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In return for WHAT


The passage below is from Jellyfish age backwards by Nicklas Brendborg.


In 1847, the Hungarian-German physician Ignaz Semmelweis was trudging around Vienna with a burdened conscience. Semmelweis was an obstetrician, a doctor specialising in pregnancy and childbirth, and was in charge of the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital. The hospital had set up two clinics to offer free maternity care to the poor women of the city. And in return, one of the clinics was used to train new midwives while the other was used to train new doctors.


In this passage I cannot figure out the usage of ‘in return’. I don’t see why this phrase is used. This is used ‘in return for something’. And in this passage even if there’s no ‘for something’, I think we can guess ‘for something’ in context. But I can’t do it.

Could you help me out? Thanks in advance.

Comments  
Stenka25In this passage I cannot figure out the usage of ‘in return’. I don’t see why this phrase is used. This is used ‘in return for something’. And in this passage even if there’s no ‘for something’, I think we can guess ‘for something’ in context. But I can’t do it.

Me, neither. The idea is that the hospital is out the money it takes to provide the free clinics, but it's not a total write-off because they get training for their personnel. The hospital gives to the poor women, and "in return" the poor women provide opportunity for the doctors and midwives to gain experience. But the poor women are not really deliberately giving anything, and they are grammatically inaccessible. I might have written it "The hospital had set up two clinics to offer free maternity care to the poor women of the city. But the hospital's motives were not entirely altruistic, as one of the clinics was used to train new midwives, and the other was used to train new doctors."

The book is translated from Danish by one Elizabeth de Noma. There will be infelicities, and you have found one. You have to cut translators some slack.

Thansk a lot as always, anonymous.

Your reply of assurance makes me breathe a sigh of relief.