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Confusing sentence Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:39:34 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs; such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture; the so-called birth from the womb, of which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, of which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.

I find the sentence confusing, especially the bold parts. (This sentence is taken from a Buddhist magazine.)

I would be grateful if someone could show me how to simplify the sentence. Thanks.

You know who I am
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:53:16 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 1/13/2017
Posts: 494
Neurons: 4,181
Location: Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
Koh Elaine wrote:
There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs; such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture; the so-called birth from the womb, of which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, of which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.

I find the sentence confusing, especially the bold parts. (This sentence is taken from a Buddhist magazine.)

I would be grateful if someone could show me how to simplify the sentence. Thanks.



Hello, Koh.

In formal writting, some prepositions tend to be placed in the beginning of the relative clause in order to make it sound more formal. E.G: He is the guy to whom we talked last night - Informal: He is the guy who we talked to.

This rule applies to most prepositional verbs (i.e: Verbs that are always followed by a preposition), E.G: She was the girl on whom I depended - Informal: She was the girl who I depended on.


In your example, the preposition of acts as a descriptive preposition followed by the relative pronoun which.
It happens quite often:

E.G: The information of which was repassed from the government has been deleted.


Have a happy easter!


I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14:6
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:10:12 AM
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Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
Hi, You know who I am, I wonder if your sentences can be applied to my sentence.
You know who I am
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:13:17 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 1/13/2017
Posts: 494
Neurons: 4,181
Location: Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
Koh Elaine wrote:
Hi, You know who I am, I wonder if your sentences can be applied to my sentence.


What sentences are you referring to? - The example I gave?

I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14:6
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:26:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
You know who I am wrote:
Koh Elaine wrote:
Hi, You know who I am, I wonder if your sentences can be applied to my sentence.


What sentences are you referring to? - The example I gave?

I am referring to "the so-called birth from the womb, of which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, of which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation".

I think 'of' is the wrong preposition.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:17:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 25,216
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Koh Elaine.
I think you may have a point here.

I'm going to break down the big sentence, and remove some descriptive clauses so that I can see the main points. It is actually a list of six types of birth (with the first four 'lumped together' in the first clause) - I've made them into separate sentences.

There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs.
(Then there is) the so-called birth from the womb, of which living beings are born from the womb of their mother.
(And finally there is) birth by transformation, of which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.


Yes - I would have used "in which" or perhaps "during which", but definitely not "of which".

**************
Concerning the comment from You know who I am, it is true that often - in informal speech - the preposition is moved to the end of the clause.

However YOUR clauses are so long that the preposition becomes obscured (it 'gets lost') if you put it at the end.
The sentences sound better, even informally, with the preposition at the beginning.

(Then there is) the so-called birth from the womb, in which living beings are born from the womb of their mother.
(Then there is) the so-called birth from the womb, which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in.

If the clause were shorter, it would be more likely:
Another method is live birth, in which people are born.
Another method is live birth, which people are born in.
I don't like it very much, but it makes sense.

******************
Another point which became more noticeable when I split up the sentence is that the writer changes subject between the first and second items of the list, making it logically inconsistent.

The subject of the first part is "types of beings".
"There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs"

In order for the list to be consistent, the other two 'items' should also be 'types of beings':

Something like this:
There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs (such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture); beings born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and beings born by transformation, not through biological ways, but due to a certain cause and karmic relation.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:35:03 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
Thanks, DragOnspeaker.

Your analysis and rewriting of the text make perfect sense.

FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:01:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/2015
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Change "of which" to "whose" and it will be a lot easier to understand.

What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:06:08 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
FROSTY X RIME wrote:
Change "of which" to "whose" and it will be a lot easier to understand.
Your suggestion is not the solution.
NKM
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:36:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
At the very least, change "of which" to "in which."

And the sentence is too long.

There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs. Such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture: the so-called birth from the womb, in which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, in which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.



I don't really understand the meaning of the sentence, presumably because I'm not acquainted with the concepts of "the four types" and "birth by transformation." I suppose the context would be clearer to those likely to read the passage.

Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 2:00:22 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
NKM wrote:
At the very least, change "of which" to "in which."

And the sentence is too long.

There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs. Such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture: the so-called birth from the womb, in which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, in which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.



I don't really understand the meaning of the sentence, presumably because I'm not acquainted with the concepts of "the four types" and "birth by transformation." I suppose the context would be clearer to those likely to read the passage.

I made a mistake in not reproducing more of the text as I was afraid it might be too long. Now, I realise the lack of context is one of the causes of the confusion. My sincere apologies. Reproduced below is the full paragraph.

Regarding “the four forms of birth”, I think all of you already know that there are the four forms of birth: birth from eggs, birth from moisture, birth from the womb and birth by transformation. There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs; born from damp and humid moisture; the so-called birth from the womb, of which living beings are born from the womb of their mother in biological forms such as human and other animals; and birth by transformation, of which living beings are not born through biological ways, but come into existence suddenly due to a certain cause and karmic relation.

(The paragraph is from a Buddhist magazine.)
NKM
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 1:20:42 PM

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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Thank you for clarifying that context.

Koh Elaine
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 10:52:12 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,680
Neurons: 7,064
NKM wrote:
Thank you for clarifying that context.

You're welcome.
almo 1
Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:09:28 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 385
Neurons: 1,655
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan



Soka Gakkai International (SGI)




"Just imagine that one whole town is occupied by a cult.
It's so scaring.
There are many shops recently built dealing with SGI stuff
although they are not shown in the map,
and of course they are run by the practitioners."


"Weekly Diamond", which featured SGI several years ago,
but it resulted in buy-out by SGI,
not letting many readers to purchase this number.
Those buy-out usually is followed by a successive defamation suits
against the publisher regardless the quality of the article.
They are OK because they have plenty of money
sucked from the earnest believers."



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 3:29:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 25,216
Neurons: 131,240
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
almo 1 wrote:
"Just imagine that. . ."

Your whole post is totally non-sequitur on this grammar forum.
If you want to discuss the relative merits of different forms of Buddhism, put it in the "Religion" forum.
If you want to discuss something you feel is illegal, put it in the "Legal" forum.

*****************
Hello Koh Elaine.
Thanks for the extra data.
If there are only four forms of being - and only ONE of them comes from eggs - then the whole paragraph is wrong.
It begins "There are the four types of living beings that are born from eggs."

The next section "such living beings are born from damp and humid moisture" refers back to the four kinds of beings which are born from eggs - it says (in full)
"the four types of living beings that are born from eggs are born from damp and humid moisture"

The "of which/in which" discussion doesn't matter. The whole sentence needs to be re-written so that it makes sense.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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