1

The question is why is the sentence A2 wrong?

A1 The man who looks/is tired is my brother. (OK)
A2 The man tired is my brother. (not OK)

B1 The man who is interested in your car will phone later. (OK)
B2 The man interested in your car will phone later. (OK)

Here is the rule:

If the relative pronoun RP is followed by a verb, the RP is the subject pronoun. SPs must always be used.

           the apple which is lying on the table.

If the RP is not followed by a verb (but a noun or pronoun), the RP is an object pronoun. OPs can be dropped in defining relative clauses, which are then called Contact Clauses.

           the apple (which) George put on the table.

Thank you

BTW British Council Learn English grammar site describes B1/B2 as an example of a simplified relative clause. It says:

"Defining relative clauses can be simplified, or reduced, in several ways:

If the relative clause contains the verb 'be' + any of the following then it can be reduced:

(a) be + an adjective phrase

Note that other verbs are possible here as well as 'be', such as 'seem', 'look' and 'appear'.

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/quick-grammar/relative-clauses-defining-relative-clauses

  • Because English doesn't have rules, only guidelines. I suspect it's because tired is only one word, and so "tired man" is a more natural expression than "man tired", whereas "interested in your car man" is not. – Rupert Morrish Oct 27 '17 at 1:47
  • "The man looking tired is my brother" is okay; "The tired-looking man is my brother" is better. "Look" meaning "seems" is a stative verb; that seems to be the problem. – Xanne Oct 27 '17 at 3:31
  • There's no anomaly. Neither A2 nor B2 are relative constructions, so the 'rule' about omitting relative pronouns does not apply to them. In B2 "interested in your car" is not a relative clause but a past-participial clause, though it does modify "man" just as a relative clause would. In A2 the adjective "tired" is only used alone attributively or predicatively, so we can have "the tired man" but not *"the man tired". – BillJ Oct 27 '17 at 7:10
  • The BritishCouncil LearnEnglish grammar site describes B2 as a simplified relative clause. "Defining relative clauses can be simplified, in several ways: If the relative clause contains the verb 'be' + any of the following then it can be reduced: (a) be + an adjective phrase. B1 The man who is interested in your car will telephone later. B2 The man interested in your car will telephone later. Other verbs are possible here as well as 'be' i.e. 'seem', 'look' 'appear'." learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/quick-grammar/… – J Burnett Oct 28 '17 at 4:27
  • @JBurnett Perhaps, but they are hardy an authority on scholarly grammar. The so-called "reduced" (or "simplified") relative clause is not any form of relative clause since it lacks a relative phrase. The crucial point about relative clauses is that they always contain an element - actually present or understood - that is anaphorically related to an antecedent from which it derives its interpretation. This is the basis for the term 'relative clause'. Thus, in the example cited, the subordinate clause "interested in you car" is not a relative clause, but a non-finite past-participial clause. – BillJ Oct 29 '17 at 13:31

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