rapidly approaching

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navi tasan

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Which of these sentences are correct:

1-A ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
2-A rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal.


3-They sent a message to a rapidly approaching ship.
4-They sent a message to a ship rapidly approaching.


5-The ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
6-The rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal.
 

Casiopea

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Which of these sentences is correct:

1-A ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
2-A rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal. (OK: adjective)

:?: a ship rapidly approaching :?:
Is it a restrictive or nonrestrictive clause?
A ship that was rapidly approaching us picked up the signal. (R)
A ship, which was rapidly approaching us, picked up the signal. (NR)

3-They sent a message to a rapidly approaching ship. (OK: adjective)
4-They sent a message to a ship rapidly approaching.

5-The ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
6-The rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal. (OK)
 

navi tasan

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I don't think that in the cases where you have "a ship" it matters much whether it is restrictive or not, but I would say that it is restrictive.
May-be in the cases where the clause is postposed, one has to put the adverb after the verb.

"a train approaching rapidly"
"the train approaching rapidly"
 

RonBee

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navi tasan said:
I don't think that in the cases where you have "a ship" it matters much whether it is restrictive or not, but I would say that it is restrictive.
May-be in the cases where the clause is postposed, one has to put the adverb after the verb.

"a train approaching rapidly"
"the train approaching rapidly"

I agree. That works better.

:)
 

Casiopea

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Oops. :oops: I understood the problem to be with the position of the adjectival phrase 'rapidly approaching', not with the determiners 'a' and 'the' per se.

A. ...rapidly approaching ship
B. ...ship rapidly approaching

In A. the phrase 'rapidly approaching' functions as an adjective, modifying the noun 'ship', whereas in B. 'rapidly approaching' functions as a verb phrase , the underlying or semantic subject of which is anomitted relative pronoun 'that/which':

B. ...ship (that was) rapidly approaching (us)...
B. ...ship (which was) rapidly approaching (us)...

and the reason for me questioning whether the omitted relative pronoun was restrictive (that) or non-restrictive (which).

I did not mean to imply that the choice of relative pronoun was related in any way to the choice of determiner ('a'/'the'). :oops:

To be more clear, if 'rapidly approaching' comes before the noun, then it functions as an adjective: 'approaching' is a participle. If 'rapidly approaching' comes after the noun, then it's part of a relative clause, within which it functions as a verb phrase: '(was) approaching' is a verb. That's one of the reasons why we can move the adverb 'rapidly' to the end of the phrase:

...ship rapidly approaching... (adverb + verb)
...ship approaching rapidly... (verb + adverb)

...rapidly approaching ship... (adverb + adjective)
...approaching rapidly ship... (adjective + adverb *ungrammatical)


Of the six 'rapidly approaching' sentences originally posted, I'd say-keeping a blind eye to omitted words (that/which was)-that all are acceptable given the context.

All the best,

Cas
 

RonBee

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Re:

  • 1-A ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
    2-A rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal.


    3-They sent a message to a rapidly approaching ship.
    4-They sent a message to a ship rapidly approaching.


    5-The ship rapidly approaching picked up the signal.
    6-The rapidly approaching ship picked up the signal.

I agree with her (Casiopea's) analysis, but I do not agree with her conclusion. The first sentence needs the missing words to be supplied before it makes sense, then there is still not enough information. "A ship that was rapidly approaching picked up the signal" raises the question "Rapidly approaching what?"

The second sentence is perfectly good, and the clear implication is that the ship is rapidly approaching the speaker.

The situation is similar with the other two sentence pairs. The "rapidly approaching ship" is fine with me, but I don't care for "ship rapidly approaching".

:)
 
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