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When they finish, those old materials made new will be handed out.

Is the sentence right? How to explain the part "made new"? It's very strange to me. The following sentence is more natural to me.

When they finish, those old new-made materials will be handed out.

Which is right?

SOURCE: Teachers Hit The Common Core Wall

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When they finish, those old materials made new will be handed out = When they finish, those new-made old materials will be handed out. In first, the old materials are made new and in second it's the same but then, new-made serves as an adjective phrase to old materials. –  Maulik V Jun 5 at 5:03
    
@MaulikV Somehow this sentence is still a little strange to me, though I know it's grammatically right. Maybe I should be accustomed to it. :) –  MarkZar Jun 5 at 5:08
    
I answered the way sentences are in-situ. I'd go for a better sentence something like - When they are done with refurbishing, the material will be (handed) out for sale [or whatever]. –  Maulik V Jun 5 at 5:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here, made new is used idiomatically. It does not literally mean newly produced, as things just created cannot be old. Made new in this context means reworked, redesigned, refurbished, overhauled, refreshed, updated or made current and functions as an adjective modifying old materials. Old modifies materials first because it expresses the prior or initial state, which made new then changes.

It is not appropriate or equivalent to use new-made here, because it literally means recently created and, unlike made new, is not used idiomatically, though both are grammatically correct.

Examining the quote in context, we can see that the people in the article are discussing updating and reorganizing previously created (old) workbooks to fit the new Common Core curriculum. So much of the existing material is being preserved, but it's being restructured to address new content and structure requirements. When this process is completed, the workbooks have been made new and will be delivered to teachers. Because the materials are made new, the teachers can instruct according to the new Common Core standards, even though they are doing so with old workbooks.

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"new-made" can be taken as a slight contraction of "newly made", if that helps clarify the distinction. –  keshlam Jun 5 at 12:44

Both are grammatical, but they have different meanings, one of which is unlikely to be possible.

Let's look at your sentence first.

When they finish, those old new-made materials will be handed out.

This one doesn't really make sense to me. New-made as a compound adjective means newly made or fresh. So the materials have the quality of being old and at the same time are also newly made. I think that is not quite possible.

When they finish, those old materials made new will be handed out.

This, on the other hand, makes sense. made here is a passive participle.

A participle is used to modify a noun. An active participle makes the noun it modifies an agent (the doer of an action). A passive participle, like this made, makes the noun a patient (the receiver of an action).

An active participle is in Verbing form, e.g. doing, running, touching; a passive one is in the past participle form, e.g. worn (wear), begun (begin), born (bear).

So, the materials in the sentence are the same old materials, but they will be improved, updated, and will be made new. And when they have been made new, they will be handed out.

Some people consider a participial phrase a 'reduced relative clause', which means the phrase is reduced from a clause similar to the one below.

When they finish, those old materials which will be made new will be handed out.

When they finish, those old materials which will be made new will be handed out.

However, it is worth noting that this method doesn't always work well with sentences with participles, especially ones with active participles.

Anyone touching that wire will get a shock.

(taken from Practical English Usage, entry 411.2)

doesn't necessarily come from

Anyone who is touching that wire will get a shock.

It may be from

Anyone who touches touching that wire will get a shock.

or other sentences with different tenses.

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Thank you, these terms are very helpful. But I still have a small question. Is "new" in "When they finish, those old materials made new will be handed out." a predicative adjective? –  MarkZar Jun 5 at 8:26
    
I think the classification (attributive vs predicative) is useful when we focus on whether an adjective is allowed to be put before a noun, or when we focus on the meaning difference that depends on an adjective's position. In this case, we use new with make; it means, roughly, that "someone made the materials (become) new". Make here is a causative verb; it causes the materials to be new. –  Fantasier Jun 5 at 14:01
    
If you're really looking for a term for an adjective used like this, I'm afraid I can't provide you with one; but I think it's enough for learners to know how these words work. –  Fantasier Jun 5 at 14:05
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@MarkZar Yes, it's predicative. It predicates on those old materials. –  snailplane Jun 5 at 18:13

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