the better for extended families to dine together

friendsseason11

Member
Japanese
Hi, everyone. I need your help!

I was asked what this sentence means;
"Think of the Chinese meal of rice, vegetables and meat, usually served in big collective dishes, the better for extended families to dine together."

I don't know who wrote this and have no idea about the context. But I'd like you to explain grammatically the part "the better for extended families to dine together" could you? I thought this part is explanatory one. If I have to paraphrase it, I would like this; "Think of the Chinese meal of rice, vegetables and meat,
usually served in big collective dishes.
That is the better way for extended families to dine together than any other ways." But all I can do is to guess.

What do you say? Could you explain to me about this sentence from the perspective of English grammar precisely, please?
 
Last edited:
  • friendsseason11

    Member
    Japanese
    This is not a very common structure, but it is sort of mentioned under "adverb 1" here: http://www.wordreference.com/definition/the

    It means so that extended families can dine together better.
    Oh my!!:eek: There's a usage of "the" as adverb! I learned "the + comparatives" might be used for emphasis, along with "for" as the cause, but I couldn't even smell the possibility of it here. Thank you thank you thank you, se16teddy! Great help!:D Now I'm clear!
     

    friendsseason11

    Member
    Japanese
    I found the source of this: http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1626795_1627112_1626671-1,00.html

    "Japan is not alone. Food and diet are the cornerstones of any culture, one of the most reliable symbols of national identity. Think of the long Spanish lunch followed by the afternoon siesta, a rhythm of food and rest perfectly suited to the blistering heat of the Iberian peninsula in summer. Think of the Chinese meal of rice, vegetables and (only recently) meat, usually served in big collective dishes, the better for extended clans to dine together."

    Thank you.:)
     
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