George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered. His mother died 2 years ago. Let that sink in.

I have 2 questions regarding that passage above:

1. What is the meaning of "Let that sink in"?

2. Can I write this sentence: "George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered" like this way: George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while he was murdered.?

Original Post
@Toaha posted:

George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered. His mother died 2 years ago. Let that sink in.

I have 2 questions regarding that passage above:

1. What is the meaning of "Let that sink in"?

Hi, Toaha—In the idiom "sink in" (see here) understanding something is likened to fluid penetrating and saturating the thing on which the fluid rests, or against which it is being pressed. Think of how a sponge interacts with fluid.

@Toaha posted:
2. Can I write this sentence: "George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while being murdered" like this way: George Floyd cried out for his mother twice while he was murdered.?

If the sentence you are asking about is not one that you have created but one that someone else wrote and you are quoting, you need to cite the source.

To paraphrase "while being murdered" with a finite clause, the progressive is needed ("while he was being murdered"). Murdering is conceptualized as a punctual event, but "while"-clauses require a sense of duration. The progressive is needed to bring about a sense of duration.

My problem is I can't understand "being murdered" is a gerund or it is used here as a reduced relative clause. Could you please tell me how can I understand when a "being+past participle" is in "gerund" or in "reduced relative clause"?

@Toaha posted:

My problem is I can't understand "being murdered" is a gerund or it is used here as a reduced relative clause.

Toaha, any V-ing clause after a time linker like after, before, when, while, etc. is a reduced adverbial (not relative) clause when it modifies a verb phrase (in he called his mother while being murdered, while being murdered refers to the time of calling, and this shows that "while being murdered" is adverbial).

Reduced relative clauses do not modify verb phrases as reduced adverbial clauses do, but nouns (in the person being murdered, being murdered modifies the noun person, and this makes it an adjectival or relative clause).

I hope this has clarified your confusion about reduced clauses.

To paraphrase "while being murdered" with a finite clause, the progressive is needed ("while he was being murdered"). Murdering is conceptualized as a punctual event, but "while"-clauses require a sense of duration. The progressive is needed to bring about a sense of duration.

What David explained to you above is that the definition as to whether a reduced clause can be paraphrased by means of the verb in a simple or progressive form depends on: (1) the nature of the verb (stative or dynamic and, if dynamic, describing either a punctual or a durative event), and/or (2) the type of linker (while is usually followed by verbs in a continuous form). Compare:

- He received a box containing chocolates. ("contain" is a stative verb, and the reduced relative clause -- which modifies the noun "box" -- can be paraphrased in the simple form as: (a box) that contained chocolates).

- He got indigestion after eating chocolates. ("eat" is a dynamic verb, and the reduced adverbial clause -- which modifies the verb phrase "got indigestion" -- can be paraphrased by means of the verb in the simple form, because the action of eating chocolates is considered a punctual action: (he got indigestion) after he ate chocolates).

- He ate chocolates while doing his homework. ("do" is a dynamic verb, and the reduced adverbial clause should be paraphrased by means of the verb in the progressive form, because, after the linker while, the action of doing homework is interpreted as durative: (he ate chocolates) while he was doing his homework).

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×