< As> might be expected,

park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
Surprisingly, the boy's owner, a lawyer named James Neil Bethune, fostered Wiggins's obvious talent. As might be expected, however, Bethune, an avid supporter of slavery, had a less than altruistic motive in mind.
[Source: Reading for Results Ninth Edition by Laraine Flemming]
I think "as," as a pseudo-relative pronoun, plays the role of subject in the clause.
If so, I'd like to know if I can interpret "as" as "such a thing."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    In this context, it means "which is what was expected" or "unsurprisingly" or "naturally". The subject of the sentence is Bethune.

    Bethune has a less than altruistic motive, which was what was expected/which was not surprising.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Barque, for your so kind answer. :)
    "Surprisingly, the boy's owner, a lawyer named James Neil Bethune, fostered Wiggins's obvious talent. As might be expected, however, Bethune, an avid supporter of slavery, had a less than altruistic motive in mind."
    Then, I was wondering if you think the subject of "might be expected" is the immediately following clause.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes. To put it another way: Bethune was an avid supporter of slavery and so had a less than altruistic motive, as might be expected.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "As" is the subject of "might be expected". It is an idiomatic adverbial phrase, providing further information about the following statement. It means "unsurprisingly". As the writer had just used "surprisingly" he needed an alternative to "unsurprisingly".

    "As" does, as you thought, refer to the complete following statement. It is the meaning of the statement that is expected.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    "As" is the subject of "might be expected".
    I'm trying to understand why you say that, Andy. "As" seems just a conjunction here, referring to the next part of the sentence. I'd have thought the subject is the thing that is expected, as stated in the following part of the sentence (Bethune having a less than altruistic motive).
     
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