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***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello,

I found some information that has greatly helped me. May I share it with you?

One scholar gives this sentence: “He appears to be doing a good job.”

The scholar says that this = It appears that he is doing a good job.

He calls this a continuous infinitive.

Thus, maybe we can say that your sentence is another way to say:

It appears that the new leader is ingratiating himself with the generals.

James

Seeing their only alternative to be a wheedling diplomacy unbecoming of political visionaries…

  1. What does “alternative to be a wheedling diplomacy” mean?
  2. What does “seeing” suggest?

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

  1. Since only a part of the sentence is given, it is kind of (rather) difficult to get the full meaning. With your permission, I shall simplify and complete the sentence:

“Seeing the only alternative to be a wheedling [flattering] diplomacy, those political visionaries decided to cancel the plan.”

  1. I found this expert’s explanation * :

a. Seeing the door open, the stranger entered the house.

i. That is another way to say “When he saw the door open, the stranger entered the house.” [My note: “Seeing the door open” is a participial phrase modifying “the stranger.”]

  1. I found another expert’s ** sentence:

a. Knowing him to be interested in entomology , we invited him to the lecture.

i. [My note: I guess that means something like “Because / since we knew that he was interested in entomology, we invited him to the lecture.”]

  1. Finally a third expert *** gives this: “We knew them to be friendly.”

a. That expert says it is just another way to say “We knew that they were friendly.”


IF you accept the above opinions, then maybe (maybe!) we can analyze your (our) simplified sentence as being another way to say something such as:

When the political visionaries saw that their only alternative would be / was a wheedling diplomacy, they decided to cancel the plan. (Rather than to humiliate themselves by flattering the authorities!)

James

  • L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (1988), page 12.
    **Paul Roberts, Understanding Grammar (1954), page 366.
    *** Walter Kay Smart, English Review Grammar (1968), page 94.

Thanks for your question. I learned a lot while [I was] researching the answer.

Mr. James M. I must thank you for your kind response. I completely understand your explanation. you are very helpful for both a poor student like me and a brilliant student. Thanks

On the other hand I apologize that I didn’t post the full sentence which makes it difficult to sense the meaning of the full sentence.

Here I am posting the full sentence with the further questions:

Seeing their only alternative to be a wheedling diplomacy unbecoming of political visionaries—[color=red]as members of the National Liberation Organization saw themselves in those days—the militant branch veered toward a policy of unremitting aggression against their perceived ethnic rivals.

  1. Can I paraphrase the bold part in the following way?
    Seeing their only alternative to be a wheedling diplomacy in contrast to political visionaries…
  2. What does “as” mean here?

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Thank you for your kind note.

I do not know how other members might paraphrase those words, but this is how I would:

Seeing their only alternative to be a wheedling [flattering; weak?] diplomacy that was unbecoming of political visionaries like them, the militant branch veered toward aggression against their rivals.

In other words: the militant branch had two choices. One was to follow a diplomatic course, which it felt was wheedling; the other was to use aggression to get what they wanted.


I believe that “as members of the NLO saw themselves in those days” is a parenthetical expression. That is, some extra information thrown into the sentence. Quite often, an author might use parentheses. Thus, the term “PARENTHEtical”:

“Seeing … unbecoming of political visionaries (as members of the NLO saw themselves in those days), the militant branch …”

What does “as” mean in that sentence?

I have to be super careful. With the possible exception of the adverb “really,” the word “as” is perhaps the number one “troublemaker” of English. “As” means so many things.
And the experts do not always agree.

Please look at this sentence:

They were political visionaries, as members of the NLO saw themselves in those days.

I have to think more about the role of “as” in that sentence before I give an opinion. While I am researching an answer, maybe another member will give you – and me – the answer.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, again. I have checked my books, and I am now ready to suggest some ideas. This is definitely NOT “the” answer. I could easily be wrong.

  1. “Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries, as members of the NLO considered themselves.” (I am using this simplified sentence because it may be easier to analyze.)

a. I believe that the sentence basically means this: Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries. Members of the NLO considered themselves TO BE political visionaries.

b. Do you agree with me? IF you do, then the question is: What is the role of the word “as” in that sentence.

c. It is my opinion (only!) that “as” in that sentence is a relative pronoun. That is, it relates (“relative”) to a word in front of it: political visionaries.

i. Compare: “I have a dog THAT I like.” “That” is a substitute word for “a dog.” That is, “I have a dog. I like a dog.” “I have a dog. I like THAT.” “I have a dog THAT I like.”

d. If the word “as” (or “which”) did not exist, then I would be forced to write your sentence as:

Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries. Members of the NLO considered themselves to be political visionaries.

As you can see, it is "boring " to repeat “political visionaries” two times.

So “someone” invented a relative pronoun such as “as,” or “which,” or “that.”

So we get: Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries, AS ( = political visionaries) members of the NLO considered themselves to be.

For analysis ONLY, the order of that sentence is:

Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries, members of the NLO considered themselves to be AS.

James

P.S. Might it be easier to understand if we used “which”:

Such an alternative was considered unbecoming of political visionaries, which members of the NLO considered themselves to be.

Hi Mr. James M. Your last two explanations are very effective to clarify the sentence. Now I understand the sentence clearly. A lot of thanks to you.

Mean while I have faced a new problem. Could you please help me here?
One possible explanation for the mandatory debauchery of most bachelor parties is that [color=red]if the husband-to-be[color=red] is able to practice continence in those circumstances, he must be ready for marriage.

What does “if the husband-to-be is able to practice continence in those circumstance” mean here?

Thank you very much for your very kind words.

There are so many other members who can give you a better answer than I can. So I will wait (along with you) for one of them to answer your excellent question.

James

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, again:

No other member has answered you yet, so may I give you my opinion?


  1. First, let’s review the vocabulary:

a. debauchery. My dictionary says “excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure.” I think that means not being to control oneself when it comes to physical pleasures, such as eating and “romance.”

b. continence. That is another word for “control,” especially when it comes to “romance.”

c. bachelor party. When a man tells his male friends that he is getting married, they throw a party for him. I have never been to a bachelor party, but “they say” that SOME bachelor parties may encourage debauchery.

a. That is, his male friends might say, “Well, you are getting married. So you are losing your freedom to date many girls any time that you want. So here’s a party where you can be ‘free’ one more time.” I guess that there will lots of drinking (liquor), maybe some pornographic videos, and maybe even a young lady who dances for them.

  1. So I guess that if the husband-to-be can practice self-control under such circumstances, that must mean that he is ready for marriage. That is, he has “surrendered” to the fact that he has to reserve his emotional feelings for only one woman now – his soon-to-be wife.

a. So if his friends suggest that he kiss the dancer, he might refuse with the words: “No way, dudes! I’ll soon be a married man. I have to learn self-control. And, by the way, dudes, I really don’t want to see any more porn.”

i. Then his friends might say, “Dude, you are definitely READY FOR MARRIAGE.”

James

‘Continence’ is not generally thought of first and foremost in those terms in Western society these days. For that reason, perhaps it’s not the ideal word choice.

Speaking in Kiev, after meeting Yanukovych, Nuland refused to be drawn into the row. “I will not comment on a private diplomatic conversation,” she said. But she implied she had been a victim of a sophisticated eavesdropping operation carried out by Russia’s spy agencies.

What does the bold part suggest?