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Turkey’s Justice and Development (AK) party won national elections by a surprisingly large margin, taking 317 of 550 seats in parliament and giving it back the majority it lost in previous elections in June.


This is the first part of one piece from Economist. I can't understand the participle phrase "giving it back the majority". In that phrase, what is "it"? Do "It" happen to indicate "Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) party? Then should "it" be "itself", shouldn't it?

http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21677998-politics-week

  • I agree a reflexive pronoun makes sense here grammatically, but it sounds weird to me when a whole country or something as large as a political party gives itself something. "It" seems a better choice stylistically (to my ear - AmE). – anongoodnurse Nov 6 '15 at 12:26
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It is definitely the AKP.

It could have been it or itself, either would have worked.

Which one you use depends on who you deem to be the subject of the verb giving.

If it is the AKP then it should be itself, since AKP is both subject and object.

But the author has made the subject the amorphous act of winning, so that is why the object is it.

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    Thanks. I agree with you. I, however, wonder if it could be like this: [, which gave it back] is changed into [and giving it back]. So, I think the implied subject of this phrase could be the former sentence "taking 317 of 550 seats in parliament". What do you think about this? – anotherworld Nov 6 '15 at 14:13
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I believe there is a new implicit subject in this sentence. The first subject is "party" and the second (implicit) subject is the preceding clause:

The party won...taking seats

The party won...taking seats... {this} giving it back the majority.

One could also make the parallelism between the two past-tense verbs if we use a relative:

The party won, taking seats, which gave it back the majority.

A nine-year old girl from Albany NY has climbed Mount Everest, doing it without bottled oxygen, making her the youngest person ever to reach the summit.

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