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    #1

    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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    #2

    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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