Author Topic: Is there anything wrong with this sentence  (Read 2208 times)

Offline mallu

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Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« on: January 14, 2014, 08:20:10 AM »
I have come across this sentence in a blog .The blogger is an ESL teacher of some reputation in my area.But,the sentence sound wrong to my ears.
Could anyone tell  me if the sentence is right?
"Unless this is prevented no matter whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English will have practically no effect at all"

Offline Corybobory

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 09:29:08 AM »
It's a bit rambly, but yeah it's fine!  A few commas and brackets might clarify it:

Unless this is prevented, no matter whatever efforts we take (to empower teachers in English) will have practically no effect at all.
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Offline lx

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 05:43:33 PM »
I think it's passable to me, but I really crave for a new subject just before will close to the end of the sentence.  :)

Offline freknu

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 02:18:11 AM »
"Unless this is prevented, no matter whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English, (...) will have practically no effect at all"

There really is something missing before will :)

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 02:24:50 AM »
It's hard to read, but I ended up parsing it as this:
"Unless this is prevented, [no matter whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English] will have practically no effect at all"
"Unless this is prevented, [no-matter-whatever-efforts] will have no effect."

It's definitely rambling, as Cory said.

And it also might be an error with something else missing there.


As for "no matter whatever" as some kind of complex noun modifier, it's odd, arguably a speech error(?), but I could imagine it with the right intonation, though I doubt I'd say it.

It may just be an error with syntactic haplology (removing sequential identical units):
"[Unless this is prevented, no matter what efforts we take,] [whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English] will have practically no effect at all"
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Offline freknu

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 02:29:13 AM »
I think what sets me off is the "no matter":

(1)
"Unless this is prevented, no matter whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English, (...) will have practically no effect at all"

(2)
"Unless this is prevented, whatever efforts we take to empower teachers in English will have practically no effect at all"

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there anything wrong with this sentence
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 02:32:54 AM »
Right. I read "no matter" as (an odd) intensifier for "whatever", as if it was "absolutely".
It's certainly not an average sentence, though. I don't object to calling it an error, but the reading closest to error-free is where "no matter" is extended in function to be able to modify "whatever".

I get a fairly strong intuition (though I'd need intonation to be sure) that there isn't a missing subject for "will" but that the subject is just long and complicated, and possibly some kind of syntactic amalgam.
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