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Is it possible to say this?

  1. He married a woman who had once committed adultery.
  2. He married a woman having once committed adultery.

The latter uses "having" as an adjective clause, like a box containing ten apples.

A real life example:

Nextcoin, or commonly known as NXT, is a relatively new altcoin having been released in December of 2013.
Source: cointelegraph.com, NXT

I want to know whether it is ambiguous or not. I want to know about the grammatical felicity of this.

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    The first sentence is clearer than the second one. The second one causes ambiguity. In the second sentence who committed adultery is not clear. Many will end up guessing "he" committed adultery. Aug 27 '14 at 14:06
  • @Man_From_India You should post that as an answer instead of a comment. Aug 27 '14 at 15:13
  • @user08742 Can you please elaborate? Aug 27 '14 at 15:28
  • That real life example is different, it doesn't apply to this.
    – Tim
    Aug 27 '14 at 19:22
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    Is it possible to rewrite "who had" to "having"? ~ If you want to stay clear, NO! About your *real life example, more clarification is needed.
    – Maulik V
    Aug 28 '14 at 5:25
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It is technically still a correct sentence, but they have different meanings.

He married a woman who had once committed adultery.

Is clear that the woman was adulterous.

He married a woman having once committed adultery.

This actually suggests that he had committed adultery, although it doesn't say it explicitly. To say it explicitly it would be this:

He married a woman, having once committed adultery.

Or

Having once committed adultery, he married a woman.

But the example you gave still implies it, and there is nothing wrong with assuming that the man is adulterous.


You are not addressing the real life example in the thread. And there is no comma so the second sentence doesn't mean that.

The real life example is different to the non real life ones:

Nextcoin, or commonly known as NXT, is a relatively new altcoin having been released in December of 2013.

  1. It has a comma
  2. It is not ambiguous
  3. "Nextcoin, or commonly known as NXT, is a relatively new altcoin who had been released in December of 2013." makes absolutely no sense.

NB: It should ataually be:

Nextcoin, or commonly known as NXT, is a relatively new altcoin having been released in December of 2013.

With no "or"

you are not addressing why it CANNOT mean the same thing. therefore not an answer.

You asked weather or not it meant that. I answered - it can mean the same, it is ambiguous. If you believe you know the answer, please self answer.

If you don't want to accept this as the answer - fine, but both this and Man_From_India's answers are correct.

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  • You are not addressing the real life example in the thread. And there is no comma so the second sentence doesn't mean that.
    – user8153
    Aug 27 '14 at 22:24
  • you are not addressing why it CANNOT mean the same thing. thereore not an answer.
    – user8153
    Aug 27 '14 at 22:27
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    I agree. Though in latter case, I'd start the sentence with Having once committed adultery, he married a woman.' +1
    – Maulik V
    Aug 28 '14 at 5:15
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    @User08742 - "there is no comma so the second sentence doesn't mean that." - wrong. If you think my answer is wrong, please down vote and post your own, correct answer.
    – Tim
    Aug 28 '14 at 7:58
  • @Tim Nice answer +1 Aug 28 '14 at 14:46
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The first sentence is clearer than the second one. The second one causes ambiguity. In the second sentence who committed adultery is not clear. Many will end up guessing "he" committed adultery.

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  • but no room for ambiguity coz there is no comma before the having.
    – user8153
    Aug 27 '14 at 15:49
  • @user08742 I guess even with a comma, it's still ambiguous. Aug 28 '14 at 3:59
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    Downvote? Why? What's wrong with this? +1 The OP seems to be confused by downvoting the other answer as well.
    – Maulik V
    Aug 28 '14 at 5:14
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    @MaulikV Even I was thinking the same things :) thanks friend. Aug 28 '14 at 14:42

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