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  1. peteryoung's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2005
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    #1

    Talking adverbial phrase?

    Hi this's my first time posting a message here. I'd love to get to know you all.
    Here's what's puzzling me:

    William the conqueror conducted a census of landowners in newly conquered England in 1086.


    I wonder what the phrases "in newly conquered English" and "in 1086" modify.

    There are several interpretations of this sentence that's keeping puzzling me

    1)the census is about the [landowners in newly conquered England in 1086]
    2)the census is about the [landowners], and it was conducted by William [in newly conquered England in 1086]


    3)the census is about the [landowners in newly conquered England], and it was conducted by William in 1086

    Which one is correct? or is there other way of interpreting this?Is there some form of universal rules for dealing this? Any answer will be appreciated.


  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: adverbial phrase?

    Welcome, Peter

    William the conqueror conducted a census of landowners in newly conquered England in 1086.
    [1] Adverb of place modifying the verb 'conducted'
    William conducted a census in newly conquered England.
    Test: Where was the census conducted? Answer: in newly. . . .

    [1] Adverb of time modifying the verb 'conducted'
    William conducted a census in 1086.
    Test: When was the census conducted? Answer: in 1086.

    1)the census is about the [landowners in newly conquered England in 1086]
    2)the census is about the [landowners], and it was conducted by William [in newly conquered England in 1086]
    2) above is correct. How do we know it's not 1)? Well, the phrase 'in newly . . . . is adverbial. Adverbs cannot modify nouns, and 'landowners' is a noun. To get the reading in 1) we need to add a word that modifies nouns, such as, say, the participle 'living':

    EX: William the conqueror conducted a census of landowners living in newly conquered England in 1086.

  3. peteryoung's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2005
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    #3

    Re: adverbial phrase?

    Thank you Casiopea you are so sweet

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #4

    Re: adverbial phrase?

    You're Welcome.

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