Reduced relative clause

Discussion in 'English Only' started by High on grammar, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. High on grammar Senior Member

    Farsi


    Hello everyone:
    I would like to know of the two sentences numbered (1) and (2), which is the correct reduced version of the following sentence:

    [The children (who were happy) played until their parents came back to pick them up.]
    Source: myself

    1. The children, happy, played until their parents came back to pick them up.
    2. The happy children played until their parents came back to pick them up.



    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  2. sandpiperlily

    sandpiperlily Senior Member

    Neither of your examples are correct, because the end should be "...their parents came back to pick them up" (not "picked").

    Other than that, either of the examples is fine. They mean slightly different things.

    "The children, happy, ..." is slightly less common but totally fine. It implies that the children were happy at the time they were playing.

    "The happy children" is more common and colloquial. It could mean one of three things, depending on the context:
    1. It probably means that the children were happy at the time they were playing. Same as the above sentence.
    2. It might also imply that the children were characteristically happy. In other words, being happy is part of their personality; they are happy most of the time, not just when they are playing. These are just children who are usually in a cheerful mood, and today it just so happens that they were playing.
    3. It might be contrasting the group of "happy children" to some other group. Perhaps the next sentence is something like, "the sad children, on the other hand, sat sullenly in the corner and refused to join the game."
     
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hello HoG

    I'd say that (2) is closer than (1) to the original sentence The children who were happy played until their parents came back to pick[ed] them up.

    (1) would be closer to The children, who were happy, played until their parents came back to pick them up.


    (Cross-posted with sandpiperlily:).)
     
  4. High on grammar Senior Member

    Farsi
    Yes, you guys are absolutely right about "picked" that it should be "pick". I don't know why I sometimes make this kind of mistakes: When I am saying it in my mind, the sentence is totally fine ; it is when I am putting it in writing that the mistake happens.

    Thank you guys

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    I am afraid neither of the sentences suggested in post 1 contains what is called a reduced relative clause. The word 'happy' is just an adjective. An adjective is not a clause.

    To create a 'reduced relative clause', you need a participle and some additional wording: in other words, a participial phrase.
    'Participial phrase' is the proper name for it, in my view, not 'reduced relative clause'.
    At any rate, if you keep the idea of a participial phrase in mind, you can then generate one from a relative clause.

    My first sentence in this post does contain a participial phrase: namely, the words 'suggested in post 1'.
    We can replace that phrase with a relative clause:

    'I am afraid neither of the sentences which have been suggested in post 1 contains what is called a reduced relative clause'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  6. High on grammar Senior Member

    Farsi
    [The children who were happy played until their parents came back to pick them up.]

    The above sentence is a relative clause the reduced version of which is this: [The children happy played until their parents came back to pick them up.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    We can convert the original clause into a participial phrase ('reduced relative clause') as long as we remember that it needs a participle plus some additional expression:

    The children, who were happy, played until their parents came back to pick them up.
    The children, being happy, played until their parents came back to pick them up.
     
  8. High on grammar Senior Member

    Farsi
    Thanks
     

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