I have read a sentence in my language and i wanted to translated into english. the sentence read:

One's belief is never consummated except unless he realizes........

and I want to paraphrase the senence to be as follows:

Consummated not one's belief unless he realizes.....

is the paraphrased sentence correct as well?

  • Replacing except unless with unless is a good idea, since the former is simply wrong. But what you did to the first part of the sentence doesn't work. You can't just remove a verb and jumble the order of the words like this, the sentence is no longer readable.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:18
  • @oerkelens thank you for your comments..but how paraphrase this sentence so that to start the sentence with "consummate"...or it is not possible?
    – Amrmsmb
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:25
  • You could do something like consummated one's believe never is... but that sounds strange (though grammatical). Why would you want that? It makes you sound like Star Wars' Yoda.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:33
  • @oerkelens :) ...because in my language i can start the sentence with "consummate2 normally and it would be grammatically sound....so i though that could be in english as well..thank you
    – Amrmsmb
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:36
  • Well, it can be done grammatically, but in general, the order in English is Subject - Verb - Object : The man kicked the dog. This order is actually one of the things linguists look at when comparing different languages. Never assume that what goes in language A will work in language B :)
    – oerkelens
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


Yes, you may rephrase your sentence the way you want, but you must first understand the structure of the original sentence:

Subject (belief) Copulative-Verb (is) ... Predicate-Adjective (consummated)

To transpose the adjective to the beginning of the sentence changes its function from predicative to descriptive. This means that you must select another stative verb to replace is to declare the condition of existence. You have several choices -- arises, obtains, comes about, etc. So you have

Attributive-adjective (Consummated) Subject-head (belief) ... Stative-verb (arises) ....

Now you have to add the qualifying clause that gives the realization exception to the never. The problem is that you've lost the antecedent for the person doing the realizing. You could say

Someone's consummated belief

but that displaces the word consummated from the first position. You could say

Consummated belief for someone

For me, both these solutions raises a slight tension between the declaration of a quite definite thing (someone's strong belief) and that thing's nonexistence. One solution is make the subject of the qualifying clause a noun in its own right and not a reference:

Consummated belief never arises unless the believer realizes ....



A restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form Merriam Webster

You could not really call your 'paraphrased' sentence a paraphrase as it uses too much of the original form.

The key here is that you need to give the meaning 'in another form'. You need to use different words to express the meaning.

In order to paraphrase the sentence you have quoted. First of all you have to be absolutely clear on the meaning of it yourself. Then you need to pick suitable words to express the meaning. This is actually a rather advanced skill as you need to not only fully grasp the meaning of the original sentence, but you need to have a sufficiently advanced vocabularly and written skill set, such that you can select a completely different form, to represent the original meaning.

You would usually paraphrase to make the meaning clearer for a different type of audience than the original sentence was intended for ; or to summarise a lengthy series of statements into a shorter more succinct form for brevity in relating the meaning.

Taking your phrase:

One's belief is never consummated except unless he realizes........

What does this mean?

The belief that someone has, is never made complete unless he realizes...

I fear you may have ended the original sentence too early, because as it stands it is not crystal clear what the intended meaning of that sentence was. The meaning depends on what the realization is, that the person needs to have.

However in its present form, you might paraphrase it as follows: -

Someone never truly believes until he realizes that...

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