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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    The gibbons swung from branch to branch, gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves, and their strange cry was like the call of a bird.
    (W.S. Maugham; Neil MacAdam)

    Should I read it as '[gathering in] the dawn dew from the leaves' or as 'gathering [in the dawn] dew from the leaves'?

    Thanks.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Hi,

    From what I understand, it is the first option. See gather in - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Also, I believe the key for this reading is "from".

    You could modify the text ("gathering in the dawn dew [under] the leaves", for instance) for the second reading option

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    #4

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    The dew forms at dawn. It's dawn dew. They gather it in.

  4. suprunp's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    The dew forms at dawn. It's dawn dew. They gather it in.
    What makes the second reading impossible?

    Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    There should be commas if you meant "gathering, in the dawn, dew."

    It's rather clunky sounding that way.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Nothing makes it impossible. The word order makes it improbable.

    It's as improbable as the unambiguous but equally awkward They put their at the end of day coats on.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 08-Jun-2012 at 19:31.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. suprunp's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Nothing makes it impossible. The word order makes it improbable.

    It's as improbable as the unambiguous but equally awkward They put their at the end of their day coats on.
    My apologies, but I can barely see the connection between this sentence and the original one.

    They put [at the end of their day] their coats on. ('gathering [in the dawn] dew from the leaves') ~ This variant, in my humble opinion, would represent it better, wouldn't it?

    Thanks.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Fine. Both are equally awkward and unlikely.
    You don't interrupt the transitive verb from its direct object with an adverbial expression of time or place.

    He kicked [at the end of the game] the ball.
    I pick [in the morning] flowers.
    He gathered [in the dawn] dew.

    All of those are horrible. Leaving "gathered in" "the dawn dew" as the only likely pairing.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: gathering in the dawn dew from the leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Nothing makes it impossible. The word order makes it improbable.
    I agree.
    It's as improbable as the unambiguous but equally awkward They put their at the end of day coats on.
    I don't agree. I think that that one is so clunky as to be impossible. I think that the original is possible, espeially with commas. I don't think yours is.

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