a Michigan boy come home from the road.

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
I can't seem to parse the last sentence. Or, how would you paraphrase it? Is is a separate sentence added to the one right before it as a run-on element?

(An excerpt from 'Rock of Ages." The essay has been talking about Bob Seger hanging in there after, it seemed, reaching as far as he could reach ....)

"Nah," he said. "I didn't give you the right answer. It isn't as good as I thought it would be. I don't guess it ever is, is it?"

He headed for his car, his steps sounding in the deserted parking lot, a Michigan boy come home from the road.

('American Beat' by Bob Greene)
 
  • HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Oh, is it commonly allowed to drop off 'who had'? You would often take off 'who' or 'that' off of 'who + noun phrase + verb phrase,' but I rarely see something like that.

    You could take away the objective relative pronoun, and Grammar usually does not permit you to eliminate the subjective relative pronoun.
     
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    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is not a good general usage. It is found particularly with verbs of motion, especially 'come' and 'go', and verbs of change. With these, and perhaps some others, it is a good usage (e.g. 'an honest man gone to the bad', 'a patriot turned traitor', etc.). The sense of the word is active and intransitive (who had gone, who had turned).
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Oh, is it commonly allowed to drop off 'who had'?
    It's really being used as an adjective here, so "who had" is not "dropped off." Copyright rewrote it a little to try to show you the meaning, but the sentence is complete and correct as written; nothing has been omitted.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    It is not a good general usage. It is found particularly with verbs of motion, especially 'come' and 'go', and verbs of change. With these, and perhaps some others, it is a good usage (e.g. 'an honest man gone to the bad', 'a patriot turned traitor', etc.). The sense of the word is active and intransitive (who had gone, who had turned).
    Interesting! Could it be applied to 'who has/have gone' or 'who has/have turned' or something like that too?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It's really being used as an adjective here, so "who had" is not "dropped off."
    Yes. The past participle combines a verbal and an adjectival role.
    Could it be applied to 'who has/have gone' or 'who has/have turned' or something like that too?
    Yes, as long as the main verb is not in a past tense.

    'Just look at her now, a girl grown into a woman!'

    In constructing such a sentence, you can start with a relative clause and then shorten it in this way: but a native speaker does not usually go through that process.
     
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