13.6.3 exercise 3: Abbreviation of subordinate clause

The English present participle can be used as an adjective, the Italian gerundio never can be used as an adjective, but with both of them certain subordinate clauses can be abbreviated. See below a list of all the subordinate clauses which can be abbreviatet by a gerundio.

causal clause
  (The subordinate clause describes the reason why the action / event in the main sentence happens
or doesn' t happen)
Because he couldn' t read he didn' t know what he has signed.
  concessive clause

(The concessive clause describes an action / event which in theory could hinder the action / event of the main clause to be performed without actually doing it: Although he knew it, he did it.)

In the case of the concessive clause a distinction is to be made, there are two types.

case 1: (conjunction: although)

In this case we are talking about something that really happens. There is one action / event that can hinder the realization of the action / event of the main clause without actually doing it, but the actions / events are real: Although he is very fat, he eats a chocolate bar every day.

case 2: (conjunction: even if)

In this case we are talking about a hypothetical constellation. As in case 1 the action / event of the subordinate clause can hinder the action / event of the main clause (without actually doing it) but both actions / events are hypothetical, have not been performed already: Even if he knew it, he wouldn't say it to us.

Both types can be substituted with a gerundio.

  adversative clause

An adversative clause CANNOT be substituted by a gerund. In this case, the subordinate clause describes an event / action which not only in theory, but in practice hinders the realization of the event / actions described in the main clause.

He knows it, but he didn't want it to tell us.

  modal clause

(The subordinate clause describes how the events / actions of the main clause have been realized or are going to be realized.)

He robed the bank by playing with the share holdings at the stock market.

  temporal clause

(Describes the temporal relationship between the actions / events of the main clause and the actions / events of the subordinate clause.)

After he has eaten my cake, he drank my coffee as well.

  if clause
  (Describes the conditions on which depends the realization of the actions / events of the main clause.))

If he makes sport he keeps himself fit.
If he made sport he would keep himself fit.

You can speculate about the question why it is not possible to substitute a concessive clause (Although he never studies he passes all his exams), a final clause (I said it to him in order that he learns something), adversative clauses (He annoyed me, but I didn't say that to him) cannot be substituted by a gerundio. The reason may be a historical one, only the clauses which could be simplified with a latin ablativus absolutus can be substituted with a gerund. But besides that it wouldn't be possible to deduce the type of subordinate clause if there were too many possibilities. Without conjunctions, which reveal the type of relationship between the main sentence and the subordinate clause, things would be too complicated if all kinds of subordinate clauses could be substituted by a gerund.

Define in the following sentences the type of subordinate clauses and transform the gerundio in a subordinate clause.

causal clause = cc
  concessive clause = coc (requires the conjunction pur)
  temporal clause = tc
  if-clause = ifc
  modal clause = modS

Which kind of subordinate clause is replaced by the gerundio   cc tc coc mods ifs      
  Pur essendo simpatico e autore
di uno dei blog più letti del web, non è ricco.

Although he is a nice person and the author of one of the most read blogs on the internet he is not rich.
  Non sapendo che dire rimase per un attimo in silenzio.


Although he is a nice person and the author of one of the most read blogs on the internet he is not rich.
  Sapendo che cosa gli piace,
potremmo regalargli qualcosa di bello.

If we know what he likes we could give him something nice.
  Sapendo che è malato,
lo hanno obbligato a uscire dalla stanza.

Although they knew that he was ill they obliged him to leave the room.
  Sapendo che i proprietari della casa non c' erano,
i ladri entrarono e rubarano i soldi.

Because they knew that the owner of the house was not at home the thieves entered and stole the money.
  Avendo rubato tutto ciò che aveva di valore,
è scappato.

After having stolen everything which possessed a value they escaped.
  Pur avendo studiato molto,
non ha superato l'esame.

Although he has studied a lot he didn't passed the exam.
  Che lavori potrei fare avendo studiato lingue?


What kind of job can I do having studied languages.

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