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    #1

    postmodification by V-ing

    Hi, teachers.
    I wonder if all of the following aregrammatically and semantically correct, please.
    1# The person saving the girl's life lastyear is my brother.
    2#The person saving the girl's life last year was my brother.
    3#The person having saved the girl's life last year is my brother.
    4# The person saving the girl's life a momentago is my brother.
    5#The person saving the girl's life a moment ago was my brother.
    6#The person having saved the girl's life a moment ago is my brother.
    I would appreciate it if you gave me a bighand.
    Thank you very much.


  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    I suggest you rephrase the sentence to something like "The person who saved the girl's life last year" or "The person who just saved the girl's life is my brother".

    Maybe other members will give you other variations which sound more natural than mine, though.

    Greetings,

    charliedeut

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    #3

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    I would also use The person who/that saved.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    Is "that" really correct when it refers to a person? I never quite liked it, and avoid it as much as I can (except the usual slip of the tongue, of course).

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    #5

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    So according to you teachers, if the time of V-ing is earlier than that of the main clause, we use the relative clause.

    But what makes me puzzled is the great book named A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. In 17.28, it says:
    The nonfinite clause writing reports in [The person writing reports is my colleague] may be interpreted, according to the context, as equivalent to one of the more explicit versions in [I].
    And [I] includes "The person who wrote reports is my colleague" and "The person who was writing reports is my colleague".
    Last edited by norwolf; 08-Jun-2012 at 12:11.

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    Please note that in your original post, all time references are from the past. In the example [The person writing reports is my colleague], the colleague can actually be writing reports, which was not the case in your previous examples.

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    #7

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    So according to you teachers, if the time of V-ing is earlier than that of the main clause, we use the relative clause.

    But what makes me puzzled is the great book named A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. In 17.28, it says:
    The nonfinite clause writing reports in [The person writing reports is my colleague] may be interpreted, according to the context, as equivalent to one of the more explicit versions in [I].
    And [I] includes "The person who wrote reports is my colleague" and "The person who was writing reports is my colleague".
    Is there no difference between someone who writes/wrote reports as a habitual/repeated action and a one-off event? They do say according to context- there's nothing I can see in your context to justify the use.

    Here's an example:

    The man writing reports in our department has been sacked. - I can interpret this as who wrote.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: postmodification by V-ing

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Is "that" really correct when it refers to a person? I never quite liked it, and avoid it as much as I can (except the usual slip of the tongue, of course).
    Yes, it is correct.

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