1

The text :

"All of this data paints a picture of a Utopian society, or at least as close as we have got to one so far".

The first part before comma is understood for me, but what does the rest of sentence mean?

The writer then continues :

"....... have got to one so far. So why has this remote, thinly populated region, with its freezing winters and expanses of wilderness, proved so successful?"

First is this sentence correct !? :/

The word "has" goes to what? society ?

And the phrase " expanses of wilderness " .. I don't understand it!

3

The rest of that first sentence is basically a "hedge", where the writer is admitting that his first statement may not be completely true, but is "close enough to true" that he felt justified in making it.

In the first part of the statement, he basically said "According to the data, this is a Utopian society", which is to say, a perfect place where everything is good and everyone is happy. Human nature being what it is, however, such a place has never existed and probably cannot actually exist. In the second part, therefore, the writer tacitly admits this; it basically says "(okay, it's not really a utopia, but) at least it's as close as we have gotten to [a utopia] so far."

For the second section, yes, the sentence is correct.

If you strip away all the fluff, the core of the sentence is:

Why has this region proved so successful?

The subject is region. Since we are only asking about one region, "has" is the correct verb to use.

There is also a relative clause, which adds information about the region: specifically, it is a region "with freezing winters and expanses of wilderness". Since we already know what region we are talking about and are just giving extra details about it, we set of the relative clause with commas.

(An expanse of wilderness is simply a large area with no human-made modifications; it is "as nature left it", presumably full of wild animals, dangerous geographical features, poisonous bushes, and other hazards that mankind would normally wipe out in the course of rendering the area 'fit for human habitation'. The writer is contrasting the harsh, unwelcoming nature of the region with the presence of this utopian society and wondering how such a perfect society came to exist in such an unlikely-seeming location.)

  • ok. according to what I understood.. expanses of wilderness means that there is a wide range of land that no one lives in it..in other words; the writer is wondering and trying to say: ok since there are good-quality features of this region and everything is good .. why is there much land of this region people don't live in? am I correct? – Maher Nov 5 '14 at 17:54
  • 2
    I think it's the opposite: the writer is pointing out that the region has all these negative qualities (it is: remote, thinly populated, freezing in the winter, and largely composed of wilderness) and wondering how it has fostered such a great society. – Hellion Nov 5 '14 at 17:59
  • I'm really curious what region the author is talking about! Could you let us know? :) – user6951 Nov 5 '14 at 21:37
3

The writer then continues :

"....... have got to one so far. So why has this remote, thinly populated region, with its freezing winters and expanses of wilderness, proved so successful?"

First is this sentence correct !? :/

The word "has" goes to what? society ?

And the phrase " expanses of wilderness " .. I don't understand it!

It is grammatically correct.

has goes with proved to form the present perfect.

has and proved are separated from each other by their subject in question form. An easier example is:

Why has Ivan given me fruit? The indicative is Ivan has given me fruit.

The subject of has proved is this remote, thinly populated region, with its freezing winters and expanses of wilderness.

The indicative is this remote, thinly populated region, with its freezing winters and expanses of wilderness has proved so successful.

Expanses of wilderness means expanses comprised of wilderness. Expanses here means wide open spaces of land.

Exactly which expanses of wilderness the article is talking about has surely already been mentioned in the article.

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.