from which deviate/which deviate from

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
I came across this phrase and didn't understand it. Why the "from" is after "deviate"?

"There is neither blocking to the escape of the air, nor obstruction which it has to deviate from, so it go out through mouth freely and with ease."
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Firstly, there are numerous grammatical errors in that sentence. Deviate from doesn't seem to be one of these errors. Where would you expect the from to come?

    In your subject line, you include "from which deviate." If you're asking, why is it written, "it has to deviate from" as opposed to "from which it has to deviate?" the answer is that deviate from is the normal word order. Changing the order to from which...to deviate would only be necessary to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition; this isn't the end of the sentence, so you needn't reverse the normal order (also the prohibition against ending sentences with prepositions is a silly rule which some of us will not put up with).
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It's quite common to end phrases and sentences with prepositions in English, GM. The phrase that troubles you is an ordinary way to express this idea: ...air, nor an obstruction which it has to deviate from. = ...air, nor an obstruction from which it has to deviate.

    Cross-posted with Juhasz.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Firstly, there are numerous grammatical errors in that sentence. Deviate from doesn't seem to be one of these errors. Where would you expect the from to come?

    In your subject line, you include "from which deviate." If you're asking, why is it written, "it has to deviate from" as opposed to "from which it has to deviate?" the answer is that deviate from is the normal word order. Changing the order to from which...to deviate would only be necessary to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition; this isn't the end of the sentence, so you needn't reverse the normal order (also the prohibition against ending sentences with prepositions is a silly rule which some of us will not put up with).

    Really really thank you! Juhasz, could you please tell me which are the errors in this sentence?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The 'rule' is against ending a clause with a preposition. It doesn't apply only when the end of a clause is also the end of a sentence, so it would apply in this case, if you were to heed it. However, I agree that this is not necessary to worry about it here.

    On the other hand, if I weren't going to say 'from which it', I would probably omit 'which' altogether:
    nor an obstruction it has to deviate from

    Both in the word choice and grammar suggests that this was not written by a native speaker. For instance, it omits the 'an' before obstruction, which Owlman has replaced in his correction. "Blocking to the escape" is odd. We might say something like: "There is neither anything blocking the escape of the air, ...."

    I won't go into further detail because in our forum we want each thread to focus on a single grammatical issue. I will only say that you should not take this as a model for your own writing, but focus on the content that interests you.
     
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