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  1. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #1

    using participle to shorten relative clauses

    Good afternoon everybody,
    I was wondering if an expert from this forum could be so kind as to clarify to me the following:

    as far as I have understood, you can use participles to shorten relative clauses if you have a relative clause in which the relative pronoun is the subject.
    This should mean that a sentence like this:

    The police followed two youths who were driving a stolen car.


    can be reformulated with the aid of a participle construction as follows:

    The police followed two youths driving a stolen car.

    But my question is whether such a sentence could be misunderstood. I mean, could it be that we do not know exactly who is driving a stolen car, whether the police or the two youths?
    I am not an Englisch native speaker, of course.

    Thanks

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    'Driving' must refer to 'two youths' rather than 'the police'.

    Not a teacher.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    The participial phrase normally attaches to the closest noun.

  4. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    Thank you a lot guys. I appreciate your help.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    meraviglioso, clicking on the 'Thank' button can obviate the need for a new post saying 'thank you', such is one of the many unwritten rules on this forum.

    Not a teacher.

  6. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    And what about this one:

    "The police followed Sandra and Paul, who were driving a stolen sports car."

    I mean, this sentence here is a non-defining relative clause thus different to the other clause I posted above, which was a defining one.
    The question is:

    If we shorten this relative clause using a participle like here:

    "The police followed Sandra and Paul, driving a stolen sports car"

    Does the participle "driving" refert to Sadra and Paul ? Following your explanation it should.

    Thank you in advance for your help

    regards

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    It refers to the police.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    What bhaisahab said.


    A. The police followed Sandra and Paul, driving a stolen sports car.
    B. What were the police doing driving a stolen sports car?







  9. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: using participle to shorten relative clauses

    following Sandra and Paul, of course!

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