+0
The sentences:
The ideal of the free individiual has had a profound effect on the way Americans view their government. There is deep suspicion that government is the natural enemy of freedom, even if it is elected by the people. The bigger and the stronger the govenment is, the more dangarous to individual freedom Americans believe it to be.


What suspicion is it here? Is it the one that government is the natural enemy of freedom? Or is it that government is the natural enemy of freedom even if it is elected by the people?

In other words, is it;

1:{There is deep suspicion that government is the natural enemy of freedom}, {even if it is elected by the people.}

or

2:{There is deep suspicion [that government is the natural enemy of freedom, even if it is elected by the people.]}

I think it's #1, but my book interprets it as #2...
Comments  
We've got a main clause and two subordinates here, don't we, Taka?--

- There is deep suspicion
- that gov't is is the natural enemy of freedom
- even if it is elected by the people.

It seem to me that the basic 'suspicion' is the first subordinate clause (a subject complement), and that the second subordinate clause is an adverbial.

I can't figure out if that fits into either of your two bracketing systems, though.
I can see two subtle differences in meaning.

We are suspicious of the government even though we were the ones who elected it.

We are suspicious despite the fact that it is an elected government (therefore part of a democratic 'freedom') rather than an unelected one.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
To MM.

I'm just wondering if the adverbial 'even if...' modifies 'There is deep suspicion' or 'gov't is the natural enemy of freedom.'
I can't figure out if that fits into either of your two bracketing systems, though.


Seems like yours is #1, my interpretation.

To nona.

So which is your choice?
What I wanted to say but failed to, Taka, is that I think the second 'even if' adverbial clause modifies all the rest of the sentence. I don't know how to operate your bracket system, but I would diagram it as something like this:

[There is deep suspicion {that government is the natural enemy of freedom}], [even if it is elected by the people].

I realize that 'it' = 'government', but I still feel the second clause modifies the whole first idea.
Yes. Your interpretation is still the same as mine. To paraphrase, I thought it was something like this:

There is deep suspicion, even if government is elected by the people. And the suspicion is that it is the natural enemy of freedom.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Further to Nona's differences, – they seem to depend on the slight ambiguity in 'if it is', which only a stress (or italics) could bring out:

1. ...despite the fact that it's elected by the people. (= 'even if it is...')
— this starts with the set of {states where universal suffrage exists}, and looks at one aspect of that universal suffrage: the fact that suspicion of govt does not diminish.

2. ...even when it's elected by the people.
— this looks away from the set of {all states} towards those where universal suffrage exists.

MrP