Halkin notes that much in life that is most significant

passengerman

Senior Member
chinese
Hi all;

What does "that" refer to here? Life or Much. How could we distinguish it ?


"This selection begins after Halkin notes that much in life that is most significant lies beyond rational argument. "

(Source: Hillel Halkin, "After Zionism: Reflections ...)

Best,

 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It refers to 'much'.
    The phrase 'much in life that is most significant' is distinguishing between more meaningful and less meaningful elements in life.

    We have to rely on our general understanding, or common sense, to realise that the writer is not distinguishing between life that is more significant and life that is less significant.
     

    passengerman

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thanks wrandle, Could we write like that?


    "This selection begins after Halkin notes that much that is most significant in life lies beyond rational argument. "
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes: it expresses the same point, but the word order now restricts the possible grammatical reference of 'that' to 'much'.
    Your version is more precise. As a general rule, more precise expression is considered better style: not invariably, though.
     
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