I found this structure while reading. Can anyone tell me what it is called?

Aware of the situation, he answered the phone, and knowing what he has, he decided to enter the competition.

Also, is the same structure being used in the sentence below? I found the use of the word "willing" a little weird.

He, willing to help his parents, paid a large sum of money

(I created both of the above examples since I couldn’t remember the original sentences I’d read.)

EDIT: I just found out the structure is known as a Reduced Relative Clause. However, it would still be great if someone could tell me whether or not my example sentences sound weird or not.

  • 2
    Thanks for asking a very interesting question, although I’m afraid I wouldn’t dare try to answer it! 🙂 I’ve just spent 10 minutes down the rabbit hole that starts at Wikipedia’s entry on “Reduced Relative Clause” and I’m not sure I’m much the wiser. As a native speaker, I probably use RRCs all the time, but I had no idea that’s what they were! All that said, are you sure your examples are indeed of RRCs? Regardless, your question might be a wee bit more useful if you made it clearer which aspects of the examples constituted the structure you are asking about.
    – tkp
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:03
  • Sound weird or not is arguably debatable. I'm voting to close this, since this is primary opinion-based. Jul 29, 2019 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


I'm surprised I could remember the name of this structure: Reduced Relative Clause; I was just about to give you a hot answer about it when I saw your post edition.

Well, since you already know your first question (what the structure name is), I'm going to answer the second question: Do the examples sound correct?

The answer is: Yes, they are quite polite though.


I think the structure common to all examples is an absolute phrase, also known as absolute clause.

Quoting from the first source:

An absolute phrase is a phrase that modifies a noun in a sentence, but it is not connected to the sentence by a conjunction. It is set off with a comma only, and it could be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Some more examples of absolute phrases can be found Here.

In another answer (and the edited question) another structure is suggested, namely a reduced relative clause. I think this is incorrect. A reduced relative clause is a relative clause in which the relative pronoun (who, which, or that) is omitted (sometimes changing the following verb). It can be identified by the possibility of inserting a relative pronoun. For example

  • The person standing behind me is my friend (equivalent to non-reduced the person who is standing behind me is a friend).

  • The people walking by didn't notice anything (non-reduced: the people who walked by didn't notice anything).

The sentences in the question do not include reduced relative clauses.

  • I agree with you on it may belong to absolute phrases category, however, the examples above do fit into reduced relative clauses category as well. According to you, it is incorrect to affirm that it is a reduced relative clause because such a category is assigned to relative clauses whose relative pronoun is omitted (the man I love); nonetheless, this RRC you are talking about is what we call: Finite Reduced Relative Clause; what we are talking about here is what we call _Non-finite Relative Clause.
    – Davyd
    Jul 31, 2019 at 12:15
  • Relative clauses, whether defining or not, include relative pronouns - see ef.com/wwen/english-resources/english-grammar/…, unless they are reduced and the relative pronoun is omitted (but can be added back). The sentences in the question do not include relative pronouns and can't be modified to include them. Can you substantiate your statements? Jul 31, 2019 at 14:31
  • You may have misunderstood me. Being defining or not is not relevant at all to what we are discussing here because a relative clause can have its relative pronoun omitted and still be defining or not. What I meant was: The sentences used in the examples can be classified as reduced relative clauses, which is a statement you disagreeded on because, according to you, a reduced relative clause is one relative clause whose relative pronoun is omitted, this statement is corret if you are refering to FINITE RELATIVE CLAUSES, but the answer to the question is that they are non-finite relative clauses
    – Davyd
    Jul 31, 2019 at 18:03

You must log in to answer this question.

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