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  1. #1
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', ''abs

    Hi all,


    What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', ''absolute clause'' ?

    Is it common to use these forms in informal conversation ?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Hi all,


    What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', ''absolute clause'' ?

    Is it common to use these forms in informal conversation ?

    Many thanks

    NOT A TEACHER


    Duiter,


    You have asked a HUGE (super big) question that needs

    hours and hours of teaching.

    (1) Let me answer your last question. Usually, if you use some

    absolute constructions in speech, your friends will

    laugh and think you are crazy or strange!!!

    (2) The term "absolute construction" covers many kinds of

    sentences. It is impossible to explain all of them in one post.

    (3) I have bad news: different books use different terms.

    But I think that it is accurate to tell you these terms mean

    the same thing: absolute phrase, absolute clause, nominative

    absolute. It does not matter what you call it so long as you

    understand it.

    (4) My favorite book uses "absolute phrase," so that's what I will call

    them. (Remember: absolute phrases are one kind of absolute

    construction.)

    *****

    (a) An absolute phrase modifies the whole sentence. That is, it refers

    to the whole sentence.

    (b) One popular kind uses a noun + participle:

    The teacher (noun) + being (participle) + ill, we went home.

    That is a short, elegant way to say:

    Because the teacher was ill, we went home.

    As you can see, you would almost never use that kind of absolute

    phrase in conversation. Your friends would laugh at you. But it is

    great for writing. (In some languages, the difference between speaking

    it and writing it is HUGE. In English, speaking and writing are usually

    about the same, but absolute phrases remind us that sometimes there

    are sentences that you use only in writing.)

    (c) Another kind of absolute phrase is noun + adjective:

    She begins to scream, her face (noun) + white (adjective) + with terror.

    As you can see, this is a short, elegant way to write (NOT say!!)

    something like:

    Her face is white with terror when she begins to scream.

    I am sure that you must have many more questions about

    absolute constructions. I respectfully suggest that you

    study it in a good book and then post questions here about

    something that you did not understand in your book. Don't

    forget that the World Wide Web also has lots of results.

    THANK YOU

  3. #3
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Thanks a lot for The Parser,

    ''being'' in absolute phrase can be deleted /omitted according

    When the participle of an absolute phrase is a form of to be, such as being or having been, the participle is often left out but understood


    The Garden of Phrases

    In what condition is '' being/ having been '' deleted ?
    Can I delete '' being/ having been'' randomly ?

    Can absolute phrase the teacher being ill be followed by the word ''because'' or ''since'' or ''as'' ?

    the teacher being ill because he ate unhygienic diet, we went home

    Many thanks

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Thanks a lot for The Parser,

    ''being'' in absolute phrase can be deleted /omitted according

    When the participle of an absolute phrase is a form of to be, such as being or having been, the participle is often left out but understood


    The Garden of Phrases

    In what condition is '' being/ having been '' deleted ?
    Can I delete '' being/ having been'' randomly ?

    Can absolute phrase the teacher being ill be followed by the word ''because'' or ''since'' or ''as'' ?

    the teacher being ill because he ate unhygienic diet, we went home

    Many thanks
    You asked two excellent questions.

    Hopefully, a teacher will answer you.

    As a non-teacher, I am not permitted to answer until I have

    done some research in order to give an accurate answer.

    You and I are hoping that a teacher, moderator, or the editor

    answers first.

    THANK YOU

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Thanks a lot for The Parser,

    ''being'' in absolute phrase can be deleted /omitted according

    When the participle of an absolute phrase is a form of to be, such as being or having been, the participle is often left out but understood


    The Garden of Phrases

    In what condition is '' being/ having been '' deleted ?
    Can I delete '' being/ having been'' randomly ?

    Can absolute phrase the teacher being ill be followed by the word ''because'' or ''since'' or ''as'' ?

    the teacher being ill because he ate unhygienic diet, we went home

    Many thanks
    NOT A TEACHER


    Duiter,


    Sadly, as I type this, no teacher has yet replied, so let me

    share something with you.

    (1) When can you delete being/having been?

    (a) randomly? No.

    (b) Mr. Walter Kay Smart in his English Review Grammar says:

    Occasionally the participle is omitted in the absolute phrase, when it can be EASILY SUPPLIED BY THE READER.[My capital letters]

    Since you are a learner, it might be a good idea NOT to delete the

    "being" because you do not know enough English to decide whether or

    not your reader can easily supply the missing words.

    Professor Curme in his two-volume A History of the English Language

    writes that in earlier English, it was common to delete the verb:

    Thou [You] away, the very birds are mute. (Shakespeare)

    The meal over, prayers were read by Miss Miller. (Charlotte Bronte,

    English novelist)

    These obstacles removed and the right time come for action,

    we proceeded with energy. Today:

    These obstacles having been removed and the right time having

    come, ...

