0

Rep. Lauren Boebert has mocked philanthropist Bill Gates' wish to move toward a future in which people eat only synthetic meat—by sharing an image of a steak that a New York butcher claims was lifted from its website.

It's a Newsweek article. I understand what it means but the structure of italic part is not familiar. I think the above is overlapped sentences and the primitive form would be that was lifted from its(a butcher's) website. The problem is the isertion of whole sentence a New York butcher claims between a subject that and a verb was.

Is it possible? Yes it should be because it's an article of a global media. How is it possible? I have never seen an example like that in any English grammar books. Is it a broken sentence which is colloquial and friendly?

5
  • 2
    No - there's not a "whole sentence" being inserted here. There's an optional "adjectival" that- clause modifying the existing noun phrase an image of a steak. The adjectival clause doesn't have a subject, so it's not a sentence (that would be A New York butcher claims that image of a steak was lifted from its website). – FumbleFingers Feb 19 at 12:22
  • I assume you don't have a problem with I read the letter that she wrote. So you shouldn't have a problem with I read the letter that she claimed was written by her mother. – FumbleFingers Feb 19 at 12:26
  • "That a New York butcher claims was lifted from its website" is a relative clause modifying "image of a steak". Note that "that" is not subject, but a subordinator functioning as a 'marker'. Thus we have: "a steak [that a New York butcher claims [___ was lifted from its website]]", where gap functions as subject of the embedded "was lifted" clause and has "image of a steak" as antecedent. – BillJ Feb 19 at 13:05
  • @FumbleFingers Is the whole that a New York butcher claims was lifted from its website an adjectival clause? If so are there 2 verbs which are claims and was in 1 clause? – SHIN JaeGuk Feb 19 at 13:56
  • Well, as @BillJ says, it's a relative clause modifying "image of a steak". So if you've got to choose between "noun, verb, adjective" I suppose it's the last of those categories (where "image of a steak" is obviously a noun, and the actual "primary verb" in your cited text is mocked). – FumbleFingers Feb 19 at 14:16
2

Rep. Lauren Boebert has mocked philanthropist Bill Gates' wish to move toward a future in which people eat only synthetic meat—by sharing an image of a steak [that a New York butcher claims was lifted from its website].

The bracketed element "that a New York butcher claims was lifted from its website" is a relative clause modifying "image of a steak". Note that "that" is not the subject of the relative clause, but a subordinator functioning as a 'marker'.

Thus we have the NP: "an image of a steak [that a New York butcher claims [___ was lifted from its website]]", where gap ___ functions as subject of the embedded "was lifted" clause and has "image of a steak" as antecedent.

The outer brackets surround the relative clause and the inner ones surround the embedded clause that has gap___ as its subject.

4
  • What is the object of claims? – SHIN JaeGuk Feb 20 at 5:10
  • @SHINJaeGuk "Claims" does not have an object. – BillJ Feb 20 at 7:15
  • Can a transitive verb exist without an object? Or do you think it is an intrasitive one? – SHIN JaeGuk Feb 20 at 12:05
  • "Claims" is intransitive here. Note that the relativised item ('gap') is not object of "claims" but subject of the embedded "was lifted" clause. We understand that a New York butcher claims [an image of a steak was lifted from its website]. The bracketed clause is complement of "claims". OK now? – BillJ Feb 20 at 12:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.