He ordered himself a coffee black.

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JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
Can you say "He ordered himself a coffee black"?
If so, is "black" a complement of "ordered"?
 
  • billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can you say "He ordered himself a coffee black"?
    If so, is "black" a complement of "ordered"?

    He ordered himself his coffee black.Can you add "himself" to your second sentence?
    No, but you can say "He ordered himself a black coffee."

    Incidentally, in "He ordered his coffee black", "black" is not a complement but a predicative adjunct.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    No, but you can say "He ordered himself a black coffee."

    CGEL by H&P endorses "He served her her steak almost raw". (Page 250)
    If that works, do you think "He ordered himself his coffee black" should be treated differently?

    Incidentally, in "He ordered his coffee black", "black" is not a complement but a predicative adjunct.
    Could you explain to me how you know it's not a complement but an adjunct? I for one think that that example's structure is similar to that of "He wanted his coffee black", where I think "black" is a complement.

    In "He wanted his coffee black", do you think "black" is a complement or an adjunct?
     
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    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    What he ordered was a black coffee.
    In English, as you must know, adjectives precede the noun, except in a small number of cases (e.g. in rhymes: In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue).
     
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    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    What he ordered was a black coffee.
    In English, as you must know, adjectives precede the noun, except in a small number of cases.
    Adjectives precede the noun only when they are used attributively. And in 'a black coffee', the adjective 'black' is being used attributively. This use of 'black' is not my concern, though. My concern is when it's being used predicatively as in "He ordered his coffee black".
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    "He liked his coffee black," is perfectly acceptable, but not "he liked a coffee black."

    "How did you order your coffee? I ordered it black," is a reasonable conversation.

    By that reasoning, I see no problem with, "he ordered his coffee black," though it would be way less common than, "he ordered a black coffee."
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    "He liked his coffee black," is perfectly acceptable, but not "he liked a coffee black."
    Thanks for pointing that out. I can see how the latter doesn't work in any context I can think of.

    Now, are you also saying that "He ordered a coffee black" doesn't work?

    "How did you order your coffee? I ordered it black," is a reasonable conversation.

    By that reasoning, I see no problem with, "he ordered his coffee black," though it would be way less common than, "he ordered a black coffee."
    Yeah. I can see "He ordered his coffee black" does work. (elroy has also confirmed it in post #2)
    If that works, why is it not possible to add "himself" in there and say "He ordered himself his coffee black"?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In this context, "his coffee" would normally only be needed when he is ordering coffee for more than one person and you need to distinguish between them. In that situation, "his" and "himself" have the same implication so you only need one or the other.

    He ordered his coffee black. :) tells us how he ordered his coffee on this occasion. He ordered it black instead of "with milk" or some other way. "Black" acts as an adverb.
    He ordered a black coffee. :) tells us what he ordered one serving of. "Black" acts as an adjective.
    He ordered his black coffee. :confused: tells us that he ordered a type of black coffee that is somehow "his" (perhaps a specific black coffee that he always orders)
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    In this context, "his coffee" would normally only be needed when he is ordering coffee for more than one person and you need to distinguish between them. In that situation, "his" and "himself" have the same implication so you only need one or the other.
    That's logical. Actually, that's why my original example was "a coffee" instead of "his coffee": "He ordered himself a coffee black." That, however, was rejected by all native speakers here. Why?

    Meantime, CGEL's example "He served her her steak almost raw" (shown in post #6) seems to have the same logical problem of repeating "her" and "her steak". But apparently, usage defies logic here?
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, "ordered himself a" and "ordered his" mean pretty much the same thing, so "ordered himself his" is redundant.

    And yes, "ordered a coffee black" doesn't sound right.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    That's logical. Actually, that's why my original example was "a coffee" instead of "his coffee": "He ordered himself a coffee black." That, however, was rejected by all native speakers here. Why?
    Unless you're ordering for more than one person, you are usually ordering for yourself so it's redundant. It's not grammatically incorrect, but it's not very natural.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Unless you're ordering for more than one person, you are usually ordering for yourself so it's redundant. It's not grammatically incorrect, but it's not very natural.
    Are you saying the same thing for "He served her her steak almost raw"? That it's not grammatically incorrect, but it's not very natural?
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    "She always orders steak raw" is both correct and common. One could also write, "she always orders raw steak", though here I think "steak raw" is more common.

    I feel like I'm still learning the nuances of English grammar, but I think what Myridon said about black being an adverb in "ordered coffee black" but an adjective in "ordered a black coffee" is correct. So it all comes down to whether a qualifier like "black" or "raw" is more often used as an adjective modifying the noun, or an adverb modifying the verb.

    One could say, "I ordered a raw steak" (adjective), or, "I ordered my steak raw" (adverb). Interestingly, here too the adjectival use is I think more common with an indefinite article, and the adverbial more common with a possessive pronoun.

