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  1. #1
    Babai is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs down Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    1) Her mother, opening the door quietly, came into the room. 2) Hearing a noise I went out to look. 3) Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.

    ''opening the door quietly'', 'Hearing a noise'', '' Born in Rochdale'', Are these adjectival phrases or adverbial phrases? if i add ''after'' before these phrases then will these phrases be adverbial phrase? sentences are below

    1)'' After opening the door quietly, her mother came into the room'' 2) ''After Hearing a noise, i went out to look. 3)'' After being Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.''
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Babai View Post
    1) Her mother, opening the door quietly, came into the room. 2) Hearing a noise I went out to look. 3) Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.

    ''opening the door quietly'', 'Hearing a noise'', '' Born in Rochdale'', Are these adjectival phrases or adverbial phrases? if i add ''after'' before these phrases then will these phrases be adverbial phrase? sentences are below

    1)'' After opening the door quietly, her mother came into the room'' 2) ''After Hearing a noise, i went out to look. 3)'' After being Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.''
    Thank you
    The first two phrases are working adverbially, the third adjectivally ("the Rochdale-born man".)
    If you add "after", the first two will still be adverbial. 1. might change to an adverbial of time rather than manner. 2. might change to an adverbial of time rather than causation/reason.

    In 3, you are adding "after being", not just "after", converting it into another adverbial phrase - perhaps of time, though it's difficult to imagine another time at which he could have spent most of his life there. So, I wouldn't change it.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    [QUOTE=Babai;829086]


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) The VIP member (an academic) has just given you the answer, which I plan to print out for future reference.

    (2) I thought that you would like further information from Walter Kay Smart's English Review Grammar (Fourth Edition):

    Some participial phrases have a peculiar dual function: the participle which introduces the phrase is an adjective modifying a noun, but the whole phrase is an adverb modifying a verb.

    (3) Before continuing, I wish to credit Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, for publishing it. Copyright in 1940, 1953, 1958, 1959, and 1968.

    (4) The author gives this sentence:

    Harry, seeing the danger, shouted a warning.

    (a) "Seeing" modifies "Harry."
    (b) "Seeing the danger" modifies "shouted." It tells why he shouted.

    (5) As you can imagine, that is a rather complicated matter to understand.

    So I think that in high school, many teachers would simply say that "seeing the

    danger" is a participial phrase modifiying "Harry." That is, it is adjectival. It might

    be too difficult for many high school students to understand that the phrase is both

    adjectival and adverbial. (Most American students do not like to study formal

    grammar, so many teachers do not really teach it anymore.)

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    [QUOTE=Babai;829086]Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Your sentence is really, really interesting. I do not have any "answers," only

    some ideas that I found in my books (if I understood them correctly).

    (2) (a) Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.

    (b) He, born in Rochdale, spent most of his life in the area.

    (c) He, who was born in Rochdale, spent most of his life in the area.

    (3) Analysis:

    (a) "Everybody" agrees that 2c is a nonrestrictive relative (adjective) clause.

    (b) "Nobody" is sure whether 2b is just a shorter way of saying 2c.

    (c) Some experts say that 2a is different from both 2b and 2c. That is, those

    experts feel that 2a is NOT just another way to express 2b and 2c.

    (d) One expert would call your "Born in Rochdale" a so-called supplementative

    clause; another expert would say that your "Born in Rochdale" is a "nonfinite

    subordinate clause marking a perspective [time, reason, etc.]."

    (i) Maybe (maybe) some grammarians would consider "Born in Rochdale" an

    adverbial phrase. It shows some kind of relationship to the whole sentence.

    It's very difficult for me to express the relationship. It gives at least one reason why

    he spent most of his time in Rochdale. For example:

    Tom: Why did he spend all his time in Rochdale?

    Mona: Well, for one reason, he was born there.

    Tom: Oh, I see.


    Sources: A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk and others; English Syntax / A Grammar for English Language Professionals by Roderick A. Jacobs.

    P.S. These are only some ideas for you to think about. I do not claim that I understood those books correctly.








    '

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    [QUOTE=Babai;829086] Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area.



    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I thought about your question during my morning walk, and I got an idea that I

    wanted to share with you.

    (2) I think (repeat: think) that "Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area"

    is a rather elegant way to say: He was born in Rochdale, and he spent most of his

    life in the area."

    (3) "He, who was born in Rochdale, spent most of his life in the area" does not,

    in my opinion, give the same meaning. "Who was born in Rochdale" is given less

    importance. It's just some interesting information "thrown" into the sentence. If you

    deleted (erased) it, the sentence would express your main idea: He spent most of his

    life in Rochdale.

    (4) In "Born in Rochdale, he spent most of his life in the area," I feel that if you

    deleted "Born in Rochdale," the sentence would not be exactly what you wanted to

    express. That is, you wanted to emphasize the "and" meaning.
    '

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    The responses to the original question from Raymott and TheParser are helpful. However, the question and the responses made me think of a question I have posed before - "Does labelling matter?"

    Labels such as 'adjectival/adverbial/participial phrase' can be a useful shorthand when we are discussing how the language works. However, I have found that some coursebooks appear to require students to label structures for the sole purpose of labelling. If the real objective is to enable learners to use these labels in order to discuss how native speakers write and speak, then it can be useful. If it is simply an exercise in labelling language, then it is a waste of time.

    What I have written there is simply an opinion.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The responses to the original question from Raymott and TheParser are helpful. However, the question and the responses made me think of a question I have posed before - "Does labelling matter?"

    Labels such as 'adjectival/adverbial/participial phrase' can be a useful shorthand when we are discussing how the language works. However, I have found that some coursebooks appear to require students to label structures for the sole purpose of labelling. If the real objective is to enable learners to use these labels in order to discuss how native speakers write and speak, then it can be useful. If it is simply an exercise in labelling language, then it is a waste of time.

    What I have written there is simply an opinion.
    I agree. The analysis I gave is not meant to be authoritative. And "2. might change to an adverbial of time rather than causation/reason." is as much synthetic and subjective as analytic. My terms are descriptive - and what I see described might be different from what another sees.
    It is not always easy (for me) to decide if a phrase or clause is adjectival or adverbial. A phrase can be both.
    But if someone wants to know if a phrase is adverbial or adjectival, and I'm feeling bored enough, I don't see the harm in giving a (not necessarily the) solution to the puzzle.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    But if someone wants to know if a phrase is adverbial or adjectival, and I'm feeling bored enough, I don't see the harm in giving a (not necessarily the) solution to the puzzle.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distinction between adjectival phrase and adverbial phrases

    The short answer: if it tells you more about a thing it's adjectival, and if it tells you more about a verb it's adverbial.

    mnemonicsʁus

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