Because his car broke down on his way home, Tom had no choice but to take a taxi.

jakartaman

Senior Member
Korean
Hi :)
Because his car broke down on his way home, Tom had no choice but to take a taxi.

Is this sentence correct? The reason why I am asking is that I suspect it should be
"Tom had no choice to take a taxi because his car broke down on his way home"
since it is usually a pronoun that refers back to a noun mentioned earlier.

Thank you :)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Both versions are fine, jakartaman. You are right that the listener doesn't know who "his" refers to in the first clause. However, the placement of "Tom" at the beginning of the second clause explains everything. That's enough to allow the use of "his" in the first clause.
     

    jakartaman

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hey, owlman :) How are you? Thank you for your reply.
    Contemplating your answer, I now wonder if such a construction works with other clauses as well, not just adverbial ones.

    How about this sentence with a noun clause?
    That his car broke down on his way home forced Tom to take a taxi.

    Many thanks in advance!
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That his car broke down on his way home forced Tom to take a taxi.
    There's no problem with "his" in the noun clause but the whole sentence is unusual. I agree with RG that it seems awkward. It's difficult for listeners to understand all those words as a single subject that forces Tom to do something.
     
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