descriptive as this book was ...

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EnglishABC

Senior Member
NZ English
a. Descriptive as this book was, I still struggled to picture the protagonist's face.

b. As descriptive as this book was, I still struggled to picture the protagonist's face.

Is the bold part in a the same phrase as the bold part in b, but just shortened? Or is it a different type of phrase? I feel it is a different type of phrase, but I can't think what else it could be. They both have to be adverbial.

Thanks
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I view (a) as a shorter version of (b), English ABC. I think I'd call them adjectival phrases rather than adverbial phrases, however. Both seem to work concessively, just as "though" does: Descriptive as this book was,... = Even though this book was descriptive,...
     

    EnglishABC

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    I view (a) as a shorter version of (b), English ABC. I think I'd call them adjectival phrases rather than adverbial phrases, however. Both seem to work concessively, just as "though" does: Descriptive as this book was,... = Even though this book was descriptive,...
    Hi owlman, Ì don`t think it can be an adjective phrase. The clause doesn`t modify a noun. Your example with èven though is also an adverbial clause, I believe...
     

    EnglishABC

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    I do agree they are concessive clauses, but I would have thought this was closer to an adverbial clause than an adjective clause... I could of course be wrong about this :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi owlman, Ì don`t think it can be an adjective phrase. The clause doesn`t modify a noun. Your example with èven though is also an adverbial clause, I believe...
    Now we've jumped from phrases to clauses, English ABC. What do you think the adjective "descriptive" is modifying? I think it's modifying the noun "book".

    Thinking about "adverbial clauses", I can only come up with things like this: She wrote me a letter when she was in Chicago. I sure can't think of any way to turn "Descriptive though the book was" into anything I'd call an "adverbial clause", English ABC. Perhaps one of our other members will see something here that I don't and come up with an answer that makes sense to you. :)
     
    Last edited:

    EnglishABC

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    Now we've jumped from phrases to clauses, English ABC. How can an entire clause be "adverbial"? What do you think the adjective "descriptive" is modifying? I think it's modifying the noun "book".
    I would call this a clause (I incorrectly labeled it in my first post, sorry).

    a. Descriptive as this book (S) was (V)
    b. As descriptive as this book (S) was (V)
    c. Although this book (S) was (V) descriptive

    `Although` in c above is a subordinating conjunction, which begins a dependent clause.

    How can an entire clause be "adverbial"?

    Adverbial clauses are very common:

    When he (S) came (V) home, I hid under my bed to avoid him.

    http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/adverbclause.htm
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I would call this a clause (I incorrectly labeled it in my first post, sorry).

    a. Descriptive as this book (S) was (V)
    b. As descriptive as this book (S) was (V)
    c. Although this book (S) was (V) descriptive

    `Although` in c above is a subordinating conjunction, which begins a dependent clause.

    How can an entire clause be "adverbial"?

    Adverbial clauses are very common:

    When he (S) came (V) home, I hid under my bed to avoid him.
    We were cross-posting, English ABC. I changed my mind about the "adverbial clause" bit although I don't think that change of position will help you with your original question.
     
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