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  1. #1
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    "Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory."

    Above sentence seems to me very strange because bleak should have been a verb, but it isn't. Where is the verb of the sentence?

    Source: https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...A2C98Q6AEIJTAA by John Le Carre

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    The only verb is "turned". "Bleak" is an adjective.

    Would it have been easier for you to understand if it had said "... her face turned suddenly sad ..."?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 16-Sep-2017 at 22:49.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    There is no main verb here, so it's not a sentence.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 16-Sep-2017 at 23:46.

  4. #4
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    teechar is online now Moderator
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    Re: Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post

    The above sentence seems ...
    .

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Where is the verb of the sentence?
    Would the text have been more emotionally charged if the sentence began with There was? We read literature to move us, etc. John le Carré is a master of slow-moving tension and suspense, which can carry on over batches of novels. We don't read him to see if every sentence he writes meets all the requirements of grammar textbooks.

    The true answer to your question is No one cares- we want a narrative that takes us places and makes us feel and see things. If there are sentences that lack main verbs, most couldn't really care. You will see creative writers breaking rules- it's an accepted practice. Go with the flow as long as the writing and story justifies it. John le Carré is a writer who combines the spy genre with serious literature, so just buckle up and accept that a few rules may be broken along the way.

    Shakespeare and Jane Austen used terrible grammar. They weren't using their literary writing to pass Cambridge First Certificate.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Another unnerving silence as her face turned suddenly bleak with memory

    BTW That is, for me, one of John le Carré's weaker books.

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