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Hi. Hope this finds you smiling!

Would anyone please help me with a recent Readers Digest article with the following passage? The sense that I can't get is that of the highlighted phrase "as long as he was." How would you paraphrase it?

Ty Nelson, a singer who started singing gospel music in his church choir, regulary takes his guitar to military hospitals.

"When you in that situation, you want to see somebody," he explains.

"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was," Jonathan Nelson died in June 2005, at age 18, four months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

HSS/ Sendai, Japan
Comments  
There seem to be a couple of typgraphical errors in your transcription, HSS, but anyway as long as he was is a concessive clause attached to a comparison, and means ...with my brother in the hospital so long.

As hungry as I am, I could eat a horse = I am so hungry that...
I will not wear shoes, as cold as it may be outside = ... although it is so cold outside
.
HSSHi. Hope this finds you smiling!

Would anyone please help me with a recent Readers Digest article with the following passage? The sense that I can't get is that of the highlighted phrase "as long as he was." How would you paraphrase it?

Ty Nelson, a singer who started singing gospel music in his church choir, regulary takes his guitar to military hospitals.

"When you in that situation, you want to see somebody," he explains.

"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was," Jonathan Nelson died in June 2005, at age 18, four months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

HSS/ Sendai, Japan

HSS,

There is something wrong with the sentence in question.

"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was," Jonathan Nelson died in June 2005, at age 18, four months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.


"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was," <-- this quoted part can't be a complete sentence, but it was followed by another independent sentence. Therefore, you have to assume some part of the sentence is missing.

pine
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
It means:

I could relate to that because my brother was in the hospital for the (very great) length of time that he was (in the hospital).
= ... because my brother was in the hospital so long.

Similarly,
It's amazing that he studies as hard as he does.
= It's amazing that he studies as hard as he studies.
= It's amazing that he studies so hard.

We are surprised that anyone could be so stingy, especially a man as rich as he is.
= We are surprised that anyone could be so stingy, especially a man as rich as he is rich.
= We are surprised that anyone could be so stingy, especially a man who is so rich.

CJ

Thanks, Mister Micawber, Pinenut, and CalifJim.

Gee, how careless of me; yes, indeed, I made a few typos in the transcription. It should be:

Ty Nelson, a singer who started singing gospel music in his church choir, regulary takes his guitar to military hospitals.

"When you're in that situation, you want to see somebody," he explains.

"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was." Jonathan Nelson died in June 2005, at age 18, four months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Would you also say, "I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital so long as he was"? Why do you think the author used "as long as he was" instead of "so long"? Is there any subtle difference? Is "as long as he was" more emphatic?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
HSSThanks, Mister Micawber, Pinenut, and CalifJim.

Gee, how careless of me; yes, indeed, I made a few typos in the transcription. It should be:

Ty Nelson, a singer who started singing gospel music in his church choir, regulary takes his guitar to military hospitals.

"When you're in that situation, you want to see somebody," he explains.

"I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital as long as he was." Jonathan Nelson died in June 2005, at age 18, four months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Would you also say, "I could relate to that with my brother in the hospital so long as he was"? Why do you think the author used "as long as he was" instead of "so long"? Is there any subtle difference? Is "as long as he was" more emphatic?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan

Hiro,

Thank you for correcting the typogrpaghical errors.

The key word in question, long, is an adverb. In conversational English, a few words are often dropped without changing the meaning.

.... with my brother who has been in the hospital long (for long, for a long time).
.... with my brother who has been in the hospital as long as he was (has been).
... with my brother who has been in the hospital for as long as he was (has been).
... with my brother who has been in the hospital for as long a time as he was (has been).

I hope you will see 'as long as' is perfectly acceptile in this context.

pine
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The so...as and as...as comparatives are equivalent in meaning, Hiro, and either can be used here. In main clauses, the so form is normally reserved for negative clauses:

I am as happy as I was last Christmas.
I am not so/as happy as I was last Christmas.


[ (X) I am so happy as I was last Christmas. ]