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What is the grammatical name of "that has come in contact" in the following sentence:

The disease can be spread from an infected person to a healthy one through direct contact with the patient's body or any article that has come in contact with the patient.

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    That's a restrictive relative clause used adjectivally modifying the antecedent any article.
    – user140086
    Jul 16, 2016 at 12:51
  • @StoneyB Well, I think I should rephrase my comment, "that has come in contact with the patient" is a restrictive relative clause used adjectivally modifying the antecedent any article. Does it look better?
    – user140086
    Jul 16, 2016 at 12:59
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    Actually, the relative clause modifies just the noun "article" (i.e. excluding the determiner "any").
    – BillJ
    Jul 16, 2016 at 17:25

2 Answers 2

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The disease can be spread from an infected person to a healthy one through direct contact with ... any article [that has come in contact with the patient].

The string that has come in contact with the patient is a relative clause. In terms of functions, it is a postmodifier of the noun article.

According to grammars such as the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, it would be an integrated relative clause. These are also known as restrictive or defining relative clauses in other grammars.

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The disease can be spread from an infected person to a healthy one through direct contact with the patient's body or any article that has come in contact with the patient.

It is restrictive or limiting relative clause joined to the main clause with the help of that. The word any article is the antecedent, i.e. the word the clause defines. The syntactic function of it is attribute.

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  • I don't think the preposition "with" and the phrase "patient's body" are part of the antecedent. Please read the sentence again.
    – user140086
    Jul 17, 2016 at 11:52
  • @Rathony right you are. I will correct it. Thank you. Jul 17, 2016 at 12:04
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    The antecedent is the word article, not the word any, or the phrase any article. Jul 17, 2016 at 18:53

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