Please, Correct me.

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:33 am
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Please, Correct me.

Unread post by goodssh » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:43 pm

Hello, I took this from my friend's book called "Teaching a stone to talk".

"It had been like dying, that sliding down the mountain pass.
It had been like the death of someone, irrational, that sliding down the mountain pass and into the region of dread.
it was like slipping into fever, or falling down that hole in sleep from which you wake yourself whimpering.
We had crossed the mountains that day, and now we were in a strange place--a hotel in central Washington, in a town near Yakima. The eclipse we had traveled here to see would occur early next morning."

I don't exactly understand what two of 'that' (which is underlined) mean.

In my opnion, grammactically, it would be more clear and correct
to say:
"It had been like dying, sliding down the mountain pass" or
"It had been like dying sliding down the mountain pass(No comma)",
as is the 2nd sentence
("someone irrational, sliding down..." or
"someone irrational sliding down...")

Hope anyone help and correct me.

Many Thanks!!!

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:08 am
Status: Teacher

Re: Please, Correct me.

Unread post by markshepherd » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:32 am


I believe 'that' is being used in these instances to say: "It had been like dying, that (particular occasion/instance of) sliding down the mountain pass". The writer seems to want to make sure that you know she is referring to that specific journey.

From this point of view, neither of your suggestions mean exactly the same as the original, although they are correct in themselves. I would say this is more a matter of literary style than grammar.

I hope this helps!


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