    One thing the blackness of coffee and the rawness of steak have in common is that they're a product of what you do to the coffee or steak. All coffee is black until you add cream. Steak is raw, medium, or well-done depending on how long you cook it. So it makes sense to me that words to describe the nature of the coffee and steak would be used sometimes as adverbs, describing the actions performed to make the coffee black and the steak raw.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    One thing the blackness of coffee and the rawness of steak have in common is that they're a product of what you do to the coffee or steak. All coffee is black until you add cream. Steak is raw, medium, or well-done depending on how long you cook it. So it makes sense to me that words to describe the nature of the coffee and steak would be used sometimes as adverbs, describing the actions performed to make the coffee black and the steak raw.
    Do you think 'black' and 'raw' are adverbs describing the actions performed to make the coffee black and the steak raw in examples like "He drank his coffee black" and "He ate his steak raw"?
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm no expert, but that makes sense to me. Consider my earlier dialogue:

    "How did you order your coffee? I ordered it black."

    Here, "black" is an answer to "how", which calls for an adverb modifying the verb "order".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I'm no expert, but that makes sense to me. Consider my earlier dialogue:

    "How did you order your coffee? I ordered it black."

    Here, "black" is an answer to "how", which calls for an adverb modifying the verb "order".
    Isn't "how" here more like an adjective than an adverb?
    For example, in "How are you?", I think "How" is an adjective because an adverb cannot be a complement of "are".
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    "How did you do X?" I did it quickly, slowly, skillfully, ineptly...all adverbs that answer the question "how".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    "How did you do X?" I did it quickly, slowly, skillfully, ineptly...all adverbs that answer the question "how".
    I think there are two kinds of "How did you do X?"
    (1) A: How did you find him? B: By(?) auditions.
    (2) A: How did you find him? B: Nice.

    I think "How" of (1) is an adverb but that that of (2) an adjective.
    And I think "How did you order your coffee?" belongs in (2).
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    CGEL by H&P endorses "He served her her steak almost raw". (Page 250)
    If that works, do you think "He ordered himself his coffee black" should be treated differently?


    Could you explain to me how you know it's not a complement but an adjunct? I for one think that that example's structure is similar to that of "He wanted his coffee black", where I think "black" is a complement.

    In "He wanted his coffee black", do you think "black" is a complement or an adjunct?
    If you have access to CGEL, then your questions are fully dealt with therein.

    I recall pointing that out to you on another site a few days ago, where you asked a similar question.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are subtleties that haven't been mentioned so far. For example, "He likes his coffee black" has a different meaning from "He likes his black coffee".

    He likes his coffee black - This means that, whenever he has coffee (which may not be often - maybe he usually has tea) he likes it to be black.

    He likes his black coffee - This gives the mental image of someone who is a regular coffee drinker. We imagine he has several cups of black coffee a day.

    He likes a black coffee - This means that he is an occasional black-coffee drinker.

    The same goes for "steak" and "raw".

    _________________________________________________

    Different verbs work differently as well. If you order a black coffee, this is a shortened form that, years ago, meant you ordered the waiter to bring you a black coffee. For this reason, the verb "to order" differs from "to like". It also differs from "serve".

    What are the rules? Unfortunately they require a sense of the meaning behind the words. To get things right, we mentally fill in what's missing.

    I started to give examples but soon realised that I would have to write an extensive essay. For now I'll just give the following:

    I served John a black coffee --- I served a black coffee to John.

    I ordered John a black coffee --- I ordered (the waiter to bring) a black coffee for John.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    For example, "He likes his coffee black" has a different meaning from "He likes his black coffee".
    :thumbsup:

    Yes, it's not amenable to a one or two sentence explanation. Just because sentences look similar does not mean usage is the same.

    To my mind, "I'll take a black coffee" is a valid sentence. "I'll take a coffee black" is not. "I'll take a coffee – black" is. It's common to add how you want the coffee prepared as a separate thought, indicated by a slight pause in speech. "I'll have a coffee – one cream, two sugars".

    When ordering in a restaurant:
    "I'll have the steak rare" is meaningless.
    "I'll have the rare steak" is meaningless.
    "I'll have the steak – rare" is a meaningful order.

    Rare, not raw. Raw = uncooked.

    "He served her her steak almost raw."

    This is different usage. There is no pause and it's not preparation instructions:

    "He served her her steak in a condition of being almost raw." It's simply a description.

    Her...her is just a result of the context. It's her steak because it was cooked for her. He delivered it to her. Those two aren't related directly grammatically. They are separate ideas. One explains an action. One identifies an object.

    "He made a mistake and served her his steak."
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think there are two kinds of "How did you do X?"
    (1) A: How did you find him? B: By(?) auditions.
    (2) A: How did you find him? B: Nice.

    I think "How" of (1) is an adverb but that that of (2) an adjective.
    And I think "How did you order your coffee?" belongs in (2).
    In your (2), the reply spelled out would be, "I found him nice." That in itself is an ellipsis, the full construction being, "I found him to be nice." Nice is indeed an adjective there, because "to be" takes an adjective. None of that applies to ordering coffee black.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have rarely seen such questionable statements on this forum.

