Which ways of understanding are fine?


"It is all because of the people making the noise." I know the structue of this sentence looks so easy but I have some trouble analyzing "the people making the nosie" because I think that we can understand it in two different ways. For example, the people (that are) making the noise or (the people /the people's) making the noise are both are possible under different contexts. What do native English speakers think about it and could you tell me  how to understand sentences like that? Thank you so much and I can't wait to hear from you. 

edited Aug 16 '12 at 07:17 Hans Contributor

1 answer


As a native American English speaker, I don't see your second meaning in the sentence, and I am not sure I understand what you meant by your explanation.


The problem with the sentence is that it uses elliptical construction. That is, several words are left out because their meaning is implied and universally understood. But in truth, elliptical constructions are not always understood -- see this question -- and sometimes are just lazy speech.


It is all because of the people who are making the noise.


And by the way, the plural of people is peoples (although the singular people can encompass more than one person). The apostrophe s -- people's -- indicates the possessive.


I hope this helps.

link answered Aug 16 '12 at 14:24 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Thank you and what I meant was that I have learned that objects and possessives can function as subjects in front of gerunds and I thought the form, "the people making the noise" can be understood in two ways: "the people who are making the noise" and "the people or the people's (as a subject) making the noise" like my /me + ~ing.

HansAug 16 '12 at 15:07

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