determined government official" describes not Hoover, but Hoover's tenure—although the writer obviously intended it to describe Hoover. (I am dismayed to learn that this person has published a book to guide people who are learning English. Try to find a better book!) I'm afraid your try at a correction doesn't quite work, though.

    One way to say it correctly would be: Hoover was a resilient and determined government official whose tenure spanned one of the most important eras of modern US history.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that the grammar of this sentence has gone awry.

    Yes, 'official' is a noun. After a clause such as the first, I would expect 'Hoover' to be the subject of the second, and not 'Hoover's tenure'.

    eg. A resilient and determined government official, Hoover never wore a hat.
     

    Smauler

    Senior Member
    British English
    The original sentence is not correct. I'm not sure what you are asking here. "Hoover's" is genetive, that's why the apostrophe is there. I don't know where the comma came from.

    edit : oops, I was wrong... misled by bolding and repetition is my excuse.
     
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