Although he was both poor and didn’t have much education, he never gave up reading books.

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
My hero is Abraham Lincoln. Although he was both poor and didn’t have much education, he never gave up reading books.

(Project English 9B, page 19, Wang Dechun, an English textbook for junior middle school students in China)

The last sentence seems odd to me. I wonder if it’s OK. What about although he was poor and didn’t have much education when he was young, he never gave up reading books.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Sounds off, indeed. After 'both' you need, generally, two words that are the same parts of speech, e.g. a noun and a noun (teacher and scholar), or a verb and a verb (read and wrote), etc. A noun + a clause is an unusual combination.
    ... he was both poor and not very educated
    The above one has two adjectives, at least.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    He is using "off" in its meaning "not quite right". He is repeating your phrase "seems odd" but saying it with different words.That is why he adds "indeed".

    A: this sentence seems odd
    B: it seems odd, indeed.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    You added this phrase. I don't think the original sentence implies this. Written this way, the sentence suggests he got additional education when he was older.
    Yes, that's what the re-write suggests to me, that he had some sort of additional education in later life. It doesn't say that in the original version.
     
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