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    #1

    "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'? I thought it is a complement of wild beasts, but thinking of scare sth away as a set phrase, I can't help wondering if it can be seen as an adverbial.

    more examples:

    put down his words. (put down as a phrasal verb)
    put his words down. (down as complement?)

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    #2

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    NOT A TEACHER

    1. The online Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary reminds us that "scare away" is a phrasal verb." (In other words, it's a two-word verb. There are also some three-word phrasal verbs such as "I am trying to cut down on my calories.")

    a. "scare" is the verb, and "away" is an adverb. (My note: Some books prefer to call it a "particle" when it is part of a phrasal verb.)

    b. Some phrasal verbs (not all) can be separated. So you could say "The hunters scared the wild beasts away" or "The hunters scared away the wild beasts."

    2. If you were diagramming that sentence using the Reed-Kellogg system, I think that you would use the second sentence to diagram, even though you might write/say the first sentence.

    a. The "skeleton" of a diagram would be: "hunters scared away beasts." Then you would add the other words in order to come up with an acceptable English sentence.
    Last edited by TheParser; 07-May-2020 at 21:49.

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    #3

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Yes, scare away is a phrasal verb. The particle away is adverbial.

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    #4

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    scare wild beasts away

    "Away" is a complement, but of "scare", not of "wild beasts". We often generalise by using the term 'particle' for such complements.

    Particles are the only complements that can freely come between the verb and its direct object. Compare:

    [1] We took our luggage down.
    [2] We took down our luggage.

    [3] We took our luggage downstairs.
    [4] *We took downstairs our luggage.

    Both "down" and "downstairs" can follow the object, but only "down" can occur between the verb and its object, as in [2]. "Down" is thus a particle, but "downstairs" is not.

    Particles are usually prepositions, though a few adjectives and verbs can also be particles.

    Incidentally, the term 'phrasal verb' is sometimes used for expressions like "take down", and "scare away" but it is a misnomer and best avoided. It is just the words "take" and "scare" that are verbs, not the whole expressions "take down" and "scare away". The term 'verbal idiom" is preferable to describe such expressions.

  5. IsaacZ's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Incidentally, the term 'phrasal verb' is sometimes used for expressions like "take down", and "scare away" but it is a misnomer and best avoided. It is just the words "take" and "scare" that are verbs, not the whole expressions "take down" and "scare away". The term 'verbal idiom" is preferable to describe such expressions.
    I also noticed the differences long time ago. That's why I don't like to treat them together, but try to give the particle a specific function.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    "Away" is a complement, but of "scare", not of "wild beasts".
    If so, away is an adverbial, isn't it?

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    #6

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacZ View Post
    I also noticed the differences long time ago. That's why I don't like to treat them together, but try to give the particle a specific function.
    If so, away is an adverbial, isn't it?
    No: as I said before, in "scare away wild beasts" it's a complement of "scare".

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    #7

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes, scare away is a phrasal verb. The particle away is adverbial.
    I saw you liked PaulMatthews's post. Does that mean you have changed your above opinion?

  8. IsaacZ's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    No: as I said before, in "scare away wild beasts" it's a complement of "scare".
    If my terms are limited to the following, how can I solve the problem?

    Subject
    Verb
    Predicative   
    Object
    Complement (subject complement / object complement)
    Attribute  
    Adverbial
    Appositive 

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    #9

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes, scare away is a phrasal verb. The particle away is adverbial.
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacZ View Post
    I saw you liked PaulMatthews's post. Does that mean you have changed your above opinion?
    Yes. Well, it's not really that I've changed my opinion so much as understood how I was wrong. I've always thought of phrasal verb particles as adverbial because they 'go with' the stem, which is a verb. But now, in light of post #4, I see that away 'completes' the sense of the verb. The meaning of 'scare wild beasts away' is not about making wild beasts afraid but about making them leave where they are.

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    #10

    Re: "scare wild beasts away". - What's the function of 'away'?

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacZ View Post
    If my terms are limited to the following, how can I solve the problem?

    Subject Verb Predicative, Object Complement (subject complement / object complement), Attribute, Adverbial, Appositive 
    scare away wild beasts

    "Away" is a complement of "scare", but it's not predicative.

    It's a complement because it is selected by the verb for this sense of "scare", though "off" is possible, too.

    Some people call "scare away" a phrasal verb, but verbal idiom is a much better term.

    Why are your functions limited to the ones you cite?

    Incidentally, your list includes seven functions and one word class (part of speech), so it's neither consistent nor complete.

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