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who was holding a pan Options
azz
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 9:19:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/2014
Posts: 388
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a. I saw your brother in the kitchen, who was holding a pan.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct?

I don't think it is, but maybe it would be acceptable in speech?


Many thanks.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 10:19:01 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 10,012
Neurons: 57,132
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Hi azz.

I doubt you would even hear it in conversation. Even if they paused after 'kitchen' they'd probably make a new sentence and say, "He was holding a pan". In fact I think that would be a more natural way to say it.

It is not the kitchen that is holding the pan. "Who was holding the pan" in your sentence is known as a dangling participle. It belongs next to the noun it modifies.

I saw your brother who was holding a pan in the kitchen.

In the kitchen I saw your brother who was holding a pan. Less likely but correct.
tautophile
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 10:21:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/14/2018
Posts: 1,280
Neurons: 26,407
No, the sentence is not grammatically correct, and no, it would not be acceptable in speech. What would be OK is, "In the kitchen I saw your brother holding a pan" or "I saw your brother in the kitchen, holding a pan" or "I saw your brother holding a pan in the kitchen". Which one you choose depends on whether "I" was in the kitchen or "your brother" was, and/or whether it's more important that it was "your brother" instead of someone else, or that "your brother" was holding a pan rather than, say, a tray or a pot or a bottle of wine.
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