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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    If there's a comma between the clauses, Is "foretelling"'s subject Freud or the previous clause? Does it mean "...and Freud foretold his later ...." or "this fact foretold his later..."?

    ex)...Freud investigated the structure of the reproductive organs in eels, foretelling his later preoccupation with sex.....

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    #2

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    If there's a comma between the clauses, Is "foretelling"'s subject Freud or the previous clause? Does it mean "...and Freud foretold his later ...." or "this fact foretold his later..."?

    ex)...Freud investigated the structure of the reproductive organs in eels, foretelling his later preoccupation with sex.....
    Not a teacher only a native.

    Foretelling refers to the investigations that Freud conducted were indicative of his later preoccupation with sex.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    If there's a comma between the clauses, Is "foretelling"'s subject Freud or the previous clause? Does it mean "...and Freud foretold his later ...." or "this fact foretold his later..."?

    ex)...Freud investigated the structure of the reproductive organs in eels, foretelling his later preoccupation with sex.....
    I'd take it to refer to the whole first clause. Yes, "this fact".
    (You might prefer 'the subject of "foretelling"' to '"foretelling"'s subject'.)

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd take it to refer to the whole first clause. Yes, "this fact".
    (You might prefer 'the subject of "foretelling"' to '"foretelling"'s subject'.)
    Thanks, but I've always learned in this kind of structure(when there's a comma) of participle clause, the subject of the main clause is usually the subject of the subordinate clause , but this foretelling doesn't seem a participle clause, but a present participle, an adjective.
    I don't know how to categorize this, but it seems an exceptional grammar case. Do you make any difference between "participle clause" and "present participle"?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Thanks, but I've always learned in this kind of structure(when there's a comma) of participle clause, the subject of the main clause is usually the subject of the subordinate clause , but this foretelling doesn't seem a participle clause, but a present participle, an adjective.
    I don't know how to categorize this, but it seems an exceptional grammar case. Do you make any difference between "participle clause" and "present participle"?
    Firstly, nothing you've said changes my opinion about the referent of "foretelling" - it's the whole first clause.
    Secondly, I think you've learnt the wrong rule relating to dependent clauses - they are more likely to refer to the whole main clause if there is a comma.
    "My cat has been sick lately, which worries me." The dependent clause can only refer to the whole main clause. (You'll agree that's it not merely the cat that's worrying; it's that she's sick - the whole clause).
    "My cat has been sick lately, persuading me to consult a vet." Same. The cat herself is not persuading me to consult a vet.

    Yes, I'd call it a present participial clause.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Firstly, nothing you've said changes my opinion about the referent of "foretelling" - it's the whole first clause.
    Secondly, I think you've learnt the wrong rule relating to dependent clauses - they are more likely to refer to the whole main clause if there is a comma.
    "My cat has been sick lately, which worries me." The dependent clause can only refer to the whole main clause. (You'll agree that's it not merely the cat that's worrying; it's that she's sick - the whole clause).
    "My cat has been sick lately, persuading me to consult a vet." Same. The cat herself is not persuading me to consult a vet.

    Yes, I'd call it a present participial clause.
    But my example is like
    "I took a bus, arriving at school at 7" => "I took a bus and I arrived at school at 7". In this case, the second clause's subject is also "I" not the whole previous clause.
    How can you tell numerous these examples from the one we dealt with?
    I feel stupid, but I don't think I've encountered this type of example a lot. Maybe I've perceived them in a wrong way for a long time.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    But my example is like
    "I took a bus, arriving at school at 7" => "I took a bus and I arrived at school at 7". In this case, the second clause's subject is also "I" not the whole previous clause.
    Well, now you're asserting that your example is similar to this. Your original post was asking whether it was or not (that is, you were asking the referent of 'foretelling'. I don't agree that this example is semantically "like" the original one, although the syntax is the same.

    How can you tell numerous these examples from the one we dealt with?
    You tell from the context, and from what makes sense. Did you read my cat examples?

    I feel stupid, but I don't think I've encountered this type of example a lot. Maybe I've perceived them in a wrong way for a long time.
    Yes, you possibly have. That doesn't make you stupid! It means you haven't seen (or realised that you have seen) sentences like my cat ones.

  7. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Without the comma, the eels are doing the foretelling.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Without the comma, the eels are doing the foretelling.
    But do you agree that 'foretelling' refers back to the whole clause? I'd like another opinion.
    Also, what do you think about:
    "My cat has been sick lately, persuading me to consult a vet."
    It's possible that, in most sentences like this, "persuading" should refer back to "cat", but the context here suggests otherwise?

  9. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: foretelling his later preoccupation with sex?

    I do agree with you by context, it does refer to the clause as a whole. But having said that, such constructions are by no means elegant or well-turned, if you ask me.

    They remind me a bit of a phrase used by French teachers to teach the gérondif and how it should refer clearly to a proper subject:

    Riding my bicycle through the countryside the other day, a cow knocked me over.

    How did the cow get his bike?

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