Author Topic: what does 'them' refer to?  (Read 237 times)

Offline lee.ck

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what does 'them' refer to?
« on: May 14, 2019, 03:27:49 am »
Very briefly, the complex individual is one who can see things from another person’s point of view and who is flexible in his/her thought processes. For example, they are able to change their minds on an issue in the light of new information rather than rigidly “sticking to their guns.” They also tend to avoid what might be called “black and white” thinking. For example, the positions of others on an issue are not lumped into the two categories of those for them and those against them but rather shades of differences or gradations of opinion are recognized and taken into account. Thus, they realize that the truth of a matter often lies somewhere in between two extremes. Last but not least, the complex person seems better able to hold off on a decision allowing more information to be taken into consideration.

What is it 'them' refer to? I think it refers to 'complex individuals' Am I right?

Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 04:52:26 am by lee.ck »

Offline Darryl

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 07:45:31 am »
I don't think so.
Perhaps:
The positions of others on an issue.

Offline lee.ck

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 08:13:21 am »
I think 'those' means the positions of others

Offline Darryl

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 10:33:13 pm »
It's a pretty hard sentence to get your head around, and you could be right.
I read 'those' as being the individuals - those who support the positions of others and those who don't. Those who avoid 'black and white thinking' etc.
Open to interpretation I guess.


Offline lee.ck

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 02:15:59 am »
I think that when A is lumped into B, A = B. And when B consists of C, A = B = C. A= the positions of others, B = two categories, C = those for them and those against them. Therefore, those is the positions of others, I think.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 05:03:26 am by lee.ck »

Offline Britta

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 09:41:20 am »
For example, the positions of others on an issue are not lumped into the two categories of those for them and those against them but rather shades of differences or gradations of opinion are recognized and taken into account.

in the sentence above "them" refer to "others". What it means is

For example, the positions of others on an issue are not lumped into the two categories of those who agree and those who disagree but rather shades of differences or gradations of opinion are recognized and taken into account.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline lee.ck

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Re: what does 'them' refer to?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 03:00:30 am »
I think the agents of the verb "lump" are 'complex individuals' because the sentence is the example of their tendency to avoid "black and white" thinking. So when we paraphrase it in the active form, we gain this sentence: They(=complex individuals) do not lump the positions of others on an issue into two categories of those for them and those against them. Logically, is it possible for 'them' to be others