Grammar:anyone who stands erect

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Silviahan

New Member
Mandarin-China
Hello everyone,
There's one line in the show Friends said by Ross: Ah, well, in here, anyone who... stands erect.
'Stand' is a verb and 'erect' is an adjective. Normally, verbs are modified by adverbs.
I know it's right, but what's the grammar to explain this usage?
This has confused me for a long time and I've searched the Internet, but I barely found anything about this.
Could anybody help?
Thank you.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's functioning as an adverb. If you like you can think of it as a shortened form of "stands in an erect manner," where "erect" is an adjective modifying "manner," but the whole phrase is adverbial.
     

    Silviahan

    New Member
    Mandarin-China
    It's functioning as an adverb. If you like you can think of it as a shortened form of "stands in an erect manner," where "erect" is an adjective modifying "manner," but the whole phrase is adverbial.
    Thanks for answering. I also saw "stand proud" somewhere else, and why we don't use "stand proudly" instead?
    I mean if there is a word with both the adjective form and the adverbial form, like "proud" and "proudly", why we still choose the adjective?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No. :) Some verbs can have adjectives following. When he talks, he sounds silly. ==>
    When you talk, you don't want to sound silly.{with infinitive}
    Right, but you couldn't say "he stands silly" (=he stands in a silly manner). I'm not sure the cases are comparable.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for answering. I also saw "stand proud" somewhere else, and why we don't use "stand proudly" instead?
    I mean if there is a word with both the adjective form and the adverbial form, like "proud" and "proudly", why we still choose the adjective?
    Here's an earlier thread that goes over the same issues:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/i-stand-straight-and-tall.1438735/

    The bottom line is that however we choose to describe the grammar, using "adjectives" like "straight / tall / proud / erect" after "stand" is quite normal.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I agree with Keith. I think you need to consider stand as a linking verb (or copula), and links the subject and its complement. Some verbs can be used in like this:

    He lay naked
    He felt sorry for her
    He sounded disturbed
    The tart tastes delicious
    The meat smells off

    In all of these, it is possible to substitute the verb with be.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I, a non-native and toddler in English, also feel that "stand" here behaves as one of those verbs that take adjectives instead of adverbs, for example look, taste, seem, smell.

    Cross-posted with Natkretep.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think you need to consider stand as a linking verb (or copula), and links the subject and its complement. Some verbs can be used in like this:

    He lay naked
    He felt sorry for her
    He sounded disturbed
    The tart tastes delicious
    The meat smells off

    In all of these, it is possible to substitute the verb with be.
    That works for me.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Just wanted to add (in case it wasn't obvious) that stand can of course also be used as a normal transitive or intransitive verb:

    I stood the doll carefully on the table.
    She stood carelessly in front of the television.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Natkretep has hit the nail on the head: "stand" in this case is analogous to "be", along with a few other linking verbs (feel, sound, taste, smell—many refer to senses).
    Not every linking verb can go with every adjective (as The Newt pointed out, we can't say "he stands silly").
    "Stand" is often used with adjectives that are past participles.
    Just this morning I read a newspaper headline "Five residents stand charged in federal drug conspiracy". They were not necessarily standing on their feet at the time.
    People often say "I stand corrected."
    Here are some adjectives used after "stand", according to the Corpus of Contemporary American English:
    still, tall, ready, strong, alone, naked, firm, empty, erect, clear, idle, motionless,...
     

    Silviahan

    New Member
    Mandarin-China
    Thank you all! I totally got it.
    I was always thinking it as the antonym of "sit", an intransitive verb, but it's used as a linking verb here.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    How do we characterize such adjectives when they are used with a verb of action? I've been puzzling over these possible usages, where the adjective acts as an adverb:

    He ran naked across the football pitch.
    The band of proto-humans walked erect across the savanna.


    Is there a special term for them? I see no difference in usage from the copula + adjective type discussed above.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'd see 'naked' and 'erect' as subject complements.

    The verb functions as both a copula as well as an intransitive verb.

    It's possible to move the subject complements to the beginning of the sentence or even to the end, and when we do that the verb seems to lose the copula function:

    Naked, he ran across the football pitch. (He ran across the football pitch naked.)
    Erect, the band of proto-humans walked across the savanna.
     
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