Is the following a reduced form?

He's grown up knowing your name.

If yes, what has the original form been?


2 Answers 2


This is not a 'reduced' form.

Knowing here acts here in its participial capacity, not gerundial, so the phrase/clause knowing your name acts as an adjectival. Syntactically it is a 'secondary subject complement': a non-obligatory predicative complement of the verb which identifies or characterizes the subject. An ordinary adjective or noun phrase could play the same role:

He grew up very poor.
He grew up a beggar.

You could paraphrase

He grew up, and all the time he was growing up he knew your name.

But don't mistake this paraphrase for a 'fuller' form of the construction.

  • Adjectival? I don't think so. It's not a modifier, it looks like it's an adjunct. And function of "knowing" is Predicator, I guess. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:44
  • @Man_From_India - Indeed, knowing is a predicator. But adjectivals are not always modifiers: they may also act as predicative complements, as in He is poor. This use bears the name "predicative" because it "predicates" something of the subject, as the clause knowing his name does here. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:51
  • yes nods. I actually meant that it looked like an Adverbial, rather than an adjectival. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:54
  • @Man_From_India - It doesn't attribute a quality or manner to the action of growing up, it attributes a state to the subject of growing up. He grew up knowledgeable, not He grew up knowledgeably. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 14:02
  • mmmm but unlike a predicative complement, we can move this non-finite clause around, without affecting the sentence whatsoever. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 14:06

He's grown up [knowing your name].

No, it's not a reduced form.

You specifically asked what the grammatical function of "knowing" is. The simple answer is that its function is head, more specifically head of the bracketed gerund-participial clause.

I take the subordinate clause to be an adjunct, since it can be freely omitted, though I'm not sure what semantic category it belongs in.

  • But "head" is for a phrase, not for a clause. I didn't get it. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:46
  • @Man_From_India The head of a clause is a verb phrase, and the head of a verb phrase is a verb, so it follows that the head of a clause is a verb!
    – BillJ
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:53
  • but the head of this clause is still the implied subject. Or else it would sound like a clause consisting of just a phrase. In that case why would we call it a clause, not simply a phrase? Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:58
  • @Man_From_India No. A subject is never head of a clause. "Knowing your name" is a non-finite clause and most non-finite clauses are subjectless, though we can retrieve the subject from the matrix clause --, in this case it's clearly "he".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 14:03
  • well, I shouldn't have used the term "head". Because I have objection to the term "head" in the context of clause. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 14:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .