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I was reading a book, and I saw this sentence:

They also contain a lot of fat and hydrocarbon which, if eaten in quantity, can result in ...

I was wondering whether it is possible to remove subject from the if clause?

  • There is no subject in the if clause. – anouk Mar 31 at 17:20
  • if Jack comes, we will go out. Jack is subject in this sentence. but in question's sentence, the subject of if clause has removed which I have never this before @anouk – en glish Mar 31 at 17:32
  • Yes, the subject and the auxiliary verb "be" can be ellipted, where "if eaten in quantity" is understood as "if a lot of fat and hydrocarbon is eaten in quantity. The "if" expression (not a clause but a preposition phrase in my grammar) is thus a conditional adjunct. – BillJ Mar 31 at 18:16
  • @BillJ I think "if they are eaten in quantity" is a conditional clause. There's no preposition there except the one within the clause ("in quantity"). – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 31 at 18:26
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    @JackO'Flaherty "If" is a preposition, not a subordinator. Modern grammar thus logically classifies it as a preposition phrase with the prep "if" as head and a declarative content clause as complement of "if". In this case, the complement clause is reduced but the basic structure is the same. .. – BillJ Apr 1 at 6:09

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