Consider the following sentences:

  1. See the experiments reported in the chapters related to machine learning.

  2. See the experiments that are reported in the chapters related to machine learning.

  3. See the experiments reported in the chapters that are related to machine learning.

  4. See the experiments that are reported in the chapters that are related to machine learning.

When I’m short of space, I construct sentences such as sentence 1. When there is plenty of space, I might decide to write as shown in sentence 4. Often I find myself choosing between such sentences as sentence 2 and 3, and I’d be grateful if somebody could clarify the difference.

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  • By "clarify the difference", do you mean grammatically, or semantically? – BillJ Oct 25 '17 at 12:10
  • @BillJ, I’m interested in everything that one has to say in this case. – Ivan Oct 25 '17 at 13:13
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    There's no difference in meaning, but the syntax is different. 1.and 3. use a past-participial clause as modifier of "experiments" while 2. and 4. use a relative clause. And 3. uses a that relative clause as modifier of "chapters" while 4. uses a wh relative. 1. is obviously the most efficient/succinct and would be my choice. I can't see that 'emphasis' is an issue here, other than the usual "less words = less distraction". – BillJ Oct 25 '17 at 13:32
  • @BillJ, I’m curious how you distinguish past-participle clauses from relative ones. – Ivan Oct 25 '17 at 17:01
  • Relative clauses are (mostly) finite while participial clauses are always non-finite. It is a crucial property of relative clauses that they always contain an element - actually present or understood - that is anaphorically related to an antecedent; this is the basis for the term relative clause. Participial clauses don't have that distinguishing property, though as modifiers they are semantically similar to relatives, for example "a letter written by my uncle" and "a letter that was written by my uncle" have the same meaning. – BillJ Oct 25 '17 at 17:39

Your first sentence is elliptical, meaning it leaves out words that are understood in context. (See this answer or this one for more examples.)

Each of your subsequent sentences puts the elided material back in, which you would do for the sake of stylistic emphasis on the part or parts from which it was removed. The meaning is not really changed, and the emphasis only serves to direct the reader's attention to this or that point in the sentence. And, in fact, sometimes the process can be merely about rounding out the way the words sound.

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    Thank you! But where does one have more emphasis? If I put “that are” after a noun, do I add emphasis to that noun, or do I subtract emphasis from it? – Ivan Oct 25 '17 at 8:05

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