which would allow them to regulate

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77Cat77

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello! Can someone help me out?

1. What 'which' and 'them' in the following sentence refer to respectively?
2. Does the usage of "would" imply something?

In contrast to mammals and birds, amphibians are unable to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity, which would allow them to regulate their body temperature independent of the surrounding or ambient temperature.

I don't know if the title for this thread is proper. If anyone have a better choice, please change it.
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "Which" refers to "being able to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity" and "them" refers to "amphibians".
    "Would" implies that we're talking about a hypothetical scenario.
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    "Which" refers to "being able to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity" and "them" refers to "amphibians".
    "Would" implies that we're talking about a hypothetical scenario.
    Does ‘would’ determine the referential relationship of ‘which?

    In contrast to mammals and birds, amphibians are unable to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity, which does not allow them to regulate their body temperature independent of the surrounding or ambient temperature.

    What does which refer to now?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Does ‘would’ determine the referential relationship of ‘which?
    Why would it?

    In contrast to mammals and birds, amphibians are unable to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity, which does not allow them to regulate their body temperature independent of the surrounding or ambient temperature.

    What does which refer to now?
    What do you think?
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Why would it?
    You said that "Would" implies that we're talking about a hypothetical scenario. So I think this means it is contrary to the fact. Accordingly, "Which" refers to "being able to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity".

    However,
    What do you think?
    When I change "would" into "does not", this indicates that it is in accord with the fact. So I think now "which" refers to "being unable to produce thermal energy through their metabolic activity".
     
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