Clause Reduction 1

Reduce modifying clauses with be verb forms

Talk Show
 

 

Reducing a Modifying Clause

MODIFYING CLAUSE

An identifying clause with a be verb form, such as a prepositional phrase, a passive verb phrase or a progressive verb phrase, can be reduced.  This is often called "that + be deletion".

BE + ADJ / NOUN COMPLEMENT

The host  that is popular is on the Evening Show.

The host  that is Mr. Leno is on the Evening Show.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

The desk  that is next to you is for your glass of water. (an identifying clause to the subject noun)

The seat is for the guest who is next to you. (an identifying clause to the object noun)

PASSIVE VERB PHRASE

The man who is seated beside the host is the guest. 

The show is recorded in studios  which are located in Burbank, California. 

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

The Evening Show  which is airing this month has a new host.

We bought tickets to see the Evening Show which is airing this Monday night.

REDUCED CLAUSE

The clause may be reduced by removing the relative pronoun (that, who, or which) and the be verb (is, are, am was, or were). The reduced clause becomes part of the subject noun phrase or object noun phrase.

BE + ADJ / NOUN COMPLEMENT

The popular host is on the Evening Show. ("pre position modifier", placed before the noun)

The host, Mr. Leno, is on the Evening Show. (appositive) "another name for it"

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

The desk next to you is for your glass of water. 

The seat was is for the guest next to you

PASSIVE VERB PHRASE

The man seated beside the host is the guest. 

The show is recorded in studios located in Burbank, California.  

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

The Evening Show airing this month has a new host. 

We bought tickets to see the Evening Show airing this Monday night.

 

ID clause – an identifying clause or restrictive clause adds identifying information about "which one".
nonID clause – a nonidentifying clause or nonrestrictive clause adds extra information, an aside comment, "nice to know". Commas are used.

On a talk show the host invites a guest to appear and discuss topics.
air (v.) – on the air, broadcasting, televising 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Nonidentifying Clauses

Talk show
 

 

Reducing a Nonidentifying Clause

NONIDENTIFYING CLAUSE

A nonidentifying clause usually sounds awkward and informal when shortened.  (A nonidentifying clause adds extra, nonessential information and is set off by commas.)

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

The desk, which is in the spotlight, is for the host.  (nonID clause) 

The desk is for Mr. Leno, who is in the spotlight. (nonID clause) 

PASSIVE VERB PHRASE

Mr. Brad Pitt, who is scheduled for tonight, is the guest. (nonID clause) 

The show is recorded in the Disney studios, which are located in Burbank, California.  
(nonID clause –if all studios are in Burbank.) 

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

The Evening Show, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, has a new host. (nonID clause)

We bought tickets to see the Evening Show, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. (nonID clause)   

REDUCED CLAUSE

Because a nonidentifying clause is more aside comment than modifier, it is usually not reduced.  This depends on how closely related its meaning is to the rest of the sentence.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

¹The desk, in the spotlight, is for the host. 
The desk for the host is in the spotlight. (rephrased)

*The desk is for Mr. Leno, in the spotlight. 
The desk is for Mr. Leno, the host.  (appositive)

PASSIVE VERB PHRASE

¹Robert Pattison, scheduled for tonight, is the guest.  (informal)
Robert Pattison, Edward Cullen in Twilight, is the guest. (appositive)

*The show is recorded in the Disney studios, located in Burbank, California.

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

The Evening Show, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, has a new host. (informal)

*We bought tickets to see the Evening Show, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary.

 

*sounds bad, rarely or not ever used
¹A nonidentifying clause may sound awkward when reduced. It may be considered informal.
ID clause – an identifying clause or restrictive clause adds identifying information about "which one".
nonID clause – a nonidentifying clause or nonrestrictive clause adds extra information, an aside comment, "nice to know". Commas are used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Prepositional Phrases

 

 

 

Reducing a Clause with a Prepositional Phrase

FULL MODIFYING CLAUSE

The relative pronoun (that, who, which) and the be verb in a prepositional phrase may be omitted.

