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I saw an English sentence that says:

The driver change frustrated Almirola, who proceeded to leave the track before the race ended.

I don't understand why we need "proceed to" in the clause part where I think "who ... leave the track before the race ended" is enough to say everything about the situation. Could somebody help me please?

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    Well, for one thing, "who leave the track before the race ended" is not valid syntax.
    – Hot Licks
    2 days ago
  • @HotLicks Hello HotLicks, Could you explain more about "is not valid syntax" ?
    – Vic Xu
    2 days ago
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    HotLicks meant, "The driver change frustrated Almirola, who leave the track before the race ended" has a present-past clash, and a conjugation problem. / You're more likely to get a helpful answer at ELL. 2 days ago

3 Answers 3

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The phrase who proceeded to is a way of indicating someone's reaction to an event. It is saying that someone reacted to a stimulus by doing something. It gives us the background to the action.

Instead of simply saying who left the track, which merely tells us what the driver did, it says who proceeded to leave the track, indicating to us that he did so because of the frustration he felt.

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  • It could also be a polite way of saying that Almirola crashed or broke down possibly because he was trying too hard to catch up. The reason for leaving the track is not clear. 2 days ago
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According to Macmillan Dictionary:

used for telling other people about a surprising, embarrassing, or annoying thing that someone has done

proceed to do something:
She had a few beers and proceeded to tell everyone in the bar about our personal problems.

In your sentence:

The driver change frustrated Almirola, who proceeded to leave the track before the race ended.

Means:

The driver change frustrated Almirola, who then left the track before the race ended.

And the connotation is that this was a surprising or unusual or unwise reaction.

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It is written that way because it most accurately describes the order in which events happened.

If it instead said...

The driver change frustrated Almirola, who left the track before the race ended.

... this could seem like a simple defining clause, describing Almirola as someone who left the track before the end of the race. It doesn't necessarily convey that he left the track because of the aforementioned driver change. It might as well say it "frustrated Almirola, who was wearing blue".

By saying "who proceeded to leave..." it conveys that the frustration of the driver change caused him to leave - one event proceeded after the other.

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