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A structure question.

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

A structure question.

Postby pdh0224 » Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:54 pm

Dear teacher,

When asked about the perils of underage participation in reality TV, several mental health professionals focused on parental involvement. After all, no minor can appear on these shows without their parents' permission, and in many cases, the child's participation is the parent's idea. "It's not so much being on TV that's problematic for any of the children, it's coming from families that would agree to play and be played with in this way," said Margaret Crastnopol, a psychoanalyst in Seattle who recently watched "Trading Spouses."

Q : I think the structure of the bold sentence is "so~that". But it is odd to me because the "that-" is not a clause but a phrase (there is no subject of "is"). I believe the subject of "is" should be used like this.

=> It's not so much being on TV that it is problematic for any of the children


What do you think?


All the best, :)
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Postby Alan » Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:27 am

No, it's correct as it stands: 'that' is a relative pronoun referring to gerund phrase 'being on TV', the overall structure being that of a cleft sentence.

'So much' is simply an adverbial meaning 'to (such) a great extent'.
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