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It's hard for me to figure out why the writer uses "and" in the end of the following sentence. Like "and of which we and those who come after us have a right to be proud."

"It is no good talking about the greatness of our fatherland, pretending to be proud of it, unless we who live in this country do something to make it great and of which we and those who come after us have a right to be proud."

So, I think it will be better if I change the sentence like this,

"It is no good talking about the greatness of our fatherland, of which we and those who come after us have a right to be proud, pretending to be proud of it, unless we who live in this country do something to make it great."

  1. Is the original sentence right or makes sense?

  2. Is the second sentence right or makes sense?

  3. If both of the sentences make sense, which is better?

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  • You've completely changed the meaning of the last clause. In the original, we have a right to be proud of the thing we did to make our country great. In your suggested change, we have a right to be proud of our country. This isn't what the author of the original meant at all. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 3:35

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Alas, grammar cannot clear up semantic confusion, and indeed may contribute to it. The sentence has two problems:

  1. A basic structure of Don't do A unless you do B. Where A is

talking about the greatness of the fatherland while pretending to be proud of the fatherland

and B is the contrasting

do something to make the fatherland great.

This leads to the conclusion that if you actually do something to make the fatherland great, then it's OK to pretend that the fatherland is great. This is likely not the intent of the writer.

  1. The trailing clause of which we and posterity have a right to be proud has a dubious connection to what it modifies, namely that something we do, which makes sense for the first person we: we all like to do things that make us proud. It makes less sense for the people who come after us and presumably weren't around to do that something. Why would they be proud of something they had no hand in? It makes more sense for the which to refer to the country -- after all, national pride is handed down from one generation to the next, but country is too far syntactically from the relative pronoun to make the connection.

In struggling to understand what the quote means, I can guess that the message is something like

We must do something to make our country great, something we can be proud to have accomplished and something that insures that our posterity will be proud of the country. If we do nothing, then talking about the greatness of the country is useless and nothing more than pretense.

But it's only a guess.

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