"at variance with..." function as an adverb?

huynhvantinhftu

Senior Member
Vietnamese
I have read these sentences with "at variance". In these sentences, "at variance with + Noun/Noun Phrase" function as an adjective, modifying a noun.
(1) These conclusions are totally at variance with the evidence. ("at variance with + Noun Phrase" modifies the subject of the sentence)
(2) He uttered a string of oaths, so oddly at variance with his usual smooth and civilized manner. ("at variance with + Noun Phrase" modifies "string of oaths")

So I wonder if there is any situation in which "at variance with + Noun/Noun Phrase" modifies function as an adverb modifying a verb.
I hope to receive your help.
Many thanks in advance.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "At variance" is an adjectival phrase as the predicate of "are".
    "With" is simply the collocated preposition.
    1. These conclusions are totally at variance with the evidence.
    2. He uttered a string of oaths, which were so oddly at variance with his usual smooth and civilized manner.

    Compare:
    1. These conclusions are different from....
    2. He uttered a string of oaths, which were inconsistent with his...
     

    huynhvantinhftu

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    "At variance" is an adjectival phrase as the predicate of "are".
    "With" is simply the collocated preposition.
    1. These conclusions are totally at variance with the evidence.
    2. He uttered a string of oaths, which were so oddly at variance with his usual smooth and civilized manner.

    Compare:
    1. These conclusions are wrong.
    2. He uttered a string of oaths, which were so unusual...
    I thank you for your observation, PaulQ
    I see there are many prepositional phrases can function as an adjective or adverb, such as "in compliance with..."
    (3) In compliance with a court order, the company has ceased operations. ("in compliance with..." act as an adverb)
    (4) The workers were not in full compliance with the rules. ("in compliance with..." act as an adjective or as the predicate of "were")
    * So I wonder if there are any other cases in which "at variance with..." act as an adverb
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I see there are many prepositional phrases can function as an adjective or adverb, such as "in compliance with..."
    Please do not insisit that the function of such prepositions (in this case, 'with') is adverbial or adjectival. They are not. They have their own object and are indeed prepositions.

    - {In compliance (adv.} {with (prep.) a court order (NP)}

    There are words that function either as a preposition or an adverb/adjective, but this phenomenon is completely unremarkable as there are nouns that can be verbs.

    Put that gun down(adv.)
    There was a dog down (prep.) the road that was barking
     
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    huynhvantinhftu

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    Please do not insist that the function of such prepositions (in this case, 'with') is adverbial or adjectival. They are not. They have their own object and are indeed prepositions.

    - {In compliance (adv.} {with (prep.) a court order (NP)}

    There are words that function either as a preposition or an adverb/adjective, but this phenomenon is completely unremarkable as there are nouns that can be verbs.
    Do we all know that a prepositional phrase always modifies either a noun or a verb?
    I consider a prepositional phrase as an adjective when it modifies a noun (like (1), (2) and (4)). And I consider a prepositional phrase as an adverb when it modifies a verb or the whole sentence (like the sentence (3)). SO Now I think I should change that thought.

    Return to the problem in OP, in the sentence (1) and (2), "at variance with..." modifies nouns - conclusions and string of oaths.
    So I wonder if there are any other cases in which "at variance with..." modifies a verb?
     
    Last edited:

    huynhvantinhftu

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    PaulQ, I would think we misunderstand each other.:)
    What I consider to be an adjective phrase or adverb phrase is not "at variance with" but the whole prepositional phrase such as "at variance with his usual manner".
    (2) He uttered a string of oaths, at variance with his usual manner.
    "at variance with his usual manner"
    modifies "oaths" ---> it is an adjective phrase.
    And I wonder if there is any situation in which "at variance with his usual manner" can modify a normal verb (not a "be" verb). That is to say, Can I say the sentence (3)
    (3) He swore at variance with his usual manner. ("at variance with his usual manner" is an adverb phrase)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Do we all know that a prepositional phrase always modifies either a noun or a verb?
    I consider a prepositional phrase as an adjective when it modifies a noun (like (1), (2) and (4)). And I consider a prepositional phrase as an adverb when it modifies a verb or the whole sentence (like the sentence (3)). SO Now I think I should change that thought.
    <sigh> There is no reason that it cannot do both - your descriptions are both incomplete, but taken together, describe the overall situation.
    Return to the problem in OP, in the sentence (1) and (2), "at variance with..." modifies nouns - conclusions and string of oaths.
    Really? "at variance" is an adjectival phrase, with is not part of the phrase but attaches to "evidence" and "manner".
    (3) He swore at variance with his usual manner. ("at variance with his usual manner" is an adverb phrase)
    That is not idiomatic and fails as a sentence.

    From where have you obtained the information that "at variance with" is one unit?
     
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