"I'm afraid anything that involves language learning has always defeated me."

I found this sentence in a Cambridge dictionary, and I wonder that why this sentence has 3 verbs but just 1 conjunction. Especially "has always defeated me": Why is it that the word "has" can be after "language learning" even though the subordinate clause has the verb "involve"?

I'm very puzzled and apologize for may bad writing. I have just learned English grammar.

  • 4
    Since you have only just learned english grammar, you should probably use English Language Learners. But this question is "Unclear", and lacks evidence of prior research. For example, what word do you think is being used as a conjunction, and why do you think it's unusual to have only one conjunction in a sentence with three verbs? – FumbleFingers Sep 12 '15 at 12:33
  • And there are four verbs anyway. – John Lawler Sep 12 '15 at 14:10
  • 2
    The directive to use ELL is probably appropriate and ultimately helpful. The other commentary, not so much. It's likely that PV's "research" has merely confused him, and if he knew more, then he'd have a better idea about conjunctions and their multiplicity in English sentences. But he doesn't. And I don't see what's so unclear about confusing the present progressive and the present participle. I'd like to think that PV would hie himself to ELL while thinking, "I'm looking forward to learning enough to participate in ELU." That's not what I'd be thinking 'twere me. – deadrat Sep 12 '15 at 17:30

Here are the sentences in your example:

[1 I'm afraid[2 anything that [3 involves [4 language learning]] has always defeated me]]

Not every subordinate sentence has to have a conjunction. Here are notes on the 4 sentences:

  • 1 verb is "(a)m"
  • 2 verb is "has"; could be introduced with conjunction "that"
  • 3 verb is "involves"; this is a relative clause introduced with conjunction "that" (alternatively, some might treat "that" as a relative pronoun)
  • 4 this is a nominalized sentence with no finite verb, but the original verb was "learn"
  • Thank you very much for section of sentence. Does this sentence has 2 main verb that is "am" and "has" but reduces "that" which is before "anything" ? – Piggie Veggie Sep 12 '15 at 18:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.