such famine will arise through floods and foul weather that fruit shall fail

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Puellam audiam

Senior Member
Taiwanese, Mandarin
Hi, everyone!

I would like to ask you about the following sentence
:"Before five years are fulfilled such famine will arise through floods and foul weather that fruit shall fail."

Especially the part about "fruit".

Can I paraphrase it as:
In five years, there will be a famine cuased by floods and foul weather that shall fail fruit? :arrow: which means that floods and foul weather will prevent the earth producing fruits?

Thanks for your kind attention!:)
 
  • Ecossaise

    Senior Member
    English
    Hi, everyone!

    I would like to ask you about the following sentence
    :"Before five years are fulfilled such famine will arise through floods and foul weather that fruit shall fail."

    Especially the part about "fruit".

    Can I paraphrase it as:
    In five years, there will be a famine caused by floods and foul weather that shall fail fruit? :arrow: which means that floods and foul weather will prevent the earth producing fruits?

    Thanks for your kind attention!:)
    What is the context for this?
     

    Puellam audiam

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese, Mandarin
    In 1399, London. (A novel)
    A Sister in a priory was suspected to be half insane. She seemed to utter something strange, prophecy-like sentences.
    One day she said, "He shall awake the waster with the water. Before five years are fulfilled such famine will arise through floods and foul weather that fruit shall fail. And so he has warned me. When you see the sun amiss, and two monks' heads, and a maid has the mastery, and multiply by eight. Then death will draw on and Davy the ditcher will die of despair." from《The Clerkenwell Tales》by Peter Ackroyd

    "He" in the context is not clear. Actually, I don't understand the her first sentence either.
    I know we can't be too serious about the language of a seer(or a insane person), but still to fully understand the novel, I would like to try to at least get a certain sense of what she said.

    Thanks for your trying to help me.:p
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi, everyone!

    I would like to ask you about the following sentence
    :"Before five years are fulfilled such famine will arise through floods and foul weather that fruit shall fail."

    Especially the part about "fruit".

    Can I paraphrase it as:
    In five years, there will be a famine cuased by floods and foul weather that shall fail fruit? :arrow: which means that floods and foul weather will prevent the earth producing fruits?

    Thanks for your kind attention!:)
    Puellam,

    "Fruit shall fail" sounds to me like kind of a degenerate effort to echo biblical warnings from the prophetic texts (Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah, etc.). Nobody who speaks English would actually say "fruit shall fail", or fruit will fail. In a kind of prophetic voice you can almost get away with it, but not quite.

    What you'll need to say, if you're paraphrasing and you want to write correct English, is "In five years, there will be a famine caused by floods and foul weather that will cause fruit trees to perish (or die).

    Or, "Such widespread famine will arise from floods and foul weather that even the trees will no longer bear fruit."

    Something like that. But don't say fruit will fail.
     
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