Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: broken tree

  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,408
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default broken tree

    I learned from a grammar book that past participle denotes either "passive" or "completed" action. But sometimes some past particples seem to have both meanings.
    Does this "broken" have both the meanings or only one? It might be it depends. I think the grammatical definition is only for definite cases. A chair could be "broken" by itself(completed) or "broken by someone(passive action)" or "broken by someone(passive) and in the state of it(completed)". What do you think?

    gz108)I carried the broken chair to the kitchen.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,911
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: broken tree

    The "breaking" action is complete. Whether this happened because of someone's deliberate action, or if the chair just failed you can not tell. All it tells us is that the chair is broken.

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,408
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: broken tree

    Yes, that's what I thought. But grammar books divide past participle only to two categories such as "completion" and "passive(getting an action from an actioner)", but this is kind of artificial as all the verbs can't be defined in only two ways. There can be in-between or vague ones.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: broken tree

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    But grammar books divide past participle only to two categories such as "completion" and "passive(getting an action from an actioner)", but this is kind of artificial as all the verbs can't be defined in only two ways.
    I don't know of any serious grammarians who divide categories into two, and only two, such categories.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,650
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: broken tree


    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Yes, that's what I thought. But grammar books divide past participle only to two categories such as "completion" and "passive(getting an action from an actioner)", but this is kind of artificial as all the verbs can't be defined in only two ways. There can be in-between or vague ones.
    If there are such grammars, I agree that they are making an artificial distinction (as is so easily done in the field of grammar ).

    b

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Nov-2012, 17:20
  2. broken(out of order) vs broken(into pieces)?
    By keannu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 20-May-2012, 20:35
  3. for planting a tree? or to plant a tree?
    By optimistic pessimist in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-May-2011, 10:28
  4. [Grammar] car is broken vs. has broken down
    By unruly2009 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 17-Jun-2009, 13:28
  5. a high tree or a tall tree
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Feb-2004, 04:23

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •