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I am a high school student. Of my knowledge, on SAT, logics will not work.

But here is a sentence:

The kids have discovered that they can used me for a jungle gym-it is painful, but good exercise.

I am not sure if it needs to be replaced by some antecedent. I think it can refer to two things in this sentence: the jungle gym or the whole thing. But then the whole does not really count as a exercise, rather the jungle gym that the kids do on the writer counts.

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    Please make sure you type out the sentences properly. As it is now, the first part of the sentence makes no sense. Is it supposed to say “that they can use me as a jungle-gym”? Or “that they can use my jungle-gym”? Feb 8, 2015 at 3:00
  • My bad, I was rushing to finish, so I could get back to my work Feb 8, 2015 at 15:08

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I'm assuming that the original is the former of Janus Bahs Jacquet's two suggestions:

The kids have discovered that they can use me as a jungle-gym—it is painful, but good exercise.

You're right about logic: I'd use logic to go through the possibilities. The antecedent that the word it is referring to could be

  • a jungle-gym
    • A jungle-gym is painful? Doesn't make too much sense, so let's reject this option.
  • the kids' discovery of their ability to use the speaker as a jungle-gym
    • The discovery is painful? Fair enough, I suppose
    • The discovery is good exercise? Doesn't make too much sense, so let's reject this option too.
  • the kids' use of the speaker as a jungle-gym
    • The kids' use of the speaker as a jungle-gym is painful? For the speaker, yes, I can imagine so
    • The kids' use of the speaker as a jungle-gym is good exercise? Yes, for them and for the speaker

So, substitute that last one in for the word it, just to make sure:

The kids have discovered that they can use me as a jungle-gym—the kids' use of me as a jungle-gym is painful, but good exercise.

And without changing the meaning, mash it into place a bit better:

The kids have discovered that they can use me as a jungle-gym. Their use of me as a jungle-gym is painful, but good exercise.

It works, right?

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  • Why doesn't a jungle gym make sense? Are you referring to the jungle gym the kids have done on the speaker? Feb 8, 2015 at 15:16
  • Also, can there be more possibilities like: the kids ability to use the speaker for a jungle gym. (Omit the discovery of part) Feb 8, 2015 at 15:24
  • I@Doeser how can a jungle-gym be painful? An injection can be painful, a punch on the nose can be very painful, but a gym? Unlikely. It is the speaker's body which is being used as if it were an obstacle course, or a set of gym equipment that is "suffering"!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 8, 2015 at 15:53
  • But people sometimes do call a exercise painful. Meaning you do a lot of movements Feb 8, 2015 at 16:16
  • a "workout" can be physically tiring. But when people say they need to do some exercise, they're usually talking about doing some light activity, such as walking, cycling, swimming, or even going to the gym. The speaker is saying although the kids are agressive and energetic (by playing rough with him) it's all good exercise. Presumably for them, but it could also include the speaker himself.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 8, 2015 at 18:07

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