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Reply to "Which modifying a clause"

@Jacob B. posted:

  Would it still work if, instead of "He began yelling at the mother,  which escalated into..." I used "He yelled at the mother, which escalated into..."

Hi, Jacob B.—That would be rather awkward. Indeed, the semantics would be off. In "He yelled at the mother, which escalated to . . .," the meaning of the "which escalated into . . ." is "That he yelled at the mother escalated into . . . ."

But that is not the meaning. You surely mean that the yelling escalated into something more severe than yelling. It does not make sense to say that the fact of his yelling escalated into something. But you could say:

  • He yelled at the mother, which disturbed her greatly.
  • He yelled at the mother, which made him feel repentant.
  • He yelled at the mother, which he later regretted doing.
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