0

way + complete sentence

  1. I make a decision in the way I think I should make a decision, not in the way others think I should.

way + incomplete sentence.

2 .I make a decision in the way that I think is right.

Here, the way is a subject of right.

So, I'd like to know if I can use both of them: way + complete / incomplete

  • I don't know why you would say the way is a subject of right. i would say that "right" is a subject complement in the form of a predicate adjective. "Way" is the subject of the phrase "way that I think is right". – Brian Hitchcock Aug 24 '15 at 6:00
2

Both of these relatives are equally "complete"; the difference is that your first omits the relativizerthat or which.

A relativizer is a word which points backward towards a constituent of the main clause, the referent and forward toward a gap—a missing constituent—in the relative clause. It tells your hearer that the gap may be "filled in" with the referent, just like a fill-in-the-blank exercise or test.

Here are the unrelativized forms, with __ representing the gap:

  1. I think I should make a decision _ ...the gap represents an adverbial, something like "in this way"
  2. I think _ is right ... the gap represents a nominal, something like "this way"

Note that both are "incomplete" in exactly the same way: there's a missing piece. Except for that, they're both full clauses—both "complete".

We have a main clause "I make a decision in the way ..." where we want to add 1 or 2 to define that way. To link 1 or 2 we use a relativizer after the term to be defined—the referent—and . I'll use that for the relativizer, because you do in your #2; but which works equally well:

  1. I make a decision in the way that I think I should make a decision _.
  2. I make a decision in the way that I think _ is right.

Note that #2 here is exactly like your #2, while #1 has a that which is not present in your #1. However, the relativizer is only required if the missing piece—the gap—is the subject of the relative clause; it may be omitted in both of these sentences:

  1. I make a decision in the way I think I should make a decision _.
  2. I make a decision in the way I think _ is right.

Of course when you speak or write these there is no "_", no explicit gap, just an 'absence'. It is this absence that your hearer looks for to interpret what you have said.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.