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Ways of expressing adverbial modifiers





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§ 97. Adverbials are grouped according to their structure (ways of expression) and their meaning. There is no one-to-one correspondence between these two groupings, though we may observe certain tendencies in the ways of expressing this or that kind of adverbial modifier.

An adverbial modifier may be expressed by:

 

1. An adverb (sometimes preceded by a preposition).

 

Jane sings beautifully.

George is always busy.

The ship sailed east.

 

2. An adverbial phrase, with an adverb as headword.

 

We met ten years ago and parted two years later.

They worked till late at night.

 

3. A noun, pronounor numeral preceded by a preposition or prepositional nominal phrase.

 

A dim light was burning in the archway under the inner gate.

Beyond it Mr Watson could see the outer gate.

Behind him he could hear Kirstie sobbing.

We met in 1975.

Classes begin on the first of September.

 

4. A noun without a preposition or a non-preposi­tional noun phrase, the latter usually containing such words as this, that, every, last, next.

 

Wait a minute!

Come this way, please.

We meet every day.

 

5. A non-finite verb form:

 

a) a gerund or a gerundial phrase.

 

Remember to open the window before doing your morning exercises.

One day, on returning to his hotel, he found a note in his room.

 

b) an infinitive or an infinitive phrase.

 

The problem is too difficult to solve.

We’ve come here to ask you a favour.

c) a participle or a participial phrase.

Sighing, Betty returned to the kitchen.

Pounding the house, they entered a quiet, walled garden.

6. A predicative complex:

 

a) a gerundial construction.

 

Are you angry because of my being late?

 

b) a for-to-infinitive construction.

 

The problem is too difficult for a child to solve.

 

c) a non-prepositional or prepositional absolute construction.

The meal over, they went to the fuel store.

There having been no rain, the earth was dry.

Earphones on, Fred sat alone in Ivor’s room.

I don’t want to quarrel with the children listening.

 

7. An adjective, an adverb, a participle,a noun, aprepositional phrase, an infinitive, an infinitive or participial phrase introduced by a conjunction.

 

I’ll come earlier if necessary.

Her conduct when there was most unaccountable.

When argued with, Ida had one answer.

As a little girl she used to make daisy-chains.

I began to wonder whether he'd manage to give an interview while still in his right mind.

He quickly did this, and while doing it dropped his umbrella.

As if to bring matters to a focus, Tess’s father was heard approaching at that moment.

 

8. A Clause (as part of a complex sentence).

 

Won’t you stay till the rain stops?

We stayed at home because it rained.

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