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Reading fiction

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Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Reading fiction [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2012, 14:13
I'm currently reading 1984 by Orwell to improve my verbal section (well, I constantly read but this time I've been paying attention to the actual structure) and have found this sentence.

They had confessed to intelligence with the enemy (at that date, too, the enemy was Eurasia), embezzlement of public funds, the murder of various trusted Party members, intrigues against the leadership of Big Brother which had started long before the Revolution happened, and acts of sabotage causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

There is an example of which: the clause "had started long before the Revolution happened" is not important and can be omitted so we use "which". Then there's parallelism: they had confessed to intelligence, the murder, intrigues and acts of sabotage. Plus a modifier "causing death" and tenses: even though the main sentence is in Past Perfect we use Past Simple in the brackets because Eurasia was the enemy for quite a while.

Or another one with two modifiers both starting with which.

After confessing to these things they had been pardoned, reinstated in the Party, and given posts which were in fact sinecures but which sounded important

So here I am lulling myself into thinking the reading is not just for leisure :lol:
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Joined: 25 Jun 2012
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Re: Reading fiction [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2012, 07:34
One issue that I have with English in general is that its constant adaptation to new words and new uses of old words is most odd. The guy who decided that "burglarize" was an acceptable word should be hung. Or exhumed from his grave and then hung, as it may be.

If "could of", "should of" and "would of" come into formal use, I will jump right off a cliff.
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Re: Reading fiction [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2012, 10:50

What a great morsel of parellilism you've plucked from Orwell's redoutable tome :).

Exposing oneself to such sentences really tunes the brain to the complex syntactical structures of English. After going through a few such book, a person will most likely be far less daunted by SC.

If you haven't read Animal Farm, then I highly recommend doing so. And if you want a list of similar works, check out the Modern Library 100 books of the century. I elaborate on it here: ... n-fiction/

Of course, it can very well happen that your brain becomes so accustomed to only parsing syntax that you might not make it through 1984 :).

Christopher Lele
Magoosh Test Prep



Re: Reading fiction   [#permalink] 25 Jun 2012, 10:50
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Reading fiction

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