Grammar Q #2

lixxx253
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:16 am

Grammar Q #2

Postby lixxx253 » Tue May 15, 2012 10:40 am

Hello, I need help on grammar again.
Here is a sentence from a Lsat prep test:
But for decades cosmologists have attempted to account for the finding that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing:...

My question is on the clause 'that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing'. I assume it is supposed to modify 'finding'. However, I have never read such sentence before. That is, to my knowledge, anything after an object can be either 'that+verb', such as:
I have many books that are given by my sister;
or, 'that+subject+verb' after an object, but this one cannot be independent as a sentence, for instance:
I have many books that my sister gives to me.

Therefore, I am wondering about the sentence from the prep test, is it grammatically correct to use a clause after an object? That is, an independent sentence after an object is allowable in grammar? I seldom see such sentences before though.

Thank you, in advance, for your explanation.

VasaVasori
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:36 pm

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Postby VasaVasori » Tue May 15, 2012 10:47 am

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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banjo
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Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby banjo » Tue May 15, 2012 12:51 pm

Read over http://homepages.uwp.edu/canary/grammar ... hatcl.html and do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Also try this sentence: I told you that I came up with a theory that that book that you lent me was the sequel to that, right? What are the different functions of "that" in this statement?

Edit: modified my example sentence

bp shinners
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Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 15, 2012 1:24 pm

banjo wrote:Also try this sentence: I told you that I came up with a theory that that book that you lent me was the sequel to that, right? What are the different functions of "that" in this statement


They function to show that the author is a poor writer ;-).

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banjo
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Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby banjo » Tue May 15, 2012 2:43 pm

Was the sentence that bad?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby Micdiddy » Tue May 15, 2012 5:00 pm

lixxx253 wrote:Hello, I need help on grammar again.
Here is a sentence from a Lsat prep test:
But for decades cosmologists have attempted to account for the finding that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing:...

My question is on the clause 'that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing'. I assume it is supposed to modify 'finding'. However, I have never read such sentence before. That is, to my knowledge, anything after an object can be either 'that+verb', such as:
I have many books that are given by my sister;
or, 'that+subject+verb' after an object, but this one cannot be independent as a sentence, for instance:
I have many books that my sister gives to me.

Therefore, I am wondering about the sentence from the prep test, is it grammatically correct to use a clause after an object? That is, an independent sentence after an object is allowable in grammar? I seldom see such sentences before though.

Thank you, in advance, for your explanation.


This sentence is perfectly grammatical and you are correct that the "that" clause is modifying the noun phrase "the finding..."
As already pointed out the clause is 'that+subject+verb' anyway.

Try adding punctuation to this to make it grammatical:

James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher

I also like this sentence:

Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Edit: ^^^ fwiw I do not like the 8 "buffalo" variety because I think a "that" is necessary and it ruins the strain of "buffalos"

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby tomwatts » Tue May 15, 2012 9:23 pm

lixxx253 wrote:Hello, I need help on grammar again.
Here is a sentence from a Lsat prep test:
But for decades cosmologists have attempted to account for the finding that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing:...

My question is on the clause 'that at least 90 percent of the universe seems to be missing'. I assume it is supposed to modify 'finding'. However, I have never read such sentence before. That is, to my knowledge, anything after an object can be either 'that+verb', such as:
I have many books that are given by my sister;
or, 'that+subject+verb' after an object, but this one cannot be independent as a sentence, for instance:
I have many books that my sister gives to me.

Therefore, I am wondering about the sentence from the prep test, is it grammatically correct to use a clause after an object? That is, an independent sentence after an object is allowable in grammar? I seldom see such sentences before though.

Thank you, in advance, for your explanation.

I'm not much of a fan of the above explanations, so here's my own.

What's going on here is that some nouns (such as "finding") can be constructed with subordinate clauses. It doesn't matter whether those nouns are subjects or objects or whatever. They can always take subordinate clauses. So I could just as well say, "The finding that most of the universe is missing was surprising." Parse it as: "The finding [that most of the universe is missing] was surprising."

These nouns generally come from verbs that are constructed the same way, e.g. "I found that most of the universe was missing," -> "the finding that most of the universe was missing" (because "found" -> "finding"). You can do the same with, for example, "say": "People often say that most of the universe is missing" -> "The saying that most of the universe is missing is an odd one indeed." You can also do this with "think" or any other verb that takes a subordinate clause.

So yes, you can have an object that itself takes a subordinate clause, if the object noun comes from a verb that normally takes a subordinate clause, such as "find," "say," "think," etc.

lixxx253
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Grammar Q #2

Postby lixxx253 » Thu May 17, 2012 8:02 am

Thank you all! All your posts are quite helpful to me. And, to be specific,
to tomwatts, thank you again for answering my question. your explanation is very clear, and it helps to clarify my mind on my poor knowledge of grammar.
------------------------------------------------

to Micdiddy, my unfinished homework:
James, while John had had that had had had had had had had, had had a better effect on the teacher.
what's the answer?

Buffalo that buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

---------------------------------------------------
to banjo, the link is very helpful. thank you!
my tryout for your test:
I told you that I came up with a theory that that book that you lent me was the sequel to that, right? What are the different functions of "that" in this statement?
that #1: complementizer of CP for 'you'?
that #2: complementizer of CP for 'a theory'
that 3: indicate 'book'
that 4: relative pronoun
that 5: ?

after modification,
I told you that I came up with a theory that the book that you lent me was the sequel to another book that I bought last week, right?

is the answer correct:Pj
-------------------------------------

to VasaVasori, got you!




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