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Thread: verbs


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    #21

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    A temporal adjunct: you mean an adverb, I presume, you're just trying to impress me with technical terms.
    And I presume you are trying to depress me.

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    #22

    Re: verbs

    I have been following this thread with interest. To me it seems quite clear that "Achilles struck Hector, and his foe was quickly dead." means that Hector quickly became dead, after being struck by Achilles.

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    #23

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I have been following this thread with interest. To me it seems quite clear that "Achilles struck Hector, and his foe was quickly dead." means that Hector quickly became dead, after being struck by Achilles.
    I think everyone understands what it means. The argument seems to be whether this is a case of 'quickly' modifying 'dead'. (There's a nice pun there somewhere).
    I can see both points of view, so I'll keep out of the argument now that I've reignited it with the example.

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    #24

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Hidden in the forest was a group of thieves.

    Am I right to say that 'hidden' and 'was' are the verbs?

    Thanks.
    No, and not just because of the semantics; Cf. Hidden by trees was a group of thieves, but also because there's this one particular rule that constrains the semantics: any given (simplex) sentence can have just the one tense carrying verb.

    The -en on hidden doesn't carry tense (per se); e.g., It is hidden / Hidden it is. Do those sentences express the past or the present? The present, of course. The tense carrier is the verb is, not hidden. If hidden were a verb then using it as a verb would render a grammatical sentence, but it doesn't; e.g., *He hidden it is ungrammatical.

    Participles, by the way, can indeed be modified by adverbs, in the same way that gerunds (verbal nouns) can be modified by adverbs: they carry verbal properties:


    • They are to be quickly hidden.
    • They are to be hidden quickly.


    In short, the structure your dealing with is X = Y / Y = X, wherein the symbol = represents a copular verb, X the subject, and Y its complement:

    • A group was hidden / Hidden was a group.
    • Cf. Max was a teacher / A teacher was Max.


    In no way is hidden a verb.

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    #25

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I think everyone understands what it means. The argument seems to be whether this is a case of 'quickly' modifying 'dead'. (There's a nice pun there somewhere).
    I can see both points of view, so I'll keep out of the argument now that I've reignited it with the example.
    I don't see the ambiguity there.Isn't he was quickly dead an archaic way of saying he died quickly, wherein the adverb quickly modifies the adjective dead?


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    #26

    Re: verbs

    (Q)uickly is a temporal adverb, an adjunct, as are, among others, yesterday or very soon. It establishes when something happens. It can't modify the adjective dead, in my opinion.

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    #27

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    (Q)uickly is a temporal adverb, an adjunct, as are, among others, yesterday or very soon. It establishes when something happens. It can't modify the adjective dead, in my opinion.
    I agree absolutely.

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    #28

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I don't see the ambiguity there.Isn't he was quickly dead an archaic way of saying he died quickly, wherein the adverb quickly modifies the adjective dead?
    That was my original opinion, otherwise I would not have proposed it.

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    #29

    Re: verbs

    No Svartnik, I don't want to depress you. I just ask for reasonable arguments. And a bit of fun. So, quickly, modify dead! On the subject of puns: Two fish swam into a concrete wall. One fish said to the other, 'Dam!'
    So in a sentence of four words containing an adverb, you are uncertain about which word quickly modifies?? He was quickly dead. Doesn't bode well for anything more complicated!
    soon dead or quickly dead: anyways defunct!
    A temporal adjunct (an adverb of time): We went to Blackpool yesterday. *We went to Blackpool soon. ?We went to Blackpool quickly.
    Last edited by Pedroski; 01-Jul-2009 at 01:56.


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    #30

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    I just ask for reasonable arguments.
    I have learnt that with the English grammar there is often no rhyme or reason to why things work so. The case is the same with my native language. That I accept for I do not want to kick over the traces.
    I am not a revolutionist, a revisionist, who wants to ride roughsod over time-honoured conventions regarding usage at literate level. Who am I to even toy with the idea? Also, I do not want to invent a derivative language of Contemporary English with usage patterns that fit my way of thinking.
    Pedro, English is not a theory that you can blow a hole in. It is a pattern that you have to like, for better, for worse. Would you thrust your wife under the knife of a plastic surgeon if you did not like the look of her?
    I suggest we let sleeping dogs lie before they mix us up for a chewing gum.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    And a bit of fun. So, quickly, modify dead! On the subject of puns: Two fish swam into a concrete wall. One fish said to the other, 'Dam!'
    Please tell me if you mean fun. My sense of humour is rather weak. And so are my nerves sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    So in a sentence of four words containing an adverb, you are uncertain about which word quickly modifies?? He was quickly dead. Doesn't bode well for anything more complicated!
    Okay, with drooping posture, Philo and I, with our arms around each other's shoulder, will hang our head in shame and slouch away unnoticed.

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    but 'quickly' here does not actually modify the adjective dead, as does e.g. 'completely' in completely dead. It is merely serving as a kind of substitute temporal adverbial meaning 'soon', and as such is an adjunct to the verb phrase.
    Achilles struck Hector, and his foe was quickly dead.

    (Q)uickly says when and not at what pace. What is when? It is the act of becoming dead (was dead), and not dead.

    EDIT: Adjectives do not show tense, do not have a temporal aspect to them, to which time adverbs in the sentence could be attached. The verb that shows tense is is in the sentence. Should it somehow not be ivolved in that attachment?
    Last edited by svartnik; 01-Jul-2009 at 06:51.

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