a card face up or a face-up card

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
Can a magician say this?
Let me have you select a card face up.

Where a card face up means "a card with its face up".

How about a face-up card instead? Is it equally correct?
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Face-up is not truly post-positional as an adjective - it is predicative:
    The sentence is "Let me have you select a card [so that it is] face-up." [Edited14:00GMT]
    .................................................................{...adverbial phrase...}
     
    Last edited:

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    If you said Let me have you select a face-up card, you would be holding the cards face up.
    No, in that case you would have two or more piles of cards, only one of which had the cards face-up. The context suggests that the magician has only one pile of cards from which a selection is being proposed, and in that case it has to be « a card face-up », as noted in post 2.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Jung Kim,

    It might help at this stage if you explained exactly what the person saying "Let me have you select a card face up." means.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, in that case you would have two or more piles of cards, only one of which had the cards face-up. The context suggests that the magician has only one pile of cards from which a selection is being proposed, and in that case it has to be « a card face-up », as noted in post 2.
    I think we’re at cross-purposes?

    Let me have you select a face-up card implies that you are asking someone to choose a face-up card from all the face-up cards being presented to them.

    Er… which on the basis of the new post #10 seems to be exactly what was meant. Not what I thought!
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "Let me have you select a card from a deck of cards that are all spread face up"
    Although this is correct English, it seems to unnecessarily verbose to ask for permission to perform a causative action.

    I would expect an imperative: "Select a card from these that are face-up."
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If all the cards are face-up, there's no need to mention it. As lingobingo suggests 'Pick/take a card . . . ' is all that's necessary.

    (Trust me - I'm a card magic enthusiast :))
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If all the cards are face-up, there's no need to mention it.
    If the cards are face-down,
    "Select a card and turn the card over." :tick:
    "Select a card and turn the card face-up." :tick:
    "Select a card face-up." :cross:

    "Paint the barn red." Paint causes the state "red".
    Select doesn't cause the card's orientation. Turning the card causes the state "face-up."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can a magician say this?
    Let me have you select a card face up
    Where a card face up means "a card with its face up".

    How about a face-up card instead? Is it equally correct?
    If the magician is offering some cards which are face up and some which are not, then it's fine. Otherwise it's either odd or wrong, depending on what the magician is doing.

    Or, if the magician has previously done a trick with the victim selecting a face-down card as usual, he might turn the cards over and say "now let me have you select a card face up" - but I've never seen a trick done like that.
     
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