absolute structure

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gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

The following sentence is from SAT practice.



Syndication offered the advantages of shared news, features, and printing, each paper still maintaining contact with it local community through a small staff of employed there.

A printing, and their paper still maintained
B printing; instead, each paper still maintained
C printing, while allowing each paper to maintain
D printing, though each paper maintains
E printing, each paper will still maintain

The answer is C. But I see the original sentence as nothing wrong. Could "each paper still maintaining contact with it local community through a small staff of employed there" be construed as absolute structure? Is "Four planes were in the sky. each flying in different directions." a wrong sentence?
Thanks
Gilbert
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Gilbert, you need to explain the format of the test. I assume that the bit is underlined in the test to show that there is an error, and you have been asked to replace the underlined bit with a correct alternative.

    A list is introduced in the sentence, and if you set it out like how I've done below, you will see that there is supposed to be a parallel structure.

    Syndication offered the advantages of
    • shared
      • news
      • features
      • printing
    • each paper still maintaining contact with [its] local community ...

    The last advantage is too far separated from advantages to make processing the sentence problematic. Therefore a version with a preposition introduced is preferred.

    I don't understand your term 'absolute structure'. The question about your sentence at the end is better as a separate thread.
     
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    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Gilbert, you need to explain the format of the test. I assume that the bit is underlined in the test to show that there is an error, and you have been asked to replace the underlined bit with a correct alternative.

    A list is introduced in the sentence, and if you set it out like how I've done below, you will see that there is supposed to be a parallel structure.

    Syndication offered the advantages of
    • shared
      • news
      • features
      • printing
    • each paper still maintaining contact with it local community through a small staff of employed there

    The last advantage is too far separated from advantages to make processing the sentence problematic. Therefore a version with a preposition introduced is preferred.

    I don't understand your term 'absolute structure'. The question about your sentence at the end is better as a separate thread.
    Thanks anyway.

    I don't know "a version with a preposition introduced is preferred". Could you give me an example?

    Yeah, the sentence I made was wrong.

    "The team was in the final against the powerful opponent, each doing his/her best."
    Is the underlined part absolute structure?

    Gilbert
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I don't know "a version with a preposition introduced is preferred". Could you give me an example?
    Sorry, I didn't express myself well. I meant some kind of connector or word should be introduced. The first 4 options include another word (and, instead, while, though).

    I have never heard of the term absolute structure, Gilbert.

    Nat
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    An absolute structure is a noun phrase that modifies a sentence, is not connected to the rest of the sentence with a conjunction, and tells us more about the sentence by expanding it or focusing on a specific detail.

    Example: "The rowdy guests having departed in a hurry, John and Mary returned to the dining-room to clean up the mess." In this sentence, the absolute phrase is at the beginning and merely adds additional information.

    In the O.P., the participal phrase in question "each paper still maintaining contact ..." seems to me to have equal weight with the main clause, and needs to be more closely connected to it. "Syndication offered the advantages ... while allowing each paper to maintain" uses the conjunction "while" in the sense of "​but at the same time" to show the true relationship between the main clause and the following phrase.

    Edit: Yes, I think the phrase is an absolute phrase, but does not work well in the original question.
     
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    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    Absolute in this context means loosened from, separated.

    The American Heritage Book of English Usage discusses absolute construction (it's short) here http://web.archive.org/web/20080728061355/http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/001.html
    You can also access the whole book.

    Wikipedia discuses it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_construction

    What you called an absolute structure I call an absolute construction.
    In the Garden of Phrases, it called—no surprise—an absolute phrase. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#absolute
    This link will also lead to many grammar topics.

    About.com gives a lot of examples at http://grammar.about.com/od/ab/g/absoluteterm.htm

    The original sentence is not grammatically wrong (except for it and of (typos?)), but it's not a good use of an absolute construction, as all the natives realize. C is better.
     
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    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Absolute in this context means loosened from, separated.

    The American Heritage Book of English Usage discusses absolute construction (it's short) here http://web.archive.org/web/20080728061355/http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/001.html
    You can also access the whole book.


    Wikipedia discuses it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_construction




    What you called an absolute structure I call an absolute construction.
    In the Garden of Phrases, it called—no surprise—an absolute phrase. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#absolute
    This link will also lead to many grammar topics.

    About.com gives a lot of examples at http://grammar.about.com/od/ab/g/absoluteterm.htm

    The original sentence is not grammatically wrong (except for it and of (typos?)), but it's not a good use of an absolute construction, as all the natives realize. C is better.
    Thank you both so much. Unlike native speakers, I am not so sure about the idea of "equal weight",which seems elusive and hard to judge.Alas.
     
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