-4

I want to check if what I know is correct or not. We can say "escaped prisoners". In this phrase, "escaped" works as a pre-modifier of "prisoner". But, we cannot use it as a post-modifier like "the police are searching for the prisoners escaped from the jail" In this case, "escaped" is interpreted as a verb so the sentence is considered incorrect. So one should rewrite this like "the police are searching for the prisoners who escaped from the jail."

However,unlike this, it is both correct to say "the retired officer is now working as a farmer", and "the officer retired from the tech-company is now working as a farmer".

So, I think "escaped" and "retired" working as participle-turned adjectives have different traits. The former can be used before a noun but not after, while the latter can be used both before and after a noun.

This is what I thought about it so far. I do now know if am correct about this. Grammar experts out there, please help me!

  • 3
    There's nothing wrong with "the police are searching for the prisoners escaped from the jail" – curiousdannii Mar 18 '15 at 9:09
  • 1
    @curiousdannii -- I would find that usage, at the very least, "curious". – Hot Licks Mar 18 '15 at 12:44
  • The horse raced past the barn fell down. / The bridge closed for repairs will reopen soon. The trouble with reduced relative clauses is that they can lead you up the garden path. Or even be ambiguous, as with the curious example above. There are a very few examples on the internet of "... is a man escaped from ..." and "... are men escaped from ...". I think that acceptability is not totally agreed upon when it comes to deciding what participial adjectives are used where. '"The police are hunting two men recently escaped from jail"' seems fine to me. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 19 '15 at 22:50
3

The officer retired from the company is...

This makes retired from the company into an adjectival phrase, which in turn makes retired into a transitive verb.

Retire isn't generally transitive; but it can be, if the intent is to indicate a forced retirement. If you don't want that implication, then you need to ensure that retire is intransitive by inserting who.

  • I think you could phrase the first part of your question a bit clearer, to explain that the adjectival phrase is interpreted as a passive, rather than active, construction—i.e., that “the officer retired from the company” reads as “the officer who was retired from the company” rather than “the officer who had retired from the company”—and that the passivisation is what makes it oddly transitive. Incidentally, the same ought to go for escape, but “the prisoners escaped from jail” sounds perfectly fine to me. So the asker has the examples backwards, but they are strangely different. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 18 '15 at 10:15
1

The officer retired from the tech-company is now working as a farmer.

Sounds bad in exactly the same way as

The police are searching for the prisoners escaped from the jail.

Just try the following: assume the retired officer stole stuff from said company, then you can merge the sentences:

The police are searching for the officer retired from the tech-company.

In both cases, it feels much more natural to use the attributive participle before the noun that it modifies.

I would actually read your “retired” sentence as:

The officer retired from the tech-company and is now working as a farmer.

Making retired a verb in the simple past.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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