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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #1

    A confusing syntactical sentence!

    Hi there,

    I wish you respond to my questions:

    I) My question is, the following sentence:

    He treated them badly

    I want to know the grammatical function of the underlined words. I could say that "them" could be a direct object, but unfortunately, I am unable to move it to the beginning of the sentence to make it passive! I don't really know what to do with it. For "BADLY", it is almost clear, as it appears to be an adverbial constituent because it tells us "how" they were treated?



    --

    II) Second question:

    I have got a sentence, and would like to know the embedded clause in it

    A) The accusation that the actor dismissed his agent is laughable.
    B) The accusation tgat tge actor has dimissed is laughable.

    and if possible, how did you figure out! :)


    Thanks alot,
    Last edited by Okey; 22-Nov-2008 at 17:23.

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    #2

    Re: A confusing syntactical sentence!

    Your instincts were correct on the first sentence:

    He (pronoun subject) treated (verb) them (pronoun direct object) badly (adverb modifying treated).

    The passive construction is:

    They were treated badly by him.

    Your next two sentences demonstrate restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses.


    A) The accusation that the actor dismissed his agent is laughable.
    B) The accusation that the actor has dismissed is laughable.

    In sentence A the phrase "that the actor has dismissed his agent" is attached to the word "accusation" and without that phrase the sentence would lose most of its meaning. This is a restrictive relative clause.

    In sentence B the phrase "that the actor has dismissed" is additional information about the accusation and is not necessary for understanding the meaning of the sentence and is therefore non-restrictive and should be set off with commas:

    B) The accusation, that the actor has dismissed, is laughable.


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #3

    Re: A confusing syntactical sentence!

    Thanks for your clarification. But I want to comment on A, for the second question:

    In A, we can say that "The accusation that the actor has dismissed his agent, is laughable" and the cluse "the accusation...agent," is a relative (dependent) clause?

    and in B, "The accusation, that the actor has dismissed, is laughable", where is the relative clause here?, because you said that "that the actor has dismissed" is just an extra info to the sentence.

    Please go a bit in details with the B sentence. Thanks alot for your assistance, I do appreciate it.

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