A sentence from wiktionary: link

Explained in Genesis as referring to his mother Sarah’s laughing when she was told she would have a son at her old age.

I am rather confused about the sentence.

What is the role of Sarah's mother in this sentence and why is sarah referring to his mother?

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Why do you say Sarah's mother? Sarah is not his name but his mother's name – Son Nguyen Jun 27 at 10:33
  • 1
    referring to his mother [who is called Sarah]’s laughing – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 27 at 11:37

The reference is to Isaac's mother, Sarah, so there is only one she. In the Bible story, Abraham and Sarah had their only child, Isaac, when they were elderly. There is a mistake in the Wiktionary entry; it should be in her old age.

| improve this answer | |
  • It's true we're more likely to use in rather than at when referring to someone's old age (when it becomes a "container" metaphor for an age range rather than a simple "location" metaphor for the more specific At your age you should know better! usage). But there are lots of written instances of at his old age. I wouldn't call it a "mistake". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 27 at 11:44
  • Is "referring" here a "gerund" or a "participle"? – user100323 Jun 27 at 12:03

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