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I read this article, while got perplexed in the following sentence:

Pande would be in Mumbai on Monday, a day before Shah and Fadnavis, who is currently on a tour to the US, reaches the city.

To my mind, Pande is currently on a tour to the US and is going to reach the city a day before Shah and Fadnavis. Now, my questions are following (as per Grammar viewpoint):

  1. Is the above sentence correct? Why?
  2. If the above sentence is wrong then what is the correct sentence?

Thanks for your help in advance.

  • The short answer is that Fadnavis is on tour to the U.S., so both he and Shah will be in Mumbai on Tuesday, as opposed to Panda who will arrive in Mumbai on Monday. It's an awkward sentence because one would expect Shah and Fadnavis, juxtaposed so, to be treated as a package, but the author used is (singular) instead of are (plural) before on tour. The would instead of the expected will in the first sentence also seems quite out of place. Maybe it makes sense in the broader context, but as it stands it reads as subjunctive, an incomplete counterfactual. I'm waiting for a but. – Dan Bron Jul 6 '15 at 10:34
  • @DanBron I would be highly obliged if both of you cast light on this question as I am still confused regarding this sentence. Btw, thank you for your valued suggestions. – Rucheer M Jul 6 '15 at 10:44
  • @RuchirM I've cast all the light I can in my prior comment. I'm not a grammar genius like some of the other users here. I'm just telling you how a native speaker would naturally interpret the sentence, and what parts would strike him as odd, or give him pause. – Dan Bron Jul 6 '15 at 10:46
  • no offense...but I laughed a lot reading 'Panda'. :) 'PandE' is a popular surname in India... @DanBron – Maulik V Jul 6 '15 at 10:58
  • @MaulikV Blame that on autocorrect. Pande isn't in its dictionary, so when I typed that in, my phone automatically changed it to Panda. Happens all the time, sometimes to my great embarrassment. The 5-minute comment-editing window sure doesn't help :/ – Dan Bron Jul 6 '15 at 10:59
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The sentence is very confusing. I fully agree to that! :) A very nice question! +1

Pande would be in Mumbai on Monday, a day before Shah and Fadnavis, who is currently on a tour to the US, reaches the city.

Now here,

'...a day before...' addresses Monday because it's talking about Tuesday.

AND...

'reaches the city...' talks about Fadanvis who's on the US tour.

The complexity happened because the author wanted to describe the coming of Shah and Fadanvis both BUT Shah is in India and Fadanvis is in the US.

Have a look...

I'll reach there on Monday, a day before you do.

You required 'do' there, a verb. Change it with a third person...

I'll reach there on Monday, a day before Mike does.

Replace the verb with the actual verb -reach.

I'll reach there on Monday, a day before Mike reaches.

Include one more person...

I'll reach there on Monday, a day before Jane and Mike reach (plural verb...because both are seen collectively as both of them are here!).

But then imagine that Mike is on the US tour! This'll separate the entities from each other.

I'll reach there on Monday, a day before Jane, and Mike, who is on the US tour reaches.

So, to answer your question...

Fadanvis (on the US tour) is reaching with Shah (who's in India) on Tuesday.
Pande is in India and already reached the city (Mumbai) today i.e. Monday.

Phew!


Why the author uses 'would' in the very first sentence? Because the post is written before Monday!


How to write it without any ambiguity? Probably those cute parenthesis will help us a lot.

"Pande would be in Mumbai on Monday, a day before Fadanvis (who is currently on the US tour) and Shah reach the city."

  • 1
    Agreed! Very nice explanation. But, one more thing: How can I write the above sentence as one sentence with no ambiguity? Is it possible? And to add confusion: without changing its order? Thank you. – Rucheer M Jul 6 '15 at 12:05
  • added in the answer! :) – Maulik V Jul 6 '15 at 12:12
  • That's it! Great Sir, as always! – Rucheer M Jul 6 '15 at 12:13
  • +1 for the parens in the rewording. That reads much more clearly. They should hire you as an editor :-) – J.R. Jul 7 '15 at 0:01

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