0
  1. If a reduced reason clause comes first, there is a syntactic rule that its missing subject must be the subject of the main clause:
  • 'Being a good person, I had to help them to do something.'
  1. I wonder whether an RRC can be used in the middle of a sentence (right after the missing subject), with the missing subject having the same referent as the principal referent in the matrix clause (the person referred to as 'me' here):
  • 'It is hard for me, being a guy, to figure out which movies girls like to watch.'
  1. And what about an RRC at the end?

I know If the subjects are the same, we can used an RRC at the end as well:

  • a) 'I had to forgive him, being his brother.'

But if the missing subject is used in the middle or at the end, I don't know if we can use an RRC at the end (because I know that afterthoughts are participle clauses which come at the end, and they can attach to any noun in the sentence and they work as kind of non-defining clause. I am not sure if this also applies for RRCs.)

  • b) 'It is hard for me to do all homework, being lazy.'
  1. Overall I am trying to ascertain
  • Can we use an RRC (reduced reason clause) in the middle or at the end of a sentence, despite having said RRC's subject not as the subject of main clause?
3
  • 2
    Preliminary point: It is an implicated reason adjunct, but I wouldn't say it's reduced just because it's non-finite.
    – BillJ
    Feb 3, 2022 at 12:07
  • Re the overall question: what is the subject of having said in the last sentence? You? Some source? Your addressee? Feb 3, 2022 at 15:55
  • *It is hard for me to do all homework, being lazy doesn't work, because there is no I subject in the independent clause — it doesn't matter where in the sentence you put the reduction. Compare *Being lazy, it is hard for me to do all homework and Being lazy, it flopped down on the floor. Feb 3, 2022 at 21:04

1 Answer 1

1
  • (2) It is hard for me, being a guy, to figure out which movies girls like to watch.

(medial insertion) is fine; the parenthetical (subset: giving reason for statement in matrix sentence, attachment to obvious referent identified by 'me') can certainly be an ing-clause.

.......................

  • (3a) I had to forgive him, being his brother.

(terminal attachment) is fine. Parentheticals don't have to adhere to all syntactic rules; even 'Oh yes!' would work. The attachment ([my] being his brother: so 'I') is forced by 'his'. (3a') '..., him being my brother' is also fine, but is now an absolute clause.

  • (3b) He believes that elves still fight dwarves, being angry at their aggressive streak.

should be avoided as ambiguous (resultative attachment to 'he' or reason attachment to 'elves').

.......................

  • (4a) John gave Jack, being smaller, a minute's start.

is a grammatical, if somewhat clumsier than needed, use of a medial parenthetical reason ing-clause.

  • (4b) John, being smaller, asked Jack to give him a minute's start.

is also grammatical, with the attachment obviously switched.

  • (4c) John gave Jack a minute's start, being smaller.

is probably acceptable, with the attachment back to 'John', but this use as an afterthought might be better with an offsetting ellipsis. With longer matrix sentences, the terminal ing-clause should not be too distant from the referent noun. And there are doubtless ambiguous examples, to be avoided.

3
  • Thanks for your answers and one more thing. you mean that my 3b is correct but because it forces listener to Guess the missing subject from main clauses and we should use that form when only missing subject can easily be found between nouns in the sentence(nouns can be subject , object and etc). Feb 3, 2022 at 16:35
  • 1
    If you mean my example (3b), unless preceding context resolves the ambiguity, it is incorrect not on grammatical grounds but because it violates the Gricean maxim of manner (sub-maxim, avoid unresolved ambiguity). Acceptability involves more than just grammaticality. Feb 3, 2022 at 16:57
  • Okey after a little search I found that afterthought participle can only belong to subject of main clause (might be a noun near the end of sentence which will form non defining reduced clause ) that said ,people use that form as misrelated clause(most time when subject is it or there)(which not correct for IELTS) Feb 3, 2022 at 17:19

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.