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We watched a movie which he hates.

In this sentence, the object of the verb hates is the pronoun which

We watched a movie he hates.

But in this sentence, the object of the verb hates is the noun movie

He doesn't have the ability which is required to join the club.

Here, which is the subject in the relative clause.

He doesn't have the ability required to join the club.

Both sentence modify the ability , but for this sentence, I am not sure which serves as the subject for the word required, but I guess it should be ability?

Do the differences in objects(for the first example) and subjects (for the second example) change the meaning of the sentence?

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  • Do you ask questions in ELU under the name of JK2?
    – BillJ
    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:07
  • @BillJ who is JK2?
    – jammy yang
    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:14
  • @BillJ Thank you ! Is my statement for the third example correct ? With which serving as the subject in the relative clause .
    – jammy yang
    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:49
  • Yes, it serves as the subject.
    – BillJ
    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:00
  • I've deleted my comment and will post an answer shortly.
    – BillJ
    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:18

1 Answer 1

-1

We watched a movie he hates ___.

The relative word is missing and represented by the '___' notation (called 'gap'), ' which serves as object and is anaphoric to "movie".

[1] He doesn't have the ability which is required to join the club.

[2] He doesn't have the ability required to join the club.

[1] is a straightforward relative construction with "which" as subject, but in [2] the subordinate clause is not a relative one, but a past-participial clause, a type of non-finite clause.

The clause modifies "ability", just as the relative clause does in [1], and it has the same meaning, but syntactically the two clauses are different. Like most non-finite clauses, the past-participial clause is subjectless. Past-participial modifiers are subjectless bare passives, so the subject here is understood as "ability" ("abilty is required by him"). In the active equivalent, the subject would be understood as "he ("He requires ability to join the club").

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  • Does subjectless bare passives mean a passive voice without a subject?
    – jammy yang
    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:50
  • @jammyyang The subjectless bit applies because the clause has no subject (most non-finite clauses don't), and it's a 'bare' passive because it lacks the usual "be" or "get" markers found in passive clause.
    – BillJ
    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:57

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