across the street corner and the wide lawn

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sisse nar

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, all.

This is from <A death in the family> by James Agee.

In the following sentence, I don't get the position.
Is Dekalb's house in the same side with wide lawn?
And which side is the street corner?

They were in the side street, just across from Dr. Dekalb’s house, and across the street corner and the wide lawn.
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello,
    1. They were in the
    small street/path
    2. They (their house) were/was facing Dr. Dekalb’s house
    3. They were on the corner of the street where the wide lawn was.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    There is not enough information.
    Even if we forget about the corner and the lawn, the first part is already unclear. I see two possibilities:
    (1) The side street was across the (main) street from Dr D's house. They were somewhere in that side street.
    (2) Dr D's house was on a side street. They were across from D's house.
     

    sisse nar

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I added more sentences to show the context.
    It is still unclear the relation between Dr D's house and the steet corner.

    And he drove somewhat more rapidly up the silent, empty, back street, then once again turned a corner, moved very slowly and quietly, and came to a stop. They were in the side street, just across from Dr. Dekalb’s house, and across the street corner and the wide lawn. They could see their grandfather’s house and everything that went on, and they knew that they were not seen.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    That puts a slightly better light on things. I think it is not the case that the side street was across (the back street) from Dr D's house, but they and Dr D's house were both in the side street, and their car was stopped across from the house.

    It's possible (but not certain) that "the street corner" of the red sentence is the same as "a corner" in the black sentence, i.e. it is the corner they had just turned (from the back street into the side street). Dr D's house is obviously some distance from this junction, but not far.

    Is their grandfather's house the same house as Dr D's house?

    If not, or perhaps even if so, "the street corner" could be a different corner from the one they had turned. This would make more sense because they want to watch grandfather's house, and they don't want to be twisting their necks. I think "the street corner" is in their line of sight, i.e. if you draw a straight line from their car to grandfather's house, then both "the street corner" and the wide lawn are on that line. The corner may be on the same or the opposite side of the street from them. The lawn may be "in" that corner, or it may belong to grandfather's house, or both.
     
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