Journalists informed police who planted an undercover detective to trap Smith.

Is it possible to make out what happened first in the sentence?

Does it mean

The police had planted an undercover detective to trap Smith, and then the journalists informed the police


The journalist had informed the police, and then police planted an undercover detective to trap Smith

collins dictionary


The succession of actions is just the same as it is in the sentence. 1.The journalists informed the police.2. The police planted an undercover detective to trap Smith.

  • Hi thanks for your answer. I have a question: if every sentence looks like this way have the same succession of actions. or it just depend on the situation and logic? – Tim Nov 13 '15 at 15:30
  • It depends on the meaning inside the structure, I would say. – V.V. Nov 14 '15 at 3:59

I think the mostly likely explanation is that the journalists had planted the undercover detective. I think this because that if it were the police were to have planted the detective, then they wouldn't have to be informed about Smith.

In this case, it's logic instead of grammar.

  • How do you get that the journalists planted the undercover detective? The sentence very clearly says "...police who planted". If the journalists were doing the planting, what function does the phrase "informed police" serve? – stangdon Nov 11 '15 at 15:13

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.