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A sneaky, trick grammar question...
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: A sneaky, trick grammar question... Reply with quote

How would you analyse the clauses in this sentence?

The common belief that the tomato is a vegetable is false.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The common belief is false." = main clause
"The tomato is a vegetable." = dependent clause

The only tricky part is for Americans. How do we analyze anything without a "z"?

~Q
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you come into my parlour and provide more detail please? In what way is it dependent exactly?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sasha,

The common belief that the tomato is a vegetable is false.

I agree with Qaaolchoura. I'd just add that it's a complex sentence and that the dependent clause (i.e. that the tomato is a vegetable) is an adjective clause.
And since you wrote "clauses," I'd change the terminology: "The common belief is false" = independent clause (i.e. sentence.)

So, the only question left would seem to be this - Is it a fruit or a berry? Very Happy

Regards,
John

P.S. Tomatoes used to be also called "love apples" (pomme d'amour)

P.P.S. Dependent clause are so called because although they have subjects and verbs (as independent clauses do) they don't have a "complete idea" and therefore cannot "stand alone." they must be part of a complex sentence, dependent upon the independent clause.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Johnslat

Interesting... But why an adjective clause?


Sasha
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Dear Johnslat

Interesting... But why an adjective clause?


Sasha


Modifies a noun. (Sorry, John, I'm eager to break into three digits!) Very Happy

.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But does it? And don't adjectival clauses have relative pronouns or adverbs?
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:

But does it? And don't adjectival clauses have relative pronouns or adverbs?


You don't like "that" ?

Relative pronoun + Subject + Verb = Adjectival Clause

(Or relative pronoun as subject + verb, of course)

.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love 'that'. I'm just not convinced it's a relative pronoun here. If it were, it would be interchangable with 'which', surely?

'The common belief which the tomato is a vegetable is false.'

Hmmmm...
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the following helpful? (From the LSGSWE (Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English)).

Quote:
9.13 Noun complement clauses

9.13.1 Noun complement clauses v. relative clauses

On the surface, noun complement clauses (NCCs), such as the following, can appear to be identical to relative clauses (RCs) with that:

The fact that it can be done is important. (ACAD)

However, NCCs and RCs are actually very different structures. Their differences are summed up as follows:

Function of clause: RCs identify reference of head noun; NCCs present the content of the head noun or add descriptive information.
Structure: RCs are incomplete and contain a 'gap'; NCCs are complete and therefore have no 'gap'.
Function of that: in RCs, a relative pronoun; in NCCs, a complementizer.
Omission of that: Is possible in RCs with object gaps; impossible in NCCs.
Types of noun modified: In RCs, almost any noun; in NCCs, only a few nouns.

(NCCs are similar to verb and adjective complements clauses, discussed in Chapter 10).

Compare the following two sentences, both with the noun report as head:

Postmodifying RC:
1) Peter reached out for the well-thumbed report that lay behind him on the cupboard top. (FICT)

NCC:
2) Other semiconductor stocks eased following an industry trade group's report that its leading indicator fell in September. (NEWS)

The RC in example 1 identifies which 'report' Peter is reaching for. It has a gap in subject position, which corresponds to the head noun report. The underlying meaning of the RC is that 'the report lay behind him', but that takes the place of the report in the RC. (Since the gap is in subject position, omission of that is impossible in 1, but it can be omitted in other RCs; see 9.8.2).

In contrast, in example 2 the NCC gives the actual content of the 'report': that 'the trade group's leading indicator fell'. The NCC is complete structurally. It does not include a reference to the head noun in any way (i.e. it does not have a gap corresponding in meaning to the head noun). In addition, the complementizer that cannot be omitted in this or any other noun complement clause. Finally, report is one of the few nouns that can be modified by complement clauses (see 9.14 below for more on head nouns).

.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the winner of the Leninist Red Star for Grammar goes to Fluffy!

'Complementizer'. Great word, eh?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Da, goodski wordski! Razz

I also uploaded this a while ago (scanned from Michael Pearce's The Routledge Dictionary of English Language Studies), as it complements Smile what the LSGSWE says:
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/8373/pearce.jpg

This too:
Chalker, on pp 67-68 of her Collins COBUILD English Guides 9: Linking Words, wrote:
4.22 Noun clauses, especially 'that'-clauses, can also be used in apposition to a noun group, as an explanation of that noun. This often happens with nouns related to reporting and thinking (e.g. 'fact', 'belief') and with some other nouns (e.g. 'danger', 'possibility').

The fact that many of us eat too much junk food can hardly have escaped anyone's notice.
He had condoned it at first in the belief that he was genuinely helping further the cause of science.
The producer may then use the logo on the wine label as evidence that the wine is 'verified' as organic.
There was a danger that many of the country's important foreign workers would decide to leave.
They called their child Indiana, prompting the question, what's wrong with a good old English name?


4.23 Note: 'that'-clauses sometimes look like relative clauses, but their function is different.

He had heard rumours that old Fritz's heart wasn't as good as it used to be. ('that'-clause in apposition)
I am aware of the rumours that have recently been circling about me. ('that' introducing relative clause)

.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:40 am; edited 2 times in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
'Complementizer'. Great word, eh?



Sounds to me like the overly-practiced guy at the bar with the huge collection of pick-up lines Cool .
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sahsa,

Yikes - I sit corrected Very Happy

Good one.

Regards,
John
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Johnslat

The clue was in the thread title Very Happy

But, I'm certainly not gloating: I was totally caught out by this too. As indeed I'd say most of us mere mortals would be. Except for Fluffy...
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