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Can I write relative clauses modifying whole sentences without "which"? Is it grammatically correct?

Example 1:

My friends didn't come to the reunion, which infuriated me. => My friends didn't come to the reunion, infuriating me.

Example 2:

The storm dumped heavy downpours in this town, which caused many injuries. => The storm dumped heavy downpours in this town, causing many injuries.

  • Certainly. – user105719 Jan 21 at 4:57
  • No: "Infuriating me" and "causing many injuries" are not a relative clauses. They are non-finite clauses functioning as resultative adjuncts. – BillJ Jan 21 at 10:22
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Your versions are grammatical, but the first one now sounds like your friends (not the described fact: 'not coming to the reunion') literally 'infuriated you'. It can be rewritten like this:

My friends didn't come to the reunion, and that infuriated me.

In your second sentence, the sense is just slightly modified (technically, now it 'caused injuries while dumping heavy downpours' vs 'caused injuries, as a final result'). It can also be written like this: ... and that caused many injuries.

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My friends didn't come to the reunion, [infuriating me].

The storm dumped heavy downpours in this town, [causing many injuries].

No: the bracketed elements are not relative clauses, though they are modifiers. The absence of a relative pronoun marks them as non-finite clauses functioning as resultative adjuncts in clause structure.

Note that non-defining relative clauses like your ones with "which" are not modifiers, but supplements, i.e. loosely attached expressions set off by punctuation and providing supplementary non-integrated content.

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  • Thank you for your answer. From what you said, the implication is that the form "infuriating me" is not derived from the form "which infuriated me"?? – vincentlin Jan 21 at 15:00
  • @vincentlin Correct: it's a different construction. – BillJ Jan 21 at 17:10

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