Learn English – Does “A guy named Tony” mean the same as “A guy who’s called Tony”?


I know the passive structure and I know its application. But I've always noticed that a few sentences which have a structure similar to the passive, although they are not exactly passive. For example:

I met one really nice guy named Tony

according to my incomplete knowledge, I could rewrite it as

I met one really nice guy who is called (or) was named Tony

Now, I would like to know what the exact grammar point is here.

If I wanted to translate these two sentences in my own language, they would have exactly the same meaning, so do they really mean the same in English ?

Best Answer

The process of relative clause reduction removes a subject relative pronoun followed by a form of be. In earlier transformational grammar it had the cute name "whiz". So far as I know, the reduction makes no change to the meaning other than introducing some ambiguity between present and past be.

The be that is elided may be the passive be, but it needn't be. Any be is subject to deletion, though after reduction, simple adjective constructions may have to be moved to before the noun that was modified by the relative clause.