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In 1914 hardly anyone in Europe or America below the age of fifty had seen anything of war in his own country.

- The New World Order by H.G. Wells

What does anything of war mean in this context? I have two version:

  1. Anything like war
  2. Anything related to war

Which version is correct?

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    No-one had had any experience of war. May 8, 2021 at 11:11
  • @KateBunting I agree with you and would like to ask you about its structure. Could I add "who didn't complete his military service" and make it like "In 1914 hardly anyone in Europe or America below the age of fifty who didn't complete his military service had seen anything of war in his own country." ? Would it be correct?
    – Jawel7
    May 8, 2021 at 12:39
  • Not all countries had compulsory military service (Britain didn't at that time), and for those that did, most of it would not have been in combat, especially not in their own country. That's the point Wells was making. As for the grammar of your sentence, who had not completed his military service would be better. For most men up to the age of 50, such service would have been far back in the past. May 8, 2021 at 13:38
  • what if I don't put commas like that?
    – Jawel7
    May 8, 2021 at 16:27

1 Answer 1

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Anything that belongs to war, which is close to your second option.

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  • Can you expand on exactly what you think that covers as I am not sure it is universally true.
    – mdewey
    May 8, 2021 at 14:52

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