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  1. #11
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    . . . the verb doesn't have a form of "BE". But... let's think it over for a while. Is is the REAL reason why the sentence is wrong? I guess there may be another, even more important reason.
    In that context, 'there' functions as a locative; 'on the table' defines its location:

    1. ?All of a sudden, there, on the table, broke a bottle.

    The problem, 1. lacks a subject. Existential there functions as subject. There's this syntactic constraint that states, "every sentence must have a subject."

    We'd have to use a passive or causative structure:

    1a. All of a sudden, there, on the table, a bottle (was) broke(n).

    What makes this sentence correct?

    2. There prevailed a mutuall distrust between the two groups.
    'There' represents the true subject:
    A mutual distrust prevailed between the two groups.

    3. There corresponded a set of materials to each course of study.
    A set of materials corresponded to each course of study.

    4. There emanated the goddes Varuni from the ocean. Correct . . .
    Correct? Hmm. It's ungrammatical to me. Note, what kind of verb is 'emanated'? Event or state?

    [QUOTE]
    What about the rule that says "no definite noun phrase/noun" in sentences beginning with "There"?

    "There was a dog running loose" ? I found it with google.com.[/QOUTE]
    'loose' functions as a substantive locative; it's short for 'running loose (e.g., on the streets)."

    6. There lurks a monster in every woman.
    In every woman, there is/exists a monster.
    A monster is/exists in every woman.

    7. There sang a woman in the cold November night.
    'sang' expresses an event, not a state.
    A woman sang in the cold November night.

    8. A ravishing naked girl bathed in the pool.
    'bathed' expresses an event; the girl did something.

    9. There drifted in the distance a humongous palace of diamonds and crystals
    9. is awkward. Consider,
    There, in the distance, drifted a . . . .

    10. There grew a flower there.
    Test: Where?
    Test: Does 'grew' express an event or a state?

    11. There opened a door - this one is wrong, isn't it ? And I guess it's because there is the change of state, . . . .
    Try, "There, in the dark hall, a door opened.

    12. There broke riots all over the city.
    Riots broke out all over the city.
    Test: Does 'broke (out) express an event or a state?

    Does that help?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    hmm... but what about the change of state that I mentioned at the beginning ?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    It's valid. Would you have an example?

  4. #14
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    Well, I thought that a good example would be that one with a bottle...

  5. #15
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    Causative was the change of state, right? Maybe I've misunderstood your question. Could you restate it for me? Thanks

  6. #16
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    1. All of a sudden there broke a bottle on the table

    Let's think of "broke" or it's first form "break" as a verb that actually says that something "is" or "exists" - I mean, if something breaks it somehow has to exist at first.

    What I am driving at is "The Change Of State". Maybe it's the change of state that makes this sentence wrong. Becasue as far as the verb "to break" is concerned, it somehow describes the existence - subconsciouslly. It's just my tortuous reasoning :D but I have to know if I'm completely wrong or not...

    Maybe it's because of the change of state that is somehow included in the meaning of "to break" is responsible for making this sentence wrong.

    Another example would me "There opened a/the door" - again, change of state.

    But "Last week, there opened a movie called King Kong" - here, the meaning of "opened" is so much different than in "There opened a/the door". Here, the meaning is like "appeared".

    And maybe this is the whole secret - one verb, and it can indicate the change of state but in the other sentence it indicates "appearance" which we already know to be correct in "there ins. structure"

  7. #17
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by forum_mail
    1. All of a sudden there broke a bottle on the table

    Let's think of "broke" or its first form "break" as a verb that actually says that something "is" or "exists" - I mean, if something breaks it somehow has to exist at first.
    Well, it's possible to bend our minds around it that way - I see what you're saying - but, broke cannot express a state; broken expresses a state.

    There was a bottle broken on the table (over there).
    => A bottle was broken [by someone] on the table (over there). (passive)

    What I am driving at is "The Change Of State". Maybe it's the change of state that makes this sentence wrong. Because as far as the verb "to break" is concerned, it somehow describes the existence - subconsciously. It's just my tortuous reasoning :D but I have to know if I'm completely wrong or not...
    I believe the sense you're after is the passive one:

    Max: Were any bottles broken? (passive)
    Sam: Yes. There was a bottle broken on the table over there. (passive)

    Canonical Structure: A bottle was broken [by someone] on the table over there. (passive)
    Existential there: There was a bottle broken [by someone] on the table over there. (passive)

    With passive structures the semantic object (e.g., a bottle) becomes the structural subject, and the true subject (e.g., someone), the semantic one, is either omitted or attached to a 'by' phrase:

    Active: Someone broke a bottle on the table over there.
    Passive: A bottle was broken [by someone] on the table over there.

    Now let's add existential there to both sentences above:

    Active: Someone broke a bottle on the table over there.
    => 'Someone' is the subject, so
    There was someone who broke a bottle on the table over there.

    Passive: A bottle was broken [by someone] on the table over there.
    => 'A bottle' is the subject, so
    There was a bottle broken on the table over there.

    Does that help? Try these on your own:

    Last week, there opened a movie called King Kong.
    There opened a/the door.

    Note, "appearance" is not the key; it expresses a state of being. State is the key. For example,

    The bottle is broken. (adjective, state)
    The bottle broke the sound barrier. (verb, event)
    The book lay open. (adjective, state)
    The book opened by itself to page 2. (verb, event)

  8. #18
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    I think I will have to go over everything once again. Then I will know if threre is something I want to ask about. Thanks again for your advice and for everything you've written.

    Listen, in an hour or two I'm going to post another tricky topic which is "Reciprocal Alternation". Will you be able to check it then ?

    My examination is coming and I'm getting a bit... stressed ;)
    Last edited by forum_mail; 03-Sep-2005 at 14:47.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    Sorry. I'm going off-line now. It's midnight here.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: advanced grammar problem - part 1 - help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    I just logged on. Let me take a look. ;)
    The student wrote this:

    <<All of a sudden a bottle broke on the table. (All of a sudden there broke a bottle on the table) >>

    This was offered as an alternative by a native speaker on another forum. What do you think of it?

    All of a sudden, there was a bottle breaking on the table.

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