See Big Ben towering above the Houses of Parliament, follow St. James Park as it sweeps down to Buckingham Palace.

Sorry I wanted to write a more specific title, but I have a lot to ask in this one sentence.

1) What's 'it' here and how do I know what 'it' is? Is it Big Ben or St. James Park or something else?

2) What's the role of 'as' here? I don't think it means 'because' or 'while' in this sentence.. I just cannot understand what exactly 'as' means here.

3) I also don't understand what 'follow' means here. Does 'follow' here used to mean 'Big Ben is the highest, and St. James Park the second, Buckingham Palce the third'?

2 Answers 2


A bit of geographical context: St. James Park is a park near the palace. (Upon first reading this, I would have assumed it was a road, sometimes called a "parkway". It's more common to "follow" roads with your eyes, since there's a clear line to look at.)

  1. "It" is the park.
  2. "As" is more or less the same as "while", although less connected to any specific idea of time and more connected to the logical side-to-side shape of the landscape, which at one point is part of the Park and then, without much of a break, reaches the Palace.
  3. Landscapes with fairly smooth contours, like parks (or roads), can be "followed" with the eye (traced, run over, etc) to see their progressive ups and downs. This interpretation is strengthened by the use of "sweeps", which is appropriate for relatively smooth, gently curved lines.

    Or if this is a 3D flying camera view, "following" is basically the same: the visual experience of seeing the landscape unfold as you move over it.

  • Fully agree on all points. Another important point, worth noting for the benefit of learners, is that this sentence has an imperative structure with an initial verb. (Like, “Jump higher!” Or “Watch the ripples as they reach the edge of the pond.”) Even less common is the way it has two clauses with this same structure: “See Big Ben...” and “Follow St James Park...” could each be separate sentences. In fact, I would have written them either separated, or perhaps joined by a conjunction like “and” or “then”. Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 9:15
  1. It refers to Big Ben.
  2. as is similar to until.
  3. I am not sure about this one.

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