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Roman86
Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019 2:42:40 AM
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Hi everyone!
Is such a word order possible/correct in the following phrase: 'in the face of death remains just what really matters'. Or should I better say: 'in the face of death, just what really matters remains'?
Thank you in advance!
FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019 2:22:25 PM

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Roman86 wrote:
Hi everyone!
Is such a word order possible/correct in the following phrase: 'in the face of death remains just what really matters'.
No, this order isn't natural.

Or should I better say: 'in the face of death, just what really matters remains'?
Thank you in advance!
This is better, but the word "just" doesn't quite fit. A native speaker would more likely say, "In the face of death, only what really matters remains". But this also is awkward sounding.

A more natural way might be, "In the face of death, what remains is the only thing that really matters".

Or, "In the face of death, only what remains really matters". This one is probably the best.

Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 9:00:10 AM
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It's the word "remains" which I find inappropriate and confusing. "The remains" of something is what is left after something has been eaten, bought, spent, used, etc.

"In the face of death what remains"...of what(?)..."is what really matters."

What remains of one's - fears? ideals? hopes? family? strength? certitude? love? life?...or box of chocolates?

There must be an object for "remains".
Roman86
Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 9:22:47 AM
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Thank you guys!

Could it be then like this: "In the face of death, only the things remain that really matter". Does it sound natural and correct?

Or is it better somehow to replace the word "remain" in this case?
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 11:33:32 AM

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Roman86 wrote:
Thank you guys!

Could it be then like this: "In the face of death, only the things remain that really matter". Does it sound natural and correct?
No, it isn't a good sentence.

Or is it better somehow to replace the word "remain" in this case?


Your original post was about word order, but now the meaning of what you are trying to say has come into it. Because the meaning is now involved, we need to know what it is you want to say because "remain" doesn't convey anything meaningful to us.
Roman86
Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 1:29:35 PM
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FounDit wrote:

Your original post was about word order, but now the meaning of what you are trying to say has come into it. Because the meaning is now involved, we need to know what it is you want to say because "remain" doesn't convey anything meaningful to us.


Sorry for drifting away from the original subject))

The meaning of the phrase is supposed to be that if you are facing the death, you could clearly see the things which are really important to you, whereas unimportant things would be gone
Roman86
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 1:45:24 AM
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Roman86 wrote:


The meaning of the phrase is supposed to be that if you are facing the death, you could clearly see the things which are really important to you, whereas unimportant things would be gone


Would it be better to rephrase the sentence like this: "In the face of death you can clearly see what really matters"?

Does it sound better?
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 8:09:56 AM

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Roman86 wrote:

The meaning of the phrase is supposed to be that if you are facing the death, you could clearly see the things which are really important to you, whereas unimportant things would be gone


Perhaps:
In the face of death you only think of things that really matter.
d'oh!
Romany
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 8:32:19 AM
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Another post that disapeared!! Anyway, I think you've got the idea, now.

(However, from experience, I just want to say that that isn't true. The most ridiculous thoughts can occur to you "Oh no! I haven't had time to pick up (my childs) medicine yet." or "Did I leave the oven on - the house will burn down!" "I just piad all that money for a winter coat and now I'll never get to wear it." We have amazingly trivial minds at times!)
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 8:37:30 AM

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Romany wrote:
from experience,


Hello, Romany!

Did you have a near-death experience? They say, if one survives, such experience opens eyes on many things. I've never had one, so I can only say what I've heard elsewhere.
Romany
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 1:31:01 PM
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Kirill -

I brought up my two boys living in a war zone. Plus, I was a journalist there. I've had quite a few experiences - even in my own home - of facing death, yes.
Roman86
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:22:35 AM
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Romany wrote:
Another post that disapeared!! Anyway, I think you've got the idea, now.

(However, from experience, I just want to say that that isn't true. The most ridiculous thoughts can occur to you "Oh no! I haven't had time to pick up (my childs) medicine yet." or "Did I leave the oven on - the house will burn down!" "I just piad all that money for a winter coat and now I'll never get to wear it." We have amazingly trivial minds at times!)


Thank you very much, Romany!

Actually, I'm not saying that's true. I guess you're right - especially, given the fact that you've faced the death. Let me explain. My original statement was a part of a summary based on the Steve Jobs' Commencement Address at Stanford University which I prepared for my English lesson I'm attending as a student at my work. So my point was just to clarify whether it was grammatically correct and comprehensible or not. Here is the quote from the Mr. Jobs' speech:

"Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 6:05:06 AM
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Thanks, Roman, for explaining and illustrating where you got the idea for your sentences from...once again: - context is king!

It looks as though he means that as you get older you understand that life isn't eternal and you accept you will die. A completely different scenario to the one I imagined!

Anyway, I hope you have answers to your original query about how to make the statement you intended.

cheers.
Roman86
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:29:59 AM
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Romany wrote:


Anyway, I hope you have answers to your original query about how to make the statement you intended.



Yes, Romany, I have!

By the way, I've discovered the construction "there remains". So, going back to my initial phrase, would it be possible to shape it like this: "In the face of death, there remains only what truly matters"?
Would it sound native?

Thank you again!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:34:42 PM
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Wel yes, actually - in spoken English, and using the stresses on words properly, (and indeed the circumstances! NO-ONE is going to started to correct the English of someone who's about to die!) it would be absolutely find and understandable.

But in written form it might still be just a wee bit dodgy. It would still not be marked incorrect, I would think.
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