I came across this sentence when reading a book:

They acknowledge as much directly to the students reading one of their textbooks when they write, "...".

Is this correct?
Does this mean that "They admit to the students that..."?

  • as much has an antecedent. Yes, it's fine.
    – Lambie
    Feb 9 '19 at 17:39

Admit would suggest that whatever they were admitting constituted some sort of fault. That is not inherent to the verb to admit, but is quite heavily implied in a case such as this.

Here acknowledge is ditransitive, where 'they' is the subject, 'as much' is what is being acknowledged, and 'the students' are who it is being acknowledged to. 'Directly' is an adverb. They are telling the students that whatever the 'as much' refers to is correct.

  • Thank you SamBC and @Lambie, you answered my second question that was going to follow as well. Could you please provide an authoritative source for the ditransitive use of the verb acknowledge?
    – Derp
    Feb 9 '19 at 22:59

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