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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon...

    In a strict grammar rule, usually participles in the subordinate clause describe the subject in the main clause, but this seems to be either a mistake or a common custom. "soaked, but otherwise unharmed" literally describes "he" not "Napoleon(a cat)". What do you think?

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    ex)...Then, all of a sudden, he noticed two yellow eyes staring down at him from the roof of the tennis club. There was no proof they were Napoleon's - New York is full of stray cats. He climbed up the fire escape, where, soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon. He picked him up and climbed back down again. "That's a mighty lucky cat" Michael told himself. As he looked up, he could see what had probably happened.
    Napoleon had stepped out of the window, dropped four floors down, landed on top of the building's cloth canopy, thus breaking his fall, bounced on the heavy canvas and took a flying leap to the top of a dividing brick wall, then jumped down about twelve feet onto the tennis club. Four stories is a long fall - at least forty feet, more than enough to kill a human being - but Napoleon wasn't even sore or lame, just wet midly irratable. Michael brought him home to his grieving wife and son...
    Last edited by keannu; 24-Jul-2012 at 02:23.

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    #2

    Re: soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon...

    Is there a reason to think it's Napoleon that was soaked but otherwise unharmed?

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon...

    You may be right. The translation seems wrong. I will add more into the context. But adding more, I found "just wet" part, I'm confused!!!

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon...

    Okay, but how can I interprete this? Is it an inversion or a common practice of ungrammtical expression?

    "where, soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon"
    => 1. inversion - where he found Napoleon "soaked, but otherwise unharmed"
    2. describing Napoleon(common exceptional)- where soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon

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    #5

    Re: soaked, but otherwise unharmed, he found Napoleon...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    If you read a bit more of the text it becomes quite clear that it was Napoleon, not he, who was soaked, but otherwise unharmed.
    After the edit, I agree that it's clear.

    Keannu, this is not a mistake. You will find this word order in native writing. (Though it is ambiguous, and my first interpretation wasn't the one the author intended. But with enough context, the meaning is clear.)
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 24-Jul-2012 at 02:48. Reason: typo

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