1

The sentence is from the article "The Touch-Screen Generation" by Hanna Rosin.

The part I'm confused with reads:

"I had come to the developers’ conference partly because I hoped that this particular set of parents, enthusiastic as they were about interactive media, might help me out of this conundrum, that they might offer some guiding principle for American parents who are clearly never going to meet the academy’s ideals, and at some level do not want to.”

As to the meaning of the sentence in bold, I have two theories:

  1. Because they were enthusiastic about interactive media
  2. Although they were enthusiastic about interactive media.

I can't be sure which one is correct. What does the sentence mean?

1

"Enthusiastic as they were about..." to me, could be replaced by "Being enthusiastic about...". I guess this comes closest to your interpretation number 1.

It would be different if the phrase used were "As enthusiastic as they were about...". Then, I would rephrase it as "Although they were enthusiastic about...". I.e., your number 2.

0

Your №2 is closest; the sentence could be re-written as the following:

"...I hoped that this particular set of parents, despite their enthusiasm about interactive media, might help me out of this conundrum..."

The phrase [adjective] as they were is used to say that even though they were [adjective], …

  • Thanks for the reply. Though I've received a different opinion to the question from a native English speaker, I personally prefer your explanation. – Luke Luke Nov 23 '16 at 2:47
  • 1
    But this is wrong, @LukeLuke. The author starts out by describing her original motivation. She may have changed her view of these parents later -- I don't know because the excerpt doesn't get that far -- but for now we only know how she felt when making her decision to attend the conference. The key part means "I hoped that this particular set of parents, who were enthusiastic about interactive media, might ...." – aparente001 Nov 24 '16 at 5:59

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