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  1. Students advanced beyond their grade level are provided with appropriate curriculum needs.

  2. students who have advanced to a high level are provided with appropriate curriculum needs.

  3. There are the Pleiades, risen over the horizon. Where now is Mere, who is parted from my body?
  4. There are the Pleiades, having risen over the horizon. Where now is Mere, who is parted from my body?

I've been told 1) and 3) are not right constructions. Could you explain the reason, please. Thank you.

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You are misinformed.

Linguists differ over how such constructions are to be parsed.

  • Traditionalists say they are participial phrases, participles (with their arguments and modifiers) being capable of acting as adjectives. (Consider advanced students and risen stars).

  • Some Modernists say they are relative clauses, ‘reduced’ by Whiz deletion, the omission of the relative pronoun and the appropriate form of BE, which is more or less how you have paraphrased the first: Students who are / have been advanced

But however you choose to analyze these constructions they are entirely acceptable and indisputably grammatical.

ADDED: You raise an interesting point, that the past participle in such constructions usually bears a passive sense and consequently is available only with transitive verbs. For the most part this is true; but there’s a handful of intransitives which will sustain the use. These are verbs of motion, like rise in your example, or arrive, or come, whose past participles bear a telic or perfective sense. In the oldest English these took BE rather than HAVE in their perfects, and that use lingered until well into the 19th century—we still sing ‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come’. That ‘feel’ is still strong enough to make the adjectival use acceptable:

At normal times [the community] consisted of the Minister, lately arrived from Shanghai, a Chinese scholar whose life's work had been in the Far East ; the secretary, lately arrived from Constantinople ; the consul, lately arrived from Fez ... —Evelyn Waugh, 1931.

And of course a ‘deverbal’—a past participle which has acquired an independent adjectival sense, like done or interested—will sustain this use like any other adjective.

| improve this answer | |
  • Okay, you used 'advance' as an transitive verb. Then how about this sentence using 'arrive' as an intransitive verb."In their study, immigrants recently arrived in the US are healthier and have a lower incidence of obesity than do their native-born counterparts." Is this a right construction, as well? – whitecap Jan 20 '15 at 0:51
  • @whitecap Actually, I thought of both advanced and risen as intransitives. But you raise an important point, which I have now taken up. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 20 '15 at 1:48

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