A: More than two-thirds of Earth is covered by oceans, making it mostly a water planet.

B: Ancient astronomers observed small lights in the night sky that moved among the stars, and called them planets, meaning wanderers.

An the above sentence A and B, what are the parts beginning with "making" and 'meaning"?

Are they participial clause with the subjects omitted or relative clause with relative pronoun + be verb omitted?

Also, what do the omitted subjects refer?

Original Post
Hi, y2k,

Those structures are reduced relative clauses.

In (A), the antecedent for the omitted "which" is the whole main clause, so the relative clause being abridged is a sentence relative: More than two thirds of Earth is covered by oceans, and this (i.e. the fact that more than two thirds of Earth is coverd by oceans) makes it mostly a water planet.

In (B), the antecedent for the omitted "which" is "the word planets": "...and called them 'planets,' which means 'wanderers'."
quote:
Can 'which means' be converted to 'meaning'?


Yes, that is exactly what I tried to show you by means of my explanation above -- "meaning" stands for "which means," and vice versa.

quote:
I've not heard of the deletion of subject relative pronoun nor the change of the verb in a relative clause into a participle.


Any noun phrase formed by a noun followed by V-ing can be analyzed as a noun followed by a reduced relative clause, where there is ellipsis of the relative pronoun (subject) and where the tensed verb is replaced with the present participle of the main verb:

- The oceans that/which surround the American continent are the Atlantic and the Pacific -> The oceans surrounding the American continent are the Atlantic and the Pacific.

- The small lights that/which moved among the stars were called "planets." -> The small lights moving among the stars were called "planets."

A : More than two-thirds of Earth is covered by oceans, making it mostly a water planet.

- More than two-thirds of Earth is covered by oceans, (which is) making it mostly a water planet.

B : Ancient astronomers observed small lights in the night sky that moved among the stars, and called them planets, meaning wanderers.

- Ancient astronomers observed small lights in the night sky that moved among the stars and called them planets, (which was or as it was, cuz the conjunctions with the subjective pronoun and linking verb can be omitted.) meaning wanderers. 

 

 

- The oceans that/which surround the American continent are the Atlantic and the Pacific -> The oceans surrounding the American continent are the Atlantic and the Pacific.

- The small lights that/which moved among the stars were called "planets." -> The small lights moving among the stars were called "planets."

👍👍👍👍 I got it. Thank you for telling helpful to understand. 

 

Any noun phrase formed by a noun followed by V-ing can be analyzed as a noun followed by a reduced relative clause, where there is ellipsis of the relative pronoun (subject) and where the tensed verb is replaced with the present participle of the main verb:

👍👍👍👍

Note this above to understand why.

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