0

Republicans say reopening the FBI investigation is unnecessary because committee members have had the opportunity to question both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements.

I think, grammatically, the bold part can be parsed into two ways:

  1. [question] [both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements].

  2. [question both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses] (who)[have submitted sworn statements].

The second one seems to make more sense to me, although I think the word "who" shouldn't be omitted. If the first one is correct, then I'm not quite sure what it means.

Another thing is that I'm confused about the word usage of 'both'. There are three parties engaged: Kavanaugh, Ford and other potential witnesses, so 'both' might not be suitable as it usually works for two parties. Maybe, the author takes "Kavanaugh and Ford" as one party, and "other potential witnesses" as the other?

The full source.

1

The sentence isn't great from a stylistic point of view, but it's grammatical. The proper way to parse the sentence is roughly:

Republicans say reopening the FBI investigation is unnecessary because X and Y.

Obviously "X" refers to the fact that "committee members have had the opportunity to question both Kavanaugh and Ford". And "Y" is "other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements". "X" and "Y" are two separate reasons. You could swap "X" and "Y" but this would make it unclear who's included in "other potential witnesses".

In other words, the sentence isn't claiming that committee members questioned anyone other than Kavanaugh and Ford. This also resolves your confusion with "both".

  • That makes sense! Sometimes, I found it's hard to parse a long English sentence. Not sure if there is a best known method for it. May I know if you have parsed it correctly at your first read? – dan Sep 29 '18 at 2:54

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.