Consider the bolded participle clause, please:

  1. I work as a programmer, mostly building ASP.NET applications with SQL Server as the database.

What kind of clause is it? Is it a non-defining relative clause or an adverbial clause?

  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it seems to be a homework with no OP's research. – bytebuster Jun 29 at 1:18

The part of your sentence in bold is not a clause, it is a present participle phrase which modifies the noun programmer, the phrase is an attribute of programmer. See here or here as for how to tell a gerund phrase from a present participle phrase.

A clause has a subject of its own. A phrase, be it an infinitive or gerund, or participial phrase, has no subject of its own, the subject (if any) of the verbal used in a phrase is a part of the whole sentence of which the phrase is also a part.

Actually, such question about English syntax do not belong to the Linguistics SE, they are better to be asked at the English Language & Usage SE or at the English Language Learners SE.

| improve this answer | |
  • Can I remove the comma in the original sentence, without changing its meaning? – Mr. X Jun 29 at 7:45
  • @Mr.X No, the comma gives away whether it is defining or non-defining — interestingly and unfortunately, the only to communicate that distinction verbally, is through intonation. – user22430 Jun 29 at 10:59
  • 2
    It's a clause because it has a subject-predicate structure. The clause has no overt subject, though it is understood as "I" (or "me"). We stopped calling such constructions phrases over twenty years ago! The clause functions as a supplementary adjunct. – BillJ Jun 29 at 11:19
  • @BillJ The subject is in fact the omitted relative pronoun, which refers to "a programmer". It can be rewritten with no semantic loss to "..., that mostly builds ASP.NET...", the subject of 'builds' is "that", and the "that" refers to "a programmer". However, you are right, it is definitely a clause. – user22430 Jun 30 at 16:38
  • 2
    @William There's no relative clause in the OP's example. "Mostly building ASP.NET applications with SQL Server as the database" is a non-finite clause functioning as depictive adjunct, not as a modifier of "programmer". – BillJ Jun 30 at 16:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.