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Not all that Mrs.Bennet,however ,with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

This is how I read it:

Not (all) that Mrs.Bennet,however ,with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject which was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

Questions:

(1) What does "not all that" mean? Is it an idiom?

(2) There're two predicates "could ask" & "was sufficient" in this sentences, so one of them must be the predicate of a subordinate clause. Is the location right where I put the word "which"?

(3) A basic grammar question: could "which" be ommited while it introduces a subordinate clause in which "which" functions as the subject?

Thanks in advance!
Comments  
MapleNot all that Mrs.Bennet,however ,with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

This is how I read it:

Not (all) that Mrs.Bennet,however ,with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject which was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

Questions:

(1) What does "not all that" mean? Is it an idiom?

(2) There're two predicates "could ask" & "was sufficient" in this sentences, so one of them must be the predicate of a subordinate clause. Is the location right where I put the word "which"?

(3) A basic grammar question: could "which" be ommited while it introduces a subordinate clause in which "which" functions as the subject?

Thanks in advance!
My reading of the sentence is:

Whatever Mrs. Bennet asked on the subject, she couldn't get any satisfictory description of Mr. Bingley from her husband - even with the help (assistance) of her daughters.

1) The "that" doesn't form any idiom with "not all" here. In my opinion, that introduces a relative clause here. I may well be wrong, I'm not into theory much.

However, not all that is a slang version of not very in sentences like Mrs. Bennet is not all that pretty = Mrs. Bennet is not very pretty. Emotion: big smile

2) Well, I don't think your reading is 100% correct.

3) As far as I know, it couldn't.
Maple
Not all that Mrs.Bennet,however ,with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

Short

[Not everything/all that Mrs.Bennet could ask on the subject] was sufficient to draw any satisfactory description.

it is from

Everything/all that Mrs.Bennet could ask on the subject was not sufficient to draw any satisfactory description.

Other words: however, with the assistance of her five daughters, from her husband, of Mr.Bingley are not essential.

however - using whatever means

All that Mrs.Bennet, using whatever means, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was not sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.

All that Mrs.Bennet, using whatever means, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask her husband on the subject was not sufficient to draw any satisfactory description of Mr.Bingley.
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Thank you Pastsimple! your comments are very helpful! [F]

Thank you Aperisic! So far you have given me an impression that your skill on the Egnlsih language is just WONDERFUL.



Now look into my misreading, I just failed to take "all" as a pron in this sentence, and had kept taking it as an adv!!!!!!!!

Maple
Thank you Aperisic!

It works in both directions, what people have headache about, help me to better define the specific topics of the English grammar. I have to admit that to make the English grammar definable and easy to understand and use is sometimes very difficult. But, almost always the final rules are clear and logical (and not accessible otherwise, unless you have the Master to understand it)

EndFragment>

People tend to make things complex and infeasible, but if English cannot be spoken by those who speak it, and if English cannot be understood by those who use it then what is English: a brainstorming competition for scholars.

Nevertheless, once I figure out something for someone, I feel very glad, because I try to make myself useful as everybody here does.

By the way, you cannot easily find a forum in many other languages like English - I think that is a price of the language democracy - speak as you want, write as you wish. I have myself so many unclear or at least vague sections - usually I know how to use something, but I can't explain why. Thus, I know very well how other people here feel about.

Once you define something in your head, there are no exceptions in English more than in other languages, but before that it is sometimes a nightmare even if you pass many lessons, and even worse if you've passed and someone taught you only how to use something, not how to think about it.

(The teacher tends to use exception to confuse basic rules. Many tests are such as well. Well, that is what the forum serves for Emotion: smile)

All people here try to correct that obviously frequent omission.

(speak as you want, write as you wish is my conundrum made from speak as you write - write as you speak which is the ultimate perfection a language can have)
Maple, the other thing to keep in mind with this passage is that Jane Austen wrote that passage almost 200 years ago, and her style of English is not what you will find in current conversation and in current literature.

You'll find Elizabth saying things like "I am sensible to the honor you do me," which means "I know you are giving me a compliment." So it will be hard to read, as a non-native speaker who is learning modern English phrasing.

It is, however, one of my favorite books, so if you are able to read it successfully, I think you will really enjoy the story.
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Aperisic ......English cannot be spoken by those who speak it, and if English cannot be understood by those who use it then what is English: a brainstorming competition for scholars.......
These words are very meaningful. Thanks for your sincere comments!
Grammar Geek...... the other thing to keep in mind with this passage is that Jane Austen wrote that passage almost 200 years ago, and her style of English is not what you will find in current conversation and in current literature. ......It is, however, one of my favorite books, so if you are able to read it successfully, I think you will really enjoy the story.
Hi, Barbara! Thank you for your kind adviceEmotion: smile. I hope one day I would be able to enjoy the reading process of the bookEmotion: wink