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I picked the from sentence from a reading comprehension passage question of a competitive exam.

Dr. Doran's long and interesting records of the triumphs of Garrick, and other less familiar, but in their day hardly less astonishing, players, do not relieve one of the doubt

This is my understanding of the sentence:

  1. Main Subject: Dr. Doran's long and interesting records of the triumphs of Garrick
  2. Predicate: do not relieve one of the doubt
  3. Meaning: In simple terms, this means, Doran's record leaves one with a doubt.

All other stuff (highlighted) in the below sentence: "Dr. Doran's long and interesting records of the triumphs of Garrick, and other less familiar, but in their day hardly less astonishing, players", are the phrases associated with the main sentence.

I am confused by the presence of these phrases. Can any one please dissect the phrases and explain to me please. Especially, I couldn't make sense of the phrase players.

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You are correct in your analysis of the meaning. Doran's records do not relieve on of the doubt.

But what did the good doctor record? Aparrently, he wrote about players of some sort (Pootballers? Musicians? Does it matter?) including someone named Garrick.

But did he only write about Garrick's triumphs? No, he wrote about Garrick and other less familiar players. (Side note: to me, the fact that "less familiar" is not offset by commas indicates that it does not apply only to the other players but to Garrick as well.) And how do those other players compare? Well, for their time, they were not any less astonishing.

So you have Dr. Doran's records of a bunch of folks -- Garrick and other players (with those other players being no less astonishing) -- don't eliminate one's doubt.

Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for taking time to respond. Appreciate your help. Few questions though, I am puzzled about the comma usage in the sentence. If it were other less familiar players, but in their day hardly less astonishing I could understand that it refers to other less familiar players who were also astonishing. But the sentence is constructed as other less familiar, but in their day hardly less astonishing, players. I don't understand why there is a comma before players. – Vivek Maran Apr 28 '17 at 20:09
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    The "but in their day" phrase is not necessary, it's just some added info. So it gets offset by commas. It's parenthetical, meaning it could be put in parentheses instead: other less familiar (but in their day hardly less astonishing) players. Or, you could eliminate it altogether without changing the meaning: other less familiar players. Does that help? – Roger Sinasohn Apr 28 '17 at 20:25

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