Multihour pauses in flights to the other side of the world are common, especially at HKG. Close to 60 per cent of all Canadians flying into Asia pass through here, many on layovers that average between four and 12 hours.

Where's a verb? I leanred there should be a verb in a sentence.

What's the grammar of the "that"?

I just guess the meaning is "Canadians on layovers pass the time between 4 to 12"


Paul Dexter's answer tells you about the verb average. With respect to your other questions...

The main verb of the second sentence is pass.

that average between four and 12 hours is a relative clause that tells us something about layovers.

many refers to the "Close to 60 percent of all Canadians flying into Asia".

You can understand it as many [of them]

The length of these layovers tends to be between 4 and 12 hours, on average. Few of these layovers are shorter than 4 hours and few are longer than 12 hours.

  • I understood you. However I got another question. I learned after comma (,) there should be a main verb as well. Like ",many that everage btw 4 to 12 do something" – Ting Choe Jul 16 '18 at 4:13
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    many refers to the Canadians, not to the layovers. The Canadians are on layovers.There is no rule that a verb must follow a comma. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 16 '18 at 10:23

average is used as a verb here, while 'that' refers to the layovers. It would have the same meaning to say:

Many of them pass through here on layovers. Their layovers average between four and 12 hours.


Many of them pass through here on layovers. The average length of the layovers is between four and 12 hours.

  • How there are two subjects in a sentence? Removing that looks more proper, like, many on layovers average ~ – Ting Choe Jul 15 '18 at 21:47
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    Your “more proper” suggestion is not grammatical. One could say “... many on layovers averaging between four and 12 hours,” but not “... many on layovers average between...” “Layovers” is the object of the preposition “on,” and it can’t simultaneously be the subject of the verb “average,” hence the need for the word “that.” – Steve Kass Jul 15 '18 at 21:56
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    @TingChoe - There aren't two subjects in the sentence. "many on layovers that average between four and 12 hours" is an adverbial phrase within the main sentence, explaining something about how the Canadians pass. That's why it doesn't have an independent subject and verb. – stangdon Jul 16 '18 at 14:15

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