balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet

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thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Arya padded down the alley, balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet, listening to the flutter of her heart, breathing slow deep breaths.
Source: Game of Thrones

Hi, dear everyone. I am wondering if "balanced" here is passive or active ("she balanced" or "she was balanced")?

Thank you.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Yes. It might be clearer if you read it like this: Arya padded down the alley, (staying) balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet, listening...
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Yes. It might be clearer if you read it like this: Arya padded down the alley, (staying) balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet, listening...
    Thank you too. But sorry, I don't think there is an implied "staying".
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    But sorry, I don't think there is an implied "staying".
    I'm afraid it can't be an implied "who was". It wouldn't match the first part.

    Arya padded down the alley, [who was] balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet,...

    This sounds as if the alley was balanced on the balls of her feet. An implied "staying" or "remaining" would fit in, and also match the "listening" and "breathing" later in the sentence.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    I'm afraid it can't be an implied "who was". It wouldn't match the first part.

    Arya padded down the alley, [who was] balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet,...

    This sounds as if the alley was balanced on the balls of her feet. An implied "staying" or "remaining" would fit in, and also match the "listening" and "breathing" later in the sentence.
    Ok. I see. Thank you again.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Maybe = "..balancing lightly..."?
    It just occurred to me:
    If I change the original sentence into "Arya padded down the alley, balancing lightly on the balls of her bare feet,..." or "Arya padded down the alley, and she balanced lightly on the balls of her bare feet, ...", will the meaning/implication change accordingly?
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think changing "balanced" to "balancing" makes it more active, like "listening" and "breathing" later in the sentence, though it does not really change the meaning much.

    I think the meaning of the sentence as written is that as Arya padded down the alley, she was balanced on the balls of her bare feet. In other words, her padding was not a flat footed style of ambulation, nor quite a tiptoe style, but a style that kept her heels off the ground but did not fully extend her feet vertically either. It's a form of movement that experienced runners often use when going at a run at a pace they find easy to maintain.
     
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