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I have started to read a novel for practice. I came across these sentences. I can't make sense of the part 通って中に.

少年はあそこ一夜過ごすことに決めた。彼は羊の群れが、壊れかけた門を通って中に、入るのを見届けてから、夜中に羊が迷い出さないように、何本かの棒を門にわたした。

I cannot find an explanation for the use of the combination of the verb in te-form and chuu ni. Figuring out this part would help me a lot to put together what the sentence says.

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"あそこ一夜過ごす". Typo? –  dainichi Sep 10 '13 at 22:36

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

中 does not belong to the te-form 通って. The right way to parse this sentence is

羊が門を通って、[中]{なか}に入るのを見届けてから

After [he] made sure that the sheep had passed the gate and got inside

In this case, the te-form simply joins multiple verb actions.

The comma between 通って and 中 may have confused you, however, when I google for the given phrase, I find it without the comma.

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Yes, it is without the comma in the book as well. Thank you. Maybe a mistype. –  Dajka Laszlo Sep 10 '13 at 18:59

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