today I came across a sentence:

Financial statements often have amounts reported that are a summation of several ledger accounts.

I've scratched my head for a while but still cannot figure out the structure with 100% certainty, is the trailing clause "that are a summation..." here used to describe "amounts"? But in my experience, the noun and its paired clause are usually put together side by side. In this scenario, there is another word (amounts) here, so I'm a little confused here.

Thanks in advanced.

  • 1
    yes, your interpretation is correct. For example, a 'Short term liabilites' entry in a published statement might be a sum of a line of credit and an accounts payable general ledger account. Rephrasing in active voice might help: 'Financial statements often report amounts that are a summation of several ledger accounts.'
    – danch
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


Your interpretation was correct: the relative clause that... refers back to amounts.

Relative clauses usually come immediately after the noun they refer to, except when there are reasons to place them some distance apart. In this case, the participle-adjective reported really likes to after amounts, and it doesn't like to be after the that... clause, because then it would be too far away. So it is positioned between amounts and that...


Summation would be used to describe the total amount. It simply means the total value of the ledger accounts.

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