... that a year later nobody even remembered how it started

_Tasha_

Member
Slovenia, Slovenian
Hi, guys

This is a part of the text from my review of some film:

... put you directly on the bloodstaind streets of a city that God has clearly forgotten. You can almost hear the gunshots, smell the blood, and feel the horror of the nonsensical and brutal gang war that a year later nobody even remembered how it started.

I've got a tip that there is something wrong with the underlined part of the sentence. What I am trying to say in the text is that there was a war going on (for several years) and that a year later nobody remembered how the war started. Any suggestions how to refraze the sentence to make it right? I'd appreciate it.
 
  • Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    I have heard this kind of construction being used by native speakers as well, and it is wrong. Obviously.
    You can rephrase it, but it won't have the colloquial immediacy. For example,
    ... and brutal gang war, the beginnings of which nobody even remembered a year later.
     

    Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    hat's a difficult task, because the sentence is already quite complex, but I can see why you would want to have it all together in one sentence. How about :

    ... put you directly on the bloodstained streets of a city that God has clearly forgotten. You can almost hear the gunshots, smell the blood, and feel the horror of the nonsensical and brutal gang war of which nobody a year later could remember the cause.

    or

    ... for which nobody a year later could remember the reason.

    I've got a tip that there is something wrong with the underlined part of the sentence. What I am trying to say in the text is that there was a war going on (for several years) and that a year later nobody remembered how the war started. Any suggestions how to refraze rephrase the sentence to make it right? I'd appreciate it.
     

    whynottail

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi, guys

    This is a part of the text from my review of some film:

    ... put you directly on the bloodstaind streets of a city that God has clearly forgotten. You can almost hear the gunshots, smell the blood, and feel the horror of the nonsensical and brutal gang war that a year later nobody even remembered how it started.
    What about-

    You can almost hear the gunshots, smell the blood, and feel the horror of the nonsensical and brutal gang war. A year later nobody could even remember how it was started.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'd start a new sentence, as Whynottail suggests, but using your original words: A year later, nobody even remembered how it started.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    "of which nobody a year later could remember the cause" sounds perfect. Thanks. I appreciate the correction of other mistakes as well.
    It sounds clumsy to me.

    I would write, ". . . whose cause nobody even remembered a year later."

    For this kind of dramatic writing, short sentences are usually better, and I would recommend breaking this one up along the lines of whynottail's and Parla's suggestions.
     
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