Past Participle Clauses

Reduce passive sentences to past-participial modifying clauses

San Francisco
 

 

Passive-verb Sentence vs. Past-participial Modifying Clause

TWO SENTENCES WITH THE SAME SUBJECT

Two sentences that share the same subject can be merged (joined) into one sentence to avoid wordiness. A clause with a passive verb is reduced to a past participle (-ed, -en, -t) clause, and it is placed directly after (but sometimes before) the noun it modifies.

SUBJECT PREDICATE

The bridge

was designed by Charles Ellis.  (passive)

The bridge

is in San Francisco.

SUBJECT PREDICATE

The Golden Gate Bridge  

is painted a bright red-orange color.   (passive)

The Golden Gate Bridge

attracts millions of tourist each year.

JOINED SENTENCES

The passive verb form is reduced to the past participle (i.e., that + [be] is removed; the verb is no longer marked for tense or number.) The subject is understood from the main clause.  Commas are placed before and after the clause if the information is non-identifying.

SUBJECT MODIFYING CLAUSE PREDICATE

The bridge

that was designed by Charles Ellis

is in San Francisco.

 

 

 

SUBJECT NON-ID CLAUSE PREDICATE

The Golden Gate Bridge,

which is painted a bright red-orange color,

attracts millions of tourist yearly.

 

[commas]

 

 

In linguistic description, a finite (full) clause is changed to a nonfinite (reduced) clause.  The secondary verb form of the nonfiite clause is not marked for tense or number. The subject is understood from the main clause.

Related pages: Present Participle Clauses, Clause Reduc 1,  Clause Reduc 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduced participle clause

Punctuation

 

 

 

IDENTIFYING

no commas usedA clause that is necessary to identify which one? is not set off with commas.  The clause becomes part of the subject.                                              

SUBJ + MODIFIER PRED COMP

The bridge damaged in the earthquake

will reopen in a year.

The bridge closed for repair

will reopen in a year.

NON-IDENTIFYING / EXTRA COMMENT

commaA clause that adds extra "nice to know" but not necessary information is set off with commas.  Clause reduction occurs more commonly in a non-identifying clause.

SUBJECT COMMENT PRED COMP

The Bay Bridge

, damaged in the earthquake,

will reopen in a year.

The Golden Gate Bridge 

, closed for repair,

will reopen in a year.

 

predicate complement – the verb and whatever else is necessary to complete the sentence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

Advanced

 

 

 

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)  The relative pronoun that, who / whom, which  can be omitted
     2)  The be verb can be omitted. 

Modified clause:  The Golden Gate Bridge — which is located in S.F. Bay — was designed by J. Strauss.

___________________

"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 is located in S.F Bay —  the clause has the internal structure of a sentence--it has a subject and a verb marked with tense.

Nonfinite clause located in S.F Bay  —  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 Golden Gate Bridge located in S.F Bay 

Modified clauseThe Golden Gate Bridge — located in S.F. Bay — was designed by C. Ellis.
Also called: post-head modifiers (placed after the noun), past-participial modifiers, gerund-participle modifiers
"Non-finite clauses as modifiers and supplements" (Huddleston 14 §9, 1264)
   

ADJECTIVE CLAUSE PARTICIPIAL MODIFIER – FINITE CLAUSE

The GGB which is located in SF Bay was designed by Strauss   Click a diagram to enlarge it.

The GGB which is located in SF Bay was designed by Strauss.

REDUCED ADJECTIVE CLAUSE PARTICIPIAL MODIFIER – NONFINITE CLAUSE

The GGB  located in SF Bay was designed by Strauss

Tree diagram of a nonfinite clause

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

"Non-finite clauses as modifiers and supplements" (Huddleston 14 §9, 1264)

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Planning the Span

Early SF ferry service
 

 

Read the Context

In the late 1800s, San Francisco, which was situated on a peninsula, was mostly reached by ferry boat. The southern route, which required a long drive, was impractical for people coming from the North or the East. The ferry trip, which cost $1, took about twenty minutes. One dollar in 1860 is approximately equal to $23 dollars today.

A bridge, which was needed for increasing traffic, was being considered. However, a bridge, which spanned the entrance to the bay, would need to be strong enough to withstand the strong ocean currents.

 

The Bridge and Highway District, which was formed in 1923, planned the financing and the construction of the bridge. The War Department, which controlled traffic on the bay, issued the final construction permit in 1930.

Joseph Strauss, who was well-known as a bridge builder, was selected as chief engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge. Charles Ellis, who collaborated with Leon Moisseiff, was the principal engineer and the source of the suspension design. A team of engineers, who were dedicated to their work, oversaw the creation of a structure that is known around the world.

Adapted from — Thompson, Laurie. "Travel between San Rafael and San Francisco in the 1860s." Anne T Kent. Kontribune. 22 Jun 2012. Web. 02 Jan 2014. <http://annetkent.kontribune.com/articles/1088>. 

calculation (n.) – problem solving using mathematics

collaborator (n.) – person who works with another person

credit (n.) – thanks or recognition for work

estimate (v.) – guess using calculations

impractical (adj.) – not practical

obsessed (adj.) – unable to stop thinking about or walk away from something

self-centered (adj.) – ego centric, self promoting

situate (v.) – to put in or on a particular site or place; locate

span (v.) – reach across; (n.) something that reaches across; a bridge

tip (n.) – end

 

 

 

 

Decide if the clause can be reduced.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

The Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
 

 

Read for Errors

The Golden Gate Bridge, it built from 1932 to 1937, spans the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This spectacular landmark, Charles Ellis designed, measures 1.7 miles (2.7 km) long.

The Golden Gate, painted a bright red-orange called "International Orange", requires repainting every year because of the salty, corrosive air. The bright color, which can be seen even in dense fog, gives the bridge high-visibility.

