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Hi teachers,

As a result, Al Qaeda "central" - Osama bin Laden and his gang - has been whittled down to about 400 fighters. It has been unable to execute large-scale attacks of the kind that were at the core of its strategy - to hit big-value American targets that military or political symbolism.

1. Does It a pronoun for Al Qaeda "central" or Osama bin Laden and his gang?

2. Does its mean Al Qaeda "central"'s

3. What does "the kind" mean?

4. Does "to hit big-value American targets that military or political symbolism" describe "the core of its stragegy"?

5. Would you tell me what "symbolism" in this text means?

Thank you very much.

Tinanam
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Hi,

As a result, Al Qaeda "central" - Osama bin Laden and his gang - has been whittled down to about 400 fighters. It has been unable to execute large-scale attacks of the kind that were at the core of its strategy - to hit big-value American targets that have military or political symbolism.

Some of your questions show the sort of difficulties that can arise if you write with a lot of dashes.

1. Does It a pronoun for Al Qaeda "central" or Osama bin Laden and his gang? The former, as the latter is just mentioned parenthetically. Anyway, they are the same thing.

2. Does its mean Al Qaeda "central"'s Yes

3. What does "the kind" mean? the sort / the type

4. Does "to hit big-value American targets that military or political symbolism" describe "the core of its stragegy"? Yes, it seems to

5. Would you tell me what "symbolism" in this text means? targets that represent or typify America
eg The Statue of Liberty is probably the #1 symbol of the US.

Clive
1. It = Al Qaeda "central";

2. its (strategy) = the strategy of Al Qaeda "central";

3. here: "the kind" = the kind of large-scale attacks of big-value American military targets and those of political symbolism;

4. Yes;

5. here: symbolism means the use of symbols such as, for example, Pentagon, Capitol, etc. in politics.
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Hi Clive,

Thank you for helping me.

1. Would you tell me "whittled down to about 400 fighters", meaning reducing about 400 fighters, or now it has remained about 400 fighters?

2. "big-scale attacks of the kind" and "The fatal problem with these kinds of attacks is that they kill ordinary civilians."

2a. Can I write "big-scale kind of attacks"?

2b. Can I write "The fatal problem with attacks of these kinds is that they....cilivians"

Thank you.

Tinanam
Hi,

1. Would you tell me "whittled down to about 400 fighters", meaning reducing about 400 fighters, or now it has remained about 400 fighters? gradually reduced to 400 fighters

2. "big-scale attacks of the kind" and "The fatal problem with these kinds of attacks is that they kill ordinary civilians."

2a. Can I write "big-scale kind of attacks"? Doesn't sound very good. And I hear the term 'large-scale' but not 'big-scale'.

2b. Can I write "The fatal problem with attacks of these kinds is that they....cilivians"
Yes. Although I'm not sure terrorists would describe that as a problem.

Clive
Hi Clive,

Thank very for helping me.

I'd like to ask how to construct sentences like "large scale attacks of the kind", "these kinds of attacks". The first example, "the kind" is placed at the end. The second one "these kinds" is placed at the front. Are the meaning totally different if they placed differently?

Thanks again.

Tinanam
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Hi,
It has been unable to execute large-scale attacks ( of the kind ( that were at the core of its strategy. ) )

'd like to ask how to construct sentences like "large scale attacks of the kind", "these kinds of attacks".

The first example, "the kind" is placed at the end. No, it's not at the end. It's in the middle of the sentence. It's followed by a subordinate clause that describes 'the kind'.
Here's a simpler example.
Mary bought some cookies of the kind that Tom hated.The whole nderlined phrase describes 'cookies'.

The second one "these kinds" is placed at the front. Are the meaning totally different if they placed differently? If you say 'these kinds', it sounds like you expect the reader already to know what kinds you are referring to.
eg Mary bought whole-wheat and digestive cookies. Tom hated these kinds.

If you want to, write and post a few sentences and I'll check them for you.

Clive
Hi Clive,

Thank you for your help.

Mary bought some cookies of the kind that Tom hated.

Can I just say: Mary bought some cookies that Tom hated without "of the kind" in the sentence?

Thank you.

Tinanam
Hi,

Mary bought some cookies of the kind that Tom hated.

Can I just say: Mary bought some cookies that Tom hated without "of the kind" in the sentence?
Yes, you can. But now you are giving less information. This just tells me Tom hated those specific cookies.

The former version tells me that Tom hates all cookies of that kind.

Clive

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