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  1. brokenjeans
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    #1

    reduction of adverb clauses

    Here is a paragraph I found from a English magazine

    "Finally, for dessert are the honey ants. After eating secretions from aphids, the abdomens of these ants fill up with a sweet liquid, and they are a popular dessert in Mexico."

    As I know, Only sentences in which the main (independent) clause and the adverb (dependent) clause have the same subject can be reduced. In this adverb clause, the subject should be "ants" because the verb is eating. But in the main clause, i think the subject is "abdomens" not "these ants". So how can this sentence be reduced? Is the sentence wrong? Or the subject in the main clause is "these ants" not "abdomens"?

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    #2

    Re: reduction of adverb clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by brokenjeans View Post
    Here is a paragraph I found from a English magazine

    "Finally, for dessert are the honey ants. After eating secretions from aphids, the abdomens of these ants fill up with a sweet liquid, and they are a popular dessert in Mexico."

    As I know, Only sentences in which the main (independent) clause and the adverb (dependent) clause have the same subject can be reduced. In this adverb clause, the subject should be "ants" because the verb is eating. But in the main clause, i think the subject is "abdomens" not "these ants". So how can this sentence be reduced? Is the sentence wrong? Or the subject in the main clause is "these ants" not "abdomens"?
    (NOT a teacher) Native speakers would easily understand this sentence, but -- yes -- you are 100% correct: that sentence is "incorrect." The "correct" sentence (according to the rules) should be something like: After eating secretions from apids, these ants fill up their abdomens with this sweet liquid....


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #3

    Re: reduction of adverb clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by brokenjeans View Post
    Here is a paragraph I found from a English magazine

    "Finally, for dessert are the honey ants. After eating secretions from aphids, the abdomens of these ants fill up with a sweet liquid, and they are a popular dessert in Mexico."

    As I know, Only sentences in which the main (independent) clause and the adverb (dependent) clause have the same subject can be reduced. In this adverb clause, the subject should be "ants" because the verb is eating. But in the main clause, i think the subject is "abdomens" not "these ants". So how can this sentence be reduced? Is the sentence wrong? Or the subject in the main clause is "these ants" not "abdomens"?
    In non-finite or verbless clauses, the normal attachment rule for identifying the covert subject is that it is assumed to be identical in reference to the subject in the superordinate clause.
    Sometimes this rule is violated. If the sentence provides no means for identifying the subject, the sentence is totally unacceptable.

    (I and not idea) Driving to work, a sudden idea hit me.

    After (obviously not abdomens do the eating but ants) eating secretions from aphids, the abdomens of these ants fill up with a sweet liquid, and they are a popular dessert in Mexico.
    I agree with TheParser, that his/her sentence is better phrased.

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