1. Enginist
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    Enginist New Member

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    relative clause within a relative clause (that...that)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Enginist, Aug 10, 2014.

    Can anyone suggest a way I can say all this without having a relative clause within a relative clause?

    "...he...makes a discovery that can change the world, a discovery that propels him on an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth, pitting him against an insidious enemy...."
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You can split it up into two sentences.
    There are other ways to do it, but this is the first one that came to mind.
     
  3. Enginist
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    Enginist New Member

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    Thanks thirdwind. I'd thought of that, but it seemed somehow a little too formal to me, not breezy. I may use it though...
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    He makes a discovery that can change the world; Pitting him against an insidious enemy, it propels him on an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth.
     
  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    He makes a discovery that propels him on an adventure to the ends of the earth and pits him against an insidious enemy. A discovery that can change the world.
     
  7. Enginist
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    Enginist New Member

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    Thanks. I apologize for not realizing I should insert the full text:

    Now, as an accomplished archaeologist, and once again intrigued by the object, he reinvestigates the rocky ledge where he long before had found the artifact, and makes a discovery that can change the world, a discovery that propels him on an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth, pitting him against an insidious enemy and presenting him with awe-inspiring intellectual challenges.

    I think your solution, substituting "the discovery" for "it" (since the sentence is actually so long) might work:

    Now, as an accomplished archaeologist, and once again intrigued by the object, he reinvestigates the rocky ledge where he long before had found the artifact, and makes a discovery that can change the world; pitting him against an insidious enemy and presenting him with awe-inspiring intellectual challenges, the discovery propels him on an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth.
     
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  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only issue remaining, I think, is that the sentence is too long and style a bit archaic. It almost sounds like a news report:
    :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  9. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    What about changing the first that for which. He makes a discovery which can change the world ...
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is the very first thing that came to my mind (great minds think alike), but I figured some people may object to this because "which" is being used incorrectly. Then again, in creative writing this sort of thing is done all the time, so why not?
     
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  11. Enginist
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    Enginist New Member

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    How about this:

    Now, as an accomplished archaeologist, and once again intrigued by the object, he reinvestigates the rocky ledge where all those years ago he had found the artifact and makes a discovery that can change the world. He soon finds himself swept up in an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth, pitting him against an insidious enemy and presenting him with awe-inspiring intellectual challenges.

    Or maybe there could be this new rule: "'which' can be used to avoid a repeat of 'that' when a relative clause occurs inside a relative clause. . ." :

    Now, as an accomplished archaeologist, and once again intrigued by the object, he reinvestigates the rocky ledge where all those years ago he had found the artifact, and makes a discovery that can change the world, a discovery which propels him on an adventure that takes him to the ends of the earth, pitting him against an insidious enemy and presenting him with awe-inspiring intellectual challenges.

    Thanks Jazzabel for "all those years ago."

    I think "finds himself swept up in" might be the solution.
     
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  12. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel there should be a natural full stop after 'he had found the artefact'. As it stands now, 'and makes a discovery that can change the world' feels like a run-on sentence, and usually the best cure for that is to chop it in two. The rest sounds good, my only objection is to the phrase 'awe-inspiring intellectual challenges' which sounds like one of those that over-promises and under-delivers. But, maybe that's exactly what they are, I haven't read your story. :)
     
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  13. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I agree.

    I get told off repeatedly for using the word, that, too much so I am always looking for alternatives.
     

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