Friendship is a two-sided <affair>

layman9

Senior Member
vietnamese
Affair as defined in Longman dictionary is a secret sexual relationship between two people, when at least one of them is married to someone else.
In my schoolbook I come across a sentence: " Friendship is a two-sided affair; it lives by give-and-take, and no friendship can last long which is all give on one side and all take on the other side".
My question is whether affair is suitable for being used in that sentence.
Thanks for your help.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It's closer to this use in our dictionary's definition of affair:
    3. (qualified by an adjective or descriptive phrase) something previously specified, esp a man-made object; thing: our house is a tumbledown affair.

    You will notice that in your example 'friendship' has been 'previously specified', and is 'man-made' in the sense that it is created by the people who participate in it. The adjective 'two-sided' introduces the aspect of friendship that the author wants to focus on in the remainder of the sentence.

    Note: We ask you to check our dictionary's definitions before posting a question. They won't always answer your question, but they sometimes do. If you have looked in our dictionary and not found an answer, tell us. That will prevent people's referring you to the dictionary for an answer. ;)
     
    Last edited:

    layman9

    Senior Member
    vietnamese
    I have another question.
    Can you explain to me what "which" in bold in that sentence refers to?
    "Friendship is a two-sided affair; it lives by give-and-take, and no friendship can last long which is all give on one side and all take on the other side."
    Thank you very much.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Which refers back to 'friendship': a friendship that is all give on one side and all take on the other side cannot last long.

    I hope that I explained it well enough.
     

    layman9

    Senior Member
    vietnamese
    As far as I know, the relative pronouns such as who, which, that usually refer to the noun directly before it. But in that sentence "which" was put after an adjective "long". It makes me confused. Why did the author write "... and no friendship which can last long is all give on one side and all take on the other side"?
    Can you explain it to me?
    Thank you very much.
     
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