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Reductions in overseas government expenditure took place, but reluctantly and more gradually than now seems desirable.

I found the sentence after the word but hard to understand, is something omitted for simplification? Please elaborate grammatically.

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These modifying phrases refer to the first part of the sentence. You could repeat the clause, or repeat it with a pronoun:

Reductions in overseas government expenditure took place, but they took place reluctantly, and they took place more gradually than (now seems desirable).

So the government was reluctant to reduce overseas expenditure. And the reductions were slower than the pace which seems desirable now (with the "benefit of hindsight")

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  • sorry, I still have a problem in "they took place more gradually than now seems desirable". I assume that "they took place more gradually than now" as a whole form the subject. but the meaning of it remains obscure. Could you rephrase it with simple words so that I can understand? May 22, 2022 at 6:25
  • I've clarified a little more.
    – James K
    May 22, 2022 at 6:32

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