-1

First, I would like to give an example.

She filed a complaint to the committee because she claims that her personal information was leaked.

She filed a complaint to the committee claiming that her personal information was leaked.

So, do “because she claims that” and “claiming that” have the same meaning? Why or why not?

Thank you in advance.

1 Answer 1

1

Your two sentences could have the same meaning, but it depends on how the grammar of the second sentence is interpreted.

In your first sentence, because she claims that her personal information was leaked is an adjunct of reason, stating why she filed a complaint to the committee.

In your sencond reason, claiming that her personal information was leaked is a gerundial non-finite clause which can be interpreted in 3 ways as:

  1. attributive, modifying the noun complaint, stating what kind of complaint she filed.
  2. an adjunct of manner, stating in what way she filed the complaint.
  3. an adjunct of reason, stating why she filed a complaint to the committee.

If you chose the 1st interpretation you can understand:

She filed a complaint to the committee which claims / in which she claims that her personal information was leaked.

If you chose the 2nd interpretation, then the sentence has the meaning:

She filed a complaint to the committee (by) claiming that her personal information was leaked.

Finally, if you chose the 3rd interpretation then yes, the two sentences are synonymous, and you can move claiming that her personal information was leaked at the beginning of the sentence:

Claiming (because she claims...) that her personal information was leaked, she filed a complaint to the committee.

4
  • 1
    The two sentences differ in meaning, but this difference in meaning doesn't make much practical difference in the OP's example: although the first version does not strictly speaking say that the claims appear within the complaint, most people would, upon hearing it, assume that they do.
    – jsw29
    Aug 9, 2021 at 14:48
  • I believe the grammatical structure of the second sentence is ambiguous.
    – fev
    Aug 9, 2021 at 14:56
  • I agree with @jsw29 - in the first sentence, the contents of the complaint is unknown (we are just told what prompted her to write it), while it is explicit in the second that the complaint contains the claim that her information was leaked.
    – Jim
    Aug 9, 2021 at 15:48
  • I agree with @fev on this answer - “by” is ambiguous without further context, though (1) and (3) are stronger than (2) because “filing” complaints is normally a formal process while “claiming” something sounds less formal.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 9, 2021 at 16:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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