SUBJECT MOD CLAUSE VERB + COMP

The man

who is next to me 

writes novels.

The paperback books

that are on my desk 

are about James Bond.

The news show   

that is in the morning 

hosted the writer.

REDUCED MODIFYING CLAUSE

The reduced prepositional phrase becomes part of the noun phrase (NP)

SUBJECT NOUN PHRASE VERB + COMP

The man next to me

writes novels.

The paperback books on my desk

are about James Bond.

The news show in the morning   

hosted the writer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Progressive

 

 

Reducing a Clause with a Progressive Verb

FULL MODIFYING CLAUSE

The relative pronoun (that, who, which) and the be verb in a prepositional phrase may be omitted.

SUBJECT MOD CLAUSE VERB + COMP

The man

who is writing the book 

researched Ian Fleming.

The new book,

which is coming out in May

is about James Bond.

The Bond fans,

who are waiting outside  

want their books signed.

REDUCED MODIFYING CLAUSE

The reduced prepositional phrase becomes part of the noun phrase (NP)

SUBJECT NOUN PHRASE VERB + COMP

The man writing the book

researched Ian Fleming.

The book coming out in May

is about James Bond.

The Bond fans waiting outside

want their books signed.

 

comp – complement: a word, phrase or clause which is necessary in a sentence to complete its meaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Passive

 

 

Reducing a Clause with a Passive Verb

FULL MODIFYING CLAUSE

The relative pronoun (that, who, which) and the be verb in a prepositional phrase may be omitted.

SUBJECT MOD CLAUSE VERB + COMP

The character

that was created in 1953 

changed over the years.

Ian Fleming

who was educated in England 

wrote fourteen books.

Devil May Care   

that was written by S. Faulks 

creates a modern Bond.

REDUCED MODIFYING CLAUSE

The reduced prepositional phrase becomes part of the noun phrase (NP)

SUBJECT NOUN PHRASE VERB + COMP

The character created in 1953

changed over the years.

Ian Fleming educated in England

wrote fourteen books.

Devil May Care written by S. Faulks

creates a modern Bond.

 

comp – complement: a word, phrase or clause which is necessary in a sentence to complete its meaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

London Bridge in Arizona
 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

Fish fresh tastes better than fish frozen.

Fish that is fresh tastes better than fish that is frozen. 

(EXCEPT:  that + be cannot be deleted in a clause with a single adjective )

Fish salmon is high in Omega 3 oils.

Salmon fish is high in Omega 3 oils.

Fish that is salmon is high in Omega 3 oils.

(EXCEPT:  that + be cannot be deleted in a clause with an identifying noun)

SOLUTION

Fish that is fresh tastes better than fish that is frozen.

Fresh fish tastes better than frozen fish.

A  single adjective is placed before the noun it modifies. 

Salmon, a type of fish, is high in Omega 3 oils.  (appositive)

Fish such as salmon is high in Omega 3 oils.  (examples)

 

salmon (n.) [sæ'–mən] — a marine and freshwater fish with pink-orange flesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

Advanced

 

 

 

Traditional &. Current Grammar Descriptions

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

That + Be Deletion  Rule:    In a modifying clause with a be verb form (prepositional phrase, a passive verb or a progressive verb):

     1)  Omit the subject pronoun (that, who / whom, which).
     2)  Omit the be verb. 

Modified clause: The federal agency — that was locating the prison on Alcatraz — preferred the isolation of the island.
___________________

"An adjective phrase is a reduction of an adjective clause. It modifies a noun. It does not contain a subject and a verb."

(Azar "Reducing Adjective Clauses to Adjective Phrases" 13-11)
____________________

"A participle is often used intead of a relative pronoun and full verb."

Swan "Reduced relative clauses" 498.10)

 

A finite clause (containing a verb marked with tense) can be changed to a nonfinite subordinate clause (containing a verbal form – a past participle, gerund-participle, or infinitive) which becomes a modifying part of another sentence element —adjectival, adverbial, or nominal.

Finite clause  — which was locating the prison on Alcatraz —  the clause has the internal structure of a sentence--it has a subject and a verb marked with tense.

