Student or Learner
As the gates were closed, he walked away.
What does this sentence mean?
Thanks. Do you think the phrase 'were closed' is stative?
Do you mean by 'when the gates were closed' when they were not open or when they were in the process of being closed by an agent?
On the second thought, I made a more thorough research and found all the meanings of "as" (in the website As - definition of As by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.)
I think there are two options:
1) "As (=When) the gates were closed, he went away.
He went away in the process of the gates being closed by a guard (not static)
2) "As (=because) the gates were closed, he went away.
He went away because the gates were already closed - a static condition of the gates.
Here are the meanings of "as" from the website:
adv.1. To the same extent or degree; equally: The child sang as sweetly as a nightingale.
2. For instance: large carnivores, as the bear or lion.
3. When taken into consideration in a specified relation or form: this definition as distinguished from the second one.
conj.1. To the same degree or quantity that. Often used as a correlative after so or as: You are as sweet as sugar. The situation is not so bad as you suggest.
2. In the same manner or way that: Think as I think.
3. At the same time that; while: slipped on the ice as I ran home.
4. For the reason that; because: went to bed early, as I was exhausted.
5. With the result that: He was so foolish as to lie.
6. Though: Great as the author was, he proved a bad model. Ridiculous as it seems, the tale is true.
7. In accordance with which or with the way in which: The hotel is quite comfortable as such establishments go. The sun is hot, as everyone knows.
8. Informal That: I don't know as I can answer your question.
pron.1. That; which; who. Used after same or such: I received the same grade as you did.
2. Chiefly Upper Southern U.S. Who, whom, which, or that: Those as want to can come with me.
prep.1. In the role, capacity, or function of: acting as a mediator.
2. In a manner similar to; the same as: On this issue they thought as one.
For the verb phrase to convey dynamic sense, would it not -- as Soup put it nicely in another thread -- 'require additional semantics, notably 'being'? As the gates were being closed, he went away. Otherwise the sentence sounds rather stative to me and the idea it conveys rather strange.
What do you think?
I have a hard time trying to convince me 'closed' in the sentence is other than an adjective. I fail to detect any dynamic sense. Thus, I would not choose your second interpretation as a possible alternative, but then I may be wrong not for the first time in my life.
Does it mean you partly concede to my point?
...and finally, as (=when) the gates were closed, he walked away. [sequence of actions]
...but, as (=because) the gates were closed, he walked away. [an action resulted from a situation]
I'd say that closed in the second example is an adjective.