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He is the student taking notes. This sentence carrys two actions: be and take notes.

I wonder if the meaning can be expressed in two sentences:

He is the person. (1) He is taking notes. (2)

The action of taking notes is in the present continuous tense. Can (2) be written as He was taking notes (at the lecture) (2), He took notes. (2) He has been taking notes (all through the lecture) (2), He had been taking notes (all through the lecture). (2)?

When (1) and (2) are written as one sentence, the participle (taking notes) can represent all the (2)s. If I am correct, how should (2) be interpreted?

She is the woman with the short black hair.

She is the woman. (1) She has short black hair. (2)

Can the sentence be rewritten as She is the woman having short black hair? (3)

If (3) is correct, can every prepositional phrase be replaced by a participle? It that is true, what is the difference between a prepositional phrase and a participle?

Thank you for your help.
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Comments  
Took me a couple of looks to understand what you were getting at here.

1) By changing 2 you are changing the meaning and putting the action of the student taking notes into the past, whereas in the original version it is happening right now in the present. So no, (2) cannot represent all of the other meanings you have listed.

2) No we don't use a participle in this way as it only refers to this present moment in a temporary sense. It doesn't refer to a permanent state. She always has black hair, not just this very moment. She is the woman having a hair cut, yes that is fine, because the hair cut is only happening for a restricted time period, she doesn't sit there forever with someone snipping away.
Chariot
He is the student taking notes. This sentence carrys two actions: be and take notes.

I wonder if the meaning can be expressed in two sentences:

He is the person. (1) He is taking notes. (2)

The action of taking notes is in the present continuous tense. Can (2) be written as He was taking notes (at the lecture) (2), He took notes. (2) He has been taking notes (all through the lecture) (2), He had been taking notes (all through the lecture). (2)?

When (1) and (2) are written as one sentence, the participle (taking notes) can represent all the (2)s. If I am correct, how should (2) be interpreted?

She is the woman with the short black hair.

She is the woman. (1) She has short black hair. (2)

Can the sentence be rewritten as She is the woman having short black hair? (3)

If (3) is correct, can every prepositional phrase be replaced by a participle? It that is true, what is the difference between a prepositional phrase and a participle?

Thank you for your help.

Hi,

Well, I hope I won’t end up with a foot in my mouth!

These sentences struck me as ….well off beat, if I may say so.

He is the student taking notes. The core meaning to me is unclear. [Taking] is a present participle but not quite correctly used in your context. Perhaps, it can be rewritten as :

A) The person taking note is a student. – present status

B) The person who was taking notes was a student. Past status.

When (1) and (2) are written as one sentence, the participle (taking notes) can represent all the (2)s. If I am correct, how should (2) be interpreted?

The answer is Yes and No. it all depends on how the sentence is structure and what you try to get across. If you are so stuck with # 1 which is [he is the student] and using the present participle, then basically your options are limited. The “no” part is that, at least for now I can ‘t think of any example in which you can combine # I using present participle with all the # 2’s without using relative clause.

She is the woman with the short black hair. – [The] seems to be the improper article here. "A" is more suitable. [She is a woman] sounds redundant. So your # 1 sentence is a weak base to build on.

She is the woman. (1) She has short black hair. (2)

Can the sentence be rewritten as She is the woman having short black hair? (3) I can’t pinpoint what it is….it just sounds awkward. “Having” is used as a present participle. By saying “she is having long back hair”, it’s implying that she didn’t have long back hair before. I think the logic here is interfering with what sounds correct grammatically.

If (3) is correct, can every prepositional phrase be replaced by a participle? It that is true, what is the difference between a prepositional phrase and a participle?

If I must give you an answer, I would say no. However, In some situation, it may be possible. Generally speaking, prep. phrase and present participle are not functionally, and perhaps grammatically correctly interchangeable.

1 - A woman with long legs does attract a lot of attention

2 - A woman having long legs does attract a lot of attention . In this case, 1 and 2 are interchangeable with the given context, Though it must noted that the core meaning is the same, there is an intangible difference in meaning.

