I found this sentence from The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga

It must be like getting to New York for the first time was for me.

Context: The speaker is justifying his driver’s tendency of missing the correct road in a new place that they came for the first time. He is saying when he himself went to New York for the first time he was also like that.

Now I want to parse the sentence. The portion of the sentence I am having difficulty is turned italics.

My attempt: the part in italics should be a complement. And it's a clause. And what that clause is called.

  • 1
    This must be like that was for me. Feb 16 at 19:17

It must be [like getting to New York for the first time was ___ for me]

You are right: it is a clause. The bracketed element is complement of "be" and the clause "getting to New York for the first time was for me" is an obligatory complement of the transitive adjective "like"

It's called a comparative clause because it's expandable. The missing element is predicative complement of "was", as marked by the gap notation '___'.

  • Thank you BillJ. But I could go with your answer without any confusion in my head, but certain elements in the sentence is causing confusion. Like "getting to New York for the first time was for me". Because of the bold part. Will it still be an a Gerund Participle clause. I forgot grammar, but it looks like it's a finite clause, more looks like a Fused Head relative construction. But whether such construction is allowed without wh words. I am not sure. Feb 17 at 1:11
  • 1
    @Man_From_India It's just the subject of the comparative clause that is a gerund-participial clause, which is not really relevant to your question. The important things is that the clause itself is a comparative clause. I've edited my answer accordingly. Apologies for the confusion.
    – BillJ
    Feb 17 at 8:06
  • Thank you. It's all there on page no 1158 of CaGEL. Feb 17 at 13:13
  • @Man_From_India Yes, I know. Thanks.
    – BillJ
    Feb 17 at 13:15

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