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I was wondering if there is a difference between reduced temporal clause with gerund and reduced temporal clause with past participle, and which one is used in formal setting?

For example: Sentence A: The plant dies after being exposed to hazardous chemicals. Sentence B: The plant dies after exposed to hazardous chemicals.

I am always inclined to use sentence A since I never heard of the reduction of clause like in B.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated

  • Which noun is the object of the preposition after in your case B? – tchrist Feb 7 '15 at 20:46
  • I confess not to know anything about temporal clauses, but as a native speaker sentence A sounds infinitely preferable. I think I have somewhere or other heard the B format used. But I don't like it at all. If you wanted to shorten the sentence, why not say ...after exposure to hazardous chemicals. Can a noun (gerund?) be created from a past participle? – WS2 Feb 7 '15 at 20:47
  • @WS2 The only thing close to case B occurs in the peculiar dialect of Western Pennsylvania, where Your face needs washed (in?)famously occurs, despite that construction being ungrammatical for native speakers elsewhere. – tchrist Feb 7 '15 at 20:49
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    @tchrist In Britain we are not short of regional expressions which would not pass grammatical muster in the Queen's English. But I am just trying to think of one of our dialects which might say your face needs washed. I think I have heard it somewhere. – WS2 Feb 7 '15 at 20:52
  • @WS2: Indeed. According to Grammar Girl, "The 'needs washed' construction is common in Scotland and Northern Ireland according to both linguists and a few Scottish and Irish respondents to my question" [link]. – ruakh Feb 7 '15 at 21:25
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The unreduced form of the temporal clause is "The plant dies after it is exposed." Your example A is the reduced form: "The plant dies after being exposed." Your example B is ungrammatical. I don't see any difference in meaning or in formality between the unreduced and reduced forms.

  • Thank you. I was having second thought on this problem, since my friend, who is a native speaker, said that the example B is common use. But now everything's cleared up. Thanks again! – rutuehurhu Feb 8 '15 at 4:11

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