I wrote:

In PerTreebank each element of a compound verb is shown separately and is attached to a phrasal category named MV

Could I write it as:

In PerTreebank each element of a compound verb is shown separately attached to a phrasal category named MV

In the second version I reduced "is attached" to "attached" but it is far from the name it modifies

Update: To show an example of a Persian compound verb and how its elements can be separated, I attached the following picture (read right to left) The meaning almost is:

We should make ourselves ready for strange things and unfamiliar ways.

make ready is a compound verb and for strange.... are dependent on ready, while we is dependent on make. (we, should, ourselves parts are not in the picture, as the picture is partial) enter image description here

  • 1
    A comma before attached in the second sentence would improve readability.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:20
  • @JavaLatte you mean with comma it is grammatically correct?
    – Ahmad
    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:43
  • 2
    What do you actually mean? Are all verbs in the construction 'sisters', attached to the same MV, or is each verb attached to a different MV? If the latter, what is the relationship between the MVs? Aug 6, 2016 at 10:31
  • @StoneyB Given to the first example, I thought the subject of the sentence after and should be "each element of a compound verb". Thus, I concluded that OP means "each element of a compound verb" is attached to PCNMV. I think, there is only one MV category which contains all of those elements.
    – Cardinal
    Aug 6, 2016 at 10:50
  • 1
    I wouldn't use attached to explain such a tree. I may write it like this: In the PerTreebank, all elements of a compound verb have their own terminal nodes, all of which share the same ancestor, an MV node. Aug 6, 2016 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


Both of your sentences are grammatical, and they both seem to describe the same construction; but they don't mean quite the same thing.

... each element ... is shown separately and is attached ... Here you have a conjoined predicate—in effect, two predicates sharing the same subject:

                        is shown separately 
      each element  and    
                        is attached ... 

... each element ... is shown separately attached ... Here you have a single predicate:

      each element  is shown separately attached ... 

In this case, separately and attached cannot be taken as two distinct predicates: we parse separately as an adverb modifying attached.

Note in particular that attached ... cannot be taken as a 'reduced relative clause' = which is attached ... because a) there's no noun in the predicate which it can modify, and b) in any case, there's no relative clause in your original to reduce.

JavaLatte's suggestion of a comma following separately presents an adequate solution:

... each element ... is shown separately, attached ...

The comma marks attached ... as a supplement outside the core structure of the main clause. It is parsed as an adjectival participle clause, and may be taken either as a 'gloss' on separately or as a second, subordinated predicate—in this case they amount to pretty much the same thing.

In theory the main clause itself could be the 'fallback' referent, but that would be semantically nonsensical—you can't attach the act of showing to a syntactic category!

  • Thank you for your complete answer, actually my main intention was with comma, then you say with comma it is almost like "and is attached"? can I conclude in such situations ("and is ...ed"), I can reduce that to ". ..ed"?
    – Ahmad
    Aug 6, 2016 at 14:45
  • @Ahmad Fersher, as long as you put the comma in. Aug 6, 2016 at 14:47

You must log in to answer this question.

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