I was invited to ask here.

I sometimes hear the sentence "we call the shots as we see them." I want to ask whether the as-clause modifies "shots" (just like "as we know it" modifies "life" in "Life as we know it will cease to exist") or "call.”

The reason I am asking this question is that as for the similar idiomatic pharse "call it as I see it," the as-clause "as I see it" seems to me not to modify "it" if the same rule as appleied in the use of the relative "that" (e.g., the relative clause "that we bought at the store" cannot modify the preceding noun if it is pronoun as in *we sold it that we bought at the store) holds of this case. Then, the only option seems to be treat the as-clause as a adverbial modifier modifying the verb or verbal phrase including "call," I guess. And if it is possible, I wonder whether and why "as we see them" in "we call the shots as we see them." modifies "call". But nevertheless it does not seem to me that the as-clause indeed does it.

The reason for this is that the manner of one's calling something and that of one's seeing something are related to different sensory organs and therefore imcompatible with each other.

I also suspect that this as-clause actually functions as predicate complement of the obeject (i.e., shots) just like the as-clause "as you find it" in "Leave everything as you find it" does.

But I'm not sure.

So, please tell me about "we call the shots as we see them" and "call it as I see it."

The relevant examples are below:

1.Steve, we're simply telling examiners that you have to do your job in a professional manner, call the shots as you see them and....

2.M-O'BRIEN: Nothing gets an A. To the extent that this feeds into a perception that Democrats are maybe whining about all of this, how do you respond to that? SCHUMER: OK. First, you've got to call the shots as you see them.

And I found the relevant question at https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/we-call-the-shots-as-we-see-them.1394794/

  • sorry, at present I cannot post another relevant question that I should have posted first and that is more basic. So it would be greatly appreciarted if you read this question, you also go to another question, which will be posted in 30 minutes later or so.
    – saki
    Jan 12, 2023 at 10:39
  • I could post it. Here is a link:linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/45930/…
    – saki
    Jan 12, 2023 at 10:42
  • Why would you expect as to function the same way as the relative subordinator that? They’re entirely different entities. Intuitively, I think of the as clause as modifying the verbal phrase rather than the noun phrase, but I cannot off the top of my head think of a definite reason why this must be so. Jan 12, 2023 at 13:32
  • (Why would you expect as to function the same way as the relative subordinator that? They’re entirely different entities)→Because "as we know it" in "Life as we know it" modfifies "Life" just like "that we know" in "the life/world that we know" modifies "life/world." How do think about it?
    – saki
    Jan 12, 2023 at 14:37
  • Well, they’re similar semantically. That doesn’t mean they work the same syntactically – in fact, we can clearly see that they don’t, since in the relative clause a resumptive pronoun is forbidden (the life that we know *it), whereas in the as clause it’s required (life as we know *∅). Jan 12, 2023 at 14:48


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