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Original sentence: 1) "Authorities are investigating whether a man who allegedly drove an SUV into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., killing five people and injuring more than 40, was fleeing another crime scene."

1_1) "Authorities are investigating whether a man who allegedly drove an SUV into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., which killed five people and injured more than 40, was fleeing another crime scene."

1_2) "Authorities are investigating whether a man who allegedly drove an SUV into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis. before he killed five people and injured more than 40, was fleeing another crime scene."

Question: Whether 1=1_1, or 1=1_2, or both?

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  • There's nothing wrong with the original sentence. I.2 is definitely wrong. It was driving the vehicle into the crowd that caused the deaths and injuries; the driver didn't get out and kill people in some other way. Nov 24 '21 at 8:55
  • Are the sentences, i.e., 1 and 1_1 interchangeable?
    – Airforce
    Nov 24 '21 at 12:10
  • 1.1 is not a very good sentence. Which has to refer to a noun previously mentioned. Obviously it was the man's action that caused the deaths, but grammatically speaking which could refer to either the man, the SUV or the parade. Nov 24 '21 at 13:42
  • @KateBunting Not really. The 'which' can be used as non-identifying cluase and sitiational cluase, beside the identifying one. See the example and understand the use of 'which' in a sentence: "The station chief was fired, which means there is an open position. "
    – Airforce
    Nov 24 '21 at 14:16
  • Granted, but I still don't consider 1.1 to be any improvement on the original. Nov 24 '21 at 14:18
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1.1 is correct and has the same meaning as 1, though it has somewhat lower readability than 1 because on first read, "which" refers to the parade, and on only second read, refers to the man's action as a whole. Version 1 is unambiguous and reads cleanly the first time.

1.2 is incorrect because it means the driver first drove his car into the parade, then after that killed five people and injured 40 others, as if they were separate incidents, like, "The driver killed 5 people before fleeing the scene", which also describes two separate actions. It's clear from 1 that it was by driving his car into the parade that the driver killed and injured those people.

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  • '1.1 has somewhat lower readability than 1.' -Is it because the usage of the 'which' in 1_2 might make the reader think about its connection to the event of ‘authority's investigation’, instead of ‘the man's driving an SUV into a holiday parade’? Does it still look to have lower readability for this new example: 1_3) "The man who allegedly drove an SUV into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., which killed five people and injured more than 40, has been arrested."?
    – Airforce
    Nov 24 '21 at 18:36
  • @Airforce I've added a bit to my answer about 1_1. Let me know if it helps. About 1_3, it has the same readability as 1_1. I don't think many people would read "which" to refer to "investigation" before the action of driving since it's so much farther away.
    – gotube
    Nov 24 '21 at 18:53
  • Of course it's helpful. Much appreciated. 'on first read, "which" refers to the parade'--Yes if there were no comma (,) before the 'which', or a 'that' were used, instead of the ',which' .
    – Airforce
    Nov 24 '21 at 19:13
  • Normally, we can’t use -ing form for a single completed action, can we? But in 1 the participle form (i.e. killing) is derived form a action verb (i.e. kill) and the action is in the past tense (which is understood by looking at the base verb, i.e., drove, of the clause).
    – Airforce
    Nov 24 '21 at 19:24

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