1

The source

Often we think that great leaders are those who are gregarious, always in the middle of a large group of people; yet, as Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown us, leaders can also be introverted.

Shouldn’t the conjunction “yet” be placed before leaders to show the contrast?

Often we think that great leaders are those who are gregarious, always in the middle of a large group of people, as Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown us; yet leaders can also be introverted.


Edited

Good observation taken from comments, by @joiedevivre

  • The parenthetical prepositional phrase can be moved around within the clause, but it can't go before yet. Yet must head this clause.
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    I have no idea whether Gandhi was gregarious or introverted, but without a doubt, your cited writer believes he was introverted. And noting the very careful use of a semicolon, I'm inclined to think he's probably right. Gandhi probably only looks "gregarious" to some because of the way he has to be portrayed in films. – FumbleFingers Jan 27 '18 at 19:26
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a non-issue based on different opinions of Gandhi's temperament – FumbleFingers Jan 27 '18 at 19:28
  • @FumbleFingers The question asks nothing about Ghandi's temperament. It asks about the heading to a clause indicating disagreement with a preceding clause. It is a question about the English language. I am voting to leave it open. – Jeff Morrow Jan 28 '18 at 16:03
  • @Jeff Morrow: The text as cited is perfectly formed, and has a very clear meaning. OP's "suggested correction" is clumsy phrasing that means pretty much the exact opposite, for which the only possible reason I can see is that OP thinks Gandhi was "gregarious" rather than "introverted", so he's rewritten the text so it says that. And so far as I'm concerned, both the current answers are hopelessly misleading (one simply promotes OP's erroneous assessment, the other mistakenly claims the text is ambiguous). – FumbleFingers Jan 28 '18 at 16:12
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    Statement 1: Great leaders are [usually thought of as] gregarious. Statement 2: Leaders can also be introverted. Because #2 somewhat "contradicts" #1, it's reasonable to introduce it with a conjunction such as yet, but, nevertheless, however. Those first two conjunctions (unlike the last two) can't be put at the end of a statement, so #2 can't be rephrased to Leaders can also be introverted but. In principle, yet can be used at the end of a statement, but only when it means up until the present time, not when it means but. – FumbleFingers Jan 28 '18 at 17:30
3

Contrary to what you might have initially thought, the conjunction yet does go before leaders. Just move that "parenthetical" clause beginning with as, which is set off by a pair of commas, out of the way to the end of the sentence and you will see that the sentence reads just as well:

Often we think that great leaders are those who are gregarious, always in the middle of a large group of people; yet leaders can also be introverted as Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown us.

Or, as you suggested, you can place it after leaders while, very importantly, not forgetting to surround it with a pair of commas. The sentence, as you can see, still reads just as good as the original one:

Often we think that great leaders are those who are gregarious, always in the middle of a large group of people; yet leaders, as Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown us, can also be introverted.

As a couple of people in the comments section aptly pointed out, in order to be grammatically correct, sentences of this type should always have their second clauses begin with yet. In other words, the beginning of the second clause is the only place where yet can go in a sentence of this type.

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    Or could be constructed this way. Yet leaders, as mahatgandy and..., can also be introverted. ? – Bavyan Yaldo Jan 27 '18 at 19:23
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    Just as a minor addition, I think it might be useful to point out that the OPs rewrite doesn't makes sense. The parenthetical prepositional phrase can be moved around within the clause, but it can't go before yet. Yet must head this clause. – joiedevivre Jan 27 '18 at 20:22
  • @joiedevivre, Thank you for your comment. That's a good observation. – Michael Rybkin Jan 27 '18 at 20:37
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    I have read this answer several times. It is a correct answer. I have up voted it. And yet the topic sentence strikes me as not quite right. "'Yet' must head the clause" is the key thought as J has said. Then you can say. "Putting "yet" as the head ensures that it precedes "leaders." It is not necessary that "yet" immediately precede "leaders." – Jeff Morrow Jan 28 '18 at 17:03
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    My comment accidentally got published before I was through. – Jeff Morrow Jan 28 '18 at 17:08
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These sentences are ambiguous. Without knowing anything much about Gandhi, I as the reader cannot tell whether we are being told that he is an exemplar of an introverted leader, contrary to the expectation stated in the first clause, or whether what he taught, being an extravert himself, that we should not think that leaders must always be extraverts. As ever, what you write must be determined by the thought that you wish to convey. If that thought is "Hey, leaders can be introverts!" then put Gandhi and the rest at the end of the sentence (and make clear what they are evidence of). If that thought is "the example of Gandhi contrasts with our prejudice that leaders must extraverts", then bring Gandhi up immediately after the "yet" and also make clear why Gandhi is there (is he the example of the introvert, or the teacher who told us about introverted leaders).

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