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The truth is, we are all affected by the people we interact with, many of whom we don't even know personally

we don't know what? those peoples or this truth ?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The statement refers to the people we interact with. Don't be misled by the comma after "The truth is" ... think of it as a substitute for the word "that" in this case.

The truth is [that] we are all affected by the people we interact with, many of whom we don't even know personally.

This construction is seen in similar statements, like

The fact is, I don't have any money.

The crux of the matter is, you won the lottery and I didn't.

It's kind of a loophole in what you would think of as normal usage for the comma, but it is in wide circulation. The fact of the matter is, pretty much everyone uses it that way.

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To this, I would like to add that we know many of this truth personally would be ungrammatical. Truth is uncountable, so you'd use much with it. Thus, it can only be we know many of those people personally. –  RegDwigнt Feb 2 '11 at 20:35
    
Sorry. I still cannot understand. Could you split the sentence to two ? the first is what's the truth? and the other, what we don't know ? thank you! –  user3780 Feb 2 '11 at 21:39
    
"The truth is this: We are all affected by the people we interact with, many of [these people] we don't even know." –  oosterwal Feb 2 '11 at 21:51
    
we don't even know those people ? I see ! –  user3780 Feb 3 '11 at 1:04

This is one of those times when proper grammar is your friend.

If you rewrite the sentence correctly, look how easy it becomes:

The truth is, we are all affected by the people with whom we interact, many of whom we don't even know personally.

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This does not answer the OP's question, it merely invites the OP to attempt to parse a new structure in order to deduce the answer for themselves. –  Marv Mills Dec 18 at 13:20

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