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Thread: Can anyone explain the grammar in this sentence

  1. #1
    Registered Oozer genesis_pig's Avatar
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    Can anyone explain the grammar in this sentence

    This is an excerpt from Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a young poet.

    "Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions now."

    I believe this is grammatically legit, but just wanted an explanation.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is grammatically correct or not, but the advice seems to me to be in line with how our subjectivity works. But you want a grammatical explanation, right? Not an explanation of what the sentence means?

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    Registered Oozer genesis_pig's Avatar
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    yes. I just want to know whether the absence of a "to" is legit and why

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    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    "you" is being used in the dative case, meaning "to you." This is quite normal and common, e.g. "Give me the answer," "I have given you the answer" etc.


    "given" is past participle of "give"; "be given" is passive voice.
    Last edited by Whifflingpin; 08-30-2016 at 03:33 AM.
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whifflingpin View Post
    "you" is being used in the dative case, meaning "to you." This is quite normal and common, e.g. "Give me the answer," "I have given you the answer" etc.


    "given" is past participle of "give"; "be given" is passive voice.
    You have answered the question given you.

  6. #6
    Registered Oozer genesis_pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whifflingpin View Post
    "you" is being used in the dative case, meaning "to you." This is quite normal and common, e.g. "Give me the answer," "I have given you the answer" etc.


    "given" is past participle of "give"; "be given" is passive voice.
    Thanks. That does explain it.

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