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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 11th, 2021, 12:00 am
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Default Relative Clauses

Hello everyone!
In the following sentences, when the noun is at the begining of the first sentence, the relative clause should be the second sentence:
1.The boy is cute. He lives next door.
=The boy who lives next door is cute.
2.The novel won the prize. It pleased a lot of writers.
=The novel that pleased a lot of writers won the prize.
3.Tom still rides a bike. He is 84.
= Tom, who is 84, still rides a bike.
*But this rule doesn't apply on the following:
The man stole the money. He must be punished.
= The man who stole the money must be punished.
(The noun is in the first sentence. The relative clause is the complement of the first sentence though.)
Not: The man who must be punished stole the money.
I mean, aside from the meaning, is there any grammatical rule we can depend on?
Thanks in advance
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 11th, 2021, 04:18 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Relative Clauses

You're mixing up sentences and clauses. Each of your examples is of two sentences- each composed of a main clause, which are then combined into one sentence which has a main clause and a subordinate clause (the relative clause) . So for example:

The boy who lives next door is cute =
Main clause : The boy ... is cute
Relative clause : who lives next door

The relative pronoun who refers to the subject of the main clause - the boy - and therefore follows it, thus "interrupting" the main clause.

But notice that the order of the original two sentences is interchangeable. It would make no difference if you'd said The boy lives next door. He's cute

Similarly, for number 2 you said :
The novel won the prize. It pleased a lot of writers.
But you could equally well have said:
The novel pleased a lot of writers. It won the prize.

When combining them you always have a choice as to which information to put in the main clause and which in the subordinate clause. Here you could have combined the two sentences as :
a) a defining relative clause (ie one that tells you which novel we're talking about) :The novel which won the prize pleased a lot of writers
or
b) a non.defining relative clause (ie one that just adds extra information): The novel, which pleased a lot of writers, won the prize.

But it's got nothing to do with the order of the original "sentences" (or rather "propositions")

In your final example, exactly the same thing is happening. Notice you could have rearranged the original two sentences as:
The man must be punished. He stole the money.
So again, in the full sentence which you suggested you have..
the main clause : The man ..... must be punished.
interrupted by the relative clause who stole the money and again who refers to the subject of the main clause the man and is a defining relative clause.

But you could equally well have combined the two sentences using a non-defining relative clause (just adding extra information) The man, who must be punished, stole the money.


So the question is whether the relative clause is defining or non-defining. Order of information is irrelevant.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 11th, 2021, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Relative Clauses

* The man stole the money. He must be punished.
But in the textbook, I found one answer is possible, which is:
"The man who stole the money must be punished."
And I don't know why. Maybe it is more plausible because we have "cause and effect" here.

Last edited by susan53 : Feb 12th, 2021 at 06:02 am.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 12th, 2021, 06:12 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Relative Clauses

Either it was an activity specifically on creating defining relative clauses, where you were told to embed the first proposition into the second (which doesn't mean it can't be done differently, only that you were practising one specific grammatical point rather than another - and doesn't any way explain number 3 which is actually a non-defining relative clause), or it failed to take context into account. In this situation (the man wh stole the money) it's true that the defining clause would be much more likely in most contexts. But consider eg a context where the man was poor and had no money to feed his children :
The man, who must still be punished of course, only stole the money because his children were hungry.

We still have the basic structure : The man, who must ... be punished ..., .. stole the money... The adverbials of course and only are irrelevant to the basic structure, as is the added subordinate clause starting because.
So there's nothing ungrammatical about it.

Last edited by susan53 : Feb 12th, 2021 at 12:05 pm.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 12th, 2021, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Relative Clauses

Many thanks.
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