For the 1,000th time, I'm surprised by the English language!

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ishatar

Senior Member
France, French
Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned the tape over to the Secret Service.
Does "which" stands for the camera here? Apparently yes, but "which" is rather far away from the word "camera" in this sentence... Is that normal?

Also, would it be correct to rephrase it thus: "Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned over to the Secret Service"?
 
  • Tormenta

    Senior Member
    Argentina-Español
    ishatar said:
    Does "which" stands for the camera here? Apparently yes, but "which" is rather far away from the word "camera" in this sentence... Is that normal?

    Also, would it be correct to rephrase it thus: "Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned over to the Secret Service"?

    Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned the tape over to the Secret Service.
    (this one is wrong)

    Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned over to the Secret Service

    I think they turned the 'tape' , not the camera. " which" stands for " tape", but lets wait for the experts :rolleyes:

    Tormenta:)
     

    ishatar

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Yeah, that would make much more sense (or I have really not understood this language yet :rolleyes: ).

    But let's see what the natives say, as you said.
     

    garryknight

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Yes, it's the tape that the tourists turned over to the police. Tormenta's correction is absolutely right. My guess is that the original sentence was edited, but the editor forgot to delete the words 'the tape'.
     

    Tomas Robinson

    Senior Member
    USA, English & Spanish
    ishatar said:
    Does "which" stands for the camera here? Apparently yes, but "which" is rather far away from the word "camera" in this sentence... Is that normal?

    Also, would it be correct to rephrase it thus: "Tourists from Florida with a video camera caught the incident on tape, which they turned over to the Secret Service"?
    Hi ishatar!

    Ayeeeahhh, English IS a messy language, isn't it? I have spoken it for 43 years (more or less ;) ) and it still surprises! Though I do NOT profess to be "an expert" on it either. Just a native speaker... :rolleyes:

    Your second sentence is not only correct, it's better than the quote. The word "which" replaces "tape"...the tourists only gave the tape to the Secret Service, probably not their camera. Your original quote has a redundancy ("....which they turned the tape over to....). Because "which" IS the tape, you do not need to repeat "the tape".

    Hope this helps! :)
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    garryknight said:
    Yes, it's the tape that the tourists turned over to the police. Tormenta's correction is absolutely right. My guess is that the original sentence was edited, but the editor forgot to delete the words 'the tape'.

    Absolutely correct Garry. Now which of us is the native?

    That reminds me of a film I saw when I was a kid. One of the first color movies I had seen. Jean Paul Belmondo or some similar French heart-throb is driving a sporty little convertible, at great speed, through the U.S. Southwest. Smokey [a state highway patrolman, or cop] pulls him over for speeding. Asks to see his license. Belmondo says something in English with a fairly heavy French accent. Cop says, "Oh, so yer a furinner?"
    Belmondo gives a Gallic smiles and replies, with overexaggerated French accent, "Oh no Monsiuer, I am French. You are zee forainer!"

    A simple matter of perspective.

    ciao,
    Cuchu
     

    ishatar

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Thank you all for the clarifications. One less weird form to learn!

    Tomas Robinson said:
    Hi ishatar!

    Ayeeeahhh, English IS a messy language, isn't it? I have spoken it for 43 years (more or less ;) ) and it still surprises! Though I do NOT profess to be "an expert" on it either. Just a native speaker... :rolleyes:
    You bet! I have given up the idea of learning it from grammar rules because, as a rule, an English sentence that follows grammar rules seems to be more an exception than the rule. Context is my only teacher now!
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    ishatar said:
    Thank you all for the clarifications. One less weird form to learn!



    You bet! I have given up the idea of learning it from grammar rules because, as a rule, an English sentence that follows grammar rules seems to be more an exception than the rule. Context is my only teacher now!
    Good choice of teachers, Ishatar! The natives are confused. The experts cannot agree, and every native is a foreigner to someone else. It's pure chaos. Isn't anarchy lovely!

    Deformadamente,
    Cuchu (who, according to the locals, couldn't possibly be a native!)
     
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