Writing in September 1785 to his envoys in Pune — the seat of the rival Maratha state — Tipu Sultan was a man annoyed. There had been a dispute between local Muslim and Hindus, and Tipu's agent had publicly sided with the former, pressing the Maratha authorities to resolve the matter. This was,the sultan warned,stupid: Instead of posing as champions of Islam, he wished his men to take a pragmatic view. For any "fire of discord" between Maratha subjects — Muslim and Hindu both — would breed internal infirmities, weakening that enemy power from within. Infact, he added, if at all his ambassadors wished to participate, they should have covertly fanned the flames, instead of trying to advertise "zeal". Realpolitik, it appears, then, triumphed over faith for Tipu Sultan — at least in this instance.

—The Indian Express,21 Feb 2023.

My question is what 'a man annoyed' means here and is it grammatically correct? As we generally say 'an annoyed man'.

I chose to complete the paragraph even though my question is in the first sentence just to give readers a full idea and context of what was discussed in the article later on.

1 Answer 1


Annoyed is a participle, or an adjective, formed from the past participle, and this is a reduced relative clause.

It has the same meaning as "a man that was annoyed". You can parse that either as a adjective or as a passive voice construction (the syntax would be the same in either case)

  • thanks for the answer. But now I don't get why writer chose to write in that way. He could have simply said 'Tipu Sultan was annoyed'. Can you please tell me what effect does that bring about?
    – RADS
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 3:03
  • 1
    A fair question, but I don't know. It is a rare way of writing, perhaps the author just wanted to show off. It might be thought more elegant than "He was annoyed".
    – James K
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 6:23

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