"The club, which was founded 20 years ago, is more popular today than ever before."

If I express the above relative clause using past participle, which one is correct?

  1. The club ,founded 20 years ago, is more popular.. or
  2. Founded 20 years ago, the club is more popular..?
  • 2
    They're both fine. It's just a stylistic choice to put the relative clause before the noun in #2. But be careful of doing this with longer and more complex constructions, since you're making the reader work harder to understand things if you say something about the club before the reader even knows you're talking about a club in the first place. Nov 8, 2014 at 17:10
  • 1
    Could you tell me how the phrase like my second example is called in English?(a grammar name)
    – Dinusha
    Nov 8, 2014 at 17:32
  • I'd call #2 a "displaced relative clause", since it would "naturally" occur after the noun (the club) which it references. But I've no idea what a grammarian would call it. Nov 8, 2014 at 17:50
  • 1
    I'd say usage of each is dependant on what precedes it. If the entire piece is about the club, the second option would be perfect, emphasising a new point; its age. If the subject of the club was only recently introduced, the first form would be clearer. Nov 8, 2014 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


All the three sentences are correct and have the same meaning, but with different grammatical constructions.

The first sentence has a non-defining relative clause "which was founded 20 years ago".

The second sentence and the third sentence each has a participle clause/phrase that is a bit like a relative clause. These clauses/phrases are usually used in written English. "Founded 20 years ago" is the participle phrase that modifies or refers to the club.

  • Just to be clear. Are you saying that if there's a relative pronoun (which, who, that, etc.) then "founded 20 years ago" is a "non-defining relative clause", but if no such relative pronoun is present, it becomes a "participle clause"? How would that play out if I recast Elephants, which are large and grey, can sometimes be found in zoos. to Large and grey, elephants can sometimes be found in zoos ? Nov 9, 2014 at 17:11
  • FumbleFingers, there is a relative pronoun and an auxiliary in the relative clause, whereas participle clauses can be formed without them. A participle clause must have a present or past participle. Sir, it's missing in your example (Large and grey).
    – Khan
    Nov 10, 2014 at 4:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .