Anyone touches/ touching that wire will get a shock.


Senior Member
Anyone ….. that wire will get a shock.
c)touching (Answer Key)
d)has touched

Source: school exam

Would you please be kind enough to tell me if option B (touches) can work in the above test or not?

Thank you
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The relative 'who' can't be omitted in the clause, whatever finite tense is used, because it defines 'Anybody'. A non- finite construction, in this case, the present participle, replaces the defining relative clause.
    The past participle 'touched' can't be used because it suggests both passive and past.
    The present participle can replace the simple present in the hypothetical 'who' clause, 'who touches'. The present participle conveys the same time suggestions as the simple present and acts as a defining adjective too.

    'Anybody touching ... ' is not a clause but a phrase, because it has no finite verb. Participle constructions replacing relative clauses are extremely common in English.
    A test like this would usually follow thorough studying of the topic.



    Senior Member
    Thank you for answering.

    Can option C (touching) still be correct if we add [who is] for it?

    I mean [who is touching]

    I think it would be correct because [who is touching] = [touching] in the above test. Am I right?

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, because anyone who is touching the wire will be getting a shock right now; it is therefore not the case that they "will get a shock" (future), as per the wording of the question.
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >