grammar talk

a place to discuss grammar questions...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

grammar Q + A

Reducing adjective clauses to adj. phrases

Ex.
clause: The boy who is playing the piano is Ben.
phrase: The boy playing the piano is Ben.

Question

clause: The boy (whom) I saw was Jeff.
phrase: cannot be reduced

why can this clause not be reduced?

2 Comments:

Blogger grammar talk said...

Hello! In my opinion, some clauses can be reduced more easily than others, because they can be reduced with less confusion. For example:
The boy who is playing the piano is Ben.
The boy playing piano is Ben.
This becomes "boy playing" because it is obvious that "boy playing" is not matching to make a sentence.
However,
a. The boy whom I saw was Jeff.
b. The boy I saw was Jeff.
c. The boy saw was Jeff.

b. is a kind of reduction, but it's not really a phrase. c. is a phrase but it doesn't work, because it would cause confusion (in my opinion). We would think that "boy" and "saw" matched: S and V would agree. So we'd have trouble figuring out which was the real verb.

Does that help?
-Tom Leverett

1:41 PM  
Blogger dewdrop said...

which is correct? "speak with or speak to?"

1:57 PM  

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