My mother language is not English, so please give me a clear explanation of what does "of such" mean in this sentence? I could not find an equivalent in my language. The sentence is:

encourage humans to overeat and sells them pharmaceuticals to alleviate the negative consequences of such a gluttonous diet.

  • 4
    It's not "of such". It's "consequences of [such a gluttonous] diet". Nov 18, 2018 at 16:54
  • If your native language is not English you should be posting on English Language Learners, not here.
    – David
    Nov 18, 2018 at 20:36
  • 1
    @David: Nonsense. Most of the posts here on ELU are from non-native speakers, mostly English students having trouble with the usual rotten teachers and textbooks. Nov 18, 2018 at 21:32
  • @JohnLawler — So they are posting to the wrong list, and anyone who answers rather than redirecting them is encouraging them. I quote "ELU…is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists and serious English language enthusiasts".
    – David
    Nov 18, 2018 at 23:46
  • Welcome to SE! Could you give us the whole sentence, please? Also, why did you use the british-english tag? This doesn't appear to be limited to British English...
    – miltonaut
    Nov 19, 2018 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


“Of such” is not one word. It is not part of the same construction either.

The general sentence:

Encourage humans to overeat and sells them pharmaceuticals to alleviate the negative consequences of (Object).

Here, the object is (such a gluttonous diet). This is referring to the diet that was just mentioned in the text. You can replace the (Object) with something else as well.

  • Exactly. As we say in syntax, of such is not a constituent of the sentence. It turns out that grammar only applies to constituents, not to random series of words. Nov 19, 2018 at 4:04

'Of such a [thing]' means 'of a thing of the particular type just described'. The consequences of such a gluttonous diet are the consequences of the type of diet just described.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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