i have difficulty understanding the following sentence "Halloween came at what was considered the end of summer and the harvest season, when snows and cold weather would shortly arrive" (the source link will be at the bottom)

the part where i don't understand is "what was considered" if i take away that phrase, it makes perfect sense to me

"halloween came at the end of summer and the harvest season, when .... " To me, the sentence suggests the time when Halloween first appeared, and that's probably why it says "came at [a specific time]"

but "what was considered the end of summer...." sounds like an idea of the time, or an object, as in "take off what was called a jacket"

hence "came at what was considered ..." doesn't make sense to me where the preposion "at" doesn't quite work with "what" it sounds like i'm saying things like "I arrived at what was considered a night time." Rather, i would say "I arrived at night" or "I arrived at 6 O'clock" or even "I arrived at the time that was considered night" or "I arrived at when was considered night" if it ever makes sense

Was i wrong to interprete the sentence as "Halloween came at the time that was consindered the end of summer ....."

Does that sentence make sense to the native speakers? If so, what how do they mean by "came at

link: http://www.headsupenglish.com/advanced/listening/halloween.pdf

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    Without reading the whole passage (or book!), it's not easy even to make an educated guess between possibilities. It could mean '' 'Summer' and 'autumn' are only precisely defined by meteorologists and the like (and even they probably don't all have the same 'definition'!), but most people would reckon it to be round about this time." Or it could mean "Even though people knew that they were probably not using the term totally accurately, it felt like the warmth and pleasantness of summer had now ended." Or ... Nov 24, 2019 at 14:33
  • so the sentence itself has no grammar error right?
    – briannjs
    Nov 24, 2019 at 14:42
  • How is one to know the exact date that summer ends? Even if referring to a date, who is to say that date makes sense? (According to some, summer at the autumnal equinox—generally, sometime in September. But others think of it differently.) So, Halloween is considered the end of summer by some. Nov 24, 2019 at 14:42
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    Should I post [what I consider] an answer? Nov 24, 2019 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


The sense is that Hallowe'en (or its pagan equivalent) happened at the time of year that people considered to be the end of summer and harvest. So, yes, your interpretation is correct.

Using your example, you could say "I arrived at what my hosts considered a very late hour" if they were a family who normally went to bed early.

  • then how come "Halloween came at the time that was consindered the end of summer" becomes "Halloween came at what was considered the end of summer"? If two mean the same, it means "at the time that was considered" = " at what was considered", <- are they the same thing? do you guys say like this normally/?
    – briannjs
    Nov 24, 2019 at 16:03
  • Because a season is named, the reader is meant to understand that what refers to a time of year. It's not the simplest way of saying it, but it's perfectly good English. Nov 24, 2019 at 16:11
  • if "what" refers to a time of year, then is using "when" is a wrong usage ? for example, if i say "Halloween came at when was considered the end of summer" <-
    – briannjs
    Nov 24, 2019 at 16:19
  • You can't say 'at when'. You could say something like "Hallowe'en came when summer was considered to be over". Nov 24, 2019 at 16:24
  • thanks alot for ur help. alot to learn
    – briannjs
    Nov 24, 2019 at 17:18

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