the position of 'carefully'

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Post Reply
Gold Member
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 4:53 am

the position of 'carefully'

Post by Cosmos » Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:21 pm

Hello, teacher!

Please help me with this.

1. He carefully opened the box that Jane [gave, had given] him for his birthday. [I know this is natural, isn't it?]
2. He opened the box carefully that Jane gave him for his birthday. [Is this also natural?]

Thank you very much.

User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12967
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Post by Alan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:12 am

Yes, the second is possible: with the restrictive relative clause separated from its referent noun, it exhibits a linguistic phenomenon known as 'extraposition'.

Incidentally, for formal usage, tense concord requires 'had given', otherwise it literally means that she always gave him a box for his birthday.

Post Reply