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Absolute constructions without a participle.

There are two types of absolute constructions in which we find no participle. The second element of the construction is an adjective, a prepositional phrase, or an adverb.

1.The Nominative Absolute Construction. It is used in the function 0f an adverbial modifier of time or attendant circumstances. In the function of an adverbial modifier of time this construction is rendered in Russian by an adverbial clause.

Breakfast over, he went to his counting house. (Ch. ВгоШё) — Когда кончили завтракать, он пошел в свою контору.

In the function of an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances the Nominative Absolute Construction is rendered either by a coordi­nate clause, деепричастный оборот, or a noun (pronoun) with the preposition c.

Manston went homeward alone, his heart full of strange emo­tion. (Hardy) — Мэнстон отправился домой один; душа его была переполнена странными чувствами. There he stood, his face to the south-east... his cap in his hand. (Hardy) — Он стоял, повернувшись к юго-востоку... с шапкой в руке.

Mind the difference between the meaning of the following con­structions: The lesson (concert, lecture) over... and The lesson (concert, lecture) being over... The lesson over has a temporal meaning, whereas the lesson being over has as a rule a causal meaning.


2.The Prepositional Absolute Construction. It is mostly used in the function of an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances. In render­ing this construction in Russian a coordinate clause or деепричастный оборот is used.

I found him ready, and waiting for me, with his stick in his hand. (Collins) — Он был готов и ждал меня; в руке у него была палка.

Sikes, with Oliver's hand still in his, softly approached the low porch, and raised the latch. (Dickens) — Сайке, все еще не выпуская руку Оливера из своей, подошел потихоньку к невысокому крыльцу и поднял щеколду.

§15. The Nominative Absolute Participial Construction and the Nominative Absolute Construction are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma or a semicolon.

Grandcourt... rose and strolled out on the lawn, all the dogs following him. (Eliot)

Mr. Tulkinghorn comes and goes pretty often; there being estate business to do. (Dickens)

Then he started out, bag and overcoat in hand, to get his cup of coffee. (Maltz)

Prepositional Absolute Constructions are usually separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

It was a balmy, radiant day, with the trees and grass shin­ing exceedingly green after the rain of the night before.


He was there, writing busily at a distant table, with his back towards the door. (Eliot)


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