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I am confused with the sentence below, I can't understand it grammatically. Can you please tell me about the meaning of it? Why does it have 3 verbs?

It is understood no complaint has been received from either woman and none of those involved is suspended.

Reference: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/none

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    I count eight(!) verbs, including auxiliary verbs and past participles.
    – Jasper
    Sep 28 '17 at 22:06
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    @Jasper Yep: is, understood, has, been, received, involved, is, suspended.
    – GingerHead
    Sep 29 '17 at 7:41
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Sentences can consist of multiple clauses and thus contain multiple verbs.

And is a coordinator (also called a coordinating conjunction). One of the functions of that is as a subordinator (also called a subordinating conjunction) - and an important characteristic of that is that it can usually be omitted.

It is understood no complaint has been received from either woman and none of those involved is suspended.

This can be understood as having an implicit that:

It is understood [that] no complaint has been received from either woman and none of those involved is suspended.

The first clause is "It is understood". This is followed by a subordinate clause telling us what has been understood. Finally, the word and joins another clause adding further information.

(The sentence is slightly grammatically ambiguous: the bit after the and might also be part of what is understood, or it might be a separate observation about the facts. This ambiguity matters very little in practice.)

"It is understood" is a passive telling us that the author has received a particular piece of information. It distances the author slightly from the information by implying that there hasn't beeen an official announcement.

So, the author has received information saying that neither woman has made a complaint. (This information is again presented in the passive: no complaint has been received from either woman.)

Finally, we are told that none of those involved is suspended. Suspension is a disciplinary procedure whereby someone is removed from their job while an allegation or incident is investigated. Here we are told that, so far at least, no such measure has been taken.

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  • I thought "either" means " woman and none of those involved", if "either" refer to "woman" and "none of those involved", how was the sentence written? Sep 28 '17 at 22:13
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    The "either" modifies only "woman". "Either woman" means something like "one or the other of the two women". Sep 28 '17 at 22:20
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    Sometimes "and" combines two noun phrases rather than clauses - but that interpretation is impossible here. Sometimes "either" is followed by more than one noun phrase, but those would be joined by "or" rather than by "and". Gary Botnovcan is correct. Presumably there were two women involved, so "either woman" means "either of the women". This is standard. Also, if we had wanted to say that a complaint was received neither from the women nor from a third party, the sentence would again have "or" or "nor" ("no complaint has been received from either woman nor from a third party"), not "and".
    – rjpond
    Sep 29 '17 at 7:20

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