appositive or an adverbial of purpose

snooprun

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello everyone. In this sentence 'It is a quality that each of us needs to learn how to cultivate more in our lives, awakening all of our senses and being comfortable in the present--to feel rooted, with no need to rush.', what is the function of the red part? Is it an appositive, meaning 'to cultivate more in our lives, namely to awaken all of our senses and to be comfortable in the present'? If not, then what is it? I have trouble understaning the whole sentence, could you please paraphrase it in an intelligible manner? Many thanks!

 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not surprised, Snooprun. I don't think it's very clear, and it's not well written, in my view.

    We each need to learn how to make the most of our abilities, to awaken our senses while remaining comfortable in the present, to feel solidly based, with no need to rush.

    The main problem is in the opening: It is a quality that each of us needs to learn how to etc.

    This suggests that each of us needs to learn this quality, but I don't think the writer means more than that it is important that we each learn etc.

    My interpretation makes the phrase you highlight not an appositive, but one of the objects of learning:

    We each need to learn

    a. to cultivate more in our lives - to make the most of our abilities (?)
    b. to awaken our senses etc. - by saying awakening our senses the writer provides variety, but he's not altering the status of the activity, I think.

    c. to feel solidly based etc. - I think this is more of a summing up of the results of a. and b., rather than a separate additional point.
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Actually I'm having second thoughts. I think he may well mean that we need to make the most (cultivate more) of our lives by awakening our senses while remaining at ease in ourselves (feeling solidly based).

    This would make the quality the ability to do this complicated thing which is to mix a., b., and c. in my post 2#.
     

    snooprun

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Actually I'm having second thoughts. I think he may well mean that we need to make the most (cultivate more) of our lives by awakening our senses while remaining at ease in ourselves (feeling solidly based).

    This would make the quality the ability to do this complicated thing which is to mix a., b., and c. in my post 2#.
    Thanks man. Suppose you are right, I am wondering why the auther didn't use 'by awakening etc.' instead? Is his use grammatical?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks man. Suppose you are right, I am wondering why the auther didn't use 'by awakening etc.' instead? Is his use grammatical?
    His use is grammatical but vague. Your suggestion that he should establish the hierarchy among the things one needs to learn by using expressions like 'by awakening' or 'while feeling solidly based', would make the writing much clearer, and show better manners from writer to reader, in my view.
     

    snooprun

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    His use is grammatical but vague. Your suggestion that he should establish the hierarchy among the things one needs to learn by using expressions like 'by awakening' or 'while feeling solidly based', would make the writing much clearer, and show better manners from writer to reader, in my view.
    Beautiful. May be problem solved. Thanks man. Best
     
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