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  1. #1
    taa81 is offline Newbie
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    Default critique my explanation, please?

    I am teaching an upper intermediate/advanced writing class, and the students are having trouble using words like normally, actually, hopefully, etc. I've written this explanation of disjuncts and adverbs. Is it correct? Is it clear? (the explanation is followed by lots of examples).

    Thanks for any help. Here's the text:

    An adverb is a word that modifies a verb – it describes how something was done. For instance:
    The boy looked hopefully at the chocolate cake.
    The adverb “hopefully” describes what the boy (the subject of the sentence) is feeling; he hopes that he will get some cake.

    A disjunct is a word or words that show the speaker’s attitude to what is being said in the sentence. Disjuncts are often in the form of an adverb, but they do not always convey the same meaning as the adverb itself. For example:

    Hopefully, they will have chocolate cake at the party.
    The disjunct “hopefully” describes what the speaker is feeling. We don’t know how “they” (the subject of the sentence) are feeling.

    A disjunct is placed at the beginning of the sentence to signal the speaker’s intended meaning. In general, adverbs are placed directly next to the verb they modify. However, if the adverb expresses time or frequency, it can start a sentence:

    Currently, we are in negotiations for a new contract.
    We are currently in negotiations for a new contract.
    These sentences have the same meaning.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: critique my explanation, please?

    I think that sounds pretty good to me - although i'm not a teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by taa81
    An adverb is a word that modifies a verb – it describes how something was done. For instance:
    The boy looked hopefully at the chocolate cake.
    The adverb describes HOW something is done - in this case, the VERB is 'looked'.
    Looked is the verb, and so the adverb - 'hopefully', is describing it.

    You weren't completely wrong, i must say.
    But the adverb doesn't necessarily describe what the subject is feeling.

    See, look at this example:
    The boy swfitly stole the cake.

    'Swiftly' being the adverb, it describes how he stole ('stole' is the verb) the cake, and not really what the subject felt like when he was doing so.

    I hope my addition makes sense, and have fun with English! :)

  3. #3
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: critique my explanation, please?

    This from Disjunct - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In linguistics, a disjunct, according to Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, is an adverbial, seen as an element belonging to the periphery of its clause and for example, qualifying, commenting on, or giving authority for the remainder. (Matthews, 1997)

    Examples:
    Perhaps he is there.
    Honestly, I can't do it.


    Same source, different page, Disjunct (linguistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    In linguistics, a disjunct is a type of adverbial adjunct that expresses information that is not considered essential to the sentence it appears in, but which is considered to be the speaker's or writer's attitude towards, or descriptive statement of, the propositional content of the sentence. For instance:

    Honestly, I didn't do it.
    Fortunately for you, I have it right here.
    In my opinion, the green one is better.
    Sometimes, the same word or phrase can be interpreted either as a disjunct or as a simple adjunct:

    They honestly worked in an underground diamond mine run by Barbara.

    To read more, click on the link directly above.

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