as important an event in man's growth as

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Charles Chen

New Member
Mandarin - China
Hi, everyone! Here is a sentence, "Its development was as important an event in man's growth as his success in learning how to walk upright." I understand it means that "Its development was an event in man's growth which is as important as his success in learning how to walk upright", but I am quite confused about this sentence's grammatical structure, especially the role of "an event in man's growth" which is placed after an adjective. Any explanation will be appreciated.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "as important" = adverb adjective -> to the same degree important
    an event = an example of an event

    "as his success" = conjunction possessive adjective noun-> when [it is] compared to his success
     

    Charles Chen

    New Member
    Mandarin - China
    "as important" = adverb adjective -> to the same degree important
    an event = an example of an event

    "as his success" = conjunction possessive adjective noun-> when [it is] compared to his success
    Thank you, Paul. However, I don't understand why a noun ("an event in man's growth" in this case) can be placed after "as important", since the common usage should be "as important as ...". Could you please explain this?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Try these to see how the sentence is constructed:
    "Its development was as important an event in man's growth as his success in learning how to walk upright."
    "Its development was an event in man's growth that was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."
    This event in man's growth was a development that was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."

    "[It was] as adjective a noun as ..." is a standard construction.

    "an event in man's growth" is in apposition to "its development".
    "Its development, an event in man's growth, was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."
     

    Charles Chen

    New Member
    Mandarin - China
    Try these to see how the sentence is constructed:
    "Its development was as important an event in man's growth as his success in learning how to walk upright."
    "Its development was an event in man's growth that was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."
    This event in man's growth was a development that was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."

    "[It was] as adjective a noun as ..." is a standard construction.

    "an event in man's growth" is in apposition to "its development".
    "Its development, an event in man's growth, was as important as his success in learning how to walk upright."
    It really helps a lot. Thank you very much, Paul.
     
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