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Thread: by and with


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    #21

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    USe 'by'. I would not regard 'surrounded' in your sentence as a predicate adjective. '(S)urrounded' is not adjectival in nature; it is part of the passive structure.
    The town was surrounded ... a wall.

    'Was surrounded' is a compound nominal predicate that consists of the link-verb 'to be' in the past simple tense, and the past participle 'surrounded' used as the nominal part of this predicate. When participles are used in this function they are adjectivized, i.e. become devoid of the idea of action and convey the idea of quality. 'Was surrounded' is not the passive voice of the verb 'to surround' because it does indicates not an action but a state resulting from a previously accomplished action. Excuse me for lecturing but I have no idea what you mean by 'adjectival in nature' if it is different from what I've just said. If by 'adjectival in nature' you mean the same as I do, then the participle 'surrounded' does have the qualities of an adjective in the sentence above.

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    #22

    Re: by and with

    My sense of it is that "surrounded with" is not necessarily wrong, but bears only the literal, physical meaning, of objects in space. "Surrounded by", however, has both the physical meaning and the metaphorical one that relates to the conceptual environment.

    Because all your examples are conceptual, I'd strongly agree with bhaisahab, and put "by" everywhere.


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    #23

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    The town was surrounded ... a wall.

    'Was surrounded' is a compound nominal predicate that consists of the link-verb 'to be' in the past simple tense, and the past participle 'surrounded' used as the nominal part of this predicate. When participles are used in this function they are adjectivized, i.e. become devoid of the idea of action and convey the idea of quality. 'Was surrounded' is not the passive voice of the verb 'to surround' because it does indicates not an action but a state resulting from a previously accomplished action. Excuse me for lecturing but I have no idea what you mean by 'adjectival in nature' if it is different from what I've just said. If by 'adjectival in nature' you mean the same as I do, then the participle 'surrounded' does have the qualities of an adjective in the sentence above.
    Eloquent, but unconvincing.


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    #24

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    My sense of it is that "surrounded with" is not necessarily wrong, but bears only the literal, physical meaning, of objects in space. "Surrounded by", however, has both the physical meaning and the metaphorical one that relates to the conceptual environment.

    Because all your examples are conceptual, I'd strongly agree with bhaisahab, and put "by" everywhere.
    Which preposition would you use in this sentence:

    The King's advisor: It's important that the King's palace be surrounded by/with mortars if the rebels should decide to storm it.

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    #25

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Which preposition would you use in this sentence:

    The King's advisor: It's important that the King's palace be surrounded by/with mortars if the rebels should decide to storm it.
    Here, with, definitely. But I wouldn't think twice if I saw by.

    PS. Actually, there is indeed another level of meaning present. In physical space, "with" connotes the action of surrounding, "by" the state of being surrounded. Was that what you meant in your earlier post?

    PPS (a little later). Sorry; that was Engee30's post.
    Last edited by abaka; 19-Jan-2009 at 17:48.


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    #26

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Here, with, definitely. But I wouldn't think twice if I saw by.
    Great! I think we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Now, please, one more sentence.

    The witness stood surrounded by/with special security officers who had been told that the mafia would try to kill the man, and were carefully watching the neighbouring houses.
    Last edited by Clark; 19-Jan-2009 at 17:55.

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    #27

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Great! I think we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Now, please, one more sentence.

    The witness stood surrounded by/with police officers who had been told that the mafia would try to kill the man.
    Here, "by". Same theory (or ratiocination) as above. Definitely the same intuition.


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    #28

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    How about this:

    The town was surrounded with/by a wall in order to fortify.
    LEt us carry out some tests that help us determine the nature of 'surrounded'.

    This sentence does not pass the pseudo-passive test.
    This sentence has a corresponding active form (not a pseudo-passive):
    A wall surrounded the town.

    Is it a case of statal-passive? If 'surrounded' is adjectival in nature, we can modify it with an adverb. Totally surrounded? Passes that test.

    If 'surrounded' is adjectival, we can substitute 'seem' for 'was'.
    But there is the agent 'by a wall' which tips the scale in favor of the verbal side.
    Well, I will be a monkey's uncle.
    I think I am getting undecided.


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    #29

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Here, "by". Same theory (or ratiocination) as above. Definitely the same intuition.
    Not quite. I was trying to check whether 'with' is relevant to the idea of protection as an expression of a more general idea of the contour and the object surrounded forming an integral whole. It looks the animate character of the surrounding contour lays certain restrictions on 'with' to be used in such situations. As you can see it worked with mortars and didn't work with police officers. I think 'with' is incompatiblr with the active role of the surrounding contour.
    Last edited by Clark; 19-Jan-2009 at 18:10.


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    #30

    Re: by and with

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    LEt us carry out some tests that help us determine the nature of 'surrounded'.

    This sentence does not pass the pseudo-passive test.
    This sentence has a corresponding active form (not a pseudo-passive):
    A wall surrounded the town.

    Is it a case of statal-passive? If 'surrounded' is adjectival in nature, we can modify it with an adverb. Totally surrounded? Passes that test.

    If 'surrounded' is adjectival, we can substitute 'seem' for 'was'.
    But there is the agent 'by a wall' which tips the scale in favor of the verbal side.
    Well, I will be a monkey's uncle.
    I think I am getting undecided.
    It's quite a different problem. Let's start a new thread to discuss it.

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