the main source for <shingles>, firewood, and other wood products

SpikeWang

New Member
China - Mandarin & English
Hey, I am reading a short passage about the commercialization of lumber. I already know what shingle means but still totally cannot understand one sentence from grammar.
The sentence is:
"no longer were the farmers in search of extra income the main source for shingles,
firewood, and other wood products."

So please help me and tell me how on earth can I understand it.
Thanks for your time!
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    No longer were farmers the main source for shingles, firewood, and other wood products. A different group of people are presumably now the main source.

    The inversion, combined with the prepositional phrase "in search of extra income", describing the farmers, is really confusing.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    As I see it: (source = 托福TPO阅读54文本+题目+答案+解析(PDF)下载)

    Newly formed lumbering corporations bought up huge tracts of pineland and set about systematically cutting the trees. Both the colonists and the later industrialists saw timber as a commodity, but the latter group adopted a far more thorough and calculating approach to removing trees. In this sense, what happened between 1860 and 1890 represented a significant break with the past. No longer were {farmers [who were] in search of extra income} the main source for shingles, firewood, and other wood products. By the 1870s, farmers and city dwellers alike purchased forest products from large manufacturing companies
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    no longer were the farmers in search of extra income the main source for shingles
    At one time farmers would supplement their income by selling timber products. However when commercialisation of timber came in, farmers stopped doing this - they no longer sold wood products. Presumably the new timber industry could sell cheaper and distribute timber more efficiently than the farmers.
     

    SpikeWang

    New Member
    China - Mandarin & English
    As I see it: (source = 托福TPO阅读54文本+题目+答案+解析(PDF)下载)

    Newly formed lumbering corporations bought up huge tracts of pineland and set about systematically cutting the trees. Both the colonists and the later industrialists saw timber as a commodity, but the latter group adopted a far more thorough and calculating approach to removing trees. In this sense, what happened between 1860 and 1890 represented a significant break with the past. No longer were {farmers [who were] in search of extra income} the main source for shingles, firewood, and other wood products. By the 1870s, farmers and city dwellers alike purchased forest products from large manufacturing companies
    yes that's exactly where this sentence comes from. but does "the main source for shingles, firewood..." mean "the farmers were the main source for shingles, firewood..."?
     

    SpikeWang

    New Member
    China - Mandarin & English
    No longer were farmers the main source for shingles, firewood, and other wood products. A different group of people are presumably now the main source.

    The inversion, combined with the prepositional phrase "in search of extra income", describing the farmers, is really confusing.
    thanks but I think I didn't make it clear. I just don't understand what「the main source for」means here.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Main" means the largest or most important, and "source" is where an item originates, where it is made or from where it is obtained. In this case, most shingles, firewood, and other wood products were bought from farmers.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Some people might have made their own, for instance. But most people bought these items from farmers.
     

    SpikeWang

    New Member
    China - Mandarin & English
    "Main" means the largest or most important, and "source" is where an item originates, where it is made or from where it is obtained. In this case, most shingles, firewood, and other wood products were bought from farmers.
    you mean those farmers sell products made from wood?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    you mean those farmers sell products made from wood?
    They used to, before the time the sentence describes, and perhaps they still did. In earlier times, if you wanted wood products, you most likely went to a farmer to buy them. At the time the sentence describes, people mostly went elsewhere to buy wood products.
     

    SpikeWang

    New Member
    China - Mandarin & English
    They used to, before the time the sentence describes, and perhaps they still did. In earlier times, if you wanted wood products, you most likely went to a farmer to buy them. At the time the sentence describes, people mostly went elsewhere to buy wood products.
    thanks!
     
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