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Recent breakthroughs in physics, made possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggests answers to some of these longstanding questions.

About 'in part' above, what does it refer to ?

I think it's 'by fantastic new technologies', but I'm not sure on this one...
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in part=partly
thus adverb
refers to the verb, made possible
Marius Hancuin part=partly
thus adverb
refers to the verb, made possible

Hmm...really? But when I say, 'It is X in part because Y', 'in part', as you say it's adverbial, refers to 'because Y', doesn't it?
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- in part

adverb
: with respect to a part rather than a whole : in some measure or degree : PARTLY<taken his idea in part from a picture -- Clara Morris> <built in part of beams and brick -- Philip Brady> -- often used with a qualifier <the procedure ... is the result in large part of its long struggle -- K.B.Smellie> <in small part ... the ridge is entirely covered with bracken -- C.B.Hitchcock>


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An adverb doesn't always modify a verb; when I say 'They are financed partly by postal savings', for example, I mean 'Postal savings are part of their souce of money', which means that their money doesn't come entirely from postal savings (i.e. 'partly' doesn't modify 'are financed', but 'by postal savings').

Or when I say, 'They did it partly by intention', I mean the intention was part of the reason of their behavior; they didn't do it partly (i.e. the adverb 'partly' refers to 'by intention').
The fantastic new technologies are part of the reason that these breakthroughs are now possible.

It refers to HOW it was made possible.
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Hi,

This is what I think.

In the sentence, "They are financed partly/in part by postal savings," partly or in part are functioning as an adverb to modify the verb 'finance' and opverall in describes by its modification, how it is financed, but contextually (how the sentenece is to be read or understood) when you ask me where it (either partly or inpart) linked to or is a part of contextually, I will answer it is linked in context to the words 'postal savings.'
Hi guys,

Recent breakthroughs in physics, made possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggests answers to some of these longstanding questions.

About 'in part' above, what does it refer to ?

I think it's 'by fantastic new technologies', but I'm not sure on this one...


I'm inclined to agree with the way GG expressed it, ie The fantastic new technologies are part of the reason that these breakthroughs are now possible.

However, another line of thought is to wonder if the writer's intended meaning is that 'part of the recent breakthroughs are made possible by new technologies', ie some of the breakthroughs, but not all, just a part of the total number. One of the meanings that Marius quoted was: with respect to a part rather than a whole.

[ It's probably a typo, but the verb should be 'suggest' instead of 'suggests'. ]

Best wishes, Clive
I think I would lumber into the lobby behind Clive and GG here:

"Fantastic new technologies are part of what makes the recent breakthroughs in physics possible."

That said, I do wonder (uncharitably) whether the writer used "in part" not for the sake of precision, but simply to give himself an exit strategy, in case someone happened to say "You do realize, of course, that X and Y and Z, and not the fantastic new technologies, are the main reason for the recent breakthroughs?"

MrP
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