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a. In all this, he becomes involved in the life of a young woman, pregnant, whose husband, an environmental radical, wants an abortion.

FROM:

Andrew Sullivan, "Obama’s Legacy Has Been Destroyed", New York Magazine May 18, 2018

Is (a) grammatical?

It is definitely understandable, but I don't like the way 'pregnant' is placed. I think it should be 'who is pregnant'.

If the 'a young woman' was the subject of the sentence that kind of thing would work, but in this case, it is not the subject of the sentence.

  • In adopting a certain style, a critic may be less concerned with flowing, perfectly grammatical English than making a point.. – Ronald Sole May 20 '18 at 9:00
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It is grammatical. It is a very abbreviated form of description, but I think it preserves the meaning. It also parallels the terse description of the husband.

I think he has done it that way because he is writing a short summary of the plot of the movie. (I also got the impression that he was writing in a rather staccato style to emphasise the bleakness of the movie -but that could just be me reading too much into it!)

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I think that the original phrase is totally correct.

pregnant is an adjective and it goes along with a name, woman. It got the same functionality than young in that sentence.

The sentence could be rewritten

In all this, he becomes involved in the life of a young pregnant woman, whose husband, an environmental radical, wants an abortion

In the original one, the term pregnant is between commas establishing a pause to remark the relevant fact that she was pregnant.

Your approach may be correct but it doesn't sound natural to me. Let me rewrite again

In all this, he becomes involved in the life of a woman, who is young and is pregnant, whose husband, who is an environmental radical, wants an abortion

Too bombastic.

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