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In the following sentence

The rise of Mr. Modi with Mr. Shah alongside, and their combined role in the party’s outstanding electoral performances in recent years, have inspired commentaries that put them on a pedestal.

Why are with and alongside used together when they both mean the same thing. Isn't it redundant?

2 Answers 2

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"with Mr. Shah alongside" means "with Mr. Shah accompanying Mr. Modi", so this is not redundant.

Also, note that this is in Indian English, where I believe that "alongside" is more commonly used in such constructions. But this would have been perfectly acceptable in a US newspaper, and I think in a UK paper.

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The cited text is very precise in its intended meaning. When I first read it, I immediately thought that it would be far more "natural" to use a pre-positioned1 preposition / adverb...

The rise of Mr. Modi alongside Mr. Shah...

...but although that particular sequence is far more common in general, the strong implication there would be that Shah was the primary "riser" (with Modi riding on Shah's coattails). Conversely, the actual sequence used (...with Mr. Shah alongside) implies that Shah's rise to prominence was a consequence of / assisted by Modi's rise.

(Idiomatically, the "lesser" moves alongside / accompanies the "greater", not the other way around.)


1 Actually, it's not "pre-positioned" at all, regardless of where alongside is placed. In both cases it's "post-positioned" (comes after the noun it modifies). It's just a matter of which person's position is being defined relative to the other (where we naturally tend to define the less important thing / person relative to something better known).

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