Do you accept this one?
statement: "He came into the room whistling."
question: "Why did he come in like that?"
Do these mean the same to you?
Are they both adjectives or adverbs? (For me they are both adverbs.)Code:"Running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell." and "While running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell."
I still don't understand why isn't "Being an only child" a gerund with its preposition "because of" omitted? Doesn't it express the "because" meaning?Code:Being an only child, she felt lonely. ` Because of being an only child, she felt lonely. ` Because she was an only child, she felt lonely.
Last edited by dihen; 06-Oct-2006 at 07:31.
In the second case, one can change the participle into a gerund (as you have done), but that doesn't make the first example a gerund.
John loves sue. (love is a verb)
John is in love with Sue. (love is no longer a verb)
Sue hates John's drinking on weekends. (drinking is a gerund - noun)
Sue hates John drinking on weekends. (drinking is a participle - adjective)
Last edited by dihen; 06-Oct-2006 at 18:10.
Yes, it is certainly true that nonrestrictive participials (i.e. participles/participle phrases) such as e.g. 'being rich' in
Being rich, he had little empathy with the poor.
do possess a distinctly adverbial sense, the above instance being functionally parallel (as well as semantically equivalent) to 'because he was rich...' or 'by reason of his wealth...'.
The analytical difficulty here derives essentially from the syntactically vague status of participles: as their very name (< Latin participium, 'participant') suggests, they are able to 'participate' simultaneously in a number of grammatical functions, being both forms of the verb and yet, at the same time, (typically, at least) adjectival in nature. The problem is then further compounded by the apparent adverbiality that they frequently display when used nonrestrictively as above.
My own preferred solution to this conundrum is simply to accept that they are both adjectival and adverbial: adjectival, in that (unlike 'pure' adverbials) they do indeed have a nominal referent, yet also adverbial insofar as they provide modificatory information about the verb phrase rather than specifically about that nominal referent, which - unlike restrictive participials - they cannot really be said to 'describe' or 'distinguish' in any way. (And as if this were not enough, they have also, of course, not lost their verbal aspect, since that nominal referent still stands as the agent of the condition or action that they denote! )
As late as they come, I hope these few thoughts may be of some use.