...that so many people should receive them or ...

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
However, the welfare state has never been an unchallenged system, either in Scandinavia or elsewhere, ...the present welfare arrangements originated and developed in the 1960s and 1970s at a time of high economic growth and low unemployment. It has never been the intention either with unemployment, sickness benefits or with cash benefits that so many people should receive them or that they should receive them for so long as has been the case in recent years.---taken from Here
Dear all,

I have trouble with the red chunk, and even don't think it is standard English. Could you clear up my confusion? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, I think there's been a confusion in 'for so long as has been the case in recent years'. This looks like someone has collapsed two constructions into one:

    for so long [= for a long time, for this long]
    for as long as has been the case in recent years [= for the length of time they have (received benefits) in recent years]

    The rest of it is all right: it has never been the intention that X or that Y. The internal grammar of the X and Y is correct apart from what I have pointed out above.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It has never been the intention either with unemployment, sickness benefits or with cash benefits that so many people should receive them or that they should receive them for so long as has been the case in recent years.
    That is standard English

    It was never intended that so many people should receive benefits.
    and
    It was never intended that people should receive benefits for so long.

    ... for so long as has happened in recent years (people are receiving benefits for a longer time now than they were in the past)

    There is a grammatical error, but not in the red part:

    ... either with unemployment benefits, sickness benefits or with cash benefits ...

    or
    ... either with unemployment, sickness or with cash benefits ...

    or
    ... either with unemployment benefits, with sickness benefits or with cash benefits ...

    There could be a debate over removing either, but my belief is that either ... or ... can only be applied if there are only two choices.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, you both. I have another question.

    that so many people should receive them or that they should receive them for so long as has been the case in recent years.
    Is the that used to introduce a clause?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, subordinate to the noun 'intention':

    They have the intention that many people should receive them.
    (= They intend that many people should receive them.)
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If you quote from someone who is not a native speaker of English, it is not surprising to get errors, however slight they might be. For example, "either with X, B or with C" is poor style (I would call it ungrammatical).
    I accept the use of either with several choices, but would myself prefer to limit it to two alternatives.

    As for for so long as has been the case, it is ok if you put a comma after long.
     
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