comma with present participle: My father, swimming in the pool, is a

Julianus

Senior Member
Korean
Hello.

1. a. This is my house, which was built by Italian artist. b. This is my house, built by Italian artist. c. This is my house built by Italian artist.

2. a. My father, who is swimming in the pool, is a famous chef. b. My father, swimming in the pool, is a famous chef. c. My father swimming in the pool is a famous chef.


As I know, 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' could be omitted before participial phrase. Therefore, when 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' is omitted in non-restrictive relative pronoun, it shoud be 'participial phrase' like (b) patterns.

Question : Is the comma which indicate 'non-restrictive relative pronoun' significant after 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' being omitted?
In other words, are there any differences between (b) patterns and (c) pattern after 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' being omitted?

Thank you always~.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    If I understand you correctly, I can tell you that the commas in 2b are necessary. "Swimming in the pool" has to be regarded as nonessential information. If you delete the commas, the phrase "swimming in the pool" is essential. That implies that you have more than one father, which doesn't make sense*: My father swimming in the pool is a famous chef. = I have other fathers. Only the one who is swimming in the pool is a famous chef. The other fathers probably have different jobs.

    When you use the commas, the phrase "swimming in the pool" is nonessential: My father, swimming in the pool, is a famous chef. = My father, who happens to be swimming in the pool now, is a famous chef. This use of the phrase "swimming in the pool" is perfectly ordinary. Nonessential phrases and clauses provide extra detail about a subject, and it's important to set them off with commas so that readers understand the phrase or clause correctly.

    *Note: I'm aware that some people have more than one man in their lives whom they call "father". I don't think Jullianus had the "multiple-father" theory in mind when he wrote the sentences in his example.
     
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    Julianus

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you very much, owlman5~. I do understand. and I have another question.

    3. a. My house is on the hill, which was built by an Italian artist. b. My house is on the hill, built by an Italian artist. c. My house, built by an Italian artist, is on the hill.

    I think 3(a) is correct. but if I omit 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' is (b) pattern still possible? or should I always use (c) patten after 'relative pronoun as subjective + be' being omitted?
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You are quite welcome, Jullianus.

    (b) looks strange because it seems to mean that the artist built the hill and not the house. This is easy to correct: On the hill is my house, built by an Italian artist.

    When you use phrases like this one, it's important to set them next to the noun or noun phrase they modify. So the "b" pattern is certainly possible as long as you are careful to place the nonessential phrase next to the noun it modifies.
     
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