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  1. #1
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Arrow Is this English?!

    In the name of the Merciful Allah,
    Hi, please explain to me the following quote of Shakespeare grammatically : All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players".To be more specific, I ask about the apostrophe in "
    world's ", what does it stand for?And where is "are" to represent " men and women" as players? I wish I could spell out what I need.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this English?!

    All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players

  3. #3
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    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Is this English?!

    I'm not an English teacher but in the quote you give "world's" is a contraction of "world is", and that is what the apostrophe is signifying.

  4. #4
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Re: Is this English?!

    Thanks David and Stuartnz, I see now that "is" could be contracted this way. But I still don't understand how can a phrase like " all men and women merely players" be written with an omitted auxiliary verb?

  5. #5
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    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Is this English?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Egyption Arrow View Post
    Thanks David and Stuartnz, I see now that "is" could be contracted this way. But I still don't understand how can a phrase like " all men and women merely players" be written with an omitted auxiliary verb?

    The author omitted the verb to better suit the rhythm of the line. It is implicit or to be understood as present even though absent. It might be considered an example of what English calls "poetic licence", a dispensation to stray from grammatical norms for poetic or dramatic effect.

  6. #6
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Lightbulb Re: Is this English?!


  7. #7
    MrPedantic is offline Key Member
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    Re: Is this English?!

    Just to clarify:

    1. All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women [are] merely players.

    Here, the omitted verb "are" is a copula, not an auxiliary verb.

    (You're right to suggest that in an ellipsis of this kind the number of the omitted verb would tend to correspond to the number of the first verb; but as Stuart says, these slight discrepancies are quite common in the poetry of Shakespeare's day.)

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  8. #8
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Re: Is this English?!

    I really appreciate this useful clarification. This is my first time to know about "linking verbs" or "copula", I used to speak English on the basis of knowing the rules in evaluative and operational senses.

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