⁠How are you, everyone?

I have following two questions;

 

1. As far as I understand, we don't use THE with possessives or demonstratives;

* Is this Mary's car? (NOT ...  the Mary's car?)

* This is my uncle. (NOT ... the my uncle.)

 

Then, how do they use THE in the following sentence in BBC news, "Addressing Parliament for the second time in less than three months, the Queen said the priority for her government was to deliver Brexit on 31 January, but ministers also had an 'ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers on the people's priorities'.

 

Of the more than 30 bills announced in the Queen's Speech, seven were on Brexit."

 

2.

1) He has a lot of friends. Some of them are from Europe. (o)

2) He has a lot of friends, some of whom are from Europe. (o)

3) He has a lot of friends, some of them being from Europe. (x)

4) He has a lot of friends, some of them from Europe. (x)

5) His friends, some of them being from Europe, are quite interested in Korean history. (o)

 

I learned that this "absolute construction" option is available only with medial, not final, relative clauses (and only if the grammatical subject of the medial clause is the same as that of the main clause. Whereas a medial relative clause provides background information, a sentence-final relative clause provides major information--information that should not be reduced.

 

While above 3) and 4) aren't correct ones by above rule, however, I see frequently those kind of absolute construction with "some of them, most of them, all of them, both of them, few of them".

 

Eagerly waiting for your clear explanation together with the difference between 3) and 4),

 

Best RGDS

Last edited by deepcosmos
Original Post

Hi, deepcosmos,

Your questions 1. and 2. above are completely unrelated. Next time, please start a new thread for each different question. Thank you.

@deepcosmos posted:

1. As far as I understand, we don't use THE with possessives or demonstratives;

* Is this Mary's car? (NOT ...  the Mary's car?)

* This is my uncle. (NOT ... the my uncle.)

That's correct. Those determiners are mutually exclusive.

@deepcosmos posted:

Then, how do they use THE in the following sentence in BBC news, "Addressing Parliament for the second time in less than three months, the Queen said the priority for her government was to deliver Brexit on 31 January, but ministers also had an 'ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers on the people's priorities'.

Of the more than 30 bills announced in the Queen's Speech, seven were on Brexit."

Whatever appears before the genitive case belongs to the "owner": in the people's priorities the article "the" modifies the noun "people," not the noun "priorities," and in the Queen's Speech the article "the" modifies the noun "Queen," not the noun "Speech."

@deepcosmos posted:

⁠1) He has a lot of friends. Some of them are from Europe. (o)

2) He has a lot of friends, some of whom are from Europe. (o)

3) He has a lot of friends, some of them being from Europe. (x)

4) He has a lot of friends, some of them from Europe. (x)

5) His friends, some of them being from Europe, are quite interested in Korean history. (o)

I don't know where you have taken the rule you mention from, but I don't think it's accurate.

There's nothing wrong with sentence (4) above.

As regards sentences (3) and (5), they are grammatical but very awkward and should be avoided.

Hi, deepcosmos,

Your questions 1. and 2. above are completely unrelated. Next time, please start a new thread for each different question. Thank you.

Whatever appears before the genitive case belongs to the "owner": in the people's priorities the article "the" modifies the noun "people," not the noun "priorities," and in the Queen's Speech the article "the" modifies the noun "Queen," not the noun "Speech."

Gustavo, well noted and fully understand your clear explanation!

I don't know where you have taken the rule you mention from, but I don't think it's accurate.

There's nothing wrong with sentence (4) above.

As regards sentences (3) and (5), they are grammatical but very awkward and should be avoided.

I learned the regulation from last thread in 2003 by Marilyn Martin;

https://thegrammarexchange.inf...545778371#8326029903

 

I will deeply appreciate if you don't mind checking this thread with one more reply.

 

Thanking in advance,

Marilyn's post is indeed very good. I especially like this assertion of hers, which should be borne in mind at all times:

Absolute constructions are effective in the hands of skilled writers writing formal discourse.

That said, I think this other assertion applies to the examples in that thread but may not apply to others:

Whereas a medial relative clause provides background information, a sentence-final relative clause provides major information--information that should not be reduced.

In the sentences in that thread the relative does contain background information which cannot be reduced to an absolute clause, but there are cases where that final relative can provide major information (previous to, simultaneous with or subsequent to the information in the main clause) and thus be converted to an absolute clause, always subject to the stylistic restrictions mentioned at the beginning. Here follow some examples I've found in a very quick search:

- All of the sculptures depict dead people who have never been identified, some of them having died painful and violent deaths. (Source)

- Yet, almost fifteen years on, relatively few empirical studies have been published in that vein, with most of them appearing very recently. (Source)

- These fellows were themselves very special, all of them having been enlisted Marines of various rank for several years and many of them having fought as Marines against the Japanese during the big war. (Source)

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

That said, I think this other assertion applies to the examples in that thread but may not apply to others:

 

Whereas a medial relative clause provides background information, a sentence-final relative clause provides major information--information that should not be reduced.

In the sentences in that thread the relative does contain background information which cannot be reduced to an absolute clause, but there are cases where that final relative can provide major information (previous to, simultaneous with or subsequent to the information in the main clause) and thus be converted to an absolute clause, always subject to the stylistic restrictions mentioned at the beginning. Here follow some examples I've found in a very quick search:

- All of the sculptures depict dead people who have never been identified, some of them having died painful and violent deaths. (Source)

Gustavo, sincerely appreciate your explanation. However, frankly since I can't undertsand the subtle difference between Marilyn's and your examples, would you kindly introduce me any grammatical material which explains the general rule to make 'absolute construction' especially with "some of, most of pronoun", if you don't mind?

Best RGDS

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