Sentence Structure Discussion – 2.

“Leaders of regional parties, which appear to be in a position to stop the incumbent government in its tracks, have started talking about an alliance. But it is doubtful if they have a proper understanding of current political scenario.”

These sentences are derived from The Outlook magazine which is published in India.

Let us discuss some of the constituent elements and how they’ve been used.

The first sentence has a main component and a modifier. The modifier is “which appear to be in a position to stop the incumbent government in its tracks” and it begins with an adjective pronoun ‘which’. Which refers to political parties.

TO BE refers to the future or possibility.

Incumbent refers to the present government.

It is important to note the use of “have started talking”. This is used when something has started and not ended (use of have) and is going on at this moment (= are talking). That is, the opposition parties started talking and they are talking even at this point.

The second sentence begins with a conjunction “BUT“. It refers to “on the contrary”. That is, it presents a contrasting scenario. The two sentences mean “Though the opposition parties have come together, they lack proper understanding of the prevailing political atmosphere.”

It is doubtful = it is + adjective. This is a commonly used construction in the English language. For instance, it is likely to rain, it is impossible for him, it is an exciting prospect.

IF is another conjunction which is used to connect sentences. Here it refers to whether.

Proper understandingadjective + noun. Collocation.

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