1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

local email programs called SNDMSG —Called: ajective or adverb?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Vision, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Vision

    Vision Senior Member

    Español, Cuba
    Hello,
    I know, if I didn't learn it wrong that the word called in the following example is an -ed participle. What I need to know is if it is being used as an adjective, or as an adverb:

    local email programs called SNDMSG and READMAIL.

    As always , I will very much appreciate your help.
     
  2. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    Participles are always adjectives (that's their function). "Called" answers the typical question asked of adjectives: which local emails programs? the local email programs called SNDMSG and READMAIL.
    cheers
     
  3. Vision

    Vision Senior Member

    Español, Cuba
    Right you are, SevenDays. Thank you for your answer. You know, sometimes I forget things that I already learned a lot of years ago. Maybe that's because I rarely have to explain how the language works. That's funny.:)
     
  4. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    I hear you; it happens to me too. What's interesting about participles is that they play an important function, they modify nouns coming right after such nouns, something which lexical adjectives are naturally reluctant to do (that's why we say good man, and not man good).
    Cheers
     
  5. Vision

    Vision Senior Member

    Español, Cuba
    Interesting indeed... and that is one of the most frequent questions asked by many Spanish-speaking students and also one of the most frequent mistakes they make when they are beginners.
    By the way, how can I interprete the following sentence that uses the -ing participle using as an adverb of manner?

    He informed his colleagues by sending them an email using the new program with instructions on how to use it.
     
  6. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    If common sense tells us that this "using"-construction behaves like an adverb of manner, then we can try replacing that entire construction with another adverb of manner and see if we have a grammatically correct sentence, because, syntactically speaking, where one adverb of manner goes, so can another:
    He informed his colleagues by sending them an email using the new program with instruction on how to use it.
    He informed his colleagues by sending them an email promptly.
    This is a syntactic substitution; we don't care if "promptly" doesn't mean the same as "using the new program with instructions on how to use it." The point is simply that we can use one adverb of manner or another and still have an idiomatic sentence. The result is that we have "using" as the head word of an -ing phrase ("using the new program with instructions on how to use it") functioning as an adverb that modifies the entire sentence. The implication of this is that the direct object of "sending" is just "an email," because what follows after "email" plays the syntactic role of "adverb."

    But grammar is seldom easy. If we look at "using" closely, we see that it has a complement ("the new program with instructions on how to use it"), which means that "using" behaves just like a transitive verb with a direct object. And because "using" behaves like a verb, it needs a subject (because all verbs need subjects), and that's the role played by "an email." The implication now is that the direct object of "sending" isn't just "an email" (as we had above), but "an email using the program with instructions on how to use it," where "email" is the subject of the verb "using." We still have an adverb of manner ("by sending..."), which answers the question typical of adverbs: how did he inform his colleagues? So there we have it; "using" as adverb or verb (and the choice determines the nature, the length, of the direct object of "sending").
    I tried to come up with a simple answer, but the more I thought about it, it dawned on me that the answer isn't so simple.

    Cheers
     
  7. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    The using sentence is ambiguous since using might mean either "that uses" (modifying email) or "by using" (modifying sending them an email).
     

Share This Page