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I wrote the following sentence as a part of one of my essays. I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me whether the usage of "thereby" is correct of not in the sentence. The main reason for this is I'm not precisely sure about the subject of "thereby phrase": is it "individuals" or the whole first clause could be considered to be the subject (These days the majority of individuals have hectic lifestyles ).


These days the majority of individuals have hectic lifestyles thereby having a limited amount of time to spend on their breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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A, thereby B. ~ A, and by this means B. A tells us how B was able to happen.

The eagle flies over the lake and catches a fish, thereby providing lunch for her eaglets in the nest.
How was the eagle able to provide lunch for the eaglets? She was able to do that by flying over the lake and catching a fish.

You can't do this for your sentence. We don't ask how the majority of individuals are able to have a limited amount of time to spend on their meals, and then say that they are able to do it by having hectic lifestyles, as if to say, if only I could have a hectic lifestyle, I too would be able to have only a limited amount of time for my meals.


If you'd like to contribute, and thereby save the world, please mail me a check. (thereby ~ by this means ~ by contributing)

He wanted to see if interest rates would go down, thereby saving him money.
(thereby ~ by this means ~ by the lowering of interest rates)

Will Shay's offer of his heart save the little girl and thereby atone for his crimes? (thereby ~ by this means ~ by offering his heart to save the little girl)

CJ

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dileepathe subject of "thereby phrase"

the majority of individuals is the implicit subject of the participle clause after 'thereby'.

CJ

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Comments  

Thank you very much for the answer. However, I got a question about one of your sample sentences. I would really grateful if you could explain the usage of "save" in the following sentence as I thought "thereby" only could be followed by verbs with ing form.


If you'd like to contribute, and thereby save the world, please mail me a check.

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Thank you very much for the answer.

dileepaI thought "thereby" only could be followed by verbs with ing form.

No, not with "and".

It's either "contribute, thereby saving the world" or "contribute, and thereby save the world". The first version has the non-finite form (saving); the second version has the finite form (save).

(There's another example I gave you with "and" and the finite form.)

CJ

Thank you very much for the answer.

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