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    duiter is offline Member
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    Default the meaning of "with"

    Dear all,


    Canada had the highest figures for imprisonment in 1930 and 1950, with about 120,000 prisoners in both years.

    What is the meaning of "with" ?
    Is "with " an appositive in this sentence ?
    Is "with" an absolute clause /phrase ?
    Is "with" a reduced present participle of "have" ?
    Why there is a comma between 1950 and with ?

    Many thanks
    Last edited by duiter; 14-Nov-2011 at 07:27. Reason: edit

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    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: the meaning of "with"

    [QUOTE=duiter;822134]Dear all,


    Canada had the highest figures for imprisonment in 1930 and 1950, with about 120,000 prisoners in both years.

    What is the meaning of "with" ?
    Is "with " an appositive in this sentence ?
    Is "with" an absolute clause /phrase ?
    Is "with" a reduced present participle of "have" ?
    Why there is a comma between 1950 and with ?


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I really like your question and look forward to the answers that you are going to receive. May I contribute my two cents' worth?

    (2) In my humble (and I mean humble) opinion:

    (a) That phrase does not meet the definition of an appositive. (In other words, it does not rename.)

    (b) I believe that it does, indeed, meet the definition of an absolute construction. That is, it is not grammatically connected to any one word in that sentence.

    (c) I shall not try to answer your third question. I shall, however, tell you what Mr. Michael Swan said in his Practical English Usage. He said that "with" often introduces a phrase with the meaning of "because there were." That seems to fit your sentence, I think. What do you think?

    (d) I think the comma is necessary, for it shows that it is, indeed, an unrestrictive element that could be deleted without grammatical harm to the sentence.

    (i) May I respectfully remind you that these with constructions often come at the beginning of a sentence:

    (a) With more than 40,000,000 people, California is the most populous state in the United States of America. / California is the most populous state in the United States of America, with more than 40,000,000 people. (P.S. In that sentence, I agree with you that we could interpret "with" as "having." Many books, including Mr. Swan's, agree with you that in some sentences, "with" = having.)

    (4) When you use "with" in such a sentence, some books call it a preposition; some call it a subordinator (because, I think, "with 120,000 prisoners in both years" could be changed to a subordinate clause, such as "because the prisons had [ Hey! Look! It does mean "have"] 120,000 prisoners in both years"); some books simply call it a function word.

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