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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    omission of relative pronouns

    I am really confused about this part of English grammar so if anyone could help me I would really appreciate it

    Why was it possible to omit a relative pronoun in the following utterances?


    1. The story you have just told me sounds plausible.
    2. I have told you before to be careful of people offering something for nothing.
    3. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaint.
    4. Nothing I have heard about him changes my opinion of him.
    5. An ammeter is an instrument we use for measuring the strength of an electric current.

    Thanks


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #2

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by domha View Post
    I am really confused about this part of English grammar so if anyone could help me I would really appreciate it

    Why was it possible to omit a relative pronoun in the following utterances?


    1. The story you have just told me sounds plausible.
    2. I have told you before to be careful of people offering something for nothing.
    3. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaint.
    4. Nothing I have heard about him changes my opinion of him.
    5. An ammeter is an instrument we use for measuring the strength of an electric current.

    Thanks
    You can omit a relative pronoun when the antecedent serves as an object to the action of the attributive clause.
    e.g. The story you have just told me ...
    'the story' is an antecedent; it's an object to 'have told'.

    Nothing I have heard... - the same.

    An instrument we use ... - the same.

    #2 'people offering you some money' is a different construction.
    'Offering you some money' is not a clause, but a participial phrase, also functioning as an attribute. You can transform it into a clause 'who are offering you ...', but people like to express their ideas in a compressed way. They like to be economical.

  2. militroncho's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 27
    #3

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Hi Domma. I'm agree with Clark's reply.
    1,3,4,5 are right.
    2. I have told you before to be careful of people who offer something for nothing.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

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    #4

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    I can't thank you enough for your help!

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    #5

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    I'll just show how it works.

    1. The story you have just told me sounds plausible.
    => The story that you have just told me...
    => You have just told me a story [object]


    2. I have told you before to be careful of people offering something for nothing.
    => ... of people who offer you something ... [Adj. clause]
    => ... of people offering you something ... [Adj. phrase]

    3. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaint.
    => Everywhere that you go ...
    => You go everywhere [object]

    4. Nothing I have heard about him changes my opinion of him.
    => Nothing that I have heard about him ...
    => I have heard nothing about him ... [object]

    5. An ammeter is an instrument we use for measuring the strength of an electric current.
    => ... an instrument that we use ...
    => We use an instrument ... [object]


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 150
    #6

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Hello Everyone,

    what is [Adj. phrase] and [Adj. clause]?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #7

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvita View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    what is [Adj. phrase] and [Adj. clause]?
    An adjective phrase is a word-combination with an adjective as a kernel (main) word, e.g. difficult to see, big in size.

    An adjective clause is an invalid term. The adjective is not a member of the sentence, it's a part of speech. Very often adjectives are used as attributes in a sentence. This may be the reason for confusion. Attributive clauses are sometimes incorrectly called adjective clauses.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #8

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    You can omit a relative pronoun when the antecedent serves as an object to the action of the attributive clause.
    e.g. The story you have just told me ...
    'the story' is an antecedent; it's an object to 'have told'.

    Nothing I have heard... - the same. .
    In fact, in this type of structure "Nothing" is not the antecedent. If it was the antecedent, the sentence would not convey the intended meaning. "I have heard nothing" is what it would imply. But the original statement "Nothing I have heard about him changes my opinion of him." means something like "I have heard quite a lot of things about him but that won't change my opinion of him."

    When this type of sentence (main clause + relative clause) begins with a negative pronoun (eg nothing, nobody, no-one, nowhere) a prepositional phrase containing the antecedent is absent: "Nothing (of the things) I have heard about him changes my opinion of him." The absent noun phrase "the things" is the antecedent. cf:

    No-one I know likes him. Obviously "no-one" can't be the antecedent. That would imply that I know no-one. If you insert the absent prepositional phrase the message becomes intelligible: No-one (of the people) I know likes him.

    Here the noun people is the antecedent.

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    #9

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by militroncho View Post
    Hi Domma. I'm agree with Clark's reply.
    1,3,4,5 are right.
    2. I have told you before to be careful of people who offer something for nothing.
    i'm agree.
    I agree.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #10

    Re: omission of relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    In fact, in this type of structure "Nothing" is not the antecedent. If it was the antecedent, the sentence would not convey the intended meaning. "I have heard nothing" is what it would imply. But the original statement "Nothing I have heard about him changes my opinion of him." means something like "I have heard quite a lot of things about him but that won't change my opinion of him."

    When this type of sentence (main clause + relative clause) begins with a negative pronoun (eg nothing, nobody, no-one, nowhere) a prepositional phrase containing the antecedent is absent: "Nothing (of the things) I have heard about him changes my opinion of him." The absent noun phrase "the things" is the antecedent. cf:

    No-one I know likes him. Obviously "no-one" can't be the antecedent. That would imply that I know no-one. If you insert the absent prepositional phrase the message becomes intelligible: No-one (of the people) I know likes him.

    Here the noun people is the antecedent.
    Hi Naomi,

    Your interpretation seems very interesting to me. I guess your idea of antecedent is not quite the same as mine. In my understanding antecedent is the word that a prounoun replaces and refers to. Thus, in 'Nothing (that) I have heard about him ...' 'that' replaces and refers to the pronoun 'nothing', so 'nothing' is the antecedent. I'd be very interested to hear your definition of 'antecedent.'

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