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I know how to use relative clause in reduced form i.e. I saw the dog barking.(I saw the dog which barked)

But in a technical book, I see the following sentence and can't figure out.

This function performs some action appropriate to the condition that generated the signal

I think that the author forgot to put is before the signal. If not, is there any usage form like that + past participle? Or, what is the usage of that here? Can you rewrite the sentence with same meaning? Is generated past simple here?

  • I think if you reword it like The function performs the appropriate action based on the condition that generated the signal. it makes a little more sense. The sentence itself is correct though. – Element115 Mar 15 '18 at 17:01
  • still non-sense, because my problematic part is "that generated the signal" part – snr Mar 15 '18 at 17:03
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    If you add the word is, it would have to be: that is generated by the signal. But what's wrong with: the condition that generated the signal?? There is no clause reduction possible here. – Lambie Mar 15 '18 at 17:04
  • what is the usage of that here? Can you rewrite the sentence with same meaning? Is generated past simple here? – snr Mar 15 '18 at 17:12
  • The word that in your context functions as a pronoun / determiner, just as it would be if you substituted it with which. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '18 at 17:37
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generated is not a participle: it's an ordinary past form. that is a relativizer, equivalent to which.

  1. Some condition generated the signal.

  2. This function performs some action appropriate to the condition.

    Appropriate to *which** condition? . . . appropriate to the condition that/which generated the signal.

  • Thank you so much. But the view of the sentence is present simple. I confused and can't figure out why past simple used there. Intriguing – snr Mar 15 '18 at 17:35
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    @snr: It would be just as valid if you rephrased your example to This function performs some action appropriate to the condition which / that generates the signal. Present or past tense generate is effectively a stylistic choice (but of course a speaker / writer might be influenced by the fact that the signal must have already been generated before it can be detected and acted upon). – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '18 at 17:40
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In your example, generated is not being used as a participle but as the simple past of generate in the active voice. It would totally subvert the intended meaning to insert is, an insertion that would change the verb into a present passive construction. That is the subject of the relative clause and refers to condition.

The meaning is At some time after a condition generates a signal, the function will perform the action appropriate to that condition.

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