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  1. #1
    hanifasmm is offline Newbie
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    Default "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    1. The book lay(v) open(adj) on the table.
    2. The bag burst(v) open(adj).
    Please see above the examples.
    Only after copula(linking) verbs, adjectives can be used.
    After action verb, adjective can not be used.
    I remember this rule I have learnt long before.
    Is it not correct?
    I consider that 'lay' and 'burst' are only action verbs.
    So it is confusing to me.
    Could you please clarify me.
    Thanks,
    Er.S.M.M.Hanifa

  2. #2
    Adam Cruge is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Is there any rule? I never knew it. Could you please tell me those rules?

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Quote Originally Posted by hanifasmm View Post
    1. The book lay(v) open(adj) on the table.
    2. The bag burst(v) open(adj).
    Please see above the examples.
    Only after copula(linking) verbs, adjectives can be used.
    After action verb, adjective can not be used.
    I remember this rule I have learnt long before.
    Is it not correct?
    I consider that 'lay' and 'burst' are only action verbs.
    So it is confusing to me.
    Could you please clarify me.
    Thanks,
    Er.S.M.M.Hanifa
    You're half right. Adjectives come after link verbs.
    I'd call 'lie' and 'burst' link verbs here.
    Note that if 'burst' was used transitively, "He burst the balloon", it would be an action verb. But here, 'burst' is something that happens spontaneously to the balloon. It's a change of state, like 'become', or the following:
    "He held his breath and turned blue." 'Turn' can be an action verb, or a link verb, as here.
    "He went blue." Normally 'go' is an action verb, but again, here it means 'become'.
    The man got tired of working.
    They grew lazy.
    She fell dead on the floor.

    None of these sentences are transitive. They all signify a change of state - and hence are link verbs in the contexts used.

  4. #4
    Adam Cruge is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    But what about this sentence: "He was burnt alive"?

  5. #5
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cruge View Post
    But what about this sentence: "He was burnt alive"?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Mr. Cruge.

    (1) I, too, am very eager to know how the teachers analyze your sentence.

    (2) While we are waiting for some answers, may I offer a few thoughts?

    (a) I don't think we can interpret "was burned" as a linking verb here,

    the subject (he) is no longer alive.

    (i) I think a linking verb usually is just a substitute for the = symbol.

    (a) I am ugly. I = ugly.

    (ii) In your sentence, we could not truthfully say: He = alive. (He is actually dead.)

    (3) I think we might consider this analysis:

    (a) "was burned" is an action verb (passive of "to burn') .

    (b) "alive" is an adjective that in this case modifies the action verb
    "was burned."

    (c) Yes, we all are taught that adjectives do not modify verbs.

    (d) But Professor George O. Curme, a distinguished American scholar,

    says that they sometimes do.

    (i) He gives this example: He was drowned bathing in the river.

    (a) The good professor says that the adjective "bathing"
    modifies "was drown" because that is simply a shorter way of saying:

    He was drowned (while he was bathing in the river).

    And, of course, everyone agress that "while he was bathing in the river" modifies the verb.

    (ii) So could we say that your sentence is:

    He was burned (while he was alive).

    Hope the teachers answer us soon. Have a nice day!

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cruge View Post
    But what about this sentence: "He was burnt alive"?
    The question of a linking verb doesn't arise here because the sentence is passive voice and transitive. "Someone else burnt him alive."

    There's an interesting contrast here, though, between two types of sentences with the same construction.
    1) The verb action causes the adjective condition.
    He was stripped naked.
    The dam was pumped dry.
    The machine was rendered useless.

    2) The adjective condition is incidental - not caused by the action:
    The fish was eaten raw. We ate the fish raw.
    He was burnt alive. (He was actually burnt dead in the 1. meaning)

    That's by the by. None of them can be copulas because they're passive and transitive.

  7. #7
    Adam Cruge is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Actually I want the explanation of your 2. type sentences. 1. type sentences are already addressed.
    Now I want the 2. type sentences' explanation.
    Moreover have a deep look at this as you mentioned.
    a) He was burnt alive (= He was burnt when he was alive, but after burning he is dead now)
    b) He was burnt dead (= He died after burning)

    Please explain.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cruge View Post
    Actually I want the explanation of your 2. type sentences. 1. type sentences are already addressed.
    Now I want the 2. type sentences' explanation.
    Moreover have a deep look at this as you mentioned.
    a) He was burnt alive (= He was burnt when he was alive, but after burning he is dead now)
    b) He was burnt dead (= He died after burning)

    Please explain.
    You seem to understand it. What do you want explained?

  9. #9
    Adam Cruge is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    They both have same construction, but how would I distingush one from the other. I mean watching the first sentence I may assume "he was burnt but he is still alive", it is much similar explanation of the sentence b). But it is not correct.
    I need this explanation.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Action Verb followed by Adjective"

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cruge View Post
    They both have same construction, but how would I distingush one from the other. I mean watching the first sentence I may assume "he was burnt but he is still alive", it is much similar explanation of the sentence b). But it is not correct.
    I need this explanation.
    I see. Well, given that the sentence "He was burnt alive" also implies "he was burnt dead", the only way to tell the meaning is from the context. The fact that someone cannot become alive through burning them implies that "He was burnt alive" isn't a type 1 sentence.

    "He pumped the dam dry", similarly would mean "He pumped the dam until it was dry", not "He pumped the dam while it was dry".

    I'm sure you could make sentences that were ambiguous, but, like all ambiguous sentences, they should be avoided.

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