altitude "reaching " before which

KDH

Senior Member
Korean
It's the altitude before reaching which a decision has to be made whether you will continue to approach or go around.

Is "the altitude before reaching which" gramatically correct here?
 
  • KDH

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Oops. I wrote the title wrong. The question in my thread is correct: "The altitude before reaching which."
     

    Angela Thomas

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    Something is missing. What does "which" refer to exactly?
    Perhaps, it's the altitude before reaching the moment when the decision has to be made to either continue the approach or go round???
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    It's an awkward, but perfectly clear, sentence cleft sentence.

    During a plane's descent there is a cut-off altitude. Before reaching that altitude, the pilots have to decide where to continue the landing or abort it.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    It's the altitude before reaching which a decision has to be made whether you will continue to approach or go around.

    The sentence is grammatically correct, but it could be written better.
    For example:
    It's the altitude before which you have to decide whether to continue approaching or to go around.

    - Cross-posted. I agree with exgerman.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It's the altitude before reaching which a decision has to be made whether you will continue to approach or go around.

    Is "the altitude before reaching which" gramatically correct here?
    This is gramatically correct. "which" is the right replacement for "altitude" when lumping two sentences into one sentence. If we split it into two sentences then "which" becomes "it"

    "It's an altitude. Before reaching it a decision has to be made...."
     

    Angela Thomas

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    You are all right! I thought it sounded horrible "the altitude before reaching which" but tons of Google and the contexts are there. I'm also learning quite a bit about my own dang language....
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It sounded horrible because it is horrible. Though technically correct, it's, it's :eek:, words fail me.
    I feel a primal scream coming on. Aargh!! There. Back to normal now.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not sure I'd call it technically or grammatically correct, because it contains a hanging participle.

    You reach the altitude - in It's the altitude before reaching which a decision has to be made whether you continue to approach or go around it's the decision which reaches the altitude. I think this is what causes revulsion among the natives.

    You get round the problem by excising the participle, reaching; you need other small amendments, also, in my view, to point the choice - It's the altitude before which a decision has to be made whether you continue to approach, or go around - or by choosing a subject which will be reaching the altitude - It's the altitude before reaching which you have to make a decision whether you should continue to approach, or go around.
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I guess It's the altitude before reaching which you have to make a decision whether you will continue to approach or go around sounds a bit better.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I haven't removed anything from your sentence, I composed my version independently. I replied to your original post before I saw the additions you subsequently edited in.

    I don't think the comma is needed, because I don't interpret "approach or go round" as one unit; to me they are clearly mutually exclusive alternative outcomes of the decision. You have to make a decision whether to carry on or (to) give up.

    Perhaps it would be a little clearer to repeat "to": "whether to continue to approach or to go round", and better still with "continue the approach".
     
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