Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 695
    #1

    surprise witness

    Hi,

    What does "surprise witness" mean here?


    The surprise witness was his trump card.


    Thanks a lot

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: surprise witness

    A witness that nobody expected to be produced.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #3

    Re: surprise witness

    More specifically, a witness that the opposite team did not know was going to be called, and so did not have a chance to prepare for.
    So, if the prosecution calls a surprise witness, the defense team did not know about it before hand. That's partly what makes it a 'trump card' in this situation.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 695
    #4

    Re: surprise witness

    But surprise couldn't be used as an adjective, right? And here "surprise witness" is a compound noun, isn't it?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 2,944
    #5

    Re: surprise witness

    No; it's an adjective. Other kinds of witnesses are:

    hostile witness
    expert witness

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 695
    #6

    Re: surprise witness

    I wonder why I could only find out "surprise" work as noun and verb in dictionary?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #7

    Re: surprise witness

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    I wonder why I could only find out "surprise" work as noun and verb in dictionary?
    Because many people consider such constructions as 'surprise witness' to be a noun + noun construction. It's just a question of labelling, and not really important - unless you are particularly interested in labels.

Similar Threads

  1. witness/witnesses
    By carla guaraldi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-Oct-2008, 15:02
  2. witness to
    By carla guaraldi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2008, 18:39
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Jun-2008, 08:59
  4. 'surprise' in 'tuna surprise'
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Mar-2007, 06:06

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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