It was not the action intentional = It was not the action which was intentional = It was not the intentional action.

Is 1st sentence right and is it grammatically correct? is the 1st sentence equal to 3rd sentence?

  • The first is not grammatical. The other two are OK if you substitute an for the, and was for is, They are equivalent to each other.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 5, 2020 at 19:35
  • @ColinFine Why is it incorrect? I think we can use reduction here- it was not the action intentional = it was not the action which was intentional-If we omit "which was" 1st and 2nd sentences are the same which means first one should be correct too
    – Muzaffar
    Oct 6, 2020 at 2:41
  • Because you can't always delete "which is/was". You often can before participles (eg the words which were spoken = the words spoken) and adverbial phrases (eg the book which is on the table = the book on the table) but not normally before adjectives which aren't participles.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 6, 2020 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


As a native English speaker, the first sentence sounds very strange to me. I'm not certain if it's grammatically correct either. The second sentence also sounds somewhat forced and unnatural. The third one sounds the most correct to me, but I think in this case I would say "It was not the intended action", or "It was not the action I intended". "Intended" acts like a verb and an adjective here, similar to "The running water" and "The water is running".


"It was not the intentional action" sounds like there were two actions, one the intentional, and one not intentional, which is the more important of the two. To make sense, the non-intentional action would have to be described, as well as its importance. An awkward way of expression, but technically correct.

Otherwise "the action was not intentional seems to make the most sense.

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