for which

grammar-in-use

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello everyone,

Can you help me parse the second sentence?
The biogas project aims to divert food wastes from landfills, and also to reduce the escape of methane from decomposing landfill waste into the atmosphere.
The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.

Here's its web link: Philly refiner plans $120M plant to convert food scraps to fuel for trucks and buses

Question:
Which one, "for which" or "for renewable methane...", should logically follow "market"?

I would appreciate your help.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You need a comma after 'buses': , "for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses" is a parenthetical adjectival/relative clause.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    :confused: “For which” doesn’t follow market, and can’t, in that sentence.

    But the syntax is unclear, I agree. It would be better as two separate statements, I think:

    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market. That market is from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.​
    But really it’s demand from those vehicle fleets that constitutes the market for that commodity.
     
    Last edited:

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    You need a comma after 'buses': , "for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses" is a parenthetical adjectival/relative clause.
    Thank you for that! OK, I see. Then how would you interpret the “for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets” part? It’s not part of the relative clause, is it?
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    :confused: “For which” doesn’t follow market, and can’t, in that sentence.

    But the syntax is unclear, I agree. It would be better as two separate statements, I think:

    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market. That market is from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.​
    Thank you very much!
    Then how does “for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets” function in the sentence? Does it mean a purpose or something? Like “in order for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets”?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Main clause:
    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day,​
    Relative clause, including two adverbial prepositional phrases, indicating who the demand comes from and what their particular demand is for:
    for which there is a strong market​
    from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses​
    for renewable methane [which they need in order] to satisfy green-energy targets​
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    OK, let me just recap a bit.

    PaulQ says this,
    You need a comma after 'buses': , "for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses" is a parenthetical adjectival/relative clause.
    So, "for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses" is a relative clause. It does make sense as it stands.

    However, Lingobingo has another different relative clause:
    Relative clause, including two adverbial prepositional phrases, indicating who the demand comes from and what their particular demand is for:
    for which there is a strong market​
    from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses​
    for renewable methane [which they need in order] to satisfy green-energy targets​
    If I understand it correctly, then the whole part - "for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets" - is a relative clause.

    So, I'm now wondering what on earth the relative clause is like. :confused:
    Also, I'm afraid that two for-phrases - "for which" and "for renewable methane" - cannot be squeezed into one relative clause.
    a. There is a strong market for the 3 million cubic feet of gas (=which) - which is easy to understand.
    b. There is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets - which is also easy to understand.
    But I fail to see how the two sentences can be combined into one.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In short, Paul is reading the final phrase — “for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets” — as modifying the main clause; that is, as referring to all the biogas produced by this project. If he is right and the section “for which … municipal buses” is parenthetical, then it could be omitted, which would leave us with: The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.

    I, on the other hand, am reading both prepositional phrases as part of the long relative clause, modifying the “strong market” (= demand), which is both from a certain industrial sector and for a particular type of gas — which that sector needs in order to comply with greenhouse gas legislation.

    So my reading of it is: The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, who need renewable methane [in order] to satisfy green-energy targets.
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you very much for your detailed clarifications!

    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.
    In this reading, "renewable methane" would "satisfy green-energy targets", not owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, right? Then does it make sense to say that renewable methane satisfies the targets?

    I have no problems with your rewrite:
    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, who need renewable methane [in order] to satisfy green-energy targets.
    This is easy to understand. But I still have problems understanding why the original is so:
    a. The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.
    I just cannot deal with the two for-phrases. What might have led the author to make the syntax of the sentence as it is? The author seems to mysteriously have attached the two for-phrases to "a strong market", doesn't he?

    Could it be possible to say "...for which reason..."? as in:

    b. The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which reason there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets. :confused:

    Sentence (b) is syntactically easy to parse but semantically weird, I guess.:)

    Still quite confused...
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello grammar-in-use :)
    Could it be possible to say "...for which reason..."? as in:

    b. The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which reason there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets. :confused:
    Hmm, I am afraid that's not less messy than the original :D
    Is the gas the reason why there's a strong market for it or is it the commodity for which there's a strong market? I think we want the latter meaning.
    Still quite confused...
    You're not alone. I find the sentence confusing too. But fortunately for us, Lingo did a good job of paraphrasing the sentence:
    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses, who need renewable methane [in order] to satisfy green-energy targets.
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, Grassy!

    Is the gas the reason why there's a strong market for it or is it the commodity for which there's a strong market? I think we want the latter meaning.
    I know; that's why I said it's semantically weird. :thumbsdown: :)

    You're not alone. I find the sentence confusing too.
    Then I'm just curious what it is in the mind of the author that let him go astray when he wrote the sentence.
    The author was trying to attach both "for which" and "for renewable methane" to the "strong market", wasn't he?
    Could you please cast some light on the reason?
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    Hello everyone,

    Can you help me parse the second sentence?

    The biogas project aims to divert food wastes from landfills, and also to reduce the escape of methane from decomposing landfill waste into the atmosphere.

    The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.

    Here's its web link: Philly refiner plans $120M plant to convert food scraps to fuel for trucks and buses

    Question: Which one, "for which" or "for renewable methane...", should logically follow "market"?

