I'm curious about how to analyze "One thing I should note, though" as an introduction to what you want to alert the audience to. Is it short for "There is one thing (which) I should note, though" or an instance of the process whereby the object "one thing" shifts from behind "note" to the front of the sentence?

I'd appreciate your help.


I should note one thing however.

However, I should note one thing.

There is one thing I should note, however.

However, there is one thing I should note.

The word though or however can introduce or conclude the remark.

With There is we have existential there is standing in place of the extraposed or displaced subject one thing.

Normally in speech, the word is gets emphasized in such a construction punctuated by however at the end or introduced by however:

There IS one thing I should note, however.

However, there IS one thing I should note.

An alternative form of emphasis is:

There is ONE thing I should note, however.

making the existential + extraposition construction a way for the speaker to draw the listener's attention to the fact that one thing needs to be noted which has yet to be noted and is about to be noted. It is a (second-nature) attention-getting strategy. It doesn't really rise to the level of a consciously chosen rhetorical patterning.

The simpler

One thing I should note, though.

does not provide as many opportunities for an alerting and yet naturally placed vocal stress. One might say:

One thing I SHOULD note, though.

  • What's your take on the syntactic analysis of the simpler form? Do you think it's an elliptical variant of "there is one thing..."? – Apollyon Jan 7 '18 at 13:18
  • No, I do not think it is an elliptical variant. The two are alternative ways of stating the fact. one thing is the object of the transitive verb note in the one, and a (displaced or extraposed) subject in the sentence with the existential construction. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 7 '18 at 13:35
  • Maybe one way to test whether it is elliptical or involves an extraposed object is to use it with an overt relative pronoun and see how it fares: "One thing that I should note, though. The drug should not be taken with coffee." How does this sentence sound? – Apollyon Jan 7 '18 at 13:41
  • one thing is a direct object of the transitive verb in one version and in the other version a subject (albeit existentially displaced) followed by the relative clause I should note. In your latest version, all you're doing is supplying that at the head of the relative clause. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 8 '18 at 14:05

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