Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    ARUK2008 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    76
    Post Thanks / Like

    Exclamation Reduced Relative Clauses

    In the following examples, are both right? Why? Why not?

    A) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom that starred Will Smith.

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starred Will Smith.(?)
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starring Will Smith.(?)

    B) In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series that focused on the life of a cartoonist.

    In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focused on the life of a cartoonist.

    In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focusing on the life of a cartoonist.

    Anyone willing to explain how this works, please? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,507
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Reduced Relative Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by ARUK2008 View Post
    In the following examples, are both right? Why? Why not?

    A) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom that starred Will Smith.

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starred Will Smith.(?)
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starring Will Smith.(?)

    B) In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series that focused on the life of a cartoonist.

    In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focused on the life of a cartoonist.

    In the 1980s. Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focusing on the life of a cartoonist.

    Anyone willing to explain how this works, please? Thanks in advance!
    It depends entirely on the verb. The verb 'focus' is highly unusual in that it has semantically identical active and passive forms. That is to say, 'to focus on smth.' has essentially the same meaning as 'to be focused on smth.' Thus while

    In the 1980s, Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focusing on the life of a cartoonist.

    employs the active form of the verb,

    In the 1980s, Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series (that was) focused on the life of a cartoonist.

    employs the passive form (with, as is common, ellipsis of relative pronoun and auxiliary).

    The verb 'star' on the other hand, works quite differently. It has two active meanings,

    (1) as a transitive verb, meaning 'contain/feature', with a film/show, etc. as subject and a famous person as object, e.g.

    The show starred Jim Carrey.

    (2) as an intransitive verb, meaning 'appear', with the famous person as subject and the show/film indicated by a prepositional complement, e.g.

    Jim Carrey starred in the show.

    (Interestingly, 'star' (1) is one of a relatively small number of transitive verbs that have no corresponding passive. Thus we cannot transform the above to

    *Jim Carrey was starred by the show.)

    To turn now to the earlier sentences,

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starring Will Smith.

    works, of course, because it employs the active (present) participle of the transitive verb, whereas

    *The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom starred Will Smith.

    does not, since we cannot perform the transformation that worked with regard to the Jim Carrey sentence, which would yield only nonsensical

    *The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom that was starred Will Smith.

    And since, as noted above, no passivization of transitive 'star' is possible, even the insertion of 'by'

    *The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a popular 1990s sitcom that was starred by Will Smith.

    would fail to improve matters.

    I trust that makes things a little clearer!
    Last edited by philo2009; 18-Jul-2009 at 10:05.

  3. #3
    svartnik is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Reduced Relative Clauses

    In the 1980s, Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focusing on the life of a cartoonist.

    The bold part here is a participle phrase (that is) attached to 'a TV series' to describe it, right?

  4. #4
    ARUK2008 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    76
    Post Thanks / Like

    Exclamation Re: Reduced Relative Clauses

    I really appreciate your efforts to make this clearer. I think it is quite difficult for me to understand what reduced relative clauses are about. I've been searching on the net for more information; but no luck.

    Could you please explain reduced relative clauses in a way that I can understand them easily, please?

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,507
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Reduced Relative Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    In the 1980s, Jim Carrey was in A Duck Factory, a TV series focusing on the life of a cartoonist.

    The bold part here is a participle phrase (that is) attached to 'a TV series' to describe it, right?
    Yes, indeed. So is the alternative with 'focused', the only difference being that nothing is ellipted from the active participial.

Similar Threads

  1. Definig - Non definin relative Clauses
    By Adil.Hid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-May-2008, 11:54
  2. Relative Clauses
    By thealienone2000 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Nov-2007, 06:06
  3. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 16-Nov-2006, 14:05
  4. relative clauses
    By snickchap in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17-Feb-2006, 14:32
  5. Attributive Clause - China Needs Your Help
    By ChinaDavid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2005, 15:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk