Google dictionary (based on Oxford dictionary) has an entry for the verb "reveal" as follows:

make (something) known to humans by divine or supernatural means.

And it includes one example:

"the truth revealed at the Incarnation"

Based on the definition, I find it hard to understand the role of "the truth" in this example whether it's an object (as denoted by "something" in the definition) or a subject (that is supposed to "make(something) in the def.)?

My best guess is that it's an object because after checking other dictionaries such as Collins, Merriam Webster, Cambridge, etc., I found that they all define "reveal" to be a transitive verb. So I guess that the "to be" may be omitted in this case and the full sentence should be:

"the truth IS revealed at the Incarnation".

However, no resources I found have mentioned such type of ellipsis like this one. So my question is, is my guess correct. If it's indeed correct could you give me some resource covering such type of ellipsis?

  • 1
    It’s from *The truth that was revealed . . .”. Like “the food that was eaten . . .”
    – Xanne
    Sep 11, 2023 at 4:18
  • 1
    Note that dictionaries do not always give full sentences in their examples. "The truth revealed at the Incarnation" can be part of a full sentence.
    – fev
    Sep 11, 2023 at 6:02
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    The Incarnation (with a capital I) refers to a past event, so, as Xanne says, it's "that/which was revealed". Sep 11, 2023 at 7:52
  • @KateBunting that's one useful pointing.
    – Tran Khanh
    Sep 11, 2023 at 7:58
  • I don't see any ellipsis. It's only part of some expression, thus it's ambiguous. It could be a noun phase with "truth" being modified by the passive clause "revealed", or it could be a non-finite clause as part of a larger construction. Btw, "reveal" can occur in both transitive and intransitive clauses.
    – BillJ
    Sep 11, 2023 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


This is fairly simple. The example you cite, "the truth revealed at the Incarnation," is not intended to be a complete sentence; it wouldn't be grammatically correct for the reasons you state. Instead, it's a sentence fragment, in this case a noun phrase. Google's dictionary uses such examples fairly often; their definition of "sky" uses the examples "hundreds of stars shining in the sky" and "the just vengeance of incensed skies."

  • "the truth revealed at the Incarnation," is not intended to be a complete sentence <- I overlooked the absence of period in the example sentence. Thanks!
    – Tran Khanh
    Sep 11, 2023 at 6:06

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