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I had to argue with a non-native (though well educated) English speaker as to why this sentence was just wrong.

The sentence is:

"The mountains having surrounded and protected Andong (a city name), many ancient arts and customs have been preserved here, including the Hahoe masks."

The sentence was based off these grammar structure samples:

"The weather being fine, we decided to start for our picnic." "Generally speaking, it is not easy to learn a foreign language."

Help please?

Thank you.
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Comments  
Why do you think it's wrong?
I forgot to mention the context.

The sentence was a reply to the question:
Why has Andong become a cultural center?

The sentence's preceding sentence (part of the total response to the question) was:

Andong's location has played a part. "The mountains . . . "
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Well do you think that this sentence should be used as the sample sentence for that grammar structure in a national textbook?

It sounds very unnatural to me. But grammatically it looks fine.
The sentence sounds unnatural to me, too. It sounds as if it is saying that first there was the city of Andong, then the mountains decided to surround and protect Andong, and these activities resulted in arts and customs in Andong being preserved.

To me, this might be better wording:
"With the surrounding mountains protecting/having protected Andong, many ancient arts and customs have been preserved here, including the Hahoe masks."

What's your take, GG?
I can see your point, but I didn't picture the mountains nestling around the city deliberately. You could also change it to (without changing the structure of the sentence much) "The mountains that surround Andong having protected it for centuries,..."

I'm not a fan of the "Having X'd, " beginning, but I don't argue its correctness. I would prefer "Because of the protection provided by the mountains that surround Andong,..."

It actually read okay to me - just a bit long.
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Thanks, Barb. I didn't see any blatant grammar problem either. I guess the way "surrounding" was used sounded too active to me.
Like the woods of Birnam?
Anonymous"The mountains having surrounded and protected Andong (a city name), many ancient arts and customs have been preserved here, including the Hahoe masks."
What a beautiful example of a causal clause equivalent with its own subject!

CB
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