the guys playing football with us or the guys who are...?

avyavy

Member
Italian
Hello there!

I've another question about one sentence.
I know that in relative clauses you can use a participle instead of a relative pronoun when the action of the principal clause is contemporary to the action of the subordinate clause (a man standing at the door -a man who is standing at the door).
So I have a question about this sentence:

Are they your new friends? No, they aren't. They're just some boys who are playing chess with us.

I guess that I could use a participle instead of the relative pronoun, right? So that would be:

Are they your new friends? No, they aren't. They're just some boys playing chess with us.

But this last sentence doesn't sound very good to me... Could you please tell me if it is possible to use the participle instead of the RP here and if it is not possible could you explain why?

Thanks :))
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The last sentence sounds normal to me, Avyavy. I can't think of any rule that would require you to use a relative pronoun there.
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    It is okay to leave the relative pronoun or to shorten your sentence by removing it. It means the same thing.

    They are just some boys (who are) playing chess with us.
     

    avyavy

    Member
    Italian
    All right, then. I guess I could use both sentences, right? Maybe the 1st is a little bit more formal than the second?
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    It is okay to leave the relative pronoun or to shorten your sentence by removing it together with the form of BE.

    GS
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    I don't view one as more formal than the other. It's just a different choice in style: wordy or less wordy.

    Another thought is that you might choose to use the who or omit it depending on which part of the sentence is most important to you. This is not an absolute rule. It's more of a nuance as to how I perceive it. For example:

    They are film stars, who are playing chess with us. (They are film stars! That's most important part. What they are doing is just a parenthetical phrase.)
    They are just some boys playing chess with us. (The emphasis is on what they are doing. The important part of the sentence is that they are playing chess with us.)
     
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