Relative Clauses

There’s an activity in New Headway Advanced (2003, p.106) comparing two sentences which “mean the same”:

1. There are white coral sands fringed by coconut palms.
2. There are white coral sands which are fringed by coconut palms.

I wonder, though, whether they do, in fact, “mean” the same thing. Perhaps ‘construe’ is a better term. While it might be true that the first sentence is a “reduced past participle”, I’m interested more in why we would make a choice between these two sentences. I think the first one might be used if we want to construe both the island and the palm trees as representing one event together – ‘There are [white coral sands fringed by palm trees]’ – whereas the second sentence, for me, construes them as two separate parts – ‘There are [[white coral sands] which are [fringed by palm trees]]’. Here’s a picture:


About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
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