[Grammar] ..., commenting that

kingtrn

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
I meet an example for the word "insolent" as follow:

Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen was ugly.

Can anyone help to tell me what grammar point was applied to the bold text? How can we shorten the clause like that? What is the full form of that sentence? I guess it is: "Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, which comments that the Queen was ugly", is that correct?

Thank you very much!
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No, that doesn't work. What would "which" refer to?

You could replace the comma with "and".
 

kingtrn

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
I think if we replace the comma with "and" then it sounds unnaturally because they are not parallel actions, also commenting should be commented? Any idea?
 

bhaisahab

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Ireland
It is not clear from the sentence that they are not 'parallel actions'. Both 'commenting' and 'commented' would work with 'and'. Also, I would change 'help herself' to 'stop herself'.
 

kingtrn

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
OK, sorry for not being clear. All I wanted to ask is that in which situations, we can produce a kind of shortening / combining clauses like in this example:
Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen was ugly.

Is it originally 2 following sentences?
Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent.
She commented that the Queen was ugly.


Then we can combine them to be "Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen was ugly." and also "Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commented that the Queen was ugly."?

Thank you!
 

Phaedrus

Key Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I think the original sentence would make more sense with the finite and nonfinite clauses reversed, and, like Bhaisahab, I would change "help" to "stop":

Anna commented that the Queen was ugly, unable to (or: not being able to) stop herself from being insolent.
 

kingtrn

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
Thank you for your reply, but I personally see that the sentence "Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen was ugly" makes more sense. Because the first clause contains the main idea that one wants to convey, then the second clause "commenting..." is the example supporting / giving proof to that idea.

What do you think?
 

Phaedrus

Key Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Thank you for your reply, but I personally see that the sentence "Anna couldn't help herself from being insolent, commenting that the Queen was ugly" makes more sense. Because the first clause contains the main idea that one wants to convey, then the second clause "commenting..." is the example supporting / giving proof to that idea.

What do you think?
I think the structure you have chosen is ill-suited to that meaning, though I can't decide whether it has to do with the structure itself, with the verb "commenting," or with the fact that "commenting" can initially appear to be coordinated with "being insolent."

You have resisted taking our suggestion that you change "couldn't help herself from" to "couldn't stop herself from." It's occurred to me that that might be because you're trying to say "couldn't help being insolent," in which there's no "from" and no reflexive pronoun.
 

kingtrn

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
I think the structure you have chosen is ill-suited to that meaning, though I can't decide whether it has to do with the structure itself, with the verb "commenting," or with the fact that "commenting" can initially appear to be coordinated with "being insolent."

You have resisted taking our suggestion that you change "couldn't help herself from" to "couldn't stop herself from." It's occurred to me that that might be because you're trying to say "couldn't help being insolent," in which there's no "from" and no reflexive pronoun.

Thank you for your reply, I didn't resist your suggestion. Because I thought it is just the same in any way as my concern is the clause "commenting", not the "couldn't help" (or "couldn't stop") clause. The whole sentence is just extracted from an example on the Internet.

If I change the example to "I went to the library, hoping to see her again", is it the same to the sentence I asked? If yes, then how can you break it down to 2 separate sentences?

Ultimately I just want to know in which situation, one can join 2 sentences like that.

Thank you!
 
Top