Understanding the Form and Function of Reduced Adjective and Adverbial Clauses


(Posting on understanding the form and function of reduced adjective and adverbial clauses; by one NEB)

In English there exist reduced adjective and adverbial clauses that still express complete meanings. The principle is simple: if two clauses of especially the same subject—even of different subjects—are close to each other in their meaning relationship, one of them can appropriately be reduced and attached to the other. This attached reduced clause can be placed at an initial, middle, or final position. The rule of the form is equally easy: Omit the subject; retain the predicate: If the predicate is active, turn it into –ing; if the predicate is passive, change it into –ed; if the predicate is a to be, omit it like the subject. Note that if the subjects are different, both stay (numbers 3 a and 3 b). And conjunctions showing contradiction, condition, and time can remain (numbers 4 a, 4 b, and 4 c). For a complete picture of all this, take a look at the following examples; pay close attention to the bold-typed words and punctuation marks:

1. The learning institution was established in 1950; it has about 60,000 students nationwide.
a. The learning institution, having about 60,000 students nationwide, was established in 1950.
b. Established in 1950, the learning institution has about 60,000 students nationwide.
c. The learning institution, established in 1950, has about 60,000 students nationwide.
d. Having about 60,000 students nationwide, the learning institution was established in 1950.
e. The learning institution was established in 1950, having about 60,000 students nationwide.

2. The girl is beautiful in so many aspects. She is only 18 years of age.
a. Beautiful in so many aspects, the girl is only 18 years of age.
b. The girl, only 18 years of age, is beautiful in so many aspects.
c. Only 18 years of age, the girl is beautiful in so many aspects.
d. The girl is beautiful in so many aspects, only 18 years of age.
e. The girl, beautiful in so many aspects, is only 18 years of age.

3. The guest entered the house; the host greeted him.
a. The guest entering the house, the host greeted him.
b. The guest entered the house, the host greeting him.

4. ***
a. Though sick, he went to school.
b. If left unattended, the bags may go missing.
c. While speaking, he kept an eye on the woman.

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