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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Relative clauses

    Please tell me if this sentence is grammatically correct:

    "There was one experience from my journey in the Grand Canyon that was memorable."

    What confuses me about this sentence is that "that was memorable" is an adjective clause. I thought that adjective clauses are supposed to be placed closest to the noun they modify. (So in my opinion, this sentence is saying that the Grand Canyon was memorable, not the experience).

    However, I was told by an English teacher that some grammar books accept the above sentence, because the phrases "from my journey" and "in the Grand Canyon" are prepositional phrases. The teacher said that the books state that when there are prepositional phrases in front of the relative clause, the relative clause can refer to the noun before the prepositional phrase. Please clarify this for me. Thank you very much!
    Last edited by Kanehsu; 15-Jul-2008 at 07:39. Reason: Incorrect grammar

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Relative clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanehsu View Post
    Please tell me if this sentence is grammatically correct:

    "There was one experience from my journey in the Grand Canyon that was memorable."

    What confuses me about this sentence is that "that was memorable" is an adjective clause. I thought that adjective clauses are supposed to be placed closest to the noun they modify. (So in my opinion, this sentence is saying that the Grand Canyon was memorable, not the experience).

    However, I was told by an English teacher that some grammar books accept the above sentence, because the phrases "from my journey" and "in the Grand Canyon" are prepositional phrases. The teacher said that the books state that when there are prepositional phrases in front of the relative clause, the relative clause can refer to the noun before the prepositional phrase. Please clarify this for me. Thank you very much!
    It would be much better as; "There was one memorable experience during my journey in the Grand Canyon". I can imagine people saying the original sentence, although I find it incorrect.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: Relative clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanehsu View Post
    Please tell me if this sentence is grammatically correct:

    "There was one experience from my journey in the Grand Canyon that was memorable."

    What confuses me about this sentence is that "that was memorable" is an adjective clause. I thought that adjective clauses are supposed to be placed closest to the noun they modify. (So in my opinion, this sentence is saying that the Grand Canyon was memorable, not the experience).

    However, I was told by an English teacher that some grammar books accept the above sentence, because the phrases "from my journey" and "in the Grand Canyon" are prepositional phrases. The teacher said that the books state that when there are prepositional phrases in front of the relative clause, the relative clause can refer to the noun before the prepositional phrase. Please clarify this for me. Thank you very much!
    I do not find any wrong with the adjective clause: "that was memorable. it begins with a relative pronoun "that" and functions as an adjective clause , answering the questions Which one? eg. identifying the noun "Grand Canyon".

  3. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Relative clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Manas Ranjan Mallick View Post
    I do not find any wrong with the adjective clause: "that was memorable. it begins with a relative pronoun "that" and functions as an adjective, answering the questions Which one? eg. identifying "Grand Canyon".
    In this sentence, "that was memorable" is supposed to modify "experience" instead of "Grand Canyon". (It was a multiple choice question. That is how I know what it modifies.) If the adjective clause modifies "experience", is it placed correctly?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Relative clauses

    "There was one experience that was memorable..." would also be correct.


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    #6

    Re: Relative clauses

    "There was one experience from my journey in the Grand Canyon that was memorable."

    The sentence is fine as is.
    'There was one experience' alerts the listener to what you are talking about.
    'from my journey' - of all his life experiences, this phrase narrows it down - you are talking about an experience you had on a journey.
    'in the Grand Canyon' tells us exactly where you went on this journey
    If you stopped there:
    "There was one experience from my journey in the Grand Canyon."
    The listener would be puzzled - he knows you are actually going to say something specific about the experience, and all that has happened is that you have singled it out from all you life experiences, and told us where it happened...but there's something more to come.
    And then it does:
    '...that was particularly memorable.'
    Native speakers use this kind of sentence construction all the time.


    A construction such as, "There was one experience that was memorable from my journey in the Grand Canyon" would shift the meaning, which with the right tone of voice, indicate that 'your trip to the Grand Canyon was boring': of the whole trip, there was only one memorable experience.
    Last edited by David L.; 15-Jul-2008 at 08:29.

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    #7

    Exclamation Re: Relative clauses

    Dear kanehsu,
    I interpreted that the adjective clause is modifying the object of the preposition 'in' eg. the grand canyon. If this is not acceptable, then I stand corrected as what you said.
    Regards
    Later I find my stand has been vindicated.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 15-Jul-2008 at 08:33.


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    #8

    Re: Relative clauses

    Manas:
    "that was memorable. it begins with a relative pronoun "that" and functions as an adjective clause , answering the questions Which one? eg. identifying the noun "Grand Canyon".
    No. It modifies "experience"

    He lent me a book from the library that was overdue.
    Last edited by David L.; 15-Jul-2008 at 08:47.

  5. Newbie
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    #9

    Re: Relative clauses

    Take a look at this:

    http://faculty.cbhs.org/rgossett/Mis...0Modifiers.doc

    I can't say that this is an official source from grammar experts, but it is written by a faculty member in a high school.

    Start at the bottom of the 3rd page, labeled "ADJECTIVE CLAUSES sometimes..." (Source: "Misplaced Modifiers.doc" from http://faculty.cbhs.org/rgossett/lecture_notes.htm)

    I'm just wondering if the document's author is correct. I can't find this rule written explicitly in grammar websites and it's bugging me.

  6. Newbie
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    #10

    Re: Relative clauses

    bump

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