3

Consider:

They may play games, sports or simply sit and chat together, activities which are far healthier than sitting alone hunched over a screen.

Can we omit activities?

They may play games, sports or simply sit and chat together, which are far healthier than sitting alone hunched over a screen.

Also is it appropriate to place a noun (activities) just before the relative clause referring the whole sentence? In many cases, these are typically the same structure.

5
  • 1
    You need an or here: They may play games or sports or simply sit and chat together... Dec 12, 2022 at 15:21
  • 1
    Using "activities" makes it clear what "which" applies to: all the options rather than just the last.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 12, 2022 at 15:32
  • Why would you want to omit activities>
    – Lambie
    Dec 12, 2022 at 16:02
  • any of which are far healthier...
    – Jim
    Dec 12, 2022 at 17:00
  • Your original example, "They may play games, sports or simply sit and chat together, activities which are far healthier than sitting alone hunched over a [computer?] screen" sounds just right to me. Omitting "activities" makes it less clear in my opinion. Have you taken the "Tour" yet? To find it, just click on the question mark in a circle at the top of this page. Welcome to EL&U. Dec 13, 2022 at 22:12

1 Answer 1

1

As I see this question, it all depends on how the author wants to treat the antecedent. If he/she chooses to consider it as a set of activities, then he/she can do away with "activities", but then has to change the number of the verb.

  • They may play games, sports or simply sit and chat together, which is far healthier than sitting alone hunched over a screen.

On the other hand, if the antecedent is to be treated as separate activities, "activities" is necessary (and the number of the verb remains unchanged, of course).

  • They may play games, sports or simply sit and chat together, activities which are far healthier than sitting alone hunched over a screen.

The reason for that would be that the identification of the antecedent is not made easily in this case; there is a missing point of view: you could substitute "pastime" for activities, and the sentence would make sense too, but you'd be looking at the things mentioned under a somewhat different light. you could even speak of time-killing activities, instead. You might then say "But why should one choose among the possible points of view available?", and there is nothing I can answer, particularly so, in the light of the possibility of treating the antecedent as a set; nevertheless, using a "rounding-up term" seems rather necessary to me.

2
  • what do you mean by "the number of the verb". I couldn't understand the explanation for your first example. Could you clarify it ?
    – aquestion
    Dec 12, 2022 at 17:45
  • @aquestion toppr.com/ask/content/concept/…
    – LPH
    Dec 12, 2022 at 18:13

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.