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Thread: silent/ly

  1. #1
    GUEST2008 is offline Key Member
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    silent/ly

    Hi

    He sat silent OR silently?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    He sat silent OR silently?

    thanks
    "Silent" is an adjective. It describes nouns such as

    "silent stars"


    Author's original manuscript
    of the first stanza of the 1868 Christmas carol

    "O Little Town of Bethlehem" .
    O little town of Bethlehem
    How still we see thee lie
    Above thy deep and dreamless streets
    The silent stars go by.


    Here "silent" is an adjective describing "snow"

    Silent Snow, Secret Snow
    - 1934 American short story by Conrad Aiken
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Snow,_Secret_Snow
    ---------------------------------------


    "Silently" is an adverb. It describes verbs,
    as in "silently walks"

    Silver

    Slowly, silently, now the moon
    Walks the night in her silver shoon;
    This way, and that, she peers, and sees
    Silver fruit upon silver trees
    ~
    Walter de la Mere

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    GUEST2008 is offline Key Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    But "sat" is a verb, so should it be "silently" then?

  4. #4
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    But "sat" is a verb, so should it be "silently" then?
    Yes.

    He sat silently while the other students romped and shouted.
    Don't sit silently by while other people's civil rights are violated.
    Everyone sit silently, and I will read you a story.

    You might see

    He sat in the waiting room, still and silent, while the doctors helped his son.

    In this case, "Still and silent" describes HIM, not the sitting.

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    But "sat" is a verb, so should it be "silently" then?
    No, you can sit silent.
    You can lie sick in bed. You don't have to lie sickly.
    You can bounce around happy as a lark.
    You can eat your breakfast unwashed and unshaven (although this is ambiguous).

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    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, you can sit silent.
    You can lie sick in bed. You don't have to lie sickly.
    You can bounce around happy as a lark.
    You can eat your breakfast unwashed and unshaven (although this is ambiguous).
    But the EATING isn't unwashed and unshaven -- YOU are.

    The BOUNCING isn't happy -- YOU are.

    The LYING isn't sick -- YOU are.

    Those words are not used as adverbs to modify the verbs; they are ordinary old adjectives modifying "you."

    You can bounce around happily, as happy as a lark.

    You can eat your breakfast informally, unwashed and unshaven.

    You can lie in bed pitifully, sick as a dog.

  7. #7
    engee30's Avatar
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    Question Re: silent/ly

    How about these ones:

    Hold the ladder tight.
    and
    Hold the ladder tightly.

    Could they be used interchangeably, without any difference in meaning?


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    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    How about these ones:

    Hold the ladder tight.
    and
    Hold the ladder tightly.

    Could they be used interchangeably, without any difference in meaning?


    According to Elvis they are adverbs

    Hold me close, hold me tight.
    Make me thrill with delight.


    Elvis Presley :: I Want You, I Need You, I Love You Lyrics

  9. #9
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    According to Elvis they are adverbs

    Hold me close, hold me tight.
    Make me thrill with delight.


    Elvis Presley :: I Want You, I Need You, I Love You Lyrics
    Sometimes natural languages fail to do their homework and end up not following the rules we make up while observing them. Having said that, I agree with everyone's points so far. But Elvis is using a Southern oral register in which they are intended as adverbs but just clipped. In any case, we only follow our best rules in a majority of cases. I've often noticed in other Germanic language countries that their cognate for "good" is used as an adverb, the main adverb of that meaning. Makes you wonder whether "How are you?" "--Good" pre-dates our grammar lessons telling us we should answer "well."

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    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: silent/ly

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Sometimes natural languages fail to do their homework and end up not following the rules we make up while observing them. Having said that, I agree with everyone's points so far. But Elvis is using a Southern oral register in which they are intended as adverbs but just clipped. In any case, we only follow our best rules in a majority of cases. I've often noticed in other Germanic language countries that their cognate for "good" is used as an adverb, the main adverb of that meaning. Makes you wonder whether "How are you?" "--Good" pre-dates our grammar lessons telling us we should answer "well."

    I think "good" gets a free pass as an adverb when it refers to health.

    I certainly agree with you that a living language is too supple and innovative to be captured by grammar books.

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