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Which is grammatically superior?

The Hallows are a dangerous place, but if that is the reason given to abandon him, then she would forge ahead.

The Hallows are a dangerous place, but if that is the given reason to abandon him, then she would forge ahead.

thoughts?

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  • reason [that is] given; the other is ungrammatical in English. – Lambie Jan 31 '16 at 22:57
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    @Lambie: Here are About 3,090 results in Google Books from writers who obviously disagree with you. – FumbleFingers Jan 31 '16 at 23:00
  • Oh, I see. I thought about that but I suppose I had gotten so used to spoken English that I thought my choices were just as good. – Jaico Jan 31 '16 at 23:00
  • @FumbleFingers wow what a cool tool! I had no idea that one could do that. Thanks for showing me that. Does it only search Preview sections, or every book that has an ebook for sale? – Jaico Jan 31 '16 at 23:02
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    I shan't make the exegetical effort for most of those hits. The grammar is different, the commas are missing, the meaning is different and there are loads of translations. That said, I repeat that here:/ but if that is the given reason to abandon him/ is agrammatical in English. – Lambie Jan 31 '16 at 23:12
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The former.

'That is the reason given' is interpreted by English speakers to implicitly read 'that is the reason that is given'. The latter is awkward in this case because 'the given reason' is singular, and in context this doesn't seem correct. Surely if it's common knowledge that the Hallows are a dangerous place, this reason would have been given multiple times. And there'd be more than one possible reason to abandon him.

'a given reason' would fix the second sentence, but then 'forge ahead' becomes too ambiguous.

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    Quite true. It's possible to contrive a context where the given reason would be "preferred" (though it sure ain't easy! :) The point being the less likely sequence isn't inherently ungrammatical; it just doesn't really suit OP's context. – FumbleFingers Feb 1 '16 at 1:06

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