Discussion:
threw the bottle at his face
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a***@gmail.com
2017-10-09 08:32:29 UTC
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I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.

Are the sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?

I don't think they are grammatical, but I have a feeling
people say this kind of thing.

Can one tell by the first part whether the glass struck his face
or not?

Gratefully,
Navi.
GordonD
2017-10-09 08:51:12 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
Are the sentences grammatical? Are they idiomatic?
No. "I threw the bottle at Tom, who lost his balance" would be fine but
once you bring his face into it you can't carry on with "who". You'd
have to say "I threw the bottle at Tom's face and he lost his balance."
Post by a***@gmail.com
I don't think they are grammatical, but I have a feeling people say
this kind of thing.
Can one tell by the first part whether the glass struck his face or
not?
No. The bottle whizzing past his face might have been enough to make him
jerk backwards and lose his balance.
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Peter Moylan
2017-10-09 12:02:37 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
Are the sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
First, you have to imagine a scenario in which a face can lose its balance.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-09 12:49:11 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
Are the sentences grammatical?
No.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
Obviously not.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I don't think they are grammatical, but I have a feeling
people say this kind of thing.
No. Normal people say "and he lost ..."
Post by a***@gmail.com
Can one tell by the first part whether the glass struck his face
or not?
Obviously not.
Jerry Friedman
2017-10-09 14:21:47 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
Are the sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
I don't think they are grammatical, but I have a feeling
people say this kind of thing.
"I had to go through not only losing my kids, but walking into a
forensic psychologist's office, who is looking at me as somebody who had
abused her kids."

From a Ms. Cordell on Connie Chung's show on CNN in 2003, from COCA.

I feel that you'd be likelier to hear it in a restrictive clause. "Tom
threw the bottle at the man's face who had a knife out."

"For example, will the trajectory of an individual's life who has FASD
be one of experiencing multiple foster or adopted families;
inconsistency in support systems, and ultimately involvement with the
criminal justice system?"

Ryan and Ferguson, in /Rural Special Education Quarterly/, Winter 2006,
COCA again. FASD is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Also, Shakespeare used such constructions, and they may still show up in
belles lettres. But they're not common. I'm pretty sure I don't write
things like that, and I don't think I say them.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Can one tell by the first part whether the glass struck his face
or not?
No.
--
Jerry Friedman
Ken Blake
2017-10-09 18:19:47 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
Are the sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
No to both of those. In both, you have "who" referring to "face," not
to "Tom."
Post by a***@gmail.com
I don't think they are grammatical, but I have a feeling
people say this kind of thing.
No.

There are several ways to say this correctly, but one grammatical
choice is "I threw the bottle at the face of Tom, who lost his
balance."

That choice is grammatical but awkward. Almost nobody would say it
that way. Most people would use two sentences saying something like,
"I threw the bottle at Tom's face. He lost his balance."
Peter Moylan
2017-10-10 10:17:39 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
I threw the bottle at Tom's face, who lost his balance.
I threw the bottle at his face, who lost his balance.
[...]
Post by Ken Blake
There are several ways to say this correctly, but one grammatical
choice is "I threw the bottle at the face of Tom, who lost his
balance."
That choice is grammatical but awkward. Almost nobody would say it
that way. Most people would use two sentences saying something like,
"I threw the bottle at Tom's face. He lost his balance."
I have often thought that just about all of Navi's examples could be
improved by breaking them into two sentences.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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