1

In the sentence "She still faces situations that she fears are beyond her capabilities," if my grammatical sense serves me correctly, the conjunction 'and' should be interpolated between 'fears' and 'are.'

That is because the situations are what she fears and what are beyond her capabilities.

Am I correct? If so, can the word 'and' be removed in any sentence for the sake of simplicity?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Apr 2 '17 at 17:08

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 10
    Adding and in that position changes the meaning of the sentence. If they are situations that she fears, and they are situations that are beyond her capabilities, you need and, but as it stands, she does not fear the situations; she fears that the situations are beyond her capabilities. – oerkelens Apr 1 '17 at 16:23
  • 'When he was employed as a coach driver, he was forever stopping and smoking.' – Edwin Ashworth Apr 1 '17 at 16:59
  • 2
    “I enrolled in classes that I feared were too advanced for me.” vs. “I enrolled in classes that I feared and [that] were too advanced for me.” See the difference? – Scott Apr 1 '17 at 23:03
3

The absence of “and” has nothing to do with simplictiy and inserting it is not only not justified, but would change the meaning of the sentence entirely. It would imply that 1. she is afraid of the situations, and 2. the situations are beyond her capabilities. The sense of the sentence is such that neither of these is true.

  1. The situations are not what she fears, they are what she faces:

    She still faces situations

  2. “that she fears are beyond her capabilities” is an adjectival clause qualifying situations. This is equivalent to:

    the situations are ones that she fears are beyond her capabilities

  3. Now one can see that she does not fear the situations, but she fears the property or quality of the situations:

    she fears that the situations she faces are beyond her capabilities

Note also that the sentence leaves the same doubt that she has over whether or not the situations she faces are beyond her capabilities. She only fears this, a fear which may be unjustified — the sentence does not say. Hence it is incorrect to say — as you do — that the situations are beyond her capabilities.

Your Answer

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