0

what does this sentence mean? (emphasis added)

Serious adjustment problems with global implications directly confront one or two of the advanced countries, but a significant slowing of the world economy and high energy and food prices could give rise to or worsen adjustment problems in a number of African, Latin American, and Asian economies.

Does it mean that:

there are now serious adjustment problems that face just one or two of the advanced countries?

Does it mean that:

serious adjustment problems will confront just one or two of the advanced countries?

I will be grateful in anyone could help me through this problem.

Yusuf, Shahid. 2009. Development Economics through the Decades : A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report. Washington, DC: World Bank. p 71.

  • 4
    The verb confront is in the present tense. Why should its meaning change to the future tense as in will confront? The present tense already means now. It isn't clear what you don't understand here. – P. E. Dant Aug 10 '16 at 21:48
  • @P.E.Dant thanks a lot. Does this sentence imply that slowing of the world economy is one of the global implications of serious adjustment problems ? I am really sorry for asking such a questions. – comi Aug 10 '16 at 22:24
  • No, it does not imply that. It implies that slowing of the world economy and high energy and food prices could worsen adjustment problems in countries which are not advanced. i.e. "a number of African, Latin American, and Asian economies." – P. E. Dant Aug 10 '16 at 22:32
  • @P.E.Dant I think the author wants to compare two situation: in one situation one or two of advanced countries and in another many of non-advanced countries. And he thinks that the second situation is more important because it challenges many countries not just one or two. Am I correct? – comi Aug 10 '16 at 22:44
  • There is nothing in the sentence which tells us that the author thinks one is worse than the other. He's saying only: "There are already adjustment problems in advanced economies, and a slowing of the world economy will create or worsen the same thing elsewhere." – P. E. Dant Aug 10 '16 at 22:51
0

Serious adjustment problems with global implications directly confront one or two of the advanced countries, but a significant slowing of the world economy and high energy and food prices could give rise to or worsen adjustment problems in a number of African, Latin American, and Asian economies.

One or two advanced countries are directly confronted with serious adjustment problems. These problems have global implications. In a number of economies in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, a significant slowing of the world economy, coupled with high energy and food prices, could give rise to new adjustment problems, or make existing adjustment problems worse.

I'm not sure about "coupled with" in my paraphrase. It's not clear to me whether the author of the original passage is mentioning two things each of which could cause problems for those economies [ (1) slowing of the world economy and (2) high energy and food prices ] or if the author means when those two things occur together.

0

Serious adjustment problems with global implications directly confront one or two of the advanced countries,

Does it mean that:

"there are now serious adjustment problems that face just one or two of the advanced countries?"

Or does it mean that:

"serious adjustment problems will confront just one or two of the advanced countries?"


Lets take the phrase and split it into sections.

Serious adjustment problems with global implications. This is the main point of the phrase and as such we can let it stand as it is.

directly confront This means "will very soon (need) ​to deal with a difficult problem"

directly adverb (SOON) very soon or immediately:

confront verb ​to deal with a difficult problem, situation, or person:

one or two of the advanced countries, again this is a statement so can remain as it stands.

Now we have 

Serious adjustment problems with global implications "will very soon (need) ​to deal with a difficult problem" one or two of the advanced countries,

Which we need to tidy up and put in a readable form.

Serious adjustment problems with global implications, will very soon need to be dealt with by one or two of the advanced countries,

So I will say that your second statement is correct even if it does change the tense, but I will qualify my answer by saying it is only correct in relation to your question.

"serious adjustment problems will confront just one or two of the advanced countries"


It is a phrase in a sentence that has, in my opinion, implications for other phrases in that sentence. Is it a poorly written sentence? possibly as it is not easy to determine the implications of the questions it raises. Also I would suggest that it is intended as a statement but as it is not clear it has become a rather questioning article. example "Could give rise?" as opposed to would, will etc.

The one thing I feel highly critical of is the word but.

Serious adjustment problems with global implications directly confront one or two of the advanced countries, but a significant slowing of the world economy and high energy and food prices could give rise to or worsen adjustment problems in a number of African, Latin American, and Asian economies.

Rewritten as

Serious adjustment problems with global implications directly confront one or two of the advanced countries.

Significant slowing of the world economy and high energy and food prices could give rise to or worsen adjustment problems in a number of African, Latin American, and Asian economies.

Makes two clear statements. Whilst the BUT joins the phrases, but gives no indication of the dependence of each. Personally I think the "but" is a mistake, maybe this is a text taken from a spoken statement or speech, where the but has slipped in as a linking word but in fact does not need to be there. Maybe "while" would have been a better choice.

while conjunction (DURING) (also formal whilst) during the time that, or at the same time as:

All references Cambridge English Dictionary

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.