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Thread: ellipsis

  1. #1
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default ellipsis

    Hello

    1. They arrived home safe.
    2. They arrived home (being) safe.
    3. They arrived home (so that they were) safe.

    May 1 be the result of elision of the bracketed group of words in 2 and 3?
    If not, what possible sentences could be ellipted so we get 1?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Could it just be an adjective having the meaning of ‘not harmed’, ‘free from harm or danger’?

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Hello Svart,

    1. They arrived home safe.

    2. They arrived home being safe.

    — this has a slightly different meaning from #1; it seems to imply that the "being safe" began before the "arriving home"; whereas "safeness" is the condition that follows completion of the journey.

    3. They arrived home so that they were safe.

    — this seems to imply that "arriving home" was the purpose of "being safe".

    Would you not be happy to call the underlined part of #1 a subject complement?

    MrP

  4. #4
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Svart,

    1. They arrived home safe.

    2. They arrived home being safe.

    — this has a slightly different meaning from #1; it seems to imply that the "being safe" began before the "arriving home"; whereas "safeness" is the condition that follows completion of the journey.

    3. They arrived home so that they were safe.

    — this seems to imply that "arriving home" was the purpose of "being safe".

    Would you not be happy to call the underlined part of #1 a subject complement?

    MrP
    Hello Mr P

    In #3 I meant so with the meaning of with the result that.
    Could so not possibly have this meaning there?

    --------

    They arrived home safe( and sound).
    Maybe it is the result of a misconcieved idea I formed through years of self-study that the image this sentence conjures up in me is them arriving in a condition of safety that began before the act of arriving and that last afterwards.

    Thanks for your time,
    S

  5. #5
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhaheart View Post
    Could it just be an adjective having the meaning of ‘not harmed’, ‘free from harm or danger’?
    Hello,

    This is what I was wondering about. Does it necessarily have to be so that #1 is the result of omission of certain words, or is it a 'basic' syntax that

    They arrived home safe = SVAC, where C is a subject complement and an adj.

    Thanks for our reply.
    Others' views on this matter are welcomed with open arm too.
    S

  6. #6
    Trisia is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Hi,

    I would probably avoid all this by simply saying "They arrived home safely".

  7. #7
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Hello Svart,

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    This is what I was wondering about. Does it necessarily have to be so that #1 is the result of omission of certain words, or is it a 'basic' syntax that

    They arrived home safe = SVAC, where C is a subject complement and an adj.
    It seems to me to be a basic structure – cf.

    1. It's gone bad.
    2. It sounds nice.
    3. It looks interesting.

    (I haven't noticed a "fuller" version of such sentences in earlier forms of English, for instance.)

    It's interesting that the verbs which allow this structure tend to be verbs of "being" or "becoming"; you might say that "it looks nice", for example, essentially means "it is nice with regard to appearance". Thus in that sense, they're copulative.

    In #3 I meant so with the meaning of with the result that.
    Could so not possibly have this meaning there?
    Certainly "so that" is used in that sense; in which case, your #3 sentence would present an inference, where "being home" implied "being safe". This is slightly different from the meaning of #1, however, which presents a statement of fact, not an inference.

    By the way, it's very common to use the phrase "safe and sound" in your context, rather than simply "safe". The "sound" means "in good physical condition".

    All the best,

    MrP

  8. #8
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ellipsis

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Certainly "so that" is used in that sense; in which case, your #3 sentence would present an inference, where "being home" implied "being safe". This is slightly different from the meaning of #1, however, which presents a statement of fact, not an inference.MrP
    Hello Mr P

    Would you please use other words so that I understand it more?
    Thanks
    That inference part and the slightly different meaning is very

    Cheers

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