I have read a rule of relative clause reductions, and it states,

2. We can use participles when reducing the sentence.

a) Present Participle "V-ing" (simultaneous)

1) We stood on the bridge which connects the two halves of the city.

//the relative clause is a defining clause.

a) We stood on the bridge connecting the two halves of the city.

//omitting by replacing them with present participle


Since the example has stated only about a sentence that contains a defining clause, that makes me curious whether we can also omit the pronouns with or without the to be verb in the non-defining relative clauses of the sentences below,

2) Clare, who works with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

3) Clare, who is working with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

into this sentence:

b) Clare, working with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

If so, why?

  • 3
    It changes the meaning -- think again. – Kris Nov 15 at 9:38
  • Congratulations on your doing the London marathon. – TimLymington Nov 15 at 9:39
  • 1
    I'm not a native speaker @Kris. Could you tell me what the meaning of "Clare, working with me, is organising the London marathon this year." is please? – hbtpoprock Nov 15 at 9:46
  • 1
    Also, the answer from Chasly should be of help to you. Good Luck. – Kris Nov 15 at 9:53
  • 4
    Could it be as simple as "Clare, with whom I work, is organizing the London marathon this year"? To my eyes that completely removes any ambiguity and reads better too. – Spratty Nov 15 at 15:49

As Kris points out in a comment, this doesn't work.

Clare, who works with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

Clare is organising. I don't necessarily have any connection with the event. It happens that Clare works with me.

Clare, who is working with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

This sentence is slightly ambiguous but, as a native speaker, I would interpret it to mean, "Clare, who currently is working with me, is organising the London marathon this year." Again I may not have any involvement with the marathon.

Clare, working with me, is organising the London marathon this year.

This indicates unambiguously that Clare and I are working together on the organisation of the marathon.

Explanation

In the first two, "who is working with me"is adjectival and describes something about Clare.

In the last sentence, "working with me" is adverbial to the verb 'organising'.

  • 3
    I think there would be even more ambiguity if we said: Clare, who I am working with, is organising the London marathon this year. In that case, it's even a little harder to tell if the “work“ refers to the marathon, or some other employment. – J.R. Nov 15 at 10:46
  • 1
    @J.R. That’s funny – I perceive almost no ambiguity in that version. I really have to stretch my understanding to turn it into a case of ‘I’ organising the marathon together with Clare. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 15 at 11:56
  • 1
    The last one sounds really strange to me. (And totally ambiguous.) – Fattie Nov 15 at 14:03
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet It could be the case that the organizing the marathon is part of a larger body of work. For example if the speaker was the lead manager of the construction of a building and said "Claire, who I am working with, is overseeing the elevator installation". – JimmyJames Nov 15 at 16:09

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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