An equivalent formulation, generalizable to interacting systems, is to consider...

I want to know what kind of grammatical structure the part "generalizable to interacting systems" is. It is not a participle construction, right? What is it?


Generalizable is an adjective, and the phrase generalizable to interacting systems post-modifies formulation. It could also be expressed as which is generalizable to interacting systems.

  • It should also be noted that adjectives derived from verbs with -able do act somewhat like participles in that they tend to retain the original verb’s complements. ‘Generalise’, for example, is used with a complement to + NP, and ‘generalisable’ keeps this possibility. They can also take agentive complements (by + NP to indicate the agent of the possible action). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 21 '13 at 8:52
  • @Barrie England Thank you Barrie England! I have another question.Can the two commas be omitted? Written as "An equivalent formulation generalizable to interacting systems is to consider..." and "An equivalent formulation which is generalizable to interacting systems is to consider... – user15964 Oct 21 '13 at 10:29
  • If (which is) generalizable to interacting systems is an essential part of the sentence, if, in other words, it defines which formulation is under consideration, then the convention is to omit the commas. You would include them, on the other hand, if you regarded ‘generalizable to interacting systems’ as no more than additional information. – Barrie England Oct 21 '13 at 11:04

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