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Une amie venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

Une amie qui est venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

The omission of « qui est » in this specific manner pulled me up short. Is there another shortcut like this in which you can drop « qui est » and just attach the Passé Composé form directly to a preceding noun?

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  • To me it looks more like an issue of trying to use “venue” as an adjective than one of using it as a past participle without “qui est” & while “venu/e” can certainly be an adjective, I think it’s USUALLY used as such following adverbs (especially “bien” & “mal”) or after “premier/première.” As far as I know that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong to use it as an adjective after other nouns (like “amie”) but whether right or wrong, I think it would sound better/“less bad” rearranged as: “Une amie venue à Kyôto [pour] faire du tourisme m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne!”
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 23 '16 at 20:29
  • It's usual in that this sentence is more idiomatic without “qui est”. But it doesn't work all the time. Offhand I can't characterize when to use a relative clause and when to use an adjective. Oct 23 '16 at 22:03
  • @Gilles C’est exactement ce sur quoi je m'interrogeais. Peut-être que la frontière entre les deux est plutôt mince ? Merci. Oct 23 '16 at 22:40
  • I guess using "qui est" emphasis what follows (here, caming for tourism) ?
    – Random
    Oct 23 '16 at 22:42
  • @Random As native, I am not feeling that way, but seeing AnneAunyme answer, it seems to be the case.
    – Yohann V.
    Oct 24 '16 at 10:09
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It is not a direct contraction, you can't just remove "qui est" in every case. Moreover the first sentence would work better with some commas.

In the second sentence you have a "proposition subordonnée relative": "qui est venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto". This kind of construction works like an "adjectif qualificatif" to give an information about a noun (here this noun is "amie").

There is an other kind of construction: "l'incise", which consists in placing between commas an information. This works like parenthesis. So here you could say:

Une amie (elle était venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto) m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

or

Une amie, elle était venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto, m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

As the construction becomes hard to understand, you can remove "elle était" to make it clearer:

Une amie, venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto, m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

And you basically get your first sentence, but with some commas.

Note that if you are writing literature, you can use dashes instead of commas:

Une amie -venue faire du tourisme à Kyôto- m'a dit qu'elle t'avait vu te soûler à la taverne !

There is a subtle difference in meaning between the "proposition subordonnée relative" and "incise" constructions. The first usually is here to raise an ambiguity about what you are talking about (here you say that it's the friend who was visiting Kyôto, and not the other one visiting Shangaï), whereas the latter is more about giving some new information (here you suppose your interlocutor already know who you are talking about, and you give him the information that this friend was also visiting Kyôto).

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I ain't sure if i understood what you wanted to know, but you can actually attach a bunch of differents verbs after "qui est" as long as it makes sense.

For exemple, you can say "Une amie qui est passée près de chez moi m'a dit bonjour".

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