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    #1

    verbs

    Hidden in the forest was a group of thieves.

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

    Thanks.


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    #2

    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, you do not get it the right way. (H)idden is a fronted adjective.

    Subject-verb agreement in the sentence means the notional value of group and the singular was are in concord.

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    #3

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    No, you do not get it the right way. (H)idden is a fronted adjective.

    Subject-verb agreement in the sentence means the notional value of group and the singular was are in concord.
    As Svartnik correctly points out, in this case 'hidden' is a mere participial adjective, here preposed for literary effect.

    Compare, though

    The diamond ring was quickly hidden under the pillow.

    where both 'was' and 'hidden' constitute the main verb phrase, the latter functioning as a true participle.

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    #4

    Re: verbs

    The diamond ring was hidden under the pillow.
    Hidden under the pillow was the diamond ring.

    Which hidden is what?


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    #5

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    The diamond ring was hidden under the pillow.
    Hidden under the pillow was the diamond ring.

    Which hidden is what?
    They are past participles in form but their functions are different.

    In the first, it is part of the passive VP (were hidden), while in the second it is an adjective.
    Word order seems to influence the meaning of the sentences.

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    #6

    Re: verbs

    Apparently they are called participles for the very reason that they participate in the characteristics of adjectives and of verbs.

    The ring was hidden.
    The ring was big.
    Logically hidden must be an adjective just as much as big.
    Where is the difference? A True Participle is a bastard.

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    #7

    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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