The concert was twice as long as had been intended.

grammar-in-use

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello everyone,

a. The concert was twice as long as had been intended.

1. What is the subject of the verb "had been intended"?
2. Can "had been" be omitted?
b. The concert was twice as long as intended.

Thanks a lot in advance!
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    It is a passive verb. Some unnamed group/body/organiser intended the concert to be shorter.

    2b is correct.
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Some unnamed group/body/organiser intended the concert to be shorter.
    Thank you for your quick reply.
    It does make sense. Now let's change it to an active one:
    d. The concert was twice as long as they had intended it to be.
    Is sentence (d) grammatically correct and does it sound natural?

    What do you think it is?
    I would like to see the sentence as being shortened from the following (c):
    c. The concert was twice as long as it had been intended that it would be.

    I know it's not a normal way of saying things, but, is sentence (c) grammatically correct?
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I am not sure why you want to expand the sentence, but the agent of the passive sentence can be included

    c. The complete performance of the concert took twice as much time as that time that had been intended by the organisers to be the time that would be required to complete the concert .

    I think the sentence is grammatical, but it very ugly. :D
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I am not sure why you want to expand the sentence, but the agent of the passive sentence can be included

    c. The complete performance of the concert took twice as much time as that time that had been intended by the organisers to be the time that would be required to complete the concert .

    I think the sentence is grammatical, but it very ugly. :D
    Thank you for such a "beautiful" sentence as this. :D

    There must be something left out in "as had been intended", but what is it?
    a. The concert was twice as long as had been intended.

    If we non-native speakers can't figure out the logic behind it, we won't be able to make correct sentences, let alone creatively use English. For example, to get a subject, we might add "it" after "as", saying:
    a1. The concert was twice as long as it had been intended.

    But, do you natives say sentence "a1"? :confused:(I doubt it:))
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think most people would use "planned" or "expected"

    The concert was twice as long as planned/expected.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You're right. A1 is not what we'd say. You've just quoted PaulQ's sentence which tells you the "something left out" in bold.
    The concert was twice as long as had been intended by the organizers.
    The organizers intended (planned, meant) for the concert to be one hour long, but instead it was two hours long.

    Overall, what you might say depends on what you know and what you think about it.
    Do you know what the organizers had planned (what was the organizers' intention, what did they intend), or do you just know that it says 2:00 - 2:30 on the program (I expected it to last 30 minutes because the program says that)?
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    You're right. A1 is not what we'd say.
    Then that's where the fun (or difficult) part comes in - why the absence of "it" makes sentence (a) valid, while its presence makes (a1) invalid, especially when the (seeming) absence of the subject of "had been intended" would compel us non-natives to add "it". Why?
    a. The concert was twice as long as had been intended.
    a1. The concert was twice as long as it had been intended.
    The concert was twice as long as had been intended by the organizers.
    Still, the question is what the grammatical subject of "had been intended" is (I know the agent is "the organizers", but it is not the subject).
     
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