expensive make-up that we saw being advertised

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
A
You use a or an when you are referring to any person or thing of a particular type and do not want to be specific.
...expensive make-up that we saw being advertised by a beautiful model...
Collins Cobuild

Am I right that this is a changed Complex object?: we saw expensive make-up being advertised by a beautiful model... -- where "being advertised" is a present participle passive.

Can I, according to the pattern of the original, say "this is the man I saw being beaten by those hoodlums." ?
Doesn't look like it's 'we' who were being advertised, not the make-up? Or it's I who was being beaten, not the man?
Thanks.
 
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  • Let us assume, for discussion:
    I say to a friend. I want to buy some of that expensive make-up that we saw being advertised by a beautiful model from Brazil.

    What is your question? "being advertised..." is an adjectival phrase applying to 'make-up', as I think you know.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Let us assume, for discussion:
    I say to a friend. I want to buy some of that expensive make-up that we saw being advertised by a beautiful model from Brazil.

    What is your question? "being advertised..." is an adjectival phrase applying to 'make-up', as I think you know.
    But if I replace the phrase after "saw" with another one, e.g.: "I want to buy some of that expensive make-up that we saw wandering around the perfume shop". The phrase in bold refers to "we", not to "make-up" and the sentence is also correct, right? And why did you say "adjectival phrase"? Isn't it a participle phrase?
     
    Vik, this is a common phenomenon, esp. for final phrases:

    I saw the boy walking up the hill.

    The last phrase "walking..." could conceivably attach to "saw" [resulting in an adverbial phrase], but there is a slight preference for applying to "boy" [resulting in an adjectival phrase.]

    One would have to re-arrange words, or add some, to ensure absolute clarity, but "The phrase applies to the closest noun or noun-like entity" is the rule of thumb:

    "I saw him turning yellow."
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    But if I replace the phrase after "saw" with another one, e.g.: "I want to buy some of that expensive make-up that we saw wandering around the perfume shop". The phrase in bold refers to "we", not to "make-up" and the sentence is also correct, right?
    This is now context-based because we know make-up does not walk!

    "I want to buy some X that we saw Ying" as a general rule is ambiguous without context clues and the possible choice of antecedent will play a role but not always overcome context logic! "I want to buy some of those cookies we saw baking" vs. "I want to buy some of those cookies we saw sightseeing" :D
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    This is now context-based because we know make-up does not walk!

    "I want to buy some X that we saw Ying" as a general rule is ambiguous without context clues and the possible choice of antecedent will play a role but not always overcome context logic! "I want to buy some of those cookies we saw baking" vs. "I want to buy some of those cookies we saw sightseeing" :D
    I'm not sure I've understood this part: "the possible choice of antecedent will play a role but not always overcome context logic!", but I suspect it has a meaning close to the first part of your phrase (context rules):)
    Thanks, all!
     
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