Student or Learner
I think I have a interesting question, since google couldn't handle it. I'm trying to proof read a story, and this sentence doesn't sound right to me, "Her back lay propped against a fruitless tree."
The two verbs "lay" and "propped" sound weird together, but at the same time they kind of don't. The narrative of the story is third person pas tense, so I know that it should be "laid".
I think the root of the problem is that the author is using "propped" as an adjective when it's not.
How would you guys correct this sentence? If at all...
Thanks for your help!
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) Congratulations, Raharu. I believe that you are 100% correct.
(2) I have been thinking about your question all morning and checking my books. I may have the answer.
(3) Some books would analyze your sentence like this:
Her back = the subject.
lay = verb.
propped. = the past participle of " to prop." Many times, we used a participle (ending in -ing or in -ed) as an adjective,
just as you said.
So we can say that "propped" refers to "her back."
Of course, saying that "her back was propped" is incomplete. So we add "against a fruitless tree." I think that we call
those five words a prepositional phrase. It refers to "propped." (It tells us where her back was propped.)
(4) This construction (kind of sentence) is common in English. Here are two examples from A Grammar of Present-Day English
by Pence & Emery:
He became discouraged. ["discouraged" refers to "He."]
The package remained unwrapped. ["Unwrapped" refers to "The package."]
(5) Finally, I googled "lay propped" and found many results. Here are three:
He lay propped against the wall in the office.
Wounded soldiers lay propped up against the walls.
A short stack of books lay propped against the bowl.
I am not a teacher, but I wounder why you say "propped" is an adjective. To me, it seems like an adverb describing how her back laid.
I do feel it's not rare.
I enjoy finding examples of two verbs together. It's not difficult.
Does this help clarify things?
Last edited by 5jj; 28-Feb-2012 at 17:50.