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Hi.

Could anyone please help me with the following? I don't clearly see the construction after "that."

She had a long and lean visage that might once have passed for fair but which age had turned more knowing and severe.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
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HSS
Hi.

Could anyone please help me with the following? I don't clearly see the construction after "that."

She had a long and lean visage( Hi, 'that might once have passed for fair but which age had turned more knowing and severe' is a relative clause modifying the noun ' visage'. A visage that might once have passed for fair, but which age had turned more knowing and severe. )

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan

Many thanks, K.O.

If I knew what "passed for fair" and "which age turned more knowing and severe" mean, the fog would be gone. Is the "fair" part of the idiom "for fair" or is it that the "for" is part of the expression "passed for" and that the "fair" is a noun? Also, which age turned more knowing and severe? --- Is this a question? Phew, I'm bogged down.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan.
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She had a long and lean visage that might once have passed for fair but which age had turned more knowing and severe.

She had a long and lean face that, when she was younger might have been seen as reasonably attractive, but now she is older she just makes her look serious and severe.
Hi, HSS

It's only a hunch but 'Pass for fair' didn't seem as an idiom to me. But I'm sure Fair could only be an adjective since it modifies the noun 'visage'.

As a relative clause, 'which age turned more knowing and severe' can not suggest a question. It is acting as an adjective in the sentence and I guess it means that the person in question gains a wise and somber look as he gets older.
Hi,

'To pass for' means to be taken as , or accepted as. eg He was 15, but could pass for 20.

There can sometimes be an implied element of deliberate deception. For example, in the days of extreme racial discrimination in the USA, a light-skinned 'black' person in the USA would sometimes try to pass for (more commonly 'as') 'white'.

Best wishes, Clive
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HSSIf I knew what "passed for fair" and "which age turned more knowing and severe" mean, the fog would be gone. Is the "fair" part of the idiom "for fair" or is it that the "for" is part of the expression "passed for" and that the "fair" is a noun?
Hello HSS

I think "passed for fair" is an ellipsis of "passed for a fair visage". Ellipses take place when speakers think their collocutor could guess what word(s) is omitted. Because the phrase of "pass for" should be followed by a noun phrase, people can easily notice some noun must be elided and can easily guess from the context the word should be "visage".

paco
Great help, folks. The coast is now clear, and I'm good to go. Possibility of ellipsis crossed my mind, but my mind only thought about the "as + adjective" ellipsis. But, yes, this "passed for fair" can be "passed as fair" instead.

Many thanks.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
HSSBut, yes, this "passed for fair" can be "passed as fair" insteead.
That might be a more reasonable interpretation.

paco
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