Cleft Sentence and semantically speaking

letitb

Member
Korean
Hello, all.

These two sentences are test answers from English learners and it's a little hard for me to accept them as being correct both syntactically and semantically.
Could you please see them and provide your opinions?

1. "Latin Americans acquire by eating corn with beans two essential amino acids."
(The intended sentence is "Latin Americans acquire two essential amino acids by eating corn with beans.")

2. "Domesticating animals doesn't bind one place to you." (Rather than "Domesting animals doesn't bind you to one place.")
This sentence sounds strange for me because we can't bind a place to anything or anybody because 'a place' isn't something mobile in its nature.
What do you think?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Hello letitb,
    1. I think it's semantically correct, but awkward, and could be improved by adding commas "...,by eating corn with beans,..." I find it hard to reject the sentence as incorrect, except as a question of style.

    2. I'd say it's wrong semantically: your reasoning is correct.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In (1) it's a question of weight of the object. Your exact sentence is borderline. The object is just long enough to allow it to be moved across the adjunct, the 'by'-phrase:

    :cross:Latin Americans acquire by eating corn with beans amino acids.
    :cross:Latin Americans acquire by eating corn with beans their nutrients.
    ? Latin Americans acquire by eating corn with beans two essential amino acids.
    :tick:Latin Americans acquire by eating corn with beans two amino acids essential to their diet.
     
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