Does this sentence have reduced relative clause ?

She says she wanted to highlight pressure on women to sleep with men in powerful posts to enhance careers

Can we rewrite it in this way also?

She says she wanted to highlight pressure on women who must sleep with men in powerful posts to enhance careers

  • A clunky paraphrase of the noun phrase: pressure on women that causes (or urges) them to sleep with men in powerful posts to enhance careers. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:45
  • That first example doesn't seem to be acceptable English to me, imo. Nor does the 2nd seem acceptable.
    – F.E.
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:13
  • @F.E. the first sentence is not my sentence.
    – Mrt
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:46
  • My evaluation of it still stands, though. It's an unacceptable sentence. :)
    – F.E.
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:47

1 Answer 1



I don't think this is a reduced relative clause. I don't think it's a relative clause at all. You've emphasized your example in a way that sets "women to sleep" apart as a unit, but it makes more sense to break it up like this:

She wanted to highlight pressure (on women) (to sleep with men).

Both "on women" and "to sleep with men" are preposition phrases that describe "pressure." Remove either one, or both, and you will still have a complete and accurate sentence.


Your two statements do not have identical meanings. The first sentence only says that women are pressured to sleep with men to enhance their careers. The emphasis is on the pressure, with no claims as to how the women respond to that pressure. Will sleeping with powerful men actually enhance their careers? We don't know, and it's not relevant to the meaning of the sentence.

The second sentence says that the women must sleep with men to enhance their careers "Must" makes the statement extremely firm: either women sleep with powerful men and enhance their careers, or they do not sleep with powerful men and do not enhance their careers. (Or, alternately, they have no choice but to both sleep with powerful men and enhance their careers). In this case, the pressure on the women involved is irrelevant because it doesn't change their options.

  • While your analysis of the first sentence is on target, it's false to say that "who" in the second sentence is incorrect. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:21
  • Is it? I've always been taught that "who" when used this way must be preceded by a comma, but that would change the meaning of the sentence in this case. @EsotericScreenName EDIT: I did some digging, and you are right! How about that?
    – Jesse
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:24
  • In this case, who serves the same function as that - opening a subordinate clause which specifies a particular set - but with the additional constraint that the members must be people (or at least agents), rather than the less restrictive membership implied by that (which could be, e.g., ideas, concepts, actions, objects, etc). It's definitely not wrong to use that, but who is also correct, given the context. Dec 10, 2014 at 17:30
  • @Jesse thank you for the answer.I know the second sentence sounds a bit different than the first one.The second can be like " ..women feel that they must sleep.." but I am not trying to rewrite the first sentence by considering only its meaning.I already knew that " ..who must.." relative clause can be transform to " ..to...".But the thing is I still don't get the structure of the first sentence..
    – Mrt
    Dec 10, 2014 at 17:31
  • @Murat, thanks for clarifying. I added to the beginning of my answer. Hopefully that will help.
    – Jesse
    Dec 10, 2014 at 18:46

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