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The man (who is) angry is my father.

I was taught that I cannot reduce "who is" in the sentence. But, I don't understand why it does not make sense without "who is". To me, "The man angry is my father." looks fine enough to get it what the sentence means without any problems. I want to know a cogent reason why it does not make sense.

  • They taught you right. The angry man is my father= The man who is angry is my father. But not: the man angry. That's a mistake. That would be right in Spanish, Portuguese or French... – Lambie Jan 14 '18 at 20:33
  • @Lambie Yes, but I just want to know why it does not make sense without "who is". – SinK Jan 14 '18 at 20:38
  • No, it does not. The man who was standing in the street was my father=The man standing in the street was my father. Only a who is + action verb* can be shortened. who is and an ADJECTIVE calls for transposing the adjective. – Lambie Jan 14 '18 at 20:43
  • @Lambie - What if the question was: "The man leaving is my father." or "The man swimming is my father."? -- I agree that "The man who is angry is my father." sounds better. So Evariste's question is why. -- I see you have answered. Put your answer up. – Rob Jan 14 '18 at 20:45
  • @Rob The man [who is] leaving is my father; The man [who is] swimming is my father. You just proved my point. – Lambie Jan 14 '18 at 20:56
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The man (who is) angry is my father.

You can't drop "who is" because although "angry" can be used predicatively ("The man is angry"), it cannot be used postpositively (*the man angry").

But expansion by modification, coordination or complementation can improve acceptability somewhat:

The man (who is) still angry is my father.

The man (who is) angry and frustrated is my father.

The man (who is) intent on trouble is my father.

A number of single adjectives can be used postpositively and predicatively, though, for example "asleep", "alone":

The man (who is) asleep/alone is my father.

  • I might get to understand the reason why I should avoid placing the adjective after the noun, reading your answer. "The man tall stole my bike.", without adding a context restricting meaning, I don't know exactly in this sentence whether it does mean "the man was tall" or "the man is tall", so the sentence is not the same as "The man that is tall stole my bike." and they cannot be interchangeable with each other. To make it concluded, without the help of a relative pronoun and only with the adjective placed after the noun, we cannot describe a situation definitely. Isn't my thinking plausible? – SinK Jan 15 '18 at 20:07
  • "The man tall stole my bike" is ****wrong***. I have already explained this to you. You can write: The tall man stole my bike OR The man who is tall stole my bike. The two sentences are 100% semantically equivalent. And one is often cautioned by writing teachers to avoid the "who is tall" unless absolutely necessary for some "technical", legal or other reason of that nature. – Lambie Jan 15 '18 at 20:41
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The man who was standing in the street was my father=The man standing in the street was my father.

Only a who is/are + action verb can be shortened. Who is/are on its own and an ADJECTIVE calls for transposing the adjective.

The man who is tall is my father. BECOMES The tall man is my father.

The man who is standing in the driveway is my father. BECOMES The man standing in the driveway is my father.

  • There seems not to be any logical or even semantic reason. – SinK Jan 14 '18 at 21:03
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    I'm not sure if a postpositive adjective might work: The man who is responsible is my father. – Lucian Sava Jan 14 '18 at 21:41
  • And yet we wouldn't say "The hooligan incorrigible..." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 14 '18 at 23:31
  • @Lucian Sava The man who is responsible is my father. BECOMES The responsible man is my father. But we don't know what it means because either way you write it, it is ambiguous until further clarification. You cannot use the adjective after the noun. And your sentence does not contain a postpositioned adjective. Your sentence contains a clause. – Lambie Jan 15 '18 at 20:44

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