0

What's the main clause for the sentence below in bold?

North Korea has been linked to other hackings. Among the most notable targeted Sony Pictures in 2014 as it was releasing "The Interview," a comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim. More recently, the WannaCry ransomware attack targeted hospitals across the United Kingdom. North Korea has denied involvement in any of the hacks and attacks.

  • It means that Sony Pictures was hacked by North Korea in 2014 just before the release of the movie about an attempt to kill Kim Jong-un. – user070221 Nov 18 '17 at 22:07
  • @user159691 That doesn't answer the question being asked. – Matt Nov 18 '17 at 23:29
  • 1
    I can get the meaning of the sentence now, but I'm still unsure if a prepositional phrase like 'Among the most notable [ones]' could be used as a subject here. I might need more explanation on that. – dan Nov 19 '17 at 2:56
  • There is a missing "was" between "targeted" and "Sony". I would say the main clause starts at "Among" and ends with "2014". – Nick Nov 19 '17 at 4:54
  • @dan I share your opinion. Even the not elided prepositional phrase "among the most notable hackings" does not qualify one specific hacking or a specific subset of hackings to be a subject to "targeted" ("Among the most devastating bombs targeted at the city." does not look like a correct clause to me.) Could you please enhance where your sample sentences are from? – Min-Soo Pipefeet Nov 19 '17 at 12:26
3
+50

This is an example of nominal ellipsis. A noun has been left out by the author and must be inferred from the context.

The prepositional phrase, "Among the most notable [hackings]" is the subject. The verb of the main clause is "targeted" and its direct object is "Sony Pictures." The remainder of the sentence includes an adverbial phrase "in 2014 as it was releasing The Interview" and an appositive, "a comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim."

  • Can a prepositional phrase really be a subject in English? I haven't seen one so far, except in those inverted sentences. It seems very unusual to me. – dan Nov 19 '17 at 2:41
  • It is unusual, but can happen. Even native speakers might need to read that sentence more than once to understand it. [link added to answer] (englishgrammar101.com/module-6/prepositions/lesson-6/…) – Gossar Nov 19 '17 at 3:06
  • 1
    Thanks for that information! If I understand it correctly, the original one could be paraphrased as " the one/hacking among the most notable targeted Sony Pictures.... " Is it correct? – dan Nov 19 '17 at 3:15
  • 1
    To me it sounds more fluid to say, "Among the most notable hackings, one targeted Sony Pictures…" – Gossar Nov 19 '17 at 3:21
1

This sentence seems to be shortened from a full sentence, something like

North Korea has been linked to other hackings. Among the most notable [ones] targeted Sony Pictures in 2014 as it was releasing "The Interview," a comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim.

Or even better

North Korea has been linked to other hackings. Among the most notable [ones is the one that] targeted Sony Pictures in 2014 as it was releasing "The Interview," a comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim.

In other words, one of the most notable hackings is the one that targeted Sony Pictures.

Words are sometimes omitted for brevity, but in this case the sentence does become somewhat obscure.

The main clause is "Among the most notable [ones is the one that] targeted Sony Pictures"; but I assume this is not too important for understanding the meaning.

  • The same questions as I asked Gossar: Can a prepositional phrase really be a subject in English? I haven't seen one so far, except in those inverted sentences. It seems very unusual to me. – dan Nov 19 '17 at 2:42
1

Based on the answers of Gossar and laugh, now I incline to interpret/complete the sentence as:

[One] among the most notable [hackings] targeted Sony Pictures in 2014 as it was releasing "The Interview", a comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim.

So, the main clause is:

[One] among the most notable [hackings] targeted Sony Pictures in 2014.

with the subject

[one] among the most notable [hackings]

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.