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Here is the context: Two performers who are based in two different countries are going to carry out a performance together. The two of them cannot see each other often so they thought the senses and physical movements which they developed together might be lost due to the distance and time, but they realised otherwise.

This is the whole sentence: Our senses and physical movements - something we thought which might have been lost due to the time and distance - were still in between us."

I am confused which one is correct:

A) "something we thought which might have been lost due to the time and distance"

B) "something we thought to have been lost due to the time and distance"

C) "something we thought to have been lost over the time and distance"

  • Our senses and physical movements - something we thought would have been lost over time and distance - were still in between us. I would prefer this variation. Otherwise, I would say, Our senses and physical movements - something we thought to have lost over time and distance - were still in between us. But firstly, we need to know more about what meaning does your sentence convey? The sentence construction largely depends on it. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 15 '20 at 18:13
  • Hi Dhanishtha, thanks for the comment! Here is the context: Two performers who are based in two different countries are going to carry out a performance together. The two of them cannot see each other often so they thought the senses and physical movements which they developed together might be lost due to the distance and time, but they realised otherwise. – Tam Nov 15 '20 at 18:59
  • Senses and physical movements cannot be described as something. You need a noun such as attributes or qualities – Ronald Sole Nov 15 '20 at 19:08
  • @RonaldSole I see. Could I use "what" instead of "something"?: "what we thought might have been lost due to the time and distance" – Tam Nov 15 '20 at 22:26
  • Yes, what or which - they are slightly different constructions, but both are valid. – Ronald Sole Nov 16 '20 at 14:07
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It's grammatical, but it doesn't mean much. Something is the object of we thought; whereas I believe you want we thought to be within the relative clause modifying "something":

something which [we thought might have been lost due to the time and distance]

Your forms with to have been are OK as well, but far less natural.

Over would do, but it is much less specific than due to.

  • Hi Colin, thank you for your answer! Like you suggested, I feel "something which [we thought might have been lost due to the time and distance]" conveys the message best. – Tam Nov 15 '20 at 19:04

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