as it floated into view

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Julianus, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Julianus

    Julianus Senior Member


    1a. I watched the beautiful stretch of the shoreline as it floated into view. (Korea university entrance exam)

    I can't completely undertand the meaning of 'it floated into view'. I think that 'it' indicates 'the beautiful stretch of the shoreline'. Then maybe this situation is the time when the Sun comes out through the dawn. And he or she can see the scene. Am I right? and does 'view' indicate the eyes of him or her?

    Thank you always~.
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    The "it" does mean 'the beautiful stretch of the shoreline'

    It is unlikely that it refers to dawn but we cannot say what was happening without more context. Where was the speaker/writer when this was happening? I suspect they were on a boat and approaching the shoreline.

    To float into view = to appear
    slowly. (see also 'to drift into view')
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    'Float' is strange here, as the shoreline is presumably being seen from a boat which is literally floating, so it's confusing to use it about the shoreline: it must mean "appear" in some vague way. 'Into view' means it becomes visible, usually by becoming near enough to see.
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    It could be argued that 'it' refers either to 'stretch' or 'shoreline'. I favour your your interpretation that it refers to ' the ...stretch...'

    I don't think the position of the Sun is relevant. My assumption is that the author is travelling by boat. When you are travelling by boat and you first see land, it can appear as though the land is floating on the water (even though you know it is not).

    (cross-posted with two others - it seems we all agree)
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    To float into view is also used figuratively:

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