The implication of the word, (which) you are searching for, is as follows...

Is it possible (correct, relevant) or at least marginally acceptable to change this sentence allowing discontinuity and employing "drastic" pied-piping?

  1. The by you searched implication of the word is as follows...
  2. The searched by you implication of the word is as follows...
  • Neither of your two options make any sense to me at all, as a native English reader. Can you give any examples where the language rule you are following has been correctly used? Jul 15 '19 at 17:52

It is possible to restructure these sentences using the past participle as an adjective modifier, but your examples are not grammatical. If you want to use the past participle as an adjective, you should remove all prepositional modifiers, and generally simplify. Examples:

The dog (which) you found has black spots → The found dog has black spots.

The item you listed for sale last week has been sold → Your listed item (from last week) has been sold.

The "premodified" versions of these sentences do contain less information, but that's a choice you have to make.


Both of those sentences would be grammatical (and make sense) if you used hyphenation, indicating an adjectival use:

  1. The by-you-searched implication of the word is as follows...
  2. The searched-by-you implication of the word is as follows...

That would make the essential component of each be:

The implication of the word is as follows . . .

The use of either by-you-searched or searched-by-you would be acting to qualify the noun implication.

Having said that, however, although understandable when used in that specific way, it would still be somewhat unusual. Nonetheless, adjectival compounds are used deliberately (and uniquely) for stylistic effect somewhat frequently. Still, I wouldn't recommend using either of those terms in such a way on a regular basis.

  • I thought about hyphenation too and possibly settled on The implication of the searched-by-you word, but it all just felt a bit too horrible, so I went cross-eyed and rebooted myself for an hour! Jul 15 '19 at 19:27
  • @Jason Bassford, your answer really hit the spot! It is just what I've been searching after. Thanks a lot!
    – Eugene
    Jul 15 '19 at 20:12
  • I would not advocate using this hyphenation method for creating an adjective, at least in this case. It is not the way common English sentences are constructed, except for idiomatic expressions like "state-of-the-art". The only justification to using it with non idiomatic phrases would be to create an "artificially correct structure" and make deliberately ridiculous sentence. Jul 15 '19 at 21:32
  • 1
    @laugh There is nothing at all uncommon about using this kind of hyphenation for stylistic effect. It was an I-told-you moment, They had too-many-to-believe ideas. This is normal in lots of fiction. As I said in my answer, it shouldn't be done often or as a matter of course, but it's still fine in context. It's not ungrammatical. It may be objected to by some people, but that's a matter of opinion. Jul 15 '19 at 21:38
  • I think there's no disagreement between us about it being grammatical, but the examples you came up with do not make it a not-at-all-uncommon construct! I would not advocate using it, especially for people not highly proficient in English. Jul 15 '19 at 22:02

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