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Hi guys,

He is the student taking notes. This sounds to me like a natural way of giving identifying information.

There are 10 students in the room. 9 are looking out the window, staring at the ceiling, etc. One is working hard. Two people stand at the door.

A: Which one is your boyfriend?

B: Oh, he's the student taking notes. (He's the one taking notes sounds a little more natural.)

Best wishes, Clive
She is the woman with the short black hair.

Is the second definite article OK? Shouldn't the sentence read: She is the woman with short black hair?
Hard to explain but either would be ok.

Yes, your new version is probably better.

The first is more colloquial - it's more pointing out her hairstyle 'short black hair' as a cohesive whole in the way that we might say 'she is the woman with the red handbag'.

Imagine looking at a magazine with hairstyle sample pictures. If there was a style with short black hair you'd say 'I like the short black hair' using 'short black hair' as a name for the hairstyle, rather than a description...sorry I can't explain it better.
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Nona The BritHard to explain but either would be ok.

Yes, your new version is probably better.

The first is more colloquial - it's more pointing out her hairstyle 'short black hair' as a cohesive whole in the way that we might say 'she is the woman with the red handbag'.

Imagine looking at a magazine with hairstyle sample pictures. If there was a style with short black hair you'd say 'I like the short black hair' using 'short black hair' as a name for the hairstyle, rather than a description...sorry I can't explain it better.
I do get it. What about The girl with a mobile. Could I say "The girl with the mobile" even though there was no mobile mentioned before my statement? I know that the former is OK but sometimes, when I'm not paying attention, I use the latter. Example: "Mate, look at the girl with the mobile. She's got..." Emotion: embarrassed

On second thoughts, I've used hair with the definite article, just as you pointed out.
Having gone through the experience of an ESL person and the process to simulate

to the speech of a native, I think I can relate to the problems posted here in this

forum.

I really don’t think we can carve the rules into the stone or label each speech pattern

scenario. Personally, I think the key to improve our English is to pay closer attention and

emulate to natives’ speech patterns. In the early stage of my learning, I had spent a lot of

time in watching educational programs such as Discovery Channel and PBS from which I

had developed my English skills. In reference to prep. use in particular, improper use of

proposition in a given context can either blur the meaning or change the emphasis

of your intended thought. How we decide to form a sentence affectively is a skill

which takes time to develop. There are times prep. phrase is more affective for a given context

but can be reciprocated to present participle, or adverbial phrase. Consider the following:



1) The girl with the blue baseball cap is my niece.

“With the blue baseball cap” –prep phrase in general reference



2) The girl holding / wearing the blue baseball cap is my niece.

“Holding / wearing the blue baseball cap” – adverbial / participle phrase modifying her action.

Note: each participle depicts a specific action and image.



3) The red sports car parked under the maple tree belongs to John.

“Parked under the maple tree” – past participle phrase constructed in passive form and used as adjective.



4) The red sports car which is parked under the maple tree belong to John.

Relative clause construction conveying the same meaning as # 3.



Hope this post inspires some insight for all the learners…



Thank you all for your opinions. Having read your posts, can I say that

1. present participle used in the way as it is in "He is the student taking notes" exclusively refers to the action that is going on at the moment of speaking. If a sentence can be used to describe the action, it should be 'He is taking notes.' Past actions or future actions that modify "the student" should be written as relative clauses;

in "He is the student who is taking notes", is the relative clause "who is taking notes" redundant, since the present participle represent the action that is happening now?

2. by the same analogy, "She is the woman with black hair" and "She is the woman having black hair" are different in meaning. "Having black hair" is a temporary state;

3. on an occasion on which the woman is the only person who has black hair, "She is the woman with the black hair" is correct because "the black hair" is unique among the group of people. If "black hair" mentioned as a characteristic of the woman, not as something that distinguishes her from the other people, "She is the woman with black hair" is correct;

4. sometimes a participle, a relative clause or a preposition phrase can be used interchangeably to carry the same meaning?

Thank you for your attention.
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