Week 15 The Story of Prometheus Part III

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Week 15 The Story of Prometheus Part III

Postby ccinIdaho » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:19 pm

I had a few questions about the answer key. First, in the parsed sentence on pg 111, why isn't "sufferings" a verbal? Is it because an "s" can be added to the end of it, which you can't do to, say, "running"?

Second, the key has "would beg" as past tense and "(would) say" as present tense but they're compound verbs and wouldn't they be the same tense? Also, I'm having trouble figuring out how the "would" affects the tense of the sentence. Some things online have said it's the past tense of will and some say that it doesn't indicate tense.

Third, "what" is indicated as a pronoun but three of the boxes are left blank. Is it a relative pronoun in the third person singular?

Finally :D I noticed that "yet" wasn't parsed. Is it not an adverb but a conjunction? If so, why?

Thank you so much!
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Re: Week 15 The Story of Prometheus Part III

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:48 pm

Grammar questions! My day is made.

Sufferings is a noun, rather than a verbal, because it is acting only like a noun -- I think it does have to do with being plural. Verbals don't have number.

The tenses of 'would beg' and (would) 'say' ... that's one for the grammar books. One of them is mis-marked, because they should be the same. I think I missed that 'would' went with 'say'. Using Harvey's Revised English Grammar, p. 69, leads me to believe that these verbs are functioning in the potential mode, and would + simple form = past tense. (Would) 'say' should also be past tense, potential mode.

'What' is indeed relative, and 3rd person. It could be singular or plural -- depending on whether he's not sorry for the thing he had done or the things he had done.

'Yet' escaped the table. The are good arguments for it being an adverb, and good arguments for it being a conjunction. Does it mean 'still' (adverb) or 'but/nevertheless' (conjunction)? Picking a part of speech would depend on your interpretation of the word. I lean conjunction-ward myself.

Thanks for the questions! I'll get the fixes tucked into our next revision.
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Re: Week 15 The Story of Prometheus Part III

Postby ccinIdaho » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:31 pm

More questions have come up on this parsed sentence. Could "what" in "for what he had done" be an adverb instead of a direct object?

Also,could "for what he had done" be adjectival (answering what kind)? The answer key says it's adverbial but doesn't say what it modifies; the key also says it's a relative clause, which would make it an adjective. If it is an adverbial prep phrase, is it modifying "sorry" (in which case, what question is it answering)? If it is adverbial, can it be modifying "was" and can a linking verb be so modified?

Thanks in advance ;)
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Re: Week 15 The Story of Prometheus Part III

Postby admin » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:23 am

I don't think 'what' is functioning as an adverb here. It's standing in for 'that which', and that's a meaning of what, the pronoun. It's a direct object of the clause 'he had done what.'

I'm not seeing how it could answer 'what kind'. What kind of sorrow, perhaps, but what kind of sorry? Not so much. I see it as answering either how or why he was (not) sorry. The clause 'what he had done' is the object of the preposition 'for'. I'm finding it hard to separate 'was' and sorry', to know for certain which the PP modifies. Given that, I lean towards assigning it to 'sorry'.

Does that take care of the question?

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