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  1. #1
    WilliamRota is offline Newbie
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    Default ''He was busy rummaging in his cloak''

    ''He was
    busy rummaging in his cloak''. What is grammaticaly both 'busy' and ''rummaging', a compound adjective?

  2. #2
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    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: ''He was busy rummaging in his cloak''

    I'll have a go. I think that "busy" is an adjective, and "rummaging" is a gerund.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: ''He was busy rummaging in his cloak''

    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamRota View Post
    ''He was
    busy rummaging in his cloak''. What is grammaticaly both 'busy' and ''rummaging', a compound adjective?
    Well I wouldn't say it was adjectival; it simply says what he was doing. The word 'rummaging' explains what he was busy doing (so you're right to see the words as somehow working together).

    b

  4. #4
    WilliamRota is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ''He was busy rummaging in his cloak''

    I thought if they were separated, should be used a comma left to the word ''rummaging'', right?
    Last edited by WilliamRota; 19-Jan-2013 at 03:28.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ''He was busy rummaging in his cloak''

    No. Rummaging is what he was busy doing.

    The comma might be justified in some contexts, if the 'busyness' is more significant than the thing being done. Example: I tried to catch her attention but she was busy, looking up something on her mobile phone I think.

    b

    PS You mean a comma 'to the left of'; but the normal way to say it would be "a comma after the word 'busy'". You normall talk of a comma after A rather than before B. Think of the space after the comma.
    Last edited by BobK; 19-Jan-2013 at 13:06. Reason: Added PS

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