3

One of the employees who were attendant at the meeting asked a question.

I am looking for an adjective for ‘the employee’ that means ‘who was attendant at the meeting’.

The best I could find was ‘attendant’ itself, but as an adjective it means ‘accompanying’ which is not exactly the same as what I want. Also, I am not sure if ‘present’ is the best choice in that context?

6
  • 3
    Also, it should be 'one of the employees'. Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 17:48
  • 1
    Also, it should be One of the employees who were... Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:45
  • 3
    @TinfoilHat No, in this case, the past tense verb should be singular because it pertains to the singular "one (of the)" rather than the plural "employees". See: english.stackexchange.com/questions/46040/….
    – Deepak
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 11:05
  • @Deepak — No, not if we're talking about employees who were at the meeting. The relative clause agrees with employees: Of the employees who were at the meeting, one asked a question. See: “You're one of the only people” plurality Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 14:09
  • 2
    @Deepak — We can always skirt the issue by reducing the relative clause: One of the employees at the meeting asked a question. Or we can remove the issue by rewording: An employee who was at the meeting asked a question. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 15:32

3 Answers 3

14

?One of the employees who were attendant at the meeting asked a question.

This is rather unnatural.

If you want an adjective, it should be "present":

One of the employees present asked a question.

Or if it doesn't have to be an adjective, you can do without one:

One of the employees at the meeting asked a question.

One of the employees there asked a question.

4
  • 1
    Curious how one of the employees present and one of the present employees mean two totally different things.
    – tchrist
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:43
  • @tchrist Tell me about it.
    – JK2
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:47
  • 2
    Ghost of Christmas present... Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 3:51
  • @TinfoilHat Don't forget the Ghost of Chrismas prescient.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 16:52
9

This is a short expression that is apparently the best that can be found; it is as good as an adjective.

(merriam-Webster) in attendance

1: present at an event, meeting, etc.

  • Everyone in attendance voted in favor of the measure.
  • A number of celebrities were in attendance.
  • One of the employees in attendance asked a question.

(ref.) The gym was over half full (more than thousand people in attendance) and most of the people in attendance were white.

(ref.) The meeting started at 7:30 p.m. with five people in attendance

(ref.) The total number of people in attendance at the funeral home confirmed that the news of Mrs. Elberhart's death hadn't attracted much attention

refs

However, this acception of "in attendance" could be particular to AmE. For instance, the Cambridge dictionary does not mention the sense found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, nor does Collins.

4
  • Oxford (as reported by Google search) gives ‘present at a function or a place’ as its first definition, confirming my feeling that that meaning is well known in BrE too. (To me it feels slightly formal, though.)
    – gidds
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 16:02
  • @gidds The result from using the link is only "to be in attendance" from Longman. (be in attendance (at something) formal to be at a special or important event.
    – LPH
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 19:11
  • Maybe Google shows different dictionaries to different people. For me (in the UK), it says “Definitions from Oxford Languages”; it defines only “in attendance”, and the first definition it gives is “1. present at a function or a place.” with the example “some 200 were in attendance at the fourteenth reunion” — no mention of formality.
    – gidds
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 22:19
  • @gidds There is no doubt then, it is known in BrE too.
    – LPH
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 22:33
1

Attendant works fine as an adjective. See Collins for the entry.

An attendant employee asked a question at the meeting.

or you could use the related participle 'attending'

An attending employee asked a question at the meeting.

Or use the related nomial form 'attendee' if employee is clear from context:

An attendee asked a question at the meeting.

All are not only comprehensible, but shorter as a nomial modifier than using the additional clause.

9
  • 1
    Note that "attending" gets an ideosyncractic meaning when it modifies "physician".
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 16:53
  • I would find the first two examples unusual enough that I would guess it was supposed to be 'An attentive employee...'.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 13:14
  • @dbmag9 No doubt the language is bookish. You won't hear it in the county jail. But there's a difference in meaning between attendant (sense: one who attends) and attentive (sense: one who pays attention). Not all attendees are attentive, in which case you could say confusingly 'Not all attendees are attendant' if by attendant you use the alternative sense of attendant that means attentive. :D
    – J D
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:45
  • @dbmag9 Personally, it seems redundant to me in minutes to point out that someone who is asking a question at a meeting is in attendance unless there's participation from someone teleconferencing? The shortest way to tackle the minutes would be to say 'Bob asked a question' to be short and specific in the general case.
    – J D
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:47
  • @JD I understand the difference but I wouldn't call your examples bookish; I would call them unnatural and clunky. From a good native writer I would suspect an autocorrect or editing error; from a writer I didn't know I would suspect they learned English as a foreign language.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 22:58

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