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Thread: Reduced clause

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    Question Reduced clause

    I am a UK native teacher.

    I recently used this reduced adverbial clause sentence in a text:

    Madrid seems hot and noisy after living in Venice.

    The text was not to show red. clauses. I wanted to show stative verbs (seem, appear etc) to elementary Ss.
    I know that there are other inelegant reductions like AFTER HAVING LIVED, but i wanted to avoid. There may be a tense clash too, but not, I believe, for natives (who wd understand implicitly).

    Native colleagues and native non-teachers (my brother and kids) seem fine with this sentence. Some non-native teachers don't like it on grammar purist grounds, however.

    Who is correct? Why?

    Last edited by pauleddy; 31-May-2009 at 02:20.

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    Re: Reduced clause

    Hello Eddy

    On my first read, I got what your colleagues got, a classic example of a dangling modifier:

    • Madrid seems hot and noisy after living in Venice.
    • Madrid after living in Venice seems hot and noisy.

    Cf. Max seems happy after living in Venice.
    Max after living in Venice seems happy.
    On my second read, I got the meaning your native speaking colleagues and friends got:
    • Madrid seems hot and noisy after (my) living in Madrid.

    The assumption being, or rather native intuition tells us Madrid, a place, cannot live in Venice, and so the utterance in question is not ambiguous, not a dangling modifying, and perfectly understandable.

    Who's right? Both groups, of course.

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