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Can I combine two sentences as follow:

  1. The victims of the club, who were half-starved for many years, need help.
  2. The victims of the club needing help were half-starved for many years.

I see the first one makes sense, but the second makes me confused.

Could you explain more to me? Thanks a lot.

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    Needing help without a preceding comma is restrictive, so it says that those victims who need help were half-starved, but if there were other victims, they were not.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 10, 2022 at 4:01

2 Answers 2

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You are right. It is better to use the first version. (It focuses on 'The victims of the club need help'.)

The victims of the club, who were half-starved for many years, need help.- non-restrictive relative clause

We use non-restrictive relative clauses to give extra information about the person or thing. It is not necessary information. We use commas in non-restrictive relative clauses.

The victims of the club needing help were half-starved for many years./The victims of the club who need help were half-starved for many years.- restrictive relative clause

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Both these sentences

The victims of the club, who were half-starved for many years, need help.

The victims of the club needing help were half-starved for many years.

can be inferred as "The victims (of the club) needing help were half-starved (for many years)." and "The victims (of the club) not needing help were not half-starved (for many years)."

To mean "all the victims (of the club) need help and all the victims (of the club) were half-starved for many years", your two sentences can be combined in different ways.

The victims of the club need help, they were half-starved for many years.

The victims of the club need help and they were half-starved for many years.

The victims of the club were half-starved for many years and need help.

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