2

From an article on kiting:

Leading edge inflatable kites, known also as inflatables, LEI kites or C-kites, are typically made from ripstop polyester with an inflatable plastic bladder that spans the front edge of the kite with separate smaller bladders that are perpendicular to the main bladder to form the chord or foil of the kite.

As I understand, "to form the chord or foil of the kite" is an infinitive phrase (or clause). But what is its subject? What actually forms the foil, according to the sentence? The front-edge bladder? Or the smaller bladders? Or both? Is the sentence grammatical?

The sentence is also used in Wikipedia's article on kitesurfing.

3

The subject of the infinitive phrase is the entire phrase "with an inflatable.....with separate smaller ... to the main bladder".

I'd change "to form" to "forming" and set that "with...with..." clause off with commas, and stick in an "and".

Leading edge inflatable kites, known also as inflatables, LEI kites or C-kites, are typically made from ripstop polyester, with an inflatable plastic bladder that spans the front edge of the kite and with separate smaller bladders that are perpendicular to the main bladder, to form forming the chord or foil of the kite.

But if given free reign (or even free rein), I'd put a full stop or semicolon after polyester and start a new sentence|independent clause.

P.S. With respect to the question is it grammatical -- No, it isn't. "to form" requires an antecedent clause with a transitive verb. These are grammatical:

We put a thingamajig here, and a whatchamacallit there, to form the gizmo.

It has a thingamajig here, and a whatchamacallit there, forming the gizmo.

It's got a gadget, with a thingamajig and a whatchamacallit, forming the gizmo.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I think it's essentially just "Separate smaller bladders being perpendicular to the main bladder forms the chord or foil of the kite." The larger structure is about "made from X with Y with Z that are J to form K". – Damkerng T. Oct 29 '14 at 13:01
  • Thanks for the note, @DamkerngT ! Am I correct to understand taht the smaller bladders are perpendicular in order to form the aerodynamic foil of the kite? – CowperKettle Oct 29 '14 at 13:07
  • 1
    @CopperKettle It looks like so. To me, the writer means they are made perpendicular to form the foil. I'm not a kite expert, though. – Damkerng T. Oct 29 '14 at 13:08
  • 1
    I could agree with Damkerng T. I was understanding the entire assembly, i.e. the front span with its perpendicular bladders, as the "foil". But I'd still keep the suggested edits. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 29 '14 at 13:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.