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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Calling all Grammar Gurus!


     I have some questions about this sentence: Hand trembling she touched the doorknob.
     1 Is it passive?
     2 Does it need a comma after Hand trembling?
     3 Is this a better way to write it? She touched the doorknob with a trembling hand. Or is that one passive?
     4 What about this version: With a trembling hand she touched the doorknob. I think it needs a comma after With a trembling hand.
     5 How bout this: Her hand trembled as she touched the doorknob.
     As you can tell I’m completely lost, any help would be greatly appreciated!



---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
2/26/2008, 10:18 pm Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
Blitzen Profile
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
Location: falkirk
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Hand trembling, she touched the doorknob - this is how I would write it.

I would avoid she touched the door with a trembling hand as it sounds like she is holding a trembling hand in her hand. Weird.

With a trembling hand is passive.

I would say her hand trembled is the second best, and hand trembling the bees knees... but I'm not a guru.

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2/27/2008, 12:01 am Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Thanks, Blitzen! You confirmed most of what I thought. I started out thinking it should be one way, then got all twisted around. So it's nice to know I'm on the right track. emoticon
quote:

I would avoid she touched the door with a trembling hand as it sounds like she is holding a trembling hand in her hand. Weird.

Hadn't noticed that! Sounds kind of horror storyish.

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2/27/2008, 12:40 am Link to this post Email tryingtowrite   PM tryingtowrite
 
David Meadows Profile
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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 693
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


quote:

Hand trembling she touched the doorknob.
     1 Is it passive?


No.

"The dooknob was touched by her hand"

would be passive.

quote:

2 Does it need a comma after Hand trembling?



Yes.

quote:

3 Is this a better way to write it? She touched the doorknob with a trembling hand. Or is that one passive?



It's not passive and I personally like it better (that doesn't mean it's "more correct", just that I like it better).

quote:

4 What about this version: With a trembling hand she touched the doorknob. I think it needs a comma after With a trembling hand.



It doesn't need a comma. (Though if you were to ask me why it doesn't and the other example does... I would have to think hard about the answer.)

quote:

5 How bout this: Her hand trembled as she touched the doorknob.



That one is perfectly ok, no better or worse than the others.



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2/27/2008, 12:34 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Where has David's reply gone?

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2/27/2008, 3:09 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Squire

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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


 emoticon



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2/27/2008, 3:09 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
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Squire

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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


...

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2/27/2008, 3:11 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


I must have came in as you typed it - I could see on the outside you had replied, and also in your "last posts" but... there was no reply in here. Weird.

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2/27/2008, 3:21 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


I've seen that a few times myself recently. Often I can't see my own last post unless I refresh the page. Weird.



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2/27/2008, 3:43 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


(Runboard bug. Thor is working on it.)

Shhhh. emoticon

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2/27/2008, 6:04 pm Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


It's doing it again, with Firle. Computer meet emoticon everybody emoticon i'm going back to emoticon if this doesn't sort itself out soon; if you can fix it, i'll emoticon and someone else can emoticon you, then we'll all emoticon .

Sorry, this is way off topic now.

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2/27/2008, 7:24 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


/shouts: Runboard's got BUGS runboards got BUGS whooee over here, runboards got BUGS.

Please, Mr Thor, sir, please don't rescind my membership. I don't know what came over me there.

Mwahahahahaha{choke}

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2/27/2008, 7:26 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


quote:

David Meadows wrote:
quote:

4 What about this version: With a trembling hand she touched the doorknob. I think it needs a comma after With a trembling hand.



It doesn't need a comma. (Though if you were to ask me why it doesn't and the other example does... I would have to think hard about the answer.)



Actually, I disagree. For those who don't want to scroll, here were the two sentences under discussion again:
Hand trembling she touched the doorknob.
With a trembling hand she touched the doorknob.

 
I would write them like this:
Hand trembling, she touched the doorknob.
With a trembling hand, she touched the doorknob.


