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Prepositional Absolute Participial Construction

A variant of the nominative absolute participial construction is seen in the prepositional absolute participial construction. It also consists of a noun in the common case (rarely a personal pronoun in the objective case) and a participle, joined by a predicative relationship, only in this construction the nominal element is introduced by the preposition with.

He rushed into the house with his heart beating fast.

The prepositional absolute participial construction is also used mostly in literary style.

 

The prepositional absolute participial construction commonly performs the syntactical function of an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances:

A black boy lay on the pavement, with his throat cut. (A black boy lay on the pavement, his throat was cut.)

It was a large room, with bookshelves covering most of the walls. (It was a large room, where bookshelves covered most of the walls.)

We jumped into the water with bullets whizzing past our ears. (We jumped into the water, bullets were whizzing past our ears.)

She stood with her arms folded, smoking, staring thoughtfully.

She went on reading with her eyes fixed on the pages of the book.

The boy stood with a finger stuck up his nose.

 

The meaning of attendant circumstances may be combined with the meaning of time or reason:

With prices going up so fast, we canít afford luxuries. (Now, when prices are going up so fast, we canít afford luxuries.)

I can't do my homework with all this noise going on. (I can't do my homework because/when all this noise is going on.)

 

Some other variants of the absolute nominative construction can be found in the case of the ellipsis of the participle:

 

A)The Absolute Nominative Construction with the Adjective

She stood under the tree, her head full of strange ideas. (She stood under the tree, her head was full of strange ideas.)(the adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances)

Her heart full of despair, she could not say a word. (As her heart was full of despair, she could not say a word.) (the adverbial modifier of reason)

The Prepositional Absolute Construction with the Adjective

She left the room with her eyes red. (the adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances)

 

B)The Absolute Nominative Construction with the Stative

The gallery door slightly ajar, I could hear the steps of the soldiers.

(As the gallery door was slightly ajar, I could hear the steps of the soldiers.) (the adverbial modifier of reason)

The fish attacked from below, its jaw agape. (the adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances)

The Prepositional Absolute Construction with the Stative

He stood there trembling, with his face ablaze. (the adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances)

 

C)The Absolute Nominative Construction with the Adverb

The lesson over, we went home. (When the lesson was over, we went home.) (the adverbial modifier of time)

The Prepositional Absolute construction with the Adverb



He turned away, with his hand still up. (the adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances)

 


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1545


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THE OBJECTIVE PARTICIPIAL CONSTRUCTION | SELF-CORRECTION EXERCISES
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