turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy

Absolum

New Member
Chinese
Here's an excerpt from Olive Kitteridge:

"For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy"

Does this sentence mean that:
1. He turned off his original road and turned to the wilder road, and the wider road led to the pharmacy? (if so, I might as well say:"before he turned off to the wider road which led to the pharmacy" )

2. He turned off where the wilder road lead, and to the pharmacy.(if so, i would pause like this: he turned off to(where the wider road led ) and to the pharmacy, the the word 'where' here makes sense to me.)

Anyone ever read about this book? When I opened the book, the first sentence baffled me.

Maybe the key point lies in the the usage of the phrase ‘turn off’?
 
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  • I think you mean the function of the word 'where'. 'where' begins a noun clause, as in, "I like where you planted the rosebush."

    Here is a closer analogue with prepositional phrase as in the OP example.

    My sister keeps her books under {where I sleep}.

    'Where I sleep' is a noun phrase, since the sentence could read, "...keeps her books under my bed."
     

    Absolum

    New Member
    Chinese
    I think you mean the function of the word 'where'. 'where' begins a noun clause, as in, "I like where you planted the rosebush."

    Here is a closer analogue with prepositional phrase as in the OP example.

    My sister keeps her books under {where I sleep}.

    'Where I sleep' is a noun phrase, since the sentence could read, "...keeps her books under my bed."
    I think the word 'where' in you examples can be replaced by 'the place in which' . I can get it if the writer means(where the wider road led), but if the writer means(where the wider road led to the pharmacy), I just couldn't get the sentence through, maybe she means (where the wider road led and to the pharmacy)?

    Where am i wrong?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.

    I read "to where" as meaning "at the point where". It seems a little odd. (I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.)

    After he passed the last section of town, he turned off (he left) the road where the wild raspberries were; at this point there was a junction, and he was then able to continue on the wider road that led to the pharmacy.
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy" = he turned off [the road that he was driving on and] into/towards the place where the wider road led to the pharmacy"
     

    Absolum

    New Member
    Chinese
    he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy" = he turned off [the road that he was driving on and] into/towards the place where the wider road led to the pharmacy"
    If it means this why not just say: he turned off to the wider road which led to the pharmacy?
    What's more,if I present u a map, can u discern the place where road W lead to the destination?Is it the start of Road W, or is it the cross road of the original road and Road X?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm sorry, but you can't question why a writer chose the words he did, especially in fiction. If you want to know why he chose those words, you'd have to ask him.

    I don't have a problem with the original, but if I were paraphrasing it, I would say, "He turned off his road onto a wider road that led to the pharmacy."

    Finally, is it possible to just use bolding to highlight text, and not use large, red text? I would consider it a personal favor. :D
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    If it means this why not just say: he turned off to the wider road which led to the pharmacy?
    How can we know? The writer chose what I think was an odd way of describing Henry's route.

    Please note that "u" is not an English word.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The sentence means this:

    1. He turned off his original road and turned to the wilder road, and the wider road led to the pharmacy?
    Sure, the author could have written "turned onto the wider road" instead. There are probably hundreds of other ways the author could have used to describe the route the pharmacist typically took to work.

    My interpretation is that the author wanted to use "turned off to where" to bring to the reader's mind a more vivid image of the transition Henry went through every morning, from a path full of natural elements (seasons, precipitation, plant growth) to one of artifice (road width, business destination, drug compounding).
     

    Absolum

    New Member
    Chinese
    I'm sorry, but you can't question why a writer chose the words he did, especially in fiction. If you want to know why he chose those words, you'd have to ask him.

    I don't have a problem with the original, but if I were paraphrasing it, I would say, "He turned off his road onto a wider road that led to the pharmacy."

    Finally, is it possible to just use bolding to highlight text, and not use large, red text? I would consider it a personal favor. :D
    Thank you for your advice.You mean that large and red text is not that respectful, right?
     

    Absolum

    New Member
    Chinese
    How can we know? The writer chose what I think was an odd way of describing Henry's route.

    Please note that "u" is not an English word.
    1. Thank your for your tips. I will pay attention not to use 'u' as a substitute for 'you' in written language.
    2. This Wh-clause is very obscure. ('where the wider road led to the pharmacy'). The Wh-Clause means a place, but it does not clearly define where it is. The wider road is very long, it can lead to the pharmacy all along the road. It cold be the start point of this road, or the one-fourth point of this road, or the mid-point of this road, it can be anywhere along this road.

    This nested where-clause, which is a subordinate clause, or more specifically, a noun clause, is object of the preposition 'to'. And this dependent clause also has its own structure. Now, Let's analyze this clause after the question word 'where': the wider road(the subject) led to(predicate) the pharmacy(object). What does the question word 'where' act as inside this subordinate clause? Apparently, it is not the object. Then what is it? I think it's adverb which modifies 'lead to'. When it comes to the usage of 'lead to', we often say, 'the road lead to place B', or we say 'the road lead from place A to place B'.

    So the only comprehension I can think of is ' from where the wider road led to the pharmacy'. And in where-clause, preposition sometimes can be absent, here the author omit the preposition 'from', which makes this sentence seem to be a little bit reasonable, but still weird to me.
     
    I'm sorry, but you can't question why a writer chose the words he did, especially in fiction. If you want to know why he chose those words, you'd have to ask him.

    I don't have a problem with the original, but if I were paraphrasing it, I would say, "He turned off his road onto a wider road that led to the pharmacy."

    Finally, is it possible to just use bolding to highlight text, and not use large, red text? I would consider it a personal favor. :D
    I agree with your sentiments. But note the author was a 'she'. :)
     
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