The observation area, locates at the northern end of the bridge, offers an amazing view of San Francisco, Alcatraz, the East Bay, Angel Island and the Pacific Ocean. The roadway, is suspended 500 feet above the water, has the most beautiful view of the area.

The ferry boats, still used today, used to be the only method to cross the opening of the Bay in the early 1900s. Now, the Golden Gate Bridge connects Marin on the north to San Francisco on the south.  The span completes Highway 1 from north to south. A toll is required for southbound traffic only. The toll is now collected electronically.

The Golden Gate Bridge is recognized as a symbol of San Francisco. The bridge attracts tourist from around the world. It is visited by 9 million people yearly.

Its design, it is unchanged since its opening, has proved to be strong enough to withstand storms, ocean currents and a strong earthquake.

corrosive (adj.) – harmful, destructive of the metal

ocean current (n.) – the strong movement of the water in and out of the bay

dense (adj.) – heavy, closely compacted together

observation area  (n.)  – a park where someone can stop to see the view

recognize (v.) – identify something as known

spectacular (adj.) – marked by or given to an impressive, large-scale display; thrilling

used to – a habit not continued now

visibility (n.) – the relative ability to be seen under given conditions of distance, light, atmosphere

withstand (v.) – endure, last, hold strong against

 

 

 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Determine whether the sentence is correct. Select your response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your responses to the answers by clicking the "Check" or the "Check 11-20" button at the bottom.

 

11.
The Golden Gate Bridge, it built from 1932 to 1937, spans the entrance to the San Francisco Bay.

     

12.
This spectacular landmark, Charles Ellis designed, measures 1.7 miles (2.7 km) long.

       

13.
The Golden Gate, painted a bright red-orange called "International Orange", requires repainting every year because of the salty, corrosive air.

     

14.
The bright color, can be seen even in dense fog, gives the bridge high-visibility.

     

15.
The observation area, locates at the northern end, offers an amazing view of San Francisco,  Alcatraz, the East Bay, Angel Island and the Pacific Ocean.

     

16.
The roadway, is suspended 500 feet above the water, has the most beautiful view of the area.

     

17.
The ferry boats, still used today, used to be the only method to cross the opening of the bay in the early 1900s.

     

18.
A toll, is collected electronically, is required for southbound traffic only.

     

19.
The bridge attracts tourists, visited by 9 million people yearly, from around the world.

     

20.
Its design, it is unchanged since its opening, has proved to be strong enough to withstand storms, ocean currents and a strong earthquake.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Guard Rail Design

guard rails
 

 

Read for Errors

Just three months after the bridge, which was opened in 1937, a man jumped off.  To date, another 1,300 people have chosen to end their lives by jumping off the bridge. 

This sad statistic, which it was revealed last week, has prompted the Bay Area's transportation committee to take final action. Now, more than 70 years later, the committee will consider the redesign of the guard rails.

The guard rails stand only 4 feet (1.2 m) high. They were designed not to obstruct the view. At the current height, there is no real physical barrier to prevent the loss of people contemplating suicide at this site. 

On average, thirty suicides occur each year. Security cameras, bike patrols and hot-line phones prevent some but not all attempts. These have been placed along the sidewalks.

Five million in federal funds has been raised to engineer and design a suicide barrier, a steel net, which will be suspended 20 feet below the bridge to catch and cocoon jumpers in midair.

Much of the resistance to this plan comes from purists who are opposed to changing the design. They love their bridge and don't want it changed.

The original architect designed a higher rail but the builder, who was short, insisted on the shorter railing.  Considering aesthetics ahead of saving lives is pretty heartless.

Soon the Golden Gate Bridge will join the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and other world landmarks, which are fitted with protective barriers, in the prevention of suicide.

Adapted from — Webley, Kayla. "Why is the Bay Area Building a Suicide Barrier?" TIME US. 03 Aug 2010. Web. 02 Jan 2014. <http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2008158,00.html>. 

attempt (n.) – try, effort

barrier (n.) – something to stop movement in a direction; a railing, fence or wall

cocoon (v.) – to surround, wrap or envelop protectively

contemplate (v.) – think over, consider

obstruct (v.) – block, hinder, stop

reveal (v.) – to make known, show something  publicly

resistance (n.) – the act of opposing, being against something

senseless (adj.) – without logic

statistic (n.) – a numerical fact or datum, especially one computed from a sample

suicide (n.) – ending one's own life

 

 

 

 

Edit — add and reduce clauses when possible.

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your responses to the answers by clicking the "Check" or the "Check 21-30" button at the bottom.

 

21.
Just three months after the bridge, which was opened in 1937, a man jumped off.  To date, another 1,300 people have chosen to end their lives by jumping off the bridge. 


22.
This sad statistic, which it was revealed last week, has prompted the Bay Area's transportation committee to take final action. Now, more than 70 years later, the committee will consider the redesign of the guard rails.


23.
The guard rails stand only 4 feet (1.2 m) high. They were designed not to obstruct the view.


24.
On average, thirty suicides occur each year. Security cameras, bike patrols and hot-line phones prevent some but not all attempts. These have been placed along the sidewalks.


25.
Five million in federal funds has been raised to engineer and design a suicide barrier, a steel net, which will be suspended 20 feet below the bridge to catch and cocoon jumpers in midair.


26.
Much of the resistance to this plan comes from purists who are opposed to changing the design. They love their bridge and don't want it changed.


27.
The original architect designed a higher rail but the builder, who was short, insisted on the shorter railing.  Considering aesthetics ahead of saving lives is pretty heartless.


28.
Soon the Golden Gate Bridge will join the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and other world landmarks, which are fitted with protective barriers, in the prevention of suicide.