The reason I would put the comma in the first sentence (like Meadows and Blitzen) is because "hand trembling" is an additional but non-necessary clause. In other words, the "real" sentence here is "She touched the doorknob." You've added extra information by saying "hand trembling", but since it can't stand on its own (it's not a full sentence), you have to attach it to the rest via a comma.

The reason I would put the comma in the second sentence is different. Here, the "real" sentence is actually: "She touched the doorknob with a trembling hand." But you've inverted it, so it needs a comma to make it clear where the separation between parts goes.

Another example of this type would be this pair of sentences:
She ran to the store quickly. (typical structure)
Quickly, she ran to the store. (inverted structure)

It looks funny because it's not the typical way we write English (ie: noun, then verb, then other stuff). When we move the "other stuff" to the front, we're really writing poetically more than anything else. That's fine, but you still need the comma to offset the inverted piece and make it clear where the "normal" writing starts up again.

Does that make sense? Meadows, what do you think?

(Oh, and on everything else you asked, Trying, I agree with Meadows.)

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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 693
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Eek! I just wrote an entire post about why Reythia was wrong and I was right, then while I was checking the rules for non-predicative adjuncts in the Cambridge Grammar to support my argument, I spotted some examples with commas just like hers emoticon

I need to read the chapter fully, but I'm tending to think Reythia is right (though I still don't think I'm wrong emoticon )



---
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2/27/2008, 8:27 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


MWAhahahha! I win! emoticon

(You know, Meadows, we really need to keep a scoreboard of these things somewhere. Of course, half the time we end up in arguments because there's a typical "American" way versus a "British" way, so we'd have to exclude such things, I suppose.)

quote:

David Meadows wrote:
I need to read the chapter fully, but I'm tending to think Reythia is right (though I still don't think I'm wrong)



Hahaha! Quite alright, Meadows. You just go on thinking whatever your ego insists. We'll love you anyhow!

And in truth, I've seen examples of this without a comma in published writing. Which doesn't mean it's right, but it does mean it's "safe" as far as editors and such go. Of course, you won't hear me admit that aloud!

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2/27/2008, 8:49 pm Link to this post Email Reythia   PM Reythia AIM MSN
 
tryingtowrite Profile
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Knight

Registered: 03-2007
Posts: 1356
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Thanks, everyone! emoticon Maybe I'll get grammar figured out yet. emoticon

Speaking of bugs, I couldn't see the last two posts till I went to post. Hmm. Is that comma suppose to be there? Ugh!

---
I'd procrastinate now, but it would be easier tomorrow.
A fantasy tongue twister: Sputtering silver sliver Sphinxes spit splinters.
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Thor says it's fixed. Please let me know if it happens again.

  emoticon

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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Hey, I saw Firle's reply. Yayhey for Thor. emoticon

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2/28/2008, 4:09 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Who's Thor? I mean, besides a big lightning god.

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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


Thor is God hereabouts; this may be balooney but Thor owns Runboard. He created Runboard. He oversees Runboard. In the beginning was Thor, and he said "let there be Runboard."

I'm a cynic - I don't believe. I've never seen proof. He has never posted on any forum I've ever been in.

But if he does exist, wow, how high must be his post count, and what is his title, I wonder?

(Firle can probably sum it up better than this).

---
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[url=]http://dun-scaith.blogspot.com/[My Blog[/url]
2/28/2008, 7:46 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


He mostly posts on Runboard Support. He's also the Owner of that board.

  emoticon

He doesn't post a lot since he's usually busy programming stuff for Runboard. So he's not a big poster. His title is "Runboard director".

He even is a real life person. emoticon emoticon

Last edited by Firlefanz, 2/28/2008, 8:56 pm


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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Calling all Grammar Gurus!


I went there, and saw him. I am in awe.

---
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2/29/2008, 10:31 am Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 


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