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A sentence from Longman Dictionary

That smell of oil and candles and that light from a distant window and him on his knees, mumbling.

I can't make out the meaning of the sentence and thesubject.

Is it from literature?

Thanks in advance.

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    This is not a grammatical sentence. Longman Dictionary uses a not-so-reliable algorithm to cull their example sentences from various online sources with no human double-checking, so you often see sentences by non-native speakers, ungrammatical sentences, and non-sentences like this one. – Eddie Kal Sep 19 at 3:23
  • Poetic or writer's style, maybe? I'd read it like - That smell (of oil and candles) and that light (from a distant window) and him (on his knees, mumbling). Three subjects? :) – Maulik V Sep 19 at 5:15
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This is not actually a full sentence, because there is no verb. The whole thing could be used as a compound object phrase. For instance

That smell of oil and candles and that light from a distant window and him on his knees, mumbling, are the only things I remember from that night.

Or, it could be used as a compound subject by changing the case of the pronoun as follows.

That smell of oil and candles and that light from a distant window and he on his knees, mumbling, created a lasting memory in my mind.

  • Should it be "him" or "he on his knees...'? – user100323 Sep 19 at 5:57
  • Yes, you're correct. The way I wrote it that clause is the object of 'remember'. I remember him. I'll change it. Thanks! – dwilli Sep 20 at 3:21

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