I came across a sentence while reading a book and couldn't figure out both the meaning and the structure of it at all. The sentence is:

"But, as I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran, everybody just turned a blind eye."

What's confusing me is the first part, "as I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran." I guess it's the inversion of " With so much the case in Iran as I was to learn." Am I right?


No, it means the following, if we can put it more verbosely: "Everybody turned a blind eye. Later I learned that this kind of behavior was normal for many such situations in Iran".


"But, as I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran,..", simply means that this was the case for a lot of things in Iran and not just that particular incident he was talking about.

In other words, it was not an exceptional situation.

  • Thank you both for your answers. I get the meaning now, but I still don't get the grammar of this sentence. Basically, "as I was to learn" is the subject, the following "was" the predicate, and the rest of words the object. My first question is about "as I was to learn". If it were "what I was to learn," it'd make sense to me because "what" can function as a relative pronoun, whereas, "as" can't. What's the function of "as" in this sentence? Second, is "the case with so much" an idiom? why isn't it "with so many cases as such in Iran"? – JJcat Dec 16 '13 at 17:46
  • Sorry for my being fussy. I just want to understand not only the meaning but the grammar behind it so that I can apply it to other situations as my own sentence. – JJcat Dec 16 '13 at 17:53
  • May I suggest that you don't construct such sentences until you get to the point where they feel very clear? They will most probably come out wrong. In any case, the sentence in question is not typical of everyday usage, but more characteristic of written narrative. – Boluc Papuccuoglu Dec 16 '13 at 20:01

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