This sentence below is an example of a cumulative setences from a site- sentences that begin with the main clause and that follow with subordinate ideas:

Apparently Coca-Cola once contained cocaine, which in the early twentieth century was not thought to be harmful taken in small doses, especially when the dose was only 1/1400 of a grain per bottle, (which was) hardly something to give one a heavy addiction, yet still strong enough to mildly lure one to consuming the soda, which was not so different from various medicines at the time, (which was) also containing slight trace amounts of cocaine, (which was) practically unavoidable byproducts from cocoa leaves.


1)Is the phrase following the first (which was) an adjective phrase modifying 1/1400? Could (which was/is) be included?

2)Is the phrase following the second (which was) an adjective phrase modifying medicines? Could (which was) or (which also contained) be included?

3)Is the phrase following the third (which was) an adjective phrase modifying cocaine? Could (which was/are) be included?

4)In other words, are they all reduced relative clauses? If so, I’m starting to realise how often writers omit the pronoun and the verb to be. Is this purely for style?

Thanks in advance.

1) Yes and yes.

2) Yes, but 'which was' does not work. 'Which also contained' is a good paraphrase.

3) Yes, but the noun phrase is incorrect; it should read 'byproduct of'. 'Was' is odd here; use 'is'. 'Are' too violates concord.

4) I don't think that the 2nd is a relative clause, but it may be a matter of definition. Style? Probably.
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I wonder what #2 would be called then.

I also think that the third phrase modifies 'amounts', not cocaine.

I can't see that 'amounts' is logically a byproduct, though the writer may have thought so.
Good and affective writing never contain more than one relative claus per sentence.
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Good and effective writing never contains more than one relative clause per sentence.

Why would you think that, Goodman? Have you been reading one of those self-improvement books?