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Q1) In English novels or conversation, if context is very clear, is a relative pronoun often omitted when a present participle phrase refers to/predicates its preceding noun as below?

1.Sitting on the bench, I was looking at Jane, playing tennis with a man.

2.Upon getting into the restaurant, I happened to meet Rachel, having a talk with a man I have never met.

In both 1 and 2, "who was" is omitted after Jane and Rachel, and I'm asking whether if context is clear, in English novels or conversation, a relative pronoun (who was) is often omitted and it's grammatically acceptable to omit it when a present participle phrase (playing tennis with a man, having a talk with a man I have never met) is clearly seen as referring to/predicates its preceding noun (Jane, Rachel).

As you see the sentences, the context tells us the present participle phrases predicate Jane and Rachel, not I, so I don't think there is a need to include "who was".

Q2) Is this a typical style of written English?

Q3) Even if there isn't a comma in both sentences, are the present participle phrases still referring to/predicating their preceding noun? and even without the comma, are both sentences correct? I think there must be a comma in both sentences, because Jack and Rachel is specific information.

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fire1In both 1 and 2, "who was" is omitted after Jane and Rachel, and I'm asking whether if context is clear, in English novels or conversation, a relative pronoun (who was) is often omitted and it's grammatically acceptable to omit it when a present participle phrase (playing tennis with a man, having a talk with a man I have never met) is clearly seen as referring to/predicates its preceding noun (Jane, Rachel).

Yes, it's acceptable. The technique is so common that it has a name. Back in the 1970s they used to call it "Whiz Deletion". Nowadays you don't hear that much anymore.

"Whiz" is a combination of a wh-word (who, which) with a form of be (like "is", pronounced "iz").

fire1 I think there must be a comma in both sentences, because Jack and Rachel is specific information.

Right. It is exceedingly rare not to have a comma between a proper noun and a relative clause or reduced relative clause or modifying participle clause or "whatever you want to call them".

If it happens, the proper noun has "the" before it and there is more than one entity with the same proper name:

Have you seen the Rachel you introduced me to yesterday at the library today?

CJ

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Addendum.

fire11.Sitting on the bench, I was looking at Jane, playing tennis with a man.

The interpretation I spoke of earlier was

... looking at Jane, who was playing tennis with a man.

There is also the interpretation of "look at" as a catenative verb. In this case you would not have a comma. In this case you were not looking only at Jane (who, by the way, was playing tennis with a man); you were looking at the whole scene wherein "Jane was playing tennis with a man".

Most of the verbs of perception are catenative verbs, e.g., see, watch, look at, notice, hear, listen to, feel.

CJ

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CalifJimThere is also the interpretation of "look at" as a catenative verb. In this case you would not have a comma. In this case you were not looking only at Jane (who, by the way, was playing tennis with a man); you were looking at the whole scene wherein "Jane was playing tennis with a man".

Ah, then if I want it to mean that, I can drop the comma as below, even if the preceding noun is a proper noun?

Sitting on the bench, I was looking at Jane playing tennis with a man.

I'm asking to check if I've understood your answer.

Thank you very much.

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fire1Ah, then if I want it to mean that, I can drop the comma as below, even if the preceding noun is a proper noun?

Correct. Actually, you have to drop the comma for that meaning.

fire1I'm asking to check if I've understood your answer.

You have understood it. Yes.

CJ

CalifJimCalifJim

By the way, it seems like native speakers who haven't studied English grammar in depth tend to think that the second sentence is weird because of the comma.

My native English speaker friend bad at English grammar told me the second sentence looks weird, whether it's a name or not, because of the comma and without the comma, the sentence is good.

I have no idea if this is to do with grammar, and because of the reason, he got it wrong, but it looks more to do with native English speakers' gut than with grammar.

fire1By the way, it seems like native speakers who haven't studied English grammar in depth tend to think that the second sentence is weird because of the comma.

You mean this one, I suppose:

2.Upon getting into the restaurant, I happened to meet Rachel, having a talk with a man I have never met.

Yes, it's weird. But you were focused on the "whiz deletion" aspects of the sentence, and I didn't want to throw you off your focus, so I decided to ignore it unless you asked more about it.

People tend to drop those commas when they sound more like secondary predications than like modifiers.

fire1it looks more to do with native English speakers' gut than with grammar

Right. Probably half of the use of commas has to do with grammar and the other half has to do with intuition about style. If you read a lot, you get "the feel" for the use of commas that are related to style. You even start to see that punctuation is different in different historical periods.

CJ

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CalifJimUpon getting into the restaurant, I happened to meet Rachel, having a talk with a man I have never met.Yes, it's weird. But you were focused on the "whiz deletion" aspects of the sentence, and I didn't want to throw you off your focus, so I decided to ignore it unless you asked more about it.People tend to drop those commas when they sound more like secondary predications than like modifiers.

I'm a bit confused to see this answer because in your first answer you said as below.

Right. It is exceedingly rare not to have a comma between a proper noun.

Umm, then is it correct to say #2 without a comma as below? and is still "having a talk" predicating Rachel, without the comma?

Upon getting into the restaurant, I happened to meet Rachel having a talk with a man I have never met.

I'm so sorry for taking your time on this this long.

This is my last question. Thank you very much.

CalifJimCalifJim

I might have mistaken your answer.

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