I've been reading chinese book on acupuncture and there is the text I'm not completely sure in pure English (the authors and publisher are from Beijing).

Since the yin-yang nature of a thing exists only by comparison, and moreover that a thing can be divided infinitely, its yin-yang nature is by no means absolute, but is relative. In some circumstances the two opposites of a thing may change, and so the yin-yang nature of the thing also changes. There exist the conditions of a yin aspect developing within yin, yang within yang, yang complicated with yin, and yin complicated with yang. This concept conforms within objective reality.

I think the bold text is not pure English (I've never run into that grammatical construction "there exist"). If so can you correct text so that it is in nature English.

Book: Essentials of Chinese Acupuncture, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing. Compiled by Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, The Acupuncture Institute of the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, First Edition, 1980


1 Answer 1


"There exist X, Y, and Z" is a perfectly correct construction in English. There is nothing wrong with your book.

The structure is a more formal or academic rearrangement of the sentence "X, Y, and Z exist." In this case putting the verb at the end of the sentence could be difficult for the reader, because X, Y, and Z are each relatively long and complicated noun phrases. By putting the verb first the authors allow us to keep reading the sentence without trying to skip ahead for context about what these noun phrases do.

  • @eps: how would you pronounce "∃ a, b, c: a^2 + b^2 = c^2"?
    – randomhead
    Oct 15, 2021 at 13:42
  • I can't see how you could possibly justify that but okay.
    – randomhead
    Oct 15, 2021 at 13:44

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