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  1. #1
    nono1994 is offline Newbie
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    Default Is "escape" a linking verb?

    i am confused about the following sentence:
    the residents escape unhurt before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes.

    "escape unhurt" a linking verb + adjective , do you think i am right?

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    i am confused about the following sentence:
    The residents escaped unhurt before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes.

    "escape unhurt" a linking verb + adjective , do you think i am right? no
    "escaped" is not a linking verb; it is an action verb.

  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    i am confused about the following sentence:
    the residents escape unhurt before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes.

    "escape unhurt" a linking verb + adjective , do you think i am right?
    2006 is absolutely right. Some times distinguishing an action verb from a linking verb can be tricky and difficult. If you can’t decide whether a verb is active or linking, here is a simple test. Try to apply the word ‘force’ and to+verb in the sentence. If the sentence makes sense or sounds logical the verb is an action verb. Have a look at the following sentences:

    Mary appears angry.
    Mary is forced to appear angry.
    Mr. Smith looked unhappy yesterday.
    Mr. Smith was forced to look unhappy yesterday.
    These sentences make no sense because you can not force any one to appear angry or to look unhappy. So they are linking verbs.

    The residents escaped unhurt before the blaze…..(your sentence)
    The residents were forced to escape unhurt before the blaze……(lucky, they are all safe now)
    So ‘escape’ is an action verb without any doubt.

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    i am confused about the following sentence:
    the residents escape unhurt before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes.

    "escape unhurt" a linking verb + adjective , do you think i am right?
    Most evidently, the verb 'escape' does not function as an action verb in this sentence. 'unhurt', an adjective, names an attribute that describes the state of the residents' at the end-point of their escaping. 'escape' is one of the several verbs that can function either as an action verb or as a so-called result copular verb.

    Your name escapes me. (action) SVO
    The residents escaped unhurt. (result copula) SVC
    The residents were unhurt.

    Children grow so quickly. (action) SV
    I grew weary of your complaints. (result copula) SVC

    Furthermore, there are three possible positions of adjectives in relation to the noun they modify:

    - attributive -- This is not the case here as an attribute adjective is always followed by the noun it modifies.
    - postpositive -- Again, we do not have a postposed adjective in the OP's sentence as postposed adjectives closely follow the noun they modify.
    - predicate adjective -- That is what we have here. Since predicate adjectives can only appear in copular constructions, 'escaped' is most obviosly functions as a copula.

    'escape' is a copula in the sentence.

    QED.

  5. #5
    nono1994 is offline Newbie
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    would you mind giving me a list of "result copular verb"?
    thank you

  6. #6
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Most evidently, the verb 'escape' does not function as an action verb in this sentence.
    QED.
    The residents escaped (and were) unhurt.

    "escaped" is an action. The residents walked, ran or jumped out of the building.

  7. #7
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Most evidently, the verb 'escape' does not function as an action verb in this sentence. 'unhurt', an adjective, names an attribute that describes the state of the residents' at the end-point of their escaping. 'escape' is one of the several verbs that can function either as an action verb or as a so-called result copular verb.

    Your name escapes me. (action) SVO
    The residents escaped unhurt. (result copula) SVC
    The residents were unhurt.

    Children grow so quickly. (action) SV
    I grew weary of your complaints. (result copula) SVC

    Furthermore, there are three possible positions of adjectives in relation to the noun they modify:

    - attributive -- This is not the case here as an attribute adjective is always followed by the noun it modifies.
    - postpositive -- Again, we do not have a postposed adjective in the OP's sentence as postposed adjectives closely follow the noun they modify.
    - predicate adjective -- That is what we have here. Since predicate adjectives can only appear in copular constructions, 'escaped' is most obviosly functions as a copula.

    'escape' is a copula in the sentence.

    QED.
    We can not ignore the fact that a copula (or copular) verb is a verb that connects the subject to the complement. They are sometimes called linking verbs. Linking verbs do not describe action. So when a verb describes an action and also links a complement, you can not call it a copular verb. The example sentence can be expressed without linking an adjective but with an adverb, as:
    The residents escaped quickly before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes
    Or
    The residents escaped quickly without getting hurt before the blaze gutted their single wooden and tin-sheeted homes

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Most evidently, the verb 'escape' does not function as an action verb in this sentence.
    Actually, it does- there was a fire and they had to escape- an action. However, it is also functioning in a similar way to a resulting copular verb. If we say that children ran wild, or someone grew old, the children didn't necessarily run and the person almost certainly didn't grow, but in the example, they certainly did escape. It's not as simple a case as your analysis makes out- it is a case where the verb has a foot in each camp IMO.

  9. #9
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Actually, it does- there was a fire and they had to escape- an action. However, it is also functioning in a similar way to a resulting copular verb. If we say that children ran wild, or someone grew old, the children didn't necessarily run and the person almost certainly didn't grow, but in the example, they certainly did escape. It's not as simple a case as your analysis makes out- it is a case where the verb has a foot in each camp IMO.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***A very acknowledgeable person without a moment's hesitation told me the same thing: "escape" is both a copular and full verb in that sentence. But (a) if it is, what does "unhurt" modify"? (b) If it's a linking verb, then it, of course, modifies the subject. (c) If it's a full verb, does "unhurt" modify the verb? One famous grammarian said that adjectives sometimes do so. His example: He CAME home TIRED. = He came home; he was tired. One poster in this thread suggested almost the same idea: He escaped. He was unhurt. Can someone clarify this modification puzzle for the original poster, me, and other interested parties. Thank you.

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default re: Is "escape" a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Actually, it does- there was a fire and they had to escape- an action. However, it is also functioning in a similar way to a resulting copular verb. If we say that children ran wild, or someone grew old, the children didn't necessarily run and the person almost certainly didn't grow, but in the example, they certainly did escape. It's not as simple a case as your analysis makes out- it is a case where the verb has a foot in each camp IMO.
    Incidentally, Tdol didn't say, but corum might like to note that there are ways to register a polite objection to someone else's analysis, however right the writer may think s/he is. Perhaps it would be a good idea for corum to read the UsingEnglish.com ESL Forum - Forum Rules before making any further posts.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 15-Feb-2010 at 15:26.

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