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    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #1

    ellipsis?

    Hi,
    Here are two phrases which make me wonder.
    1.-Now, same instructions as before.
    According to the rule, the same.
    2. Free as a bird
    Why not free like a bird? Because as is omitted?
    As free as a bird
    I consulted M.Swanís book, but didnít find anything on this.
    Could you shed some light please?

    Thanks.

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Armenia
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #2

    Re: ellipsis?

    Hi, Humble!
    Free as a bird is an idiom meaning "at liberties, without obligation"
    e.g. Can you join us tonight? Yes, I'm free as a bird.
    There is also a song "Free as a Bird" as far as I can remember.


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #3

    Re: ellipsis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    Hi, Humble!
    Free as a bird is an idiom meaning "at liberties, without obligation"
    e.g. Can you join us tonight? Yes, I'm free as a bird.
    There is also a song "Free as a Bird" as far as I can remember.
    Yes, Harry,
    It was just the song that made me wonder. The meaning is clear enough, thank you. Actually, my question was abt ellipsis.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: ellipsis?

    Here's my guess:

    There's no difference in meaning here:
    1a.-Now, same instructions as before. <pronoun>
    1b.-Now, the same instructions as before. <adjective>

    The function of "same", above, is nominal either way you look at it. It's either a substantive pronoun or an adjective. That's to be expected, right, because both are pre-modifiers. So, omit "the" in "the same" and neither the syntactic structure nor the meaning changes. "same" is a nominal pre-modifier with or without "the". Cool use of effeciency, isn't it? Ellipsis at its finest. ~You are correct.

    As for the reason "the same" is the more preferred (in your text), correlatives, my friend; e.g., as...as; the same...as. In short, 1a. "same" is just as grammatical as 1b. "the same", but 1b. is more preferred because it tells us the history of 1a.

    All the best,


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #5

    Re: ellipsis?

    Cas,
    You say,
    neither the syntactic structure nor the meaning changes
    . I don’t understand then why in 1a it is a pronoun and in 1b an adjective. They both modify instructions, so I’d say they are both adjectives.
    ***
    (I am) free like a bird is correct, too, isn’t it?

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: ellipsis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Cas,
    You say, . I donít understand then why in 1a it is a pronoun and in 1b an adjective. They both modify instructions, so Iíd say they are both adjectives.
    Me, too, Semantics.


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 52
    #7

    Re: ellipsis?

    Hmmm . . .

    If ellipsis is the interest here, and 'free as a bird' is the example:

    In English there are a number of structures that may be complements of the verb to be:
    1. 'a teacher' in 'I am a teacher'

    2. 'tall' in 'She is tall'

    One of the structures is: as X as a Y -- for example, 'as free as a bird,'

    So, when someone asks you if you are free tonight, you may say, 'Yup. Free as a bird.' Most of your reply is in ellipsis. The complete sentence would be 'I am as free as a bird.'


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #8

    Re: ellipsis?

    Thanks, Mark,
    It's nice to have another knowledgeable man on board.
    As my last question has been overlooked, I have to ask agn:

    Is free like a bird as good as free as a bird, or the latter is a set phrase?

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