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Does this make grammatical sense? Can someone tidy this up a little bit for me? (1 Viewer)

mr. ramstad

Senior Member
"The woman who had made herself known to him and who had spoiled his air was a Lady, a woman who rested on a substantial amount of wealth, something which could only be matched by her amazing sense of importance."
 

EmmaSohan

WF Veterans
Your sentence has a contrast. You call her a Lady, which is normally good, then you haul back and describe Lady as not good. That would be interesting, but I didn't get that focus until my third or fourth reading. IF that is true -- there are very good reasons why you have to write your sentence instead of me -- you have a grammar problem that has nothing to do with correct grammar and probably can't be fixed by changing a comma.

To me, you are trying to put a lot of interesting and important information in a very small space. In your case, that leads to pressure on your grammar to do things it doesn't do well. And I could pull out some obscure rule or two that you are breaking, but I don't see how that's the issue.

And things are a matter of style -- which is why I shouldn't write your sentence and you wouldn't like my rewrite. But you apparently don't like your sentence. So, pushing you to a slightly different style, you could try breaking it into two sentences.

Or you could try being a little more direct. As opposed to letting modifying phrases do all the work. Without them, you have: "The woman was a Lady."

Good luck! I know this isn't what you asked for, but I just couldn't do it.
 

mr. ramstad

Senior Member
Your sentence has a contrast. You call her a Lady, which is normally good, then you haul back and describe Lady as not good. That would be interesting, but I didn't get that focus until my third or fourth reading. IF that is true -- there are very good reasons why you have to write your sentence instead of me -- you have a grammar problem that has nothing to do with correct grammar and probably can't be fixed by changing a comma.

To me, you are trying to put a lot of interesting and important information in a very small space. In your case, that leads to pressure on your grammar to do things it doesn't do well. And I could pull out some obscure rule or two that you are breaking, but I don't see how that's the issue.

And things are a matter of style -- which is why I shouldn't write your sentence and you wouldn't like my rewrite. But you apparently don't like your sentence. So, pushing you to a slightly different style, you could try breaking it into two sentences.

Or you could try being a little more direct. As opposed to letting modifying phrases do all the work. Without them, you have: "The woman was a Lady."

Good luck! I know this isn't what you asked for, but I just couldn't do it.

"Lady" is a formal title, like "Lord" or Mr." is.

Thanks for your feedback. I'll have to think on what you said.
 

EmmaSohan

WF Veterans
"Lady" is a formal title, like "Lord" or Mr." is.

Thanks for your feedback. I'll have to think on what you said.

It was not kind advice. Right, I have misunderstood your sentence as a commentary on Lady. So ignore that advice. But that means I was having trouble applying your modifying phrases in the way you wanted.

I am confused why you would think about my advice. Doesn't it take like 30 seconds to rewrite it as two sentences and more directly and see if that helps your feeling? I guess that's a serious question: If that isn't a 30-second task, I would like to know. I grant that if you thought the new sentence had promise, it might take longer. And if you don't like it, doesn't that save you a lot of thinking time?

I give a lot of advice about grammar, and I always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that people would try it. I do want to know the obstacles to that, and that's a request to anyone.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
"The woman who had made herself known to him and who had spoiled his air was a Lady, a woman who rested on a substantial amount of wealth, something which could only be matched by her amazing sense of importance."

I am intrigued by "the Lady" as a character. But, I think the sentence is too long and tries to accomplish too much. You could be adding juicy morsels to your character development. I'd break it into four sentences and expand on each idea:

1) A woman had spoiled his air. (I have never heard that expression and not entirely certain I know what the means.)
2) She was a a Lady by title
3) She was very rich
4) She had a huge ego
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Try this:

"The woman who had made herself known to him, and who had spoiled his air, was a Lady. It was whispered in the parks and on promenades that she rested on a substantial amount of wealth, something which could only be matched by her lofty sense of importance."

I split it into two sentences as it was a little too fully abstract to go on for too long with that many "who"'s; I also broke up that further by adding that "it was said in the parks and promenades, etc" but just to give the reader a break via a dip back into the real world. Lastly I swapped the word 'amazing' for 'lofty' - it seems more in keeping. Hope this helps:)
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Try this:



I split it into two sentences as it was a little too fully abstract to go on for too long with that many "who"'s; I also broke up that further by adding that "it was said in the parks and promenades, etc" but just to give the reader a break via a dip back into the real world. Lastly I swapped the word 'amazing' for 'lofty' - it seems more in keeping. Hope this helps:)

That works too. Good work!!
 
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