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Although he had never taken piano lessons, anytime that jeff, who was unusually intelligent, saw a piano,he was able to play a song.

In the above sentence, ( Although he had never taken piano lessons,he was able to play a song. ) I think this is the main sentence. But In the middle portion of the two main clause, (anytime that jeff, who was unusually intelligent, saw a piano,) it seems appositive, and for this I can't understand the meaning of the whole sentence.( Who is unusually intelligent, saw a piano) it is not clear to me weather it refers jeff or he? And, How can I understand clearly in this type of sentence?

  • Are you sure it wasn't "unusually intelligent"? It would make more sense that way. – Jack O'Flaherty Jul 22 at 8:32
  • Sorry I made a mistake. Unusually intelligent is right. Thank you – Habib Khandaker Jul 22 at 8:59
  • The 'core' of the sentence is "he was able to play a song". All the items are optional adjuncts with various internal structures. See my answer for more details. – BillJ Jul 22 at 13:12
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The sentence has three-level depth:

The outermost sentence(1) is

Although he had never taken piano lessons, he was able to play a song.

The middle depth clause(2) is:

anytime that jeff saw a piano

The inner clause(3) is:

who was usually intelligent

The sentence structure is that (1) contains (2) and (2) contains (3).

Understand from the outer side to the inside by the level. First look at only (1). After you understand (1), add(2) into (1). And then, go to the (3).

The (3) is to describe the quality of jeff which is mentioned in (2).

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Although he had never taken piano lessons, anytime that Jeff, who was unusually intelligent, saw a piano, he was able to play a song.

If you want to identify the 'core' of the sentence, you must first remove all the optional dependents of the 'main' verb; in other words remove all the adjuncts, which in this case are:

[1] "although he had never taken piano lessons" (adjunct of concession)

[2] "anytime that Jeff, who was unusually intelligent, saw a piano" (adjunct of time)

That leaves the 'core' as:

he was able to play a song

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