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I've found the article written with advanced writing skill and it is way harder to understand for me. I want to know the simplified meaning of sentence in the context that I'm giving you. Can you deconstruct and convert it into understandable one.

The following part of the sentence confused me so much. The way of writing and structuring it doesn't seem that ordinary. (like after as well, had is coming with it and not been )

Please help me to understand

as well had it not been for the machinations of journalists

You can see the full sentence below

...And he might have lost the Electoral College as well had it not been for the machinations of journalists working in the shady corners of what’s been called “the Victorian Internet.”

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  • Welcome to ELU. Which part of the sentence are you particularly having trouble with? Perhaps "had it not been for"? Surely not "He might have lost the Electoral College as well". Please edit your question to narrow it down and show what you have already looked up (so people don't provide information you already know).
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 7 at 16:35
  • I've re-edited the question for becoming more obvious.
    – Nerd_1809
    Jul 7 at 16:40
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    OK... but "as well" belongs to "He might have lost the Electoral College as well" (and could easily have a comma after it).
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 7 at 16:42
  • Okay the journalists were doing ABC. If they had not done ABC, he might have lost. But he didn't, because of ABC. Jul 7 at 16:45
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    Correct parse: And he might have lost the Electoral College as well// had it not been for the machinations of journalists working in the shady corners of what’s been called “the Victorian Internet.”
    – Lambie
    Jul 7 at 17:50

2 Answers 2

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The string of words you posted

  • as well had it not been for the machinations of journalists

is not a constituent, so it's not surprising you're puzzled. The as well part at the beginning just means "additionally" in the first clause

  • He might have lost the Electoral College as well,

meaning "as well as" some loss previously mentioned. The next part is the explanation of why he didn't lose the Electoral College as well

  • had it not been for ... journalists

meaning if it had not been for ... This construction is a negative inversion, not uncommon but fairly formal.

If you learn where constituents stop and start, you will have less difficulty than if you treat words like beads on a string.

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The sentence you posted is grammatically correct, but poorly written. It is wordy and a comma after "as well" would help with readability. The sentence means He might have lost the Electoral College if journalists had not interfered.

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