In a 20th century speech I found the sentence:

We are helping the people of our country and such other people as are our neighbors as well as such other people as are willing to receive help from us.


such..... as....

Sentence pattern is new to me and I didn't find any information on this on internet.

Is the pattern outdated or too formal to use use in daily life?

Thanks in advance.


In the Cambridge online dictionary I found a link to Such as a determiner , where you will see examples of such meaning of this or that kind. I wouldn't call it outdated, but it is, as the website says, rather formal. We would probably say "Those people who are willing..." in everyday speech.

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  • In practice, this is probably all the answer OP actually needs, so I've upvoted it accordingly. But there are other issues raised by the question, so I thought I'd better try to tackle them with an answer of my own. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 25 at 15:42
  • It's perfectly good language but in the hands of politicians ... it tends to become a way of saying very little. In general the construct such [X] as are [Y] is a very precise way of defining a subset of X -- it's almost mathematical. Not usually necessary, but worth learning how to use. – Will Crawford Jan 26 at 3:13
  • Or to put it another way: it's a bit shorter than "the subset of [X] for which the predicate [Y] is true" :) – Will Crawford Jan 26 at 3:17

The example sentence is very clumsy, because it uses such in close proximity with two different meanings. I'm guessing the intended sense could be paraphrased (without using such) as...

1: We [and other people, for example, our neighbors] are helping the people of our country [and we are also helping [those / some] other people who are willing to receive help from us].

The essential problem here is that and such other people as are our neighbors is a noun phrase, that syntactically must represent an additional subject (of the verb helping), not an additional object. If we consider...

2: Peter is helping Paul and Mary
3: Peter and Mary are helping Paul

...it should be obvious that the highlighted element in #2 extends the object (both Paul and Mary are being helped by Paul), whereas #3 extends the subject (both Peter and Mary are helping Paul). But because of the clumsy phrasing in OP's example, it's difficult to tell whether the speaker is helping his neighbours, or his neighbours are also helping "other people".

It's also difficult to tell whether the two different instances of "other people" refer to the same group of people. The "syntactic default" interpretation for the first instance is people who are like the people of our country, but the default for the second is people who are willing to receive help from us. Which doesn't make much sense to me.

I help such people as are here is a formal / dated way of saying I help those people who are here, which is best avoided by learners. But note that the strong implication is I help only those people who are here.

BUT I help people such as are here is a different construction - also formal / dated, but not so much as the above. This second version unambiguously states that I help people who are like the people here (usually with the strong implication that I also help the actual people who are here, but not necessarily1).

1 For example, I might be a "special needs" teacher visiting a school in another district. Where if I say I help people such as [those who] are here, that doesn't mean I help the actual people at the other school - just that the people I do help are like them.

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  • Same meaning, just slightly obscured by the placement of "other" before "such". It is clumsy in the sense that that language is unnecessary in this context (it is quite florid). Each "such ... as ..." specifies exactly what it says and there's no confusion at all. Just a big waste of space when it could say "ourselves, our neighbours and anyone [else] willing to accept support" :) – Will Crawford Jan 26 at 3:21
  • @WillCrawford: The specific category "ourselves, our neighbours and anyone [else] willing to accept support" certainly doesn't exist within OP's context. As I pointed out, it's somewhat unclear whether "our neighbours" are part of the group that gives help, or receives it. But obviously "ourselves" is part of the subject for to help, whereas "anyone willing to accept support" is part of the object group, so they can't both be included in the same "noun phrase" here. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 26 at 13:57


  • We°

Verb (auxiliary plus participle):

  • are helping

Object (actually a list of objects):

  • the people of our country¹


  • such other people as are our neighbors²

as well as

  • such other people as are willing to receive help from us³.

° From context, some representative of a government, charity or other public sector body.

¹ Literal neighbours, in the usual sense. In this case, presumably speaking on behalf of a democratically elected government, i.e. as one of the "people of our country", this means "ourselves"…

² …because "neighbours", if listed in addition to people of our country, now means people of neighbouring [or otherwise nearby] countries.

³ The other meaning this does not include those already covered as "people of our country" or "neighbours".

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