4

From Thompson, Geoff. (1994). Collins Cobuild English Guides: Reporting. p. 170.

Another way in which reporting can add interest to the novel is by allowing a variety of voices and therefore styles.

How to understand the usage of 'therefore'?

LONGMAN:

"as a result of something that has just been mentioned"

Seemingly, there is not something being the reason for 'therefore styles', so what does 'therefore' mean in grammatical case?

2
  • 2
    I would take this to mean that it is voices that enable / facilitate styles. The 'therefore' shows these concepts are tied together.
    – Jay Bee
    Aug 29, 2023 at 5:25
  • 2
    You missed a great opportunity to title your post "Wherefore is 'therefore' in . . ." (I'm just joking btw.) Aug 29, 2023 at 7:41

2 Answers 2

10

The author of this sentence has taken advantage of the coordinating conjunction "and" to omit some words that would have been redundant. (This practice is sometimes called "elision", "conjunction reduction", etc.) We could write the sentence more fully as follows:

Another way in which reporting can add interest to the novel is by allowing a variety of voices and therefore [[allowing a variety of]] styles.

It is now clearer that the adverb "therefore" modifies the second instance of the gerund "allowing". Following the Longman definition, "allowing a variety of styles" is a result of "allowing a variety of voices".

2
  • @MariosAthanasiou Yes, it is. Aug 29, 2023 at 14:53
  • 3
    The author wants to express that "styles" is not just an unrelated parallel to allowing voices (as in "the organizer provided a variety of cookies and fruit") but a consequence. Aug 29, 2023 at 16:28
1

The following passage is from Collins Dictionary 1:

Conjunction reduction

a rule that reduces coordinate sentences, applied, for example, to convert John lives in Ireland and Brian lives in Ireland into John and Brian live in Ireland.

You found the following sentence:

Another way in which reporting can add interest to the novel is by allowing a variety of voices and therefore styles.

In that sentence we have the rule 'conjunction reduction' which is also called 'coordination reduction'.

Another way in which reporting can add interest to the novel is by allowing a variety of voices and therefore (allowing a variety of) styles.

We omit the phrase 'allowing a variety of'. So the word 'therefore' is an adverb. 'Therefore' means 'as a result of something that has just been mentioned.' The word 'styles' is the plural form of the word 'style' which means 'a distinctive manner of expression (as in writing or speech).'

I found the word 'style' on Merriam-webster 2:

style :a distinctive manner of expression (as in writing or speech)

1
  • If "styles" is a verb, then it must be finite (due to the final "s"). That means that it must have a subject. What is its subject? Aug 29, 2023 at 7:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .