I know how to change the following sentence into another by using present participle:

  • Correct: The man who was driving the car wasn't injured.
  • Correct: The man driving the car wasn't injured.

Why the following sentence is supposed to be wrong:

  • Correct: The boy who passed the exam was very happy.
  • Incorrect: The boy passing the exam was very happy.
  • 1
    Can you please make some effort to improve your capitalization and spacing and make it consistent. You should always have a space after a colon and you seem to be really hit and miss about capitalizing the first word on each line. Please also stop saying "thanks in advance". It is unnecessary and non-standard for this site. – Catija Oct 9 '16 at 3:55
  • @Mari-Lou A okey,later – yubraj Oct 9 '16 at 14:56
  • @Mari-uA Done ! – yubraj Oct 11 '16 at 1:16

Correct: The boy who passed the exam was very happy.

Incorrect: The boy passing the exam was very happy.

Really interesting. So, the -ing structure here is short for "who was -ing". But "the boy who was passing the exam" sounds odd, I think, because while you can be driving a car you can't normally be passing an exam. You can take an exam, and be happy while taking an exam, but to pass (or fail) an exam is not a continuous action that allows for the progressive tense. It is an instantaneous event, a yes/no condition, and not something where you can report on progress.

Alternately you can say someone is "doing well" on an exam, "The boy doing well on the exam was happy." While this sounds a little strained, it's not as bad as "passing".

Note that with other definitions of "pass" this structure is fine:

The car passing to my right is going much too fast

The man passing a kidney stone is in great pain

The quarterback passing the football scored a touchdown

The criminal passing bad checks was caught red-handed

The agent passing as a border guard managed to get useful information.

And so on. Note these might not be the best way to express each thought, but they are grammatically acceptable.

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