    *****

    You want to know whether it is good English to write (remember:

    do not speak like this!!!):

    The teacher being ill because he ate tainted food, we students

    went home.

    Answer: I do not know.

    I could not find the answer in my books.

    We non-teachers are not allowed to make guesses because when

    a learner asks a question, this website wants that learner to receive

    only a correct answer.

    My respectful suggestion: Post that question in a new thread.

    Probably a teacher will answer.

    THANK YOU & HAVE A NICE DAY

    P. S. I did find this example in The Oxford Companion to the

    English Language (I put the absolute phrase in bold letters):

    The police located the [bad man] by tapping his parents'

    telephone line [listening to people talking on his parents'

    telephone line], he having mentioned his hideout when

    talking to his father.

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Hi all,


    What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', ''absolute clause'' ?

    Is it common to use these forms in informal conversation ?

    Many thanks

    NOT A TEACHER


    Duiter,


    Your question: Is it grammatical to add an adverbial clause (such as

    "Because he ate bad food") to a nominative absolute (such as "The

    teacher being absent, ...")?

    My answer: I still do not have the confidence to answer. (And,

    sadly, no teacher has yet responded.)

    Nevertheless, I have found more information to share.


    *****

    One person who, I understand, is an outstanding translator in her

    country (English is not her first language) told me that your sentence

    ("The teacher being absent because he ate bad food, the students

    went home" is grammatical. Remember: that is her opinion.

    *****

    On the Web, I found a wonderful discussion in The New York Review of

    Books, a very serious and scholarly American magazine. Professor A.A.

    taught me two things that I wish to pass on to you.

    (1) A nominative absolute can be very long. Look at this (the absolute

    is in bold letters):

    Hamlet, having become more and more refractory and, by so

    doing, having put not only his life in jeopardy but possibly those of

    Horatio, to say nothing of Gertrude, his doting mother who had lost

    her husband and recently married her late husband's brother,

    Claudio decided to take charge of things and summoned the help of

    Guildenstern and Rosencrantz.

    Wow!!! The professor says that this absolute is misleading but

    it is grammatically correct. (Do not worry if you do not understand that

    absolute. I just wanted you to know that absolutes can be very long.)

    (2) The professor also taught me that an adverbial clause can be

    wedged (put, placed) in an absolute:

    My mother, when it was a question of our having M. de Norpois to

    dinner for the first time, having expressed her regret that Professor

    Cottard was away from home ..., my father ...."

    That sentence is a translation of a famous French writer named Marcel

    Proust. Although it is grammatically correct, probably very few English

    writers would use such a long (and misleading) absolute.

    Thank you & have a nice day

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Many thanks to TP for all the work he has put in.
    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Hi all,


    What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', ''absolute clause'' ?

    Is it common to use these forms in informal conversation ?

    Many thanks
    No, it's not at all common. I first met the word 'absolute' in the context of grammar in a Latin lesson.

    There is a saying you may have met: 'While the cat's away the mice will play.' It would sound most odd if somebody said 'Absent* the cat, the mice will play.' (Although, verse and poetry are a fairly common place to find absolute constructions, as they allow the writer to put rhyming words into stressed positions: 'Absent the cat, happy is the rat.'

    So I agree with TP's general advice not to make this a regular part of your English, and also with his specific advice not to drop the -ing word (even when it's optional).

    b.
    PS *'Absent' is an interesting case, as it accounts for one of the more common uses of an absolute construction - common, that is, in academic and pseudo-academic argument. Here's an example: 'This is what I believe; and, absent any convincing arguments to the contrary, it's what I will continue to believe.'

  8. #8
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Once again, thanks a lot for The Parser

    I do some research on the Internet and I find this

    Absolute Phrases II

    The restaurant was shut down. Many people were so disappointed

    becomes

    The restaurant having been shut down, many people were so disappointed.

    Why does the author write ''having been'' not ''being''

    once again, many thanks for your kindness

    NB : Would you, English teacher, mind commenting this matter ?

    Many thanks

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What is the difference between '' absolute phrase'', ''absolute construction'', '

    Both 'having been' and 'being' would be possible. The facts are the same: Someone has shut the restaurant, and as a result people can't get in. But the focus is different:

    The restaurant having been shut... => at some previous time, somebody did something; what was that? Shutting the restaurant.

    The restaurant being shut... => No one can get in.

    So both forms are used, depending on context: examples -

    The restaurant having been shut several months previously, they had to eat somewhere else.

    The rastaurant being shut when they arrived, they had to wait a few minutes.

    b

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