In this statement:

A winner's attitude is, says Lao Tzu, a philosopher, ''you have to know when to fight and when not to fight.''(I've made this up)

For me it sounds a bit weird to sepearate the ''is-you'' in this sentence. Do you find this as a weak, normal, or an advanced sentence construction?

  • Think of it as: A winner's attitude is ''you have to know when to fight and when not to fight.'' This is OK, but your example reads poorly due to the placement of "says Lao Tzu, a philosopher". I would put it at the end. Or possibly after attitude. Is there a source for this quotation? – user3169 Oct 20 '18 at 22:50
  • You don't have the first part in quotes. I also don't recognize that exact quotation from anywhere. I haven't heard a Lao Tzu's phrase translated as "a winner's attitude" before. – Jason Bassford Oct 20 '18 at 23:38
  • @JasonBassford, oops I've made this one up. – John Arvin Oct 21 '18 at 6:12
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    @JohnArvin If you made it up, then it would sound better if it were: Lao Tsu, a philosopher, said of a winner's attitude that "you have to know when to fight and when not to fight." Although, if you made it up, I would remove the quotation marks altogether since it's not an actual quote: Lao Tsu, a philosopher, said that a winner's attitude is knowing when to fight and when not to fight. – Jason Bassford Oct 21 '18 at 14:47
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    @JohnArvin - putting 'that' right after 'is' won't help, but putting it right before "you... won't hurt (although the adverbial may still tempt the listener down a garden path). – amI Oct 22 '18 at 6:46

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