A grammar question


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  1. #1

    A grammar question

    Hopefully this will be a quick one... Is this grammatically acceptable?

    "A building was in the distance, a very insignificant looking place."

    The reason I use the word "acceptable" is because I believe a lot of writers will write in styles that may not be entirely correct and I know I do it, too; but, I find it to be an interesting trait for all writers. I just wanted to know if it makes sense for me to write like this... "sentence, brief description of noun used in sentence".

  2. #2
    Yes.
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  3. #3
    I don't think there is anything wrong with it, personally I would put the sub clause directly next to the thing being described:-

    "A building, a very insignificant looking place, was in the distance"

    In this instance it makes little difference, people are unlikely to think 'the distance' was 'very insignificant looking', however appropriate it may seem, but it also makes for a smoother read if you don't have to mentally dodge back and forth in the sentence. As I say 'In this instance ...', but it can get confusing sometimes.
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  4. #4
    Member stevesh's Avatar
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    I read it as you describing the distance as insignificant, so as Olly said, I had to go back and re-read it. I think it would be awkward as part of a description.

  5. #5
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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    It is not "wrong," it just looks clumsy, but context is all. If the narrator is a working class person, then that would probably be the way they express themselves; a rather more educated person might say: "There was, in the distance, an insignificant building." I don't think, in either case, you need the "looking."
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  6. #6
    WF Veteran Riis Marshall's Avatar
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    Hello The

    Or maybe even: 'A very insignificant-looking building in the distance.'

    All the best with your writing.

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  7. #7
    It seems like a misplaced modifier. The reader will figure it out, but I think there's a bump and it's not smooth writing.
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  8. #8
    I agree with the others - grammatically correct but a little awkward.

  9. #9
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by InnerFlame00 View Post
    I agree with the others - grammatically correct but a little awkward.
    I don't believe that's what others are saying at all. It's grammatically incorrect, but it's "acceptable" because plenty of writing is grammatically incorrect.
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