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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    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!

  2. aachu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raharu View Post
    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".
    Not a teacher.

    Lay is the past simple form of the verb lie(If something lies in a particular place, position or direction, it is in that place, position or direction).

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    #3

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by aachu View Post
    Not a teacher.

    Lay is the past simple form of the verb lie(If something lies in a particular place, position or direction, it is in that place, position or direction).
    Oh, I see. That makes sense. Thanks.

    I still feel like I don't often see two verbs next to each other though, is there some sort of rule that I don't know about that?

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    #4

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raharu View Post
    Oh, I see. That makes sense. Thanks.

    I still feel like I don't often see two verbs next to each other though, is there some sort of rule that I don't know about that?

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    #5

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raharu View Post
    the author is using "propped" as an adjective

    ***** 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.

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    #6

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    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.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    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 lay.
    It's an adjective. It was propped, it did not lie 'proppedly'.

    Compare she lay awkwardly (adverb)and she lay dead (adjective).

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    #8

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post


    I see what you did there, and I like it, but I still feel like it's rare.

    Plus, don't is a contraction of do and not, and not is not a verb.

    I know it's a silly question, but I just thought I would ask.

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    #9

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** 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.
    Nice! Thank you very much!

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Can Two Verbs be Next to Each Other?

    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 18:50.

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