    I would appreciate your help.

    > "The facility would produce 3 million cubic feet of gas a day, for which there is a strong market from owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets." <

    I don't like this sentence. I read it in the article. It sounds to me like the writer is trying too hard to make this information one sentence. It's not an entirely -- 100% -- easily comprehensible sentence in my view. For now, I would say it's better rewritten as two sentences. I could come back to this later and reconsider. This is how I would rewrite for now. I use "would" because this new market is still a possibility. The new resource is not in place yet, and the sale of this new resource is not happening now with "now" being "at the time this article is, or was, written".

    This sentence, as it is now, sounds awkward to me. It's not an entirely logical combining of ideas and thoughts. Anyway, for now, here it is. This is how I would rewrite it:

    The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day. Truck fleet and municipal bus owners would provide a strong market for this renewable methane, and this would also satisfy green energy targets.

    Or it could be this:

    The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day, with truck fleet and municipal bus owners providing a strong market for this renewable methane. This would also satisfy green energy targets.

    __________

    truck fleet and municipal bus owners << This phrase makes for easier reading than this: "owners of truck fleets and municipal buses".

    3 or three - For numbers that are less than 10, we usually write the word for the number, not the numeral. I think that this is because single digits could be less noticeable than double digits. This could be the reason. Either way, this is the usual practice, or convention, for writing.

    Someone might say that, because it comes before "million", "3" is okay. I, however, would choose to write the number as a word, "three".

    __________

    Because someone is a professional writer for a known news publication does not mean that he or she will always write the best and most well-formed sentences. In my view, this writer might have been in a bit of a hurry and did not come up with the best or most well-formed sentence to express this combination of thoughts and ideas. I think the ideas that he wants to express here are better written as two sentences.
     
    Last edited:

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    Then I'm just curious what it is in the mind of the author that let him go astray when he wrote the sentence.
    The author was trying to attach both "for which" and "for renewable methane" to the "strong market", wasn't he?
    Could you please cast some light on the reason?

    As I said in my previous post, I would say that the writer was thinking something like this: "I want to write these thoughts as one sentence using the grammatical devices I know of as a professional writer or an articulate speaker of English."

    In other words, the writer was trying to be too skillful, I think. Sometimes skillful means keeping things simple.

    Sometimes we just have to know or recognize when "which" clauses, or something like "for which", just do not work very well. I don't believe the writer carefully reread this sentence before deciding to use it. Maybe, in the news writing business, articles have to be finished quickly and in time for the next publication date, both online and offline. Though this would be infrequent, getting it done on time might come at the expense of ensuring that a writer uses the best and most well-formed sentences. I would say he didn't proofread carefully enough. As a professional writer, I would think he might agree that this should be two sentences if he decided to or wanted to look back on this article.
     
    Last edited:

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks a million for your such wonderful and detailed clarifications.
    Now I feel an enormous sense of vindication and relief to see "a professional writer for a known news publication" may well write ill-formed sentences the way we non-native speakers do. :D

    The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day, with truck fleet and municipal bus owners providing a strong market for this renewable methane. This would also satisfy green-energy targets.
    How should I interpret "This"? Do you mean this project, or this renewable methane or otherwise?
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks a million for your such wonderful and detailed clarifications.

    Now I feel an enormous sense of vindication and relief to see "a professional writer for a known news publication" may well write ill-formed sentences the way we non-native speakers do. :D

    How should I interpret "This"? Do you mean this project, or this renewable methane or otherwise?
    You're welcome, grammar-in-use.

    The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day, with truck fleet and municipal bus owners providing a strong market for this renewable methane. This would also satisfy green energy targets.

    In the above sentence, "this" refers to "the sale and use of the gas".

    sale - The company sells the gas.

    use - The truck fleet and the municipal bus owners purchase and use the gas. These owners would be a strong market for this product.

    "The sale and use of the gas" = "this"

    "The sale and use of the gas" would also satisfy green energy targets.

    From the sentence, and given the context of the whole article, this is what we understand. We can understand this just by reading the sentence. However, the surrounding context in the article provides us with this understanding, as well.

    Though I didn't read the whole article, I would say that this would be the case: the entire article contributes to our understanding of what "this" means in that sentence.

    Of course, the writer didn't use the word "this" because he wanted to put these thoughts together in one sentence and therefore used "which". However, that did not work out very well. :(

    o_O :rolleyes: ;)

    An additional note

    How should I interpret "This"? Do you mean this project, or this renewable methane or otherwise? <<

    In that sentence, we can interpret "this" to indirectly refer to the project and the renewable methane. These things precede the sale and use of the gas. However, without the sale and use of the gas, they do not satisfy green energy targets. So the first things that come to mind are the sale and use of the gas even though they're not named directly in the sentence or in that paragraph. In business, or really most anything, the results are more important than the process. And this is so as long as the process is ethical, moral, and fair. The result they want is to satisfy green energy targets, among other things, I suppose.
     
    Last edited:

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    "The sale and use of the gas" = "this"

    "The sale and use of the gas" would also satisfy green energy targets.

    In that sentence, we can interpret "this" to indirectly refer to the project and the renewable methane.
    OK, I get it. I really appreciate your great help.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top