The man <standing / is standing / who is standing> ate

chantoto

Member
chinese
Which sentences for noun phrase is correct?

1) The man standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper ate a sandwich.
2) The man is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper ate a sandwich.
3) The man who is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper ate a sandwich.
4) The man standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper who ate a sandwich.
5) The man is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper who ate a sandwich.
 
Last edited:
  • chantoto

    Member
    chinese
    Why 2) & 4) are not correct?
    How about "The man is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper who ate a sandwich."
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Why 2) & 4) are not correct?
    How about "The man is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper who ate a sandwich."
    No, that would mean the newspaper ate the sandwich. 2) and 4) are not correct because there is no main verb connecting subject and predicate.
     

    Rain_UK

    Senior Member
    Italian
    How about "The man is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper who ate a sandwich."
    Actually, the statement you have just written is the sentence #5 in question.
    Only the sentences #1 and #3 are correct, but I would anyway add some commas in order not to get confused.

    The man standing at the bus stop, carrying a newspaper, ate a sandwich.
    The man, who is standing at the bus stop carrying a newspaper, ate a sandwich.
     

    Rain_UK

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Then, is the bus stop carrying a newspaper ?:confused:
    Standing and carrying here are called participle adjectives.
    Actually, it is implicit that they refer to the subject, that is, the man and not the bus stop.

    The complete [and superfluous, definitely] sentence would be
    The man [who is] standing at the bus stop, [who is[ carrying a newspaper, ate a sandwich.

    The commas, as I have pointed out, help to better understand the sentence.
    Clauses such as standing at the bus stop and carrying a newspaper are called non-defining relative clauses, that is, they do relate to the subject but they are not important, indeed, they are superfluous and that is why they are put between two commas. They might be left out of the sentence and the main meaning of the sentence would not be affected.

    The main sentence is, in fact, as follows
    The man ate a sandwich.

    --------
    You can find more info about defining relative clauses and non-defining relative clauses on here [from Cambridge Dictionaries Online].
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Then, is the bus stop carrying a newspaper ?:confused:
    No, but the reason that we know that it isn't is because of our real-world knowledge, not because the structure of the sentence forbids it. For instance, with modifications, a somewhat far-fetched but not impossible example:

    The man standing at the bus station belonging to Greyhound ate a sandwich.


    Who or what belongs to Greyhound? We know that it's the bus station, but not because it's grammatically impossible that it could be the man. We simply know that in the real world bus stations might belong to a bus company, but people can not.

    As Rain_UK suggests above, the use of commas makes it clearer.
     
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