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  1. #1
    Amy! is offline Newbie
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    Question What is an absolute construction?

    What is an absolute construction? I looked it up but I don't know how to explain it in simple words and I'm not sure if I understood. Could you give me a complete and simple explanation and how it is formed?


    Thanks!
    Last edited by Amy!; 17-Aug-2011 at 04:14.

  2. #2
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is an absolute construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy! View Post
    What is an absolute construction? I looked it up but I don't know how to explain it in simple words and I'm not sure if I understood. Could you give me a complete and simple explanation and how it is formed?
    A complete explanation would not be simple.

    Thanks!
    Have you looked here? Absolute construction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What is an absolute construction?

    The expression is confusing, as it's not the sort of 'absolute' that means 'extreme'. It is a reference to Latin grammar.

    A verb in the absolute is unrelated to the syntax of the rest of the sentence. You could remove it and still have a valid sentence, as in 'Having eaten his dinner, he went out'. 'He went out' is still a vaild sentence.

    You can, often in formal writing, use just the participle: 'His dinner eaten, he went out. This sort of omission of the verb can be used colloquially in expressions like 'That said,...'

    b

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is an absolute construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy! View Post
    What is an absolute construction? I looked it up but I don't know how to explain it in simple words and I'm not sure if I understood. Could you give me a complete and simple explanation and how it is formed?


    Thanks!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) You have asked an excellent question, which -- sadly -- cannot be answered

    in a single post.

    (2) I most respectfully suggest that you go to the search box at the top of the

    page and type in "absolute clause/phrase." You will find many helpful threads.

    (3) Here are just three examples from one of my favorite books (Descriptive English

    Grammar by Professors House and Harman):

    The dance being over, we left,.

    The teacher being absent, we had no school yesterday.

    Weather permitting, we shall go tomorrow.

    (a) The absolute constructions are in bold.

    (b) As you can see, we usually do not speak like this. The absolute construction

    is usually used for writing because it is more elegant and it saves a lot of words.

    (i) Here is how you would say those three sentences in regular English:

    (a) When the dance was over, we left.
    (b) Because the teacher was absent, we had no school yesterday.
    (c) If the weather permits, we shall go tomorrow.

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