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Why is the case that the below sentence has three verbs that weren't linked with any conjunction? Also, why use the comma prior to the last clause.

I don't know exactly why this sentence is structured as it is. I assume there were reduced parts or some parts of the clauses omitted.

A pupil of Freud (named) Wilhelm Reich (proposed) a theory (construed) out of the root of Freud's libido (,) of psychic energy he came to term orgone energy.

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  • What do you think?
    – BillJ
    Mar 20 at 13:38
  • I don't know exactly why this sentence is structured as it is. I assume there were reduced parts or some parts of the clauses omitted.
    – MBR
    Mar 20 at 14:05
  • Where did you find that sentence? Please give a reference as it does not look as though it was written by an English speaker.
    – mdewey
    Mar 20 at 14:14
  • Is it an original sentence, or has someone "tweaked" it a little?
    – BillJ
    Mar 20 at 14:30

1 Answer 1

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[A pupil of Freud named Wilhelm Reich] proposed [a theory construed out of the root of Freud's libido, of psychic energy he came to term orgone energy.

Not all subordinate clauses require a conjunction.

The first verb, "named", introduces the past participial clause named Wilhelm Reich, which is directly modifying pupil of Freud in the noun phrase subject a pupil of Freud named Wilhelm Reich.

The second verb, "proposed", is the main, or matrix verb, of the sentence so it does not require a conjunction.

The third verb, "construed", is like the first: it introduces the past participial clause construed out of the root of Freud's libido, of psychic energy he came to term orgone energy, which is directly modifying "theory" in the noun phase a theory construed out of the root of Freud's libido, of psychic energy he came to term orgone energy.

There is another verb/clause within the last one, but you didn't ask about it.

The comma after "libido" appears to indicate that the two expressions of the root of Freud's libido and of psychic energy he came to term orgone energy relate jointly to the preposition "out".

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  • that was extraordinarily clear. one last question, can I assume that there were omitted conjunction "that" prior to "he came to term orgone energy." ? is the last noun phrase "a theory construed out of the root of Freud's libido, of psychic energy [he came to term orgone energy] can be reduced to " a theory (that) he came to term orgone energy"?
    – MBR
    Mar 20 at 14:45
  • There is another verb/clause within the last one, but you didn't ask about it. can you please explain to me where the conjunction of the verb/clause within the last one?
    – MBR
    Mar 20 at 14:52
  • @MBR Yes: "a theory [(that) he came to term orgone energy]", where the element in square brackets is a relative clause modifying "theory", in which the conjunction "that" is optional.
    – BillJ
    Mar 20 at 14:52
  • I know I said it was the last question but I assume it won't be a problem. Why there is a comma before "of psychic" instead of "and". if a comma was used, does it need another comma after "psychic" and prior to "he" as a "Nonrestrictive appositives."
    – MBR
    Mar 20 at 14:58
  • @MBR Yes: the comma could be replaced by "and". I would advise against changing the original sentence, since the changes may affect the grammar and/or the meaning.
    – BillJ
    Mar 20 at 15:12

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