Can a participle contain a comparison to another object in the same sentence?

For example, is the following sentence grammatically correct?

"I can't see any vehicle moving at higher speed that travels on the left lane compared to the vehicles on the right lane".

If it is not correct, please suggest another form for comparing two (or more) objects when it is needed to mention at least two actions that first object is performing. I would like to avoid using twice (or more) the same relative pronoun such as: "that".

Thank you in advance.

  • 2
    It's correct grammatically, but it's very awkward because it tries to cram all the information into one sentence. Two relative clauses in a row modifying the head noun (car which is) moving at higher speed and (car) that travels ...), with Whiz-Deletion and Conjunction Reduction, is already excessive. To do all this syntactic gymnastics inside the scope a negative, a modal and a perception verb (can't see) is asking not to be understood clearly. Certainly a participle can contain anything that any clause can contain, including comparatives; but it gets expensive to parse. Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 19:09
  • All the clauses are in the wrong order, making it ungrammatical. I think you have to put "higher speed" next to "compared to", and that forces you to move "in the left lane" earlier. But then you might as well make the two clauses parallel by using the same verb tense, and use than rather than compared to. So a minimal grammatical change to fix it is: "I can't see any vehicle that is traveling in the left lane and moving at higher speed than the vehicles in the right lane". StoneyB's answer changes more, but yields a better sentence. Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 19:33
  • Thank you very much for your answers. I understand your remarks regarding the example I've given. But it was just a simple example, while in a more complex case, some of your suggestions might not work. For example when I can't combine two relative clauses because they are not serial in terms of their influence on the subject and I want to emphasize the difference between them. Also, I am not sure that using "than" is always possible. I will give you a real example that I'm dealing with from the math field: Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 20:01
  • "We don't see any expression containing higher power of the small parameter that multiplies the derivative of the variable on the left side of the equation compared with expression that multiplies the variable on the right side of the equation".... How would you suggest to rephrase this sentence? Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 20:05
  • Just to clarify: The clauses ("adverbs") are related to the subject "expression on the left side of the equation" and they are: 1) "containing powers of the small parameter" and 2) "multiplies the derivative of the variable", and the comparison is done by "higher" to "the power of the expression on the right side of the equation". Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 20:09

1 Answer 1

  1. Simplify:

    • Reduce at higher speed to faster
    • Reduce compared to to an Xer than construction
    • Eliminate the move/travel elegant variation
  2. Restructure to give parallelism more weight:

    • vehicle in the left lane : ... in the right lane

I can't see any vehicle in the left lane traveling faster than those in the right lane.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.