reduced relative clause with perfect tenses

Discussion in 'English Only' started by alsoup, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. alsoup Senior Member

    Greek
    Hello everyone,

    I've been searching on internet about shortened relative clauses using present participles and what I've found is that all the examples use present continuous or simple.
    What I mean is ''I told you about the woman who lives next door. – I told you about the woman living next door ''
    or ''Do you see the cat which is lying on the roof? – Do you see the cat lying on the roof?''
    But can we use the present participle to replace perfect tenses?
    For example: ''This is the man who has been stealing vegetables from our garden'' ---> This is the man stealing vegetables from our garden?''

    I think the reduced form doesn't convey the same meaning with the first sentense
     
  2. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
    Hello,
    Relative clause: This is the man who has been stealing vegetables from our gardens.
    Reduced relative clause: This is the man having been stealing vegetables from our gardens.

    Relative clause: The girl who has asked a question is very clever.
    Reduced relative clause: The girl having asked a question is very clever.

    Relative clause: The teacher who has been asked a question is very clever.
    Reduced relative clause: The teacher having been asked a question is very clever.
     
  3. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    The contracted clause tends to borrow the tense of the main clause. Therefore, it is not advisable to contract when you mean to use a verb tense that is different:

    He was the man stealing [= who was stealing] vegetables from our garden.
    He is the man stealing [=who is stealing] vegetables from our garden.
    He will be the man stealing [= who will be stealing] vegetables from our garden.

    Now, back to your example - can we say that 'he is stealing' and 'he has been stealing' mean the same. Decidedly not. However, the meaning is close enough nonetheless. :)

    PS. Sb, those red examples do not work for me. I understand them but I do not think they are correct. It is too late now for me to check exactly why I do not like them :)

    PPS. Ah, I think I do not like them because such clauses tend to adverbially modify other clauses. You don't modify a noun adverbially... Still not sure though...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    No no no no! These sentences do not work this way. You can't reduce these clauses, unfortunately - as boozer says, the "reduced clause" with the present participle will always have the sense of "at the time of the main verb."

    The reason is that the "Having X'ed..." structure begins to look like a causative absolute structure - it would expand to "Because of having X'ed..."
     
  5. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
  6. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    No, you fool, that is not it... :D You simply don't like those clauses in this kind of post modification. :)
     
  7. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Yes. No English speaker would talk that way.

    However, this sentence is correct:
    But the meaning there is not:
    But instead:
     
  8. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    As Lucas explains, the later parts of that website are most spectacularly wrong, Sb.

    Please don't trust it any more.
     
  9. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
    Oh my God. I thought native English speakers have edited or designed the materials of the website.
    Ok thanks for informing. Then I would not rely on that.
     
  10. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I think you mean 'I will not rely on that'.
     
  11. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
    :thumbsup:
     
  12. alsoup Senior Member

    Greek
    ok guys, can a native speaker eventually tell me what I should do when I have perfect tenses in relative clauses?
    What I got is that we can't contract them, right?
     
  13. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I have seen a man arrested by the police.

    That seems to me acceptably idiomatic English. Is there a perfect tense contracted here? I suspect not in the sense you mean, Alsoup.
     
  14. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    Indiana
    English - US
    These sentences:

    are different from this sentence:

    The difference? "The woman living next door" lives next door now. She might not be home just now, but she still resides next door, so she is living there. "The cat lying on the roof" is on the roof as we speak. But the man "who has been stealking vegetables from our garden" is probably not in our garden with his hands on our vegetables right now. If he was, we would not probably not say "this is the man stealing vegetables" we would say "Look at that man stealing our vegetables! Stop! Thief!" If we want to talk about the man who has been stealing our vegtables, we could say "the man who keeps stealing our vegetables" or "the man who steals our vegetables." Both of these convey ongoing action, but do not mean that he is in the act of stealing the vegetables right now.
     
  15. alsoup Senior Member

    Greek
    ok Sparky I got it ;)
    so the present participle is used mainly to replace the present simple/ continuous or even past simple/ continuous {this is the house beloning (which belonged) to my grandfather}
    In case of a perfect tense we just use a different structure, not a present participle
    Thank you
     
  16. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    This is the house belonging to my grandfather means your grandfather still owns the house, Alsoup.
     

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