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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 clause or a progressive verb clause, can be reduced.  This is often called "that + be deletion". (See nonfinite clause.)

BE + ADJ / NOUN COMPLEMENT

The host that is popular is on the Tonight Show.

The host  who is Jimmy Fallon is on the Tonight 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 New York, New York.

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

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

We bought tickets to see the Tonight 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 Tonight Show. ("pre position modifier", placed before the noun)

The host, Jimmy Fallon, is on the Tonight 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 New York, New York.

PROGRESSIVE VERB PHRASE

The Tonight Show airing this month has a new host. 

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

 

ID clause – an identifying clause or restrictive clause adds identifying information about "which one".

nonID clause – a non-identifying 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

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.

 

Functions: Subj – Subject; Pred – Predicate/Predicator – Pred; COMPcomplement:  elements required by an expression to complete its meaning ;  ADJUNCT: — adjunct: elements not required by an expression to complete its meaning; Supplement – a clause or phrase added on to a clause but not closely related to the central idea or structure of the main clause (an aside comment).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Passive

 

 

Reducing a Clause with a Passive Structure

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clause Reduction

Losing Information

Talk show
 

 

Reducing a Non-identifying Clause

NON-IDENTIFYING CLAUSE

A non-identifying clause adds nonessential information that is loosely related to the rest of the clause. It is an aside comment or even an after-thought. For this reason, reducing the clause can potentially delete information (the relative pronoun and the verb tense) which is needed to relate the clause to the main clause. Reduce a clause only if the deleted information can still be understood from the main clause.

PRONOUN & TENSE INCLUDED

The Tonight Show, which was in Los Angeles, is now in New York.

The Tonight Show, which is in New York, stars Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon, who is on the A-list of comedians, stars on the Tonight Show.

The Tonight Show stars Jimmy Fallon, who is on the A- list of comedians.

The Tonight Show stars Jimmy Fallon, who was on Saturday Night Live until 2004.

RELATIVE CLAUSE WITH PASSIVE

Ellen, who is scheduled for later in the show, will be interviewd by Jimmy Fallon.  

Jimmy Fallon will interview Ellen, who is scheduled for tonight.

The show is recorded in NBC Studios, which is located in New York.  

RELATIVE CLAUSE WITH PROGRESSIVE

The Tonight Show, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, has a new host. 

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

REDUCED CLAUSE

Lost tense information may occur when the time frame in the relative clause differs from that in the main clause. Lost pronoun reference may be problematic when the non-identifying clause is placed at the end of the clause—the clause may refer to the closest noun (as expected) or it may refer to the entire clause before it. The reduced clause may sound tacked on, unrelated or misplaced.

REDUCED / MISSING INFORMATION

*The Tonight Show, in Los Angeles, is now in New York.   (Tense?)

The Tonight Show, in New York, stars Jimmy Fallon.    (OK)

Jimmy Fallon, on the A-ist of comedians, stars on the Tonight Show. (OK)

~The Tonight Show stars Jimmy Fallon, on the A-list of comedians.  

(Keeping the pronoun and verb would help relate the clause better.)

*The Tonight Show stars Jimmy Fallon, on Saturday Night Live until 2004.  (lost tense and pronoun reference)

PASSIVE VERB

Ellen, scheduled for later in the show, will be interviewd by Jimmy Fallon.  

~Jimmy Fallon will interview Ellen, scheduled for tonight. (?)

~The show is recorded in the NBC Studios, located in New York.   (OK)

PROGRESSIVE VERB

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

~Our group bought tickets to see the Tonight Show, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary.   (Does it refer to the Tonight Show, or possibly the whole clause?)

 

~ borderline awkward

ID clause – an identifying clause or restrictive clause adds identifying information about "which one".

nonID clause – a non-identifying clause or nonrestrictive clause adds extra information, an aside comment, "nice to know". Commas are used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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 man—that is seated beside the host—is the guest.

 

"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  —who is seated beside the host—the clause has the internal structure of a sentence--it has a subject and a verb marked with tense.

 

Nonfinite clauseseated beside the host— 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 man.

 

Modified clauseThe man— seated beside the host— is the guest.

"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

relative clause detail digram reduced relative clause detail digram

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.