How correct is the word "identified" in the sentence below? Does the word "identified" need "that were" before to be a complete dependent sentence? What are the grammar rules at use in similar sentence structures?

They take any faults identified in themselves and put them onto others

2 Answers 2


In English it is common to omit determiners in certain contexts.

For example:

  • Birds native to England include...
  • Birds that are native to England include...
  • I love cakes coated with icing and sprinkles.
  • I love cakes that are coated with icing and sprinkles.

Your example is just as correct with, or without "that were".


They take any faults [identified in themselves] and put them onto others.

It's fine, and it doesn't need "that were" to be grammatical or meaningful.

The bracketed element is a past-participial clause modifying "faults".

Participial clauses functioning as modifiers in noun phrase structure are semantically similar to relative clauses: compare any faults [that were identified in themselves].

Past-participial modifiers are bare passives, as evident from the admissibility of a by phrase: faults [identified in themselves by others].

But they are not classified as some kind of relative clause, since there is no possibility of them containing a relative phrase: faults which identified in themselves is grammatical but it has a different meaning.

  • Thanks. Your answer helped a lot.
    – DrDentMBR
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 7:05

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