# Category & Function

I have the next two sentences, and I'm asked to state the function and category of the parts in bold. I am introduced to the concepts of function and category, but I was applying what I learned about them on oversimple structures, but now I find these two sentences confusing, so I couldn't determine their category and function or to be more precise, I have an answer in my mind, but I'm not sure if it is acceptable. The sentences are:

1. They are fond of bull-fighting, which I find quite repulsive.

I know that the part in bold has the category of non-restrictive relative clause, but I'm not sure about the function.

1. My wife hated the fact that the children left their clothes strewn across the floor.

In this example, I guess the category is an appositive clause, but I'm not settled about the function, so please could you tell me the category and function of each part?

• (1) has a non-restrictive relative clause if the antecedent of which is bull-fighting: “I find bull-fighting quite repulsive”. But can which in (1) have the whole main clause as its antecedent? “I find their interest in bull-fighting quite repulsive”. This kind of clauses is called a non-restrictive continuative relative clause, if your classification allows this option. Sentences with continuative clauses can be considered a borderline case between subordination and coordination. Jul 28, 2022 at 22:44
• And the fact the the children did this and that is what's known as a "factive noun phrase complement". The factive part is because fact presupposes its complement clause, and the NP complement part is because they have a special grammar, behaving like verbal complements but modifying nouns, like the story that Trump won the election (which is not factive). Jul 29, 2022 at 1:00
• 1. Yes, a non-restrictive relative clause. Its function is that of supplementary adjunct. 2. A clause but not an appositive. It's a declarative content clause functioning as complement of "fact". Jul 30, 2022 at 7:17

[1] They are fond of bull-fighting, [which I find quite repulsive].

[2] My wife hated the fact [that the children left their clothes strewn across the floor].

You are right: the bracketed element in [1] is a supplementary (non-restrictive) relative clause. Its function is that of supplementary adjunct, a loosely attached expression set off by punctuation and intonation presenting supplementary non-integrated content.

In [2] the bracketed element is a declarative content clause functioning as complement of (thus licensed by) the head noun "fact". Some people would call it an appositive, but if a key feature of an appositive is its ability to stand alone in place of the whole NP, then [2] fails the test: *My wife hated that the children left their clothes strewn across the floor.

In modern grammar, the perceived wisdom is that it is not a systematic feature of the noun + content clause structure that the latter can function as an appositive.

Note also that it cannot be promoted to subject: *That the children left their clothes strewn across the floor my wife hated.

• “My wife hated that ... is perfectly grammatical for me! I don’t quite get your last example. Isn’t it an example of proposing? Aug 3, 2022 at 22:18
• I don't think "hate" licenses a declarative content clause on its own. "It" is required, as in the object extraposition construction "My wife hated it that the children left their clothes strewn across the floor". Aug 4, 2022 at 10:52
• Just checked on COCA and BNC. Seems to be a marked UK/US split. Hate seems to take content clauses for many US speakers, but not UK ones. Aug 7, 2022 at 8:30