Non-prepositional absolute constructions

§ 132 the absolute nominative with a prepositional noun construction.

The absolute nominative with participle I construction is the most frequently used. It consists of a noun in the common case or a personal pronoun in the objective case and participle I. Within it all forms of participle I are possible.

It being late, he bolted the windows.

Everything remained as she left it, the fire still burning.

As can be seen from the above examples, the position of the construction varies: it may either open the sentence or close it.

The absolute nominative with participle I construction is generally used as an adverbial of reason or of attendant circumstances, although sometimes it is an adverbial of time. Occasionally, especially with the verbs to permit or to fail, it is an adverbial of condition.

The construction should be translated into Russian by means of different corresponding adverbial clauses:

1. Of reason.

The weather being unusually mild at that time for the season of the year, there was no sleighing ——>As

the weather was…

(Because (because) the weather was…)

2. Of attendant circumstances. In this case the construction usually comes at the end of the sentence.

With a yell, he sprang back, a sweat coming on his skin ——— > … and a sweat came…

covered in sweat.)

3. Of time.

The car having stopped, the boys jumped out onto the grass ——> When the car stopped… (When

the car stopped…)

4. Of condition.

Circumstances permitting, they will be through with it by the end of May ——> If circumstances

permit… (If circumstances permit…)

The absolute nominative with participle II construction is usually an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances or time:

1. Of attendant circumstances.

“Bye,” he said, and walked away, his farewell unanswered —— > …but his farewell was unanswered,

(…but his farewell went unanswered.)

2. Of time.

Dinner served, Mrs Marlow rang the bell —— > When dinner was served… (When dinner was served…)

The absolute nominative with the infinitive construction functions as an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances.

There they remained, some of them to be entirely forgotten —— > …and some of them were to be entirely

Forgotten. (… and some were destined to be completely forgotten.)

The absolute nominative constructions with non-verbals differ from those described above in that their predicate part is verbless, being expressed only by an adjective, stative, adverb or a noun with a preposition. They are semantically in predicate relations to the nominal part of the construction. Therefore, in case of transformation an appropriate form of the link verb to be must be supplied.

He stepped forward, his face red with anger ——> …and his face was red with anger.

I. The absolute nominative with the adjective construction may be an adverbial of attendant circumstances or of reason:

1. Of attendant circumstances.

She stood under the tree, her head full of strange ideas —— > …and her head was full… (…and her head

was full…)

2. Of reason. .

Her heart full of despair, she could not say a word ——> As her heart was full…

was filled with despair…)

II. The absolute nominative with the stative construction is usually an adverbial of reason or manner:

1. Of reason.

The gallery door slightly ajar, I could hear the steps of the soldiers ——— > As the gallery door was

slightly ajar… (Because the door was slightly ajar…)

2. Of manner.

This time the fish attacked from below. It hurtled up under the woman, jaws agape ——> . ..and its jaws

were agape. (…with open mouth.)

III. The absolute nominative with the adverb construction is usually an adverbial of time.

Tea over, she again summoned us to the fire ——> When tea was over… (After tea…)

IV. The absolute nominative with a prepositional noun construction is usually either an adverbial of attendant circumstances or time:

1. Of attendant circumstances.

I waited, every nerve upon the stretch ——— > …and every nerve was upon the stretch. (…and every nerve

I was tense.)

2. Of time.

All in the room, she called in Molly ———> When all were in the room… (When everyone gathered in

room…)

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