Is the word "thing" necessary in the following sentence?

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1

Example:

I couldn't find any information about lemmings. Seemed like it wasn't a very popular topic. The closest (thing) I could find was a news article about them.

alexchenco

Posted 2015-01-11T15:19:24.310

Reputation: 5 741

Your specific word *thing* is simply an alternative to [optionally] repeating the previously-specified noun *information [about lemmings].* – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2015-01-11T19:35:22.540

Answers

3

Closest there can stand on its own as a substantive. Thing is not needed. Both versions are idiomatic.

Tᴚoɯɐuo

Posted 2015-01-11T15:19:24.310

Reputation: 116 610

1"substantive"? You mean our own "nominal"? I thought substantive was old-fashioned English. – M.A.R. – 2015-01-11T17:00:35.387

3The new grammarians are very protective of their jargon :-) – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2015-01-11T17:13:21.537

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From my point of view, "thing" isn't necessary. Because of the context, it should be obvious what you're talking about.

veloursnebel

Posted 2015-01-11T15:19:24.310

Reputation: 117

1

The closest stands for the closest information.

Instead of repeating the word, information, we use the superlatives as pronouns in place of the closest information.

JayHook

Posted 2015-01-11T15:19:24.310

Reputation: 711