"can lead .., abandon.., and promote ....[abandoning ....]

MAKIVAKI

Member
chinese
Ok, the second question
I just read a book about composition. I remember a pattern that when three or more verbs are juxtaposed, the and should be put before the last verb.

So I think that this sentence makes sence, the sentence "It is skepticism that can lead to a breskthrough in a certain common areas, abandon those hackneyed mind-frame stifling people's thought, and promote the development of human society."

But the writer revised it as "It is skepticism that can lead to a breskthrough in a certain common areas, abandoning those hackneyed mind-frame that stifles people's thought, and promote the development of human society."

Who can give me an explanation? Why he use abandoning and use a clause instead of the gerund-stifling?

Thank you so much:)
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    Ok, the second question
    I just read a book about composition. I remember a pattern that when three or more verbs are juxtaposed, the and should be put before the last verb.

    So I think that the following sentence makes sense: "It is skepticism that can lead to a breakthrough in a certain common areas, abandon that hackneyed mind-frame stifling people's thought, and promote the development of human society."

    But the writer revised it as "It is skepticism that can lead to a breakthrough in a certain common areas, abandoning that hackneyed mind-frame that stifles people's thought, and promote the development of human society."

    Who can give me an explanation? Why he use abandoning and use a clause instead of the gerund-stifling?

    Thank you so much:)
    Hi, MAKIVAKI, and welcome to the forum.

    And is a coordinating conjunction. It can join clauses, predicates, nouns, verbs, prepositions, subordinating conjunctions, adjectives, or adverbs, and I am probably leaving something out. The things it joins should be of the same type.

    When and joins three or more things of one type, the usual way is with punctuation, usually commas, between the things, and an and before the last thing being joined only.

    In the first sample sentence, three infinitive phrases are being joined with and in the usual way. I am not sure the sentence really makes sense, but it says there are three things that skepticism can do:

    1. lead to a breakthrough in a certain common areas
    2. abandon that hackneyed mind-frame stifling people's thought
    3. promote the development of human society
    Can skepticism abandon a mind-frame? This does not quite make sense to me. I have changed those (plural) to that (singular), since it modifies mind-frame, which is singular.

    The second sample sentence has only two infinitive phrases joined by and, and the phrase between the commas is an adverbial gerund phrase that modifies lead, or the infinitive phrase beginning with lead. It makes little sense to me either, but it says that skepticism can lead through, by, (with?) or while it abandons.

    The writer probably thought, reasonably, that a participle within the gerund phrase might be taken for another adverbial gerund phrase. Instead of the participle phrase, the writer has chosen to use a relative clause with the same meaning in context as the participle phrase, present tense to agree with the rest of the tenses in the sentence.

    Does this help?
     

    MAKIVAKI

    Member
    chinese
    Yes, thanks

    Why do you think the first sentence doesn't make sense? The structure of this sentence? or none enough details offered? If you write what would be written?

    In the passage, the writer provides sufficiently specific details and examples to suppot his opinion. This sentence is his topic sentence
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hello again, MAKIVAKI.

    I believe we should remove the singular indefinite article a before "certain common areas" because it is plural. This might be a typographical error, but those, which is plural, used with mind-frame, which is singular, tells me the composer of whichever sentence was the original is not a native English speaker.

    Each noun phrase can be made to make sense either by changing the determiner to match the noun or vice versa, but I see a logical problem in both sentences beyond the issue of number.

    As I see it, being skeptical can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas and promote the development of human society, but being skeptical cannot "abandon that hackneyed mind-frame stifling people's thought".

    On the other hand, people who become skeptical can abandon that hackneyed mind-frame stifling people's thought, but they themselves wouldn't "lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas" or "promote the development of human society".

    There is certainly no problem with using skepticism to mean "being skeptical", and I can imagine a context where skepticism could be a stand-in for "people who become skeptical", but I am not comfortable with the same word meaning both things simutaneously in either of these sentences as they stand.

