I'd like to know the grammatical points of the phrases "when children have a job" and "due to their age" in these sentences and how I can find more details about building sentences ( a common pattern) like these ones:

1- However, one problem when children have a job is that it potentially leads to exploitation of them.

2- They work full time but due to their age are not protected by law.

  • The grammar is different so you may want to split this into two questions. Also it's a good idea to tell us about your prior research. Have you looked in a grammar book?
    – James K
    Sep 27 '18 at 18:53
  • @James: It seems that an adverbial clause has been introduced to these sentences, apparently between the subject and verb ( the subject "they" is removed after "but" in the second sentence because of the parallel structure), but I don't know much more about it because I couldn't find anything related to it in grammar books.
    – Tom And.
    Sep 27 '18 at 19:05

The first one is a relative clause, which describes a noun. A "when" clause usually describes the time of the noun:

a day when everything went wrong.

There are many days, but they are all at different times. So we can identify a particular day with a "when" clause

We can also use it for something that changes with time:

Her face when she saw her boyfriend

This identifies her face at a particular time.

A when clause can also identify a particular context or situation. This is your case.

a problem when children have a job.

It identifies which type of problem we are discussing by giving the context

The second question is different. There is a parallel construction

They work full time. (but)
Due to their age, they are not protected by law.

The "They" in the second sentence has been omitted to avoid repetition. As you see, this adverbial contruction is before the (omitted) subject.

  • Thank you James. For the second sentence, I wonder if we can always put the adverbial construction after the subject and its verb in the independent sentence or there has to be a special construction?
    – Tom And.
    Sep 28 '18 at 0:14
  • No, the adverbial phrase is put before the (omitted) subject. It could also be placed at the end "but (they) are not protected by law, due to their age. This is normal placement of an adverbial
    – James K
    Sep 28 '18 at 17:27

You must log in to answer this question.

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