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"I don't think I'll listen to someone I don't know suddenly telling me to leave." The sentence is from a Japanese cartoon. A villain phones the protagonist to leave the city the protagonist protects. But the protagonist doesn't know who the villain is. So, the protagonist says "I don't think I'll listen to someone I don't know suddenly telling me to leave." Question 1: Does "telling me to leave" modify "someone I don't know"? If "telling me to leave" in fact really modifies "someone I don't know", then I think I can see the original sentence as a reduced relative clause. Question 2: If the original sentence is indeed a reduced relative clause, then does the protagonist mean "I don't think I'll listen to someone I don't know suddenly who tells me to leave." or "I don't think I'll listen to someone I don't know who suddenly tells me to leave."?
Aug 15, 2019 4:03 PM
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Question 1: Yes. This is a reduced relative clause. Question 2: The second version is more natural: "... who suddenly tells me." For formal writing, the adverb usually goes at the end of the clause. "He told me suddenly ...." "He walked down the mountain side slowly." For emphasis, the adverb often goes at the beginning of the clause. "Suddenly, he told me ...." "Slowly, he walked down the mountain side." Traditionally, only adverbs of frequency were placed before the verb. "He never works on Sunday." "He sometimes works on Sunday." Now, it is relatively common to put adverbs before the verb. "He suddenly told me ...." "He slowly walked down the mountain side."
August 15, 2019
I would say the second option is correct meaning: "I don't think I'll listen to someone I don't know who suddenly tells me to leave."?
August 15, 2019
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