    To rewrite the sentence, I would have to know what the author means. I wonder what mind-frame is being referred to, and what breakthrough.

    If you understand what the opinion actually is, perhaps you can create a few simple sentences expressing it, and then we can work on combining them into one sentence with and, deciding about the verb forms based on the intended meaning.
     

    MAKIVAKI

    Member
    chinese
    Thank you so much Forero
    Now I understanded what skepticism would lead to, and what should be done by people who become skeptical.

    Ok, if I write, I would say "It is skepticism that can lead to a breskthrough in certain common areas, and promote the development of human society, through which one abandons those hackneyed mind-frames stifling people's thought."

    How about this time?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Thank you so much, Forero.

    Now I understanded what skepticism might lead to, and what can be done by people who become skeptical.

    Ok, if I write, I would say "It is skepticism that can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas, and promote the development of human society, through which one abandons those hackneyed mind-frames stifling people's thought."

    How about this time?
    The problem here is that the "through which" clause seems to modify either society, the nearest noun, or else areas, the last noun when ignoring the parenthetical part between the commas.

    As the sentence now reads, it may refer to something previously mentioned, or it may refer to what can lead to a breakthrough:

    It is skepticism that can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas, and promote the development ....
    = [possibly] What can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas, and promote the development ... is skepticism.

    To join the two relative clauses so they can both refer to skepticism, you need another and:

    It is skepticism that can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas and promote the development of human society and through which we can abandon those hackneyed mind-frames stifling our thoughts. = What can lead to a breakthrough in certain common areas and promote the development of human society, and how we can abandon those hackneyed mind-frames stifling our thoughts, is skepticism.

    I have added another can since the first can is now in a different clause from abandon. Without the second can, the sentence would mean that we do use skepticism, but I think the author's intent was to suggest that skepticism be used for all these purposes.

    (I changed one and people's to we and our since I think they are meant to be the same people, actually all people. I made thoughts plural to emphasize that each individual has personal thoughts and needs to be skeptical of each "thought" not originating in his or her own experience.)
     

    MAKIVAKI

    Member
    chinese
    Forero, thank you so much and I so appriciate what you did. It's really helpful.

    Another question (also about the usage of and):
    As the following two sentences, which one do you think is better and more idiomatic?

    1# It is the consolidation of them that causes social development, makes our world more beautiful and improves our lives.

    2# It is the consolidation of them that causes social development, making our world more beautiful and improving our lives.

    (By the way, here them refers to tradition and modernization, mentioned before this sentence)

    As you previously posted, I know that in 2# making and improving modify social development. But anyway the consolidation of them indeed can make our world more beautiful and improve our lives.

    Whether in the pattern - "v.+v.+and v.", should verbs be a series of movement? Like the following sentence;" I saw the man run out of the house, come into a car and drive away."
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    There is no reason to stick to verbs of movement in chronological order. It is true we prefer to preserve a natural sequence of things where it exists, but equally important simultaneous effects of one cause can be listed in any order.

    If all three actions are simultaneous effects of the same cause (consolidating traditional principles and modern methods), sentence #1 is better:

    It is the consolidation of them that causes social development, (and) makes our world more beautiful, and (also) improves our lives.

    I know the convention in British English, and with some publishers, is to leave off the comma before and, but in a list of three or more things I prefer to keep the comma since it improves understandability and matches my intonation/rhythm pattern.

    Sentence #2 can be read in more that one way because making and improving can be understood either as participles modifying development or as adverbial gerunds modifying causes.

    In fact, I think the more likely reading of 2# is with adverbial gerunds:

    It is the consolidation of them that causes social development, (by) making our world more beautiful and improving our lives.

    If, however, cause and effect are the other way around, sentence #1 makes more sense:

    It is the consolidation of them that causes social development, (and thereby) makes our world more beautiful, and (in that way) improves our lives.

    Each sentence is as idiomatic as the other, but I would choose whichever fits what, if anything, I want to say about the order of cause(s) and effect(s).

    I don't like "consolidation of them" here though.
     
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