Nonfinite clauselocating the prison on Alcatraz  —  the clause has a verbal form, a participle, not marked by tense. The clause becomes part of another sentence element, in this case, the subject—  The federal agency locating the prison on Alcatraz
Modified clauseThe federal agency — locating the prison on Alcatraz — preferred the isolation of the island.
"Non-finite clauses as modifiers and supplements" (Huddleston 14 §9, 1264) 
  

 

 

 

Tree Diagram of Clauses

FULL MODIFYING CLAUSE — FINITE CLAUSE REDUCED MODIFYING CLAUSE — NONFINITE CLAUSE

The full modifying clause still has a subject (who) and a verb (is) marked for tense and person agreement. This full clause is also called a finite clause.

The reduced modifying clause no longer has a subject, and the verb is no longer marked for tense or person agreement.  This reduced clause is also called a nonfinite clause.   Other examples

Adjective clause diagram

Reduced adjective clause diagram

Clause; Subject / Predicate; Finite / Nonfinite; NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Det. – determiner

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Daytime Talk Shows

talk show fight
 

 

Reduce the clause.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or the "check 1-10" button at the bottom.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.


Madonna – a sexy, pop-music singer 

7.
were fighting in a pool of mud.

mud (n.) – water mixed with dirt

8.
told everyone exactly what they thought of her.

9.


jealous (adj.) – feeling angry and unhappy because someone has something that you wish you had
unworthy (adj.) – not deserving respect, not having value

10.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Staying in the Spotlight

Staying in the spotlight
 

 

Read Context

A talk show host who is trying to get better ratings often tries to outdo the other talk show hosts who are on television at the same time. A talk show host who is watched by "regulars" tends to have consistently high ratings. 

To attract regulars, a talk show host has to have on celebrities who are starring in current movies or average people who are doing exceptional things. Talk shows that have on authors who are selling their books, or dog owners who are showing pet tricks tend to lose regular viewers.

A host who is resourceful will create some controversy. A controversy that is about the talk show host's bad behavior is not good. A sexy, young actress who is dancing on the host's desk gets the attention of the entertainment review shows. The entertainment show that is aired at an earlier hour will show scenes that interest viewers to watch a show that is at a later hour. The more exposure that a show receives, the better it is for the host. 

A keen sense of what viewers want to see and high visibility on other shows marks a clever host who is improving his ratings.

celebrity (n.) — people who are famous or in the news, such as actors, actresses, etc.

consistently (adv.) — continuously at a particular level

controversy (n.) — a subject that attracts differing opinions, argument, or debate

exposure (n.) — make something public; known widely

host (n.) — person who receives or entertains guests (the MC of a show)

mark (v.) — be a distinguishing feature

outdo (v.) — excel, do more than others do

ratings (n.) — an index of approval by viewers

regulars (n.) — people who habitually or routinely do something

resourceful (adj.) — able to deal skillfully and promptly with new situations or difficulties

sense (n.) — faculties, as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans perceive or understand their surroundings

 

 

 

Edit the sentence and reduce a modifying clause if possible.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or the "check 11-20" button at the bottom.

 

11.
A talk show host who is trying to get better ratings often tries to outdo the other talk show hosts who are on television.


12.
A talk show host who is watched by "regulars" tends to have consistently high ratings. 


13.
To attract regular viewers, a talk show host has to have on celebrities who are starring in current movies or average people who are doing exceptional things.


14.
Talk shows that have on authors who are selling their books, or dog owners who are showing pet tricks tend to lose regular viewers.


15.
A host who is resourceful will create some controversy. 


16.
A controversy that is about the talk show host's bad behavior is not good.


17.
A sexy, young actress who is dancing on a host's desk gets the attention of the entertainment review shows.


18.
The entertainment show that is aired at an earlier hour will show scenes that interest viewers to watch a show that is at a later hour.


19.
The more exposure that a show receives, the better that it is for the host. 


20.
A keen sense of what viewers want to see and high visibility on other shows marks a clever host who is improving his ratings.