reduced adverb clauses

Discussion in 'English Only' started by diogerepus, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. diogerepus Senior Member

    I am confused with reduced adverb clauses

    A TOEFL book says that when there is a connctor 'once', it should be reduced in passive as follows:

    Once (it is) submitted, your thesis will be reviewed.

    The sentence above makes sense to me. But my question is that when 'once' is used in active,why can't it be reduced like this:

    Once you submit your thesis, you will graduate.
    Once submitting your thesis, you will graduate.

    Is it just because 'once' is used here?
  2. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    The clue to your question is in the examples you give. In the first one you drop 'it is' and everything's fine. In the second you don't just drop something, you manipulate it: you drop the 'you' and you add '-ing' on the end of submit, and this changes the nature of the verb.

    In these contexts, 'once' refers to a discrete point in time, a particular moment. When you change the second sentence to a present participle, you introduce something that clashes with 'once', since present participles suggest duration, continuation, not discrete points in time. Present participles are more typically used with words such as 'while', therefore: 'While submitting my thesis, I stumbled and fell and the pages went flying all over the room'. Similarly, you couldn't use 'while' with a past participle.
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Those do not work because "once" implies a finished action. You could, howeever, say

    Once you have submitted your thesis, you will graduate

    because the present perfect can imply a finished action.

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