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There is a sickle of moon, a breeze.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gil12345, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. gil12345 Senior Member

    chinese
    I got the following sentence from National Geographic. It goes like this:

    "There is a sickle of moon, a breeze."

    Could anyone explain the sentence in terms of syntax, esp. the relationship between the underlined phrases?

    Thanks.

    Gilbert
     
  2. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    A "sickle"* is sort of a shape, like a "crescent".

    There is a [shape] of moon, a breeze.

    You could write: The moon is shaped like a sickle, and there is a breeze.

    The writer inverted the first part, and put "sickle" before "moon", and shortened the last part. I wouldn't consider it 100% grammatically correct, but it's a certain style of writing.

    So: "There is a sickle of moon, a breeze."

    *A "sickle" could be considered an object and a shape, in my opinion.
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Strictly, it's a coordination, two phrases usually joined with 'and', but what is called an asyndetic coordination - a literary/grammatical term you don't need to know, but which means the coordinator is left out. This is a literary style, not common in ordinary language.
     
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    Adding to what the others have said:

    (a) "A sickle of moon" has the same form as "a slice of cake" - "moon" is being treated (poetically) as an uncountable noun. Here's another example (invented by me):
    The prisoner lay on his bunk. All he could see through the narrow window of his cell was a small fragment of sky.
    In normal speech we would say "...a small part of the sky".

    (b) Usually a list such as "There is piece of cake, a cup of tea, a nice warm fire and some good company and " has an "and" before the last item. We understand that "There is" applies to each item in the list. In the National Geographic sentence "There is" is also distributive across the list of two items. The unusual feature is the omission of the conjunction.
     
  5. gil12345 Senior Member

    chinese
    wow, Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help.
     

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