# How to parse "which was especially humiliating because everyone was talking about it the next morning"?

• Cara’s mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team, which was especially humiliating because everyone was talking about it the next morning.

Is the relative clause ‘which was especially humiliating because everyone was talking about it the next morning’ modifying the independent clause ‘Cara’s mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team’?

• Don't you have any idea at all? Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 14:04
• You'll need to give us a hint of what about it is giving you problems. Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 14:25
• What part of it do you find hard to parse?
– Kris
Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:07
• The "relative clause" starting with which refers back to the entire preceding statement - more precisely, to the "fact" asserted in the earlier clause (the fact that Cara's mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team). That fact / act was humiliating, because of the reason as specified. It would be conceptually the same if you ended that first assertion with a period, and started the next one with This (fact / act) was humiliating... Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 16:13
• Semantically, [Cara’s mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team] and [everyone was talking about it the next morning] are the twin reasons why the whole process was 'especially humiliating'. This is perhaps what caused the confusion. Grammatical analysis and semantics don't always correspond Perhaps they should. Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 19:38

One way to parse is to rearrange or separate clauses, and see events on a timeline. See if this helps:

1) Cara's mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team. 2) Everyone was talking about it the next morning. 3) That (#2) was especially humiliating (for Cara).

• No, 3 refers to 1, not 2. Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 19:19

Cara’s mother berated her in front of the entire basketball team, which was especially humiliating because everyone was talking about it the next morning.

Cara’s mother –subject

berated – verb

her – object

in front of the entire basketball team, - adverbial phrase modifying “berated”

which was especially humiliating – subordinate conjunctive relative clause whose referent is the main clause (cf "and that was especially humiliating")

because everyone was talking about it the next morning. - Subordinate clause of reason modifying “humiliating".