[Grammar] The function of Participle I

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usignolo

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Hello everybody!

Here is the sentence:

Pro-life campaigners say that if the Jones are allowed to choose the sex of their baby, it could lead to babies becoming consumer items.

I'm interested in the word "becoming".

Is it in the function of an attribute?
Pro-life campaigners say that if the Jones are allowed to choose the sex of their baby, it could lead to babies (who are becoming consumer items).

Thanks in advance!!!
 

emsr2d2

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At the moment, a baby is just that - a baby. A delightful little bundle of joy whose arrival is meant to complete a family. The piece suggests that if people are able to choose the sex of their baby, the situation might change. It might go from the current situation and become a situation where babies are consumer items (ie you can "choose" your baby like you choose a pair of shoes).

Babies might go from just being the result of procreation to being a consumer item.

The process of going from being one thing to being another thing is described as "becoming".

To be honest, they could have just written "... it could lead to babies being consumer items".
 

SoothingDave

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I like "becoming" here, because it is a process, an evolution. Babies wouldn't overnight become a consumer product.
 

5jj

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At the moment, a baby is just that - a baby. A delightful little bundle of joy whose arrival is meant to complete a family.
Humph.:cry:

By the way, I assume that the picky parents are Mr and Mrs Jone. if they are Mr and Mrs Jones, then they are the Joneses.
 

emsr2d2

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Humph.:cry:

By the way, I assume that the picky parents are Mr and Mrs Jone. if they are Mr and Mrs Jones, then they are the Joneses.

I should point out that most of my post was based on hearsay, not personal experience. I hope the sarcasm of my twee explanation came across!
 

TheParser

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I'm interested in the word "becoming".


Pro-life campaigners say that if the Joneses are allowed to choose the sex of their baby, it could lead to babies (who are becoming consumer items).



***** NOT A TEACHER *****


Hello,


1. I found a sentence in one of my favorite grammar books:

"I felt my veins stretching and my muscles becoming tense."

a. I think that it is somewhat similar -- in grammatical terms -- to your sentence.

2. IF you agree, then you may be interested in the book's explanation:

a. "Becoming tense" is a participle phrase being used as an objective complement. It "completes" the meaning of "muscles."

If it only read: "I felt my muscles," that would not be the meaning that the writer wanted to convey. S/he wanted to say that

s/he felt his/her muscles becoming tense. ("I felt something. My muscles became tense.")

3. With great respect, I believe that "babies becoming consumer items" is not an ellipsis (missing words) of "babies who are

becoming consumer items." I believe that the meaning of "becoming consumer items" is closer to "babies who will become

consumer items."

4. The book points out something very interesting: "becoming" in its sentence is a linking verb connecting "muscles" with

"tense." Thus, I believe that we can say that "becoming" in your sentence is a linking verb that connects "babies" to

"consumer items."


James


References: Descriptive English Grammar (1950) by Professors Homer C. House and Susan E. Harman, page 202.
Practical English Usage (1995) by Mr. Michael Swan, entry #406.2 on page 405.
 
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