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    #1

    Grammar

    Dear teachers,

    As far as I know, we can say:
    1. Walking into the room he found a man lying on the floor'. Here the logical subject of walking is 'he'. Or we can say '
    2. He rushed into the room, his face covered with sweat. Here 'his face covered with sweat' is an independent element.
    But please read the following sentence:

    He closed his eyes an instant but opening them his face lit up as though he had struck a match in a dark room.

    My question is what is the function of 'opening them his face lit up '. According to grammar the logic subject should be 'face' but how obviously here it refers to 'opening up his eyes'.
    So in the sentence I cited 'opening them his face lit up ' belongs to neither structure. So is it a mistake?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    As far as I know, we can say:
    1. Walking into the room he found a man lying on the floor'. Here the logical subject of walking is 'he'. Or we can say '
    2. He rushed into the room, his face covered with sweat. Here 'his face covered with sweat' is an independent element.
    But please read the following sentence:

    He closed his eyes an instant but opening them his face lit up as though he had struck a match in a dark room.

    My question is what is the function of 'opening them his face lit up '. According to grammar the logic subject should be 'face' but how obviously here it refers to 'opening up his eyes'.
    So in the sentence I cited 'opening them his face lit up ' belongs to neither structure. So is it a mistake?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    It's a poor sentence. In "opening them", "them" obviously refers to eyes. The easiest fix would be inserting "after" before opening.

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    #3

    Re: Grammar


    Dear Mike,

    Thank you very much for your reply. Now I see.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    It's a poor sentence. In "opening them", "them" obviously refers to eyes. The easiest fix would be inserting "after" before opening.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you very much for your reply. Now I see.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Jiang
    You're welcome.

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