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Kenny同志

Strange English sentence

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Kenny同志

HERE IS THE SENTENCE:

If X completes the Works, allowance will be made, when ascertaining the amount to be certified as expenses properly incurred by X for the cost of supervision, interest and depreciation on plant and all other overhead charges and profit, as would be incurred were the Works carried out by the Contractor.

It is very strange. How come expenses for profit is possible? Also, the last part of the sentence sounds wierd as the Works are not supposed to incur anything; it is a man or an organisation who incurs something. In addition, I am not sure whether as is used properly or not.

Anyone kind enough to shed some light on these questions?

Edited by kenny2006woo

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tooironic

Context would help. It is unclear, amongst other things, what kind of "plant" is being referred to.

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rob07

I can't be sure without the context, but it appears that it has been agreed somewhere else that the Contractor will carry out the Works (note the fact that these words are capitalised means that they are specifically defined terms in the contract).

In order to get a Contractor to carry out the Works, obviously you will need to pay them something. The Contractor will then have expenses in carrying out the Works, so the Contractor's profit will be the difference between what they are paid and their expenses.

It is very badly written but the intended meaning appears to be that if the Contractor does not in fact carry out the Works and X does it instead, in working out how to compensate X for that, X will be treated as having incurred not only what it would actually cost a Contractor to carry out the Works (which would be less than what you would have to pay the Contractor to do it as the Contractor wouldn't do it unless they were going to make a profit), but X would also be treated as having incurred what it would normally cost the Contractor to do it plus the normal Contractor profit (which should be roughly what you would normally have to pay a Contractor to do the job). I think this is what the reference to profits in calculating expenses means.

The last part of the sentence does not mean the Works incur anything. It is just a shortened way of writing "as would be incurred by the Contractor were the Works carried out by the Contractor".

Plant in this context means "the equipment, including the fixtures, machinery, tools, etc., and often the buildings, necessary to carry on any industrial business".

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Kenny同志

Thank you, Rob. Thanks for your detailed explanation. It helps a lot. I am sorry I took it for granted that the plant was a 工厂, I should have consulted a dictionary before I was sure. Thanks again. :)

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Chris333

This is clearly a sentence out of a contract, and in my experience contract and specification verbiage often doesn't conform to normal English grammar structure. Many industries, say architecture for example, often use industry-specific words and phrases which are picked up by spelling & grammar checkers because they're not common terms. The way they're written in contracts and specifications sometimes doesn't make sense to the layperson.

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tooironic
Plant in this context means "the equipment, including the fixtures, machinery, tools, etc., and often the buildings, necessary to carry on any industrial business".

How can you be certain without knowing the details of the rest of the contract?

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Kenny同志

The post was made on behalf of a friend who was putting a contract into Chinese. I don't do contracts which are usually littered with trash. They are laborious and brain-killing stuff I will never be equal to.

Edited by kenny2006woo

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rob07
How can you be certain without knowing the details of the rest of the contract?

Because I read and write this sort of stuff for a living. It appears that the plant intended to be referred to in this case is the bulldozers, drills, shovels etc that would be used by the Contractor to construct the 工厂, if that is the relevant Works, and the reference to depreciation of plant as an expense is intended to take account of the fact that whoever carries out the Works will wear out their equipment in doing so, which will eventually need to be replaced.

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