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  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #21

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Be_Sick_Over(he,cat).
    Sorry to interrupt this very serious, in-depth conversation, but I just can't help reading that as "Be sick over the cat". I wondered why you were encouraging such awful behaviour!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #22

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Well, the children both came and were running, so I suppose that might work if you accept that participles can be adverbs (I'm not sure I do).
    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Abaka:

    You may be interested in the opinion of my grammar idol, Dr. George Oliver Curme.


    1. "I came home tired."
    2. "She ran into the house crying."
    3. "He was drowned bathing in the river."

    Dr. Curme explains that the adjectives "tired," "crying," and "bathing" modify the verb and are thus adverbial.

    According to him: "An adjective does not usually modify a verb, but a predicate adjective in this very common construction regularly does so, for one predication can modify another." (my emphasis)


    Source: Volume I, pages 42 - 43 of his masterpiece A Grammar of the English Language (copyright 1935, 1962, 1983).


    P.S. On page 284 in Volume II, he claims that "He was drowned bathing in the river" is a shorter way of saying "He was drowned while he was bathing in the river."

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    #23

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    You may be interested in the opinion of my grammar idol, Dr. George Oliver Curme....Source: Volume I, pages 42 - 43 of his masterpiece A Grammar of the English Language (copyright 1935, 1962, 1983).
    His shorter single-volume English Grammar (1948) online. It's not quite the full three-volume edition you metioned, but it is enough to get the gist of his thinking on predicates and complements, in 52-53. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    According to him: "An adjective does not usually modify a verb, but a predicate adjective in this very common construction regularly does so, for one predication can modify another." (my emphasis)
    I confess my eyes opened wide when I read this, but it makes perfect sense, once we go beyond syntax to realm of formal logic. Basically, a predication is a true-or-false function that partitions the entities of the universe of discourse into classes, depending on whether it's true or not acting on those entities. So "the children came" means that "the children" were in the class of those who "Came" (predicate). (Their parents did not, perhaps.) We can write C(c) = 1. And similarly for "(the children were) Running", we can write R(c) = 1.

    Therefore, predicates can indeed modify other predicates, by intersection of classes. That is, the children came and the children were running. We can write C(c) & R(c) = 1.

    Yes, logically predications can "modify" one another. I had never thought of that. Thank you.

    However, back in the realm of English this presents a problem of interpretation. In meaning, both "Came" and "(Were) running" describe "children". In the sentence "the children were (in the process of) running", interpreted to avoid the continuous tense, "running" is a predicate adjective/subjective complement that modifies "children". Why must we say then that in "the children came running", "running" is a predicate adjective/verbal complement? I think it is more consistent, in terms of how people actually look at these things, to call "running" a predicate adjective/subjective complement and "came" a predicate verb/subjective complement. (All verbs are obviously predicate, subjective complements.)

    This balanced interpretation is naturally supported by the notation of predicate logic: C(c) & R(c) = 1.

    On page 284 in Volume II, he claims that "He was drowned bathing in the river" is a shorter way of saying "He was drowned while he was bathing in the river."
    My issue with assuming understood words and phrases is that by adding words at will one can with some ingenuity turn just about any part of speech into another one, while preserving the meaning completely.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #24

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    I would argue that the vomiting action is implied and understood: sick in what way?
    It's not implied in straight adjectival usage where it could be substituted for ill.

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    #25

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's not implied in straight adjectival usage where it could be substituted for ill.
    I suppose the root of the argument is the extent to which meaning affects grammar.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

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    #26

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Sorry to interrupt this very serious, in-depth conversation, but I just can't help reading that as "Be sick over the cat". I wondered why you were encouraging such awful behaviour!
    When I first read Piscean's original post, I wondered if he'd mistyped "car".
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

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    #27

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    I was thinking of something that actually occurred. It did not worry my young son, the vomiter. Our cat, the vomitee, was not happy.

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #28

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Thank God it wasn't the car.

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    #29

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    You're clearly not a cat.

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    #30

    Re: Is sick an adjective in 'Be sick' (= vomit)?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Thank God it wasn't the car.
    Right—the cat would clean itself.

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