I have this sentence

  • But it would be foolish to judge Euripides chiefly as a playwright; his ruling interest is not dramatic technique but philosophical inquiry and political reform.

I think this sentence reduces to 'Don't judge Euripides wrongly'?

You can replace the whole of 'but it would be foolish to' with 'don't', which I think is an adverb? It can replace both 'it' and the verb phrase 'would be foolish', does that mean the subject is still 'it'? Or is 'it' not the subject at all?

  • 1
    "Don't judge ..." is an imperative clause with the subject understood as "you". "Don't" is the verb "do" marked by the negative inflection n't.
    – BillJ
    Aug 21, 2021 at 10:43
  • 1
    The implications of the versions (the original and yours) are certainly very similar, but the structure and degree of hedging (imperatives often coming across as imperious) differ markedly. Aug 21, 2021 at 11:29
  • The original has a caveat about judging criteria. Your reduction seems to be addressing misjudgment--a wrong verdict.
    – DjinTonic
    Aug 21, 2021 at 12:47
  • @BillJ thanks. I looked up the definition of 'don't' in the dictionary and I couldn't find a verb form for it. Aug 21, 2021 at 22:13


Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.