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Sentence #1: We stayed in a hotel that was very expensive.

can be rewritten as two sentences:
a) We stayed in a hotel.
b) It (the hotel) was very expensive.

#2. The girl I live with eats fried grashoppers.
a) The girl eats fried grashoppers.
b) I live with her (the girl).

How would you rewrite:

I don't know a dog that can speak Norwegian.

If it was positive, it would be easy (I know a dog. + It can speak
Norwegian. = I know a dog that can speak Norwegian.) but when negative
comes into play I'm lost and think it may not be possible.
Comments  
Hello Pastsimple

Your question interested me and I am inclined to agree with you.

Historically speaking, according to the Oxford Dictionary, English relative sentences have developed from a combination of two simple sentences in the way like "He came to a river; that (=the river) was broad and deep". But it is likely the uses of relative sentences gradually became sophisticated, and in the course of time people began to use such complex relative sentences as you showed, some of which could hardly be divided into two sentences.

paco
PastsimpleSentence #1: We stayed in a hotel that was very expensive.

can be rewritten as two sentences:
a) We stayed in a hotel.
b) It (the hotel) was very expensive.

#2. The girl I live with eats fried grashoppers.
a) The girl eats fried grashoppers.
b) I live with her (the girl).

How would you rewrite:

I don't know a dog that can speak Norwegian.

If it was positive, it would be easy (I know a dog. + It can speak
Norwegian. = I know a dog that can speak Norwegian.) but when negative
comes into play I'm lost and think it may not be possible.

For practice purpose, I would say your examples are correct. However, relative clause (to my knowledge anyway) is uesd to included additional thoughts, ideas orinformation about the subject without having making too many sentences. Ex: The new toaster [which we bought last week for the coffee room] caught on fire yesterday. The "blue" segment is the relative clauses modifying the the main sentence. Your examples could be combined into a single sentence with an adjective: We stayed in an expensive hotel. If we can avoid using clauses, do it.
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GoodmanYour examples could be combined into a single sentence with an adjective: We stayed in an expensive hotel.

Yes, but "I live with a grashopper-eating girl" would seem very odd to me. Emotion: smile
I must be missing something, because if you are just splitting these into two sentences, why not:

I don't know a dog.
It (the dog) can speak Norwegian.


That makes as much sense as the others, doesn't it?

CJ
CalifJimI must be missing something, because if you are just splitting these into two sentences, why not:

I don't know a dog.
It (the dog) can speak Norwegian.


That makes as much sense as the others, doesn't it?

CJ

I don't think so. By the way I know a Japanese speaking dog. It's me! Emotion: smile

paco
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Now there's a visual I could have done without. Emotion: smile
CalifJimI must be missing something, because if you are just splitting these into two sentences, why not:

I don't know a dog.
It (the dog) can speak Norwegian.


That makes as much sense as the others, doesn't it?

CJ

I think this would suggest that there IS a dog that can speak Norwegian but I just don't happen to know it.
Hi guys,

Original example: I don't know a dog that can speak Norwegian.


CJ's suggestion: I don't know a dog. It (the dog) can speak Norwegian.


I think this would suggest that there IS a dog that can speak Norwegian but I just don't happen to know it.

Yes, but that's one possible interpretation of the original sentence. What's your interpretation?

Best wishes, Clive

(I wonder if a Great Dane can speak Danish?)
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