A reduced relative clause with different times

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Avanpost, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Avanpost Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Good day!

    I'm trying to understand if it's possible to reduce a relative clause if we have different times. Here is an example:

    "He is the man who plays tennis". -- Present simple. Now I'm reducing the clause: "He is the man playing tennis".
    "He is the man who is playing tennis currently" -- "He is the man playing tennis currently" ???
    "He is the man who was playing tennis at 5 o'clock". -- The reduced version??? "He is the man playing tennis at 5 o'clock"
    "He is the man who played tennis yesterday" Past simple. -- The reduced clause -- possible??? "He is the man playing tennis yesterday"

    Other tenses:

    "He is the man who has been playing tennis for 5 years" -- Can I use reduced clause? "He is the man playing tennis for 5 years"
    "He is the man who has already played tennis" -- "He is the man already playing tennis" (I know it may sound incorrect :D, but I'm trying to understand the logic of the English language)
    "He is the man who is playing tennis tomorrow" -- He is the man playing tennis tomorrow. And the other variants of the future: "A man who will probably play tennis tomorrow", "A man who is going to play tennis tomorrow" -- I can't imagine the examples of the reduced clauses.

    Looking forward to your help.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  2. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    In general, if you aren't talking about something that is happening in the present, you will need to use the relative clause, or some other construction that enables you to mark the relative times of tennis playing.

    In this one, the meaning shifts entirely:

    "He is the man who plays tennis". He plays tennis from time to time. He may not be playing tennis at the moment.
    "He is the man playing tennis". He plays tennis while you speak. We don't know whether he has done it before or will do it again.

    "He is the man who is playing tennis currently" -- "He is the man playing tennis currently"
    These both mean the same thing.
    (I would put currently before playing in both versions: He is the man who is currently playing tennis, etc. I would use 'currently' only if I were making a distinction between playing tennis at this time, and other times when he does something else, or when someone else is playing tennis.)

    The next three (playing tennis at 5:00 / playing tennis yesterday / playing tennis for 5 years) do not work. You will have to do something else to mark the tense.

    "He is the man who has already played tennis." He finished, and is no longer playing tennis.
    "He is the man already playing tennis." He started playing tennis some length of time before the present and is still playing tennis.

    He is the man playing tennis tomorrow. This works, because we normally use the participle to talk about future action. (e.g., I'm going to the museum tomorrow.)

    I think you could say "He is the man probably playing tennis tomorrow."
    but sounds a little odd.
    That man is probably playing tennis tomorrow
    is closer to what we might say.
     
  3. Avanpost Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thanks a lot! It's very kind of you! :)
     

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