SOURCE   (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Steven Sinek)

  • More than 4,000 Samsung customers lured by the cash back received notices denying them rebates on those grounds.

I have two questions based on this sentence.

  1. does the word received mean here that: cash back which recieved notices, or what?
  2. what is the meaning of them here, what it comes to my mine that the writer should exchange them with their rebates.

In brief, I want to know how this sentence works grammatically and meaningfully in context, especially the words I stressed on.

  • I could answer this question with what I presume is the intended meaning, but it's hard to be sure without a bit more context. Is it possible for you to add one or two sentences before "More than 4,000..."?
    – cjl750
    Jul 19, 2017 at 22:53
  • 1
    The rebates are denied to the customers. Consult your English dictionary to learn what prepositions are taken by the verb to deny . The examples there will show that the to is frequently omitted, as in this sentence. Jul 19, 2017 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


The subject is more than than 4,000 Samsung customers [who were] lured by the cash-back

The finite verb is received.

The direct object is notices.

The modifying participial phrase (modifying notices) is denying them rebates... [i.e. them = the said customers...lured by...]

them is the indirect object of denying ; the direct object of denying is rebates. In other words, denying rebates to those who had been lured.

P.S. Consider:

We went to the zoo, and visited the zebras. The zookeeper was attracting them with carrots and giving them inoculations to protect them from diseases.

More than a dozen zebras lured by the carrots received inoculations protecting them from diseases.

  • Why doesn't commas exist to separate the context and make it meaningfully clear? Such as the writer could have put a comma between customers and received.
    – user59167
    Jul 19, 2017 at 23:04
  • You need to be able to parse these constituents based on their functionality without the aid of typography.
    – TimR
    Jul 19, 2017 at 23:08
  • @P. E. Dant imean in this way: More than 4,000 Samsung customers, lured by the cash back, received notices denying "their" rebates on those grounds.
    – user59167
    Jul 19, 2017 at 23:22
  • @StevanSlewa That comma is between "customers" and "lured", not "Customers" and "received"! In any case, most English-speaking readers don't need commas to help them parse a simple (if ugly) sentence like this one. Writers use commas, often, where they would take a breath in speaking a given text. Such a comma indicates a pause: It's not part of a grammatical construct. Jul 19, 2017 at 23:28
  • @StevanSlewa I agree that commas would help, but this is not a particularly complicated sentence for native speakers. I'm sure it will get easier the more you get familiar with English.
    – Andrew
    Jul 20, 2017 at 0:00

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