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In the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." To feel that you are not alone, you don't need a whole crowd to join you. Research shows that in business and government organizations, just having one friend is enough to significantly decrease loneliness.

  1. What does it mean here? To me, a small group seems to indicate "it". Right?
  2. What is omitted after has? I think thst the original form is "has changed" But I am not sure
  • As user45266 says, the complement of "has" has been ellipted (omitted), though we understand it to be "changed the world". "It", of course, stands for "a small group of thoughtful citizens". – BillJ Jun 11 at 6:04
  • Thanks for your helpful comment! – yoonjin kim Jun 11 at 6:21
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"It" is "A small group of citizens". After "has" could be "changed the world".

An expanded form of the sentence would read:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, a small group of thoughtful citizens is the only thing that ever has changed the world."

Neat quote. Why is it not expanded? For redundancy, and also because it sounds more prophetic in its shortened form (think old guru on a mountain saying few words). Of course, that's subjective, but that's the way that culture describes this way of speaking.

  • Really appreciate your answer! – yoonjin kim Jun 11 at 6:22

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