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in the years after Options
Reiko07
Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 8:56:00 PM

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Joined: 10/30/2018
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In the years after the Civil War, Virginia was not an easy place to live.
FRAZE・IT

What does the blue part mean?

My question is about the length of "the years".

My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:28:46 AM

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Reiko07 wrote:
In the years after the Civil War, Virginia was not an easy place to live.
FRAZE・IT

What does the blue part mean?

My question is about the length of "the years".


There was a great amount of anger and hatred when the Civil War ended. From about 1865, when the war officially ended, until around 1877, the Federal Government tried to reunite the country. This time was referred to as the Reconstruction period. The idea was to reconstruct the Union of all the States.

During this time, because there was so much anger and resentment left over from the war, and the destruction of the economy and culture of the southern States, life in those states was not easy because so much had been destroyed. Much of this resentment lasted for almost 100 years, but the first 15 years were probably the worst of them all.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
sureshot
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:28:57 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
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Reiko07 wrote:
In the years after the Civil War, Virginia was not an easy place to live.
FRAZE・IT

What does the blue part mean?

My question is about the length of "the years".


______________

The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The sentence does not mention the number of years after 1865. Broadly, it means "for several years after 1865".
Reiko07
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:59:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 557
Neurons: 2,800
FounDit wrote:
There was a great amount of anger and hatred when the Civil War ended. From about 1865, when the war officially ended, until around 1877, the Federal Government tried to reunite the country. This time was referred to as the Reconstruction period. The idea was to reconstruct the Union of all the States.

During this time, because there was so much anger and resentment left over from the war, and the destruction of the economy and culture of the southern States, life in those states was not easy because so much had been destroyed. Much of this resentment lasted for almost 100 years, but the first 15 years were probably the worst of them all.

Thanks, FounDit. Angel

sureshot wrote:
The sentence does not mention the number of years after 1865. Broadly, it means "for several years after 1865".

Thanks, sureshot. Angel

It is VERY HARD for me to understand the use of "the" in "In the years after the Civil War, Virginia was not an easy place to live". Think Think Think

Is "the" being used to indicate that "years" is qualified by "after the Civil War"?

My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
sureshot
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 7:18:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,346
Neurons: 413,954
Reiko07 wrote:


It is VERY HARD for me to understand the use of "the" in "In the years after the Civil War, Virginia was not an easy place to live". Think Think Think

Is "the" being used to indicate that "years" is qualified by "after the Civil War"?


____________

"The" is a definite article. Its use implies that the writer/speaker expects the listener/reader to which years are being talked about. In the given context, "the years" has the same sense as "the period".
thar
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:02:32 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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You chose a unit to show the scale of something without giving an exact time

eg
the seconds after the bomb exploded

the minutes after the news was announced

the hours after the operation
the days after the storm
the weeks after the election
the months after the floods
the years after the war
the decades after the war (a decade - ten years)
the centuries after the invention of.....
the millenia after ... (millenium - a thousand years. I can't think of a situation you could say that about history, but maybe about the future)

It doesn't work with 'fortnights' - those are weeks or months. It doesn't work with 'seasons' because those are not units. It might work with some others I haven't mentioned.




So, after the war Virginia was a tough place to live.

This situation lasted longer than a year or two, because if it had been that short they would have said 'the months'. But probably not more than 20 years or so because then it would have been 'decades'. Within that limit, you just have to apply a bit of logic, and read on for further clarification of how long they mean. And of course there is no sudden end point. Life was hard and gradually, over time, got easier - but for different people in different places, in different strata of society, it happened at different rates.
Reiko07
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 5:04:40 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 557
Neurons: 2,800
Thanks, sureshot and thar. Angel

My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
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