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    #1

    The elimination of "with"

    In this sentence:
    A man was standing at the door, his hands in his pockets.
    There's an elimination of the word "with."
    The original sentence should be:
    A man was standing at the door, with his hands in his pocket.
    How to explain the part of eliminating "with"?
    "his hands in his pockets" is only an NP, not a typical "reduced clause" like we see in sentence like: "Picking up the phone, he dialed 911."
    Is this elimination of "with" commonly applied to the sentence like firstly mentioned?
    Can students freely use this elimination technique when they write a composition?

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    #2

    Re: The elimination of "with"

    Sorry, I don't think either of your sentences is accurate English.

    A man with his hands in his pockets was standing at the door.

    A man was standing at the door; his hands were in his pockets.

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    English Teacher

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    #3

    Re: The elimination of "with"

    A second opinion.
    I think both sentences are correct, but I'd omit the comma before "with" in the second.
    The first is a common construction in written English, but not one that's used in conversational English.


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    #4

    Re: The elimination of "with"

    The 1st sentence looks 100% fine to me - a description from a book.

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    #5

    Re: The elimination of "with"

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    Sorry, I don't think either of your sentences is accurate English.

    A man with his hands in his pockets was standing at the door.

    A man was standing at the door; his hands were in his pockets.
    The sentences I put here are all taken from an English textbook.
    So from your point of view, maybe I should report to the publisher about their mistakes.

    Is this really a wrong sentence?
    A man was standing at the door, with his hands in his pocket.

    Do you mean even the usage of "with" is also wrong?

  2. #6

    Re: The elimination of "with"

    Allow me to offer another opinion

    A man was standing at the door, his hands [being] in his pockets

    So, we have a non-finite subordinate clause, regardless of the presence of "with". It's the same structure as the other sentence you mentioned: Picking up the phone, he dialed 911.

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