    In I ordered my coffee black, I would like to know how ordering something can be a black action. The word black is an adjective referring to coffee (although strictly speaking it should be brown).
    It is not the same as, for example, I ordered my coffee blindfold, where blindfold refers to the person ordering the coffee.
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thank you, e2efour--I'm excited that my statements would be so exceptional, even if only exceptionally questionable.

    As I said earlier, I'm no expert. But the most plausible way to reconcile the fact that "raw" (or "rare") and "black" follow the nouns "steak" and "coffee", while adjectives in English typically precede nouns, is to suppose that they are functioning as adverbs. Subject-verb-object-adverb is a common word order, as in "I struck the ball smartly".

    Consider these dialogues:

    "What kind of coffee did you order? I ordered black coffee."
    "How did you order your coffee? I ordered it black."

    Other than the fact that black is most often used as an adjective. It sure looks like the first question asks about the coffee, so the response uses "black" as an adjective to modify "coffee", while the second question asks about the ordering of the coffee, so the response uses "black" as an adverb to modify "order".

    If you still disagree, how would you explain the fact that the supposed adjective can follow the noun in such situations?

    EDIT: I'm curious, does your user name come from the e2-e4 opening chess move?
     
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    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    He ordered his coffee black. :) tells us how he ordered his coffee on this occasion. He ordered it black instead of "with milk" or some other way. "Black" acts as an adverb.
    I think what Myridon said about black being an adverb in "ordered coffee black" but an adjective in "ordered a black coffee" is correct
    In I ordered my coffee black, I would like to know how ordering something can be a black action.
    @e2efour is right. It’s definitely not an adverb.

    [cross-posted]
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    how would you explain the fact that the supposed adjective can follow the noun in such situations?
    This is entirely unremarkable.

    I consider him arrogant.
    I deem his application strong.
    I find her unbearable.
    I painted the barn red.
    I ate the bread plain.
    I swallowed the pill whole.
    I drank the tea unsweetened.
    I declared the game lost.
    I marked the order incomplete.
    etc. etc. etc.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    As said above, although it's grammatical, it's not really necessary. It's only necessary to mention who he ordered for if it's not himself. Ordering for yourself is the default way of ordering.

    Just like we don't say "He ate his food with his fork". We just say "He ate his food."

    But we might say, "He ate his food with his spoon because he lost his fork."

    "He ordered black coffee for himself and hot chocolate (hot cocoa) for his kids."

    This sentence provides a reason for including "for himself".
     
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    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    This is entirely unremarkable.

    I consider him arrogant.
    I deem his application strong.
    I find her unbearable.
    I painted the barn red.
    I ate the bread plain.
    I swallowed the pill whole.
    I drank the tea unsweetened.
    I declared the game lost.
    I marked the order incomplete.
    etc. etc. etc.
    To say nothing of I painted the town red.

    Is there such an action as red painting or green painting?

    I also wonder how black could be an adverb. It could be perhaps in a sentence like I work black, which is a method of working. But in every example above the word black refers to the coffee.

    I must be missing the point somewhere.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Not sure what you mean by “necessary.” “He ordered his coffee black” is a very idiomatic and common sentence.

    Tom goes to that café every morning and orders a coffee with cream and sugar. This morning, he felt like trying something different, so he ordered his coffee black.

    This is eminently idiomatic English, even though it’s clear who the coffee is for. I suppose you could say “the” instead of “his,” but that wouldn’t be nearly as idiomatic in my opinion. You could say “He ordered a black coffee” instead, but that loses the nuance that he regularly orders a cup of coffee. Word choice is not just about saying only what is strictly speaking “necessary.”
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I must be missing the point somewhere.
    You are not! It’s not an adverb. Those who analyzed it as such are mistaken. Not every proficient speaker of English is a grammarian. When I say “are mistaken,” I don’t mean to deride anyone: I’m simply stating a fact.
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks, elroy. So what billj said earlier about "black" being a predicative adjunct is correct? "I ordered coffee" being the core construction, and "black" being a dispensable qualifier of the coffee that I ordered? If so, I'm interested to see that adjuncts often have adverbial functions in sentences, which is ultimately the point I was making.

    As I've said elsewhere in this forum, I'm one of those proficient speakers of English who is not a grammarian, but I'm trying to firm up my understanding. I think I remember reading in the bits of the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language that I've sampled that the function of a word or phrase in a sentence can be different from the part of speech of the word or phrase.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    As said above, although it's grammatical, it's not really necessary. It's only necessary to mention who he ordered for if it's not himself. Ordering for yourself is the default way of ordering.
    Agreed. Especially logically. But note that "I bought myself a new car" is fairly natural when you could simply say ""I bought a new car". So I thought usage defied logic here.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In that case it has the overtones of giving yourself a gift. It's a special purchase. It deserves extra language, like part of you gave it to the other part and the other part is grateful. That's usually not true for coffee but could be true if the occasion is special in some way.

    - When I found out during lunch that I'd won the lottery I bought myself the most expensive dessert on the menu - $25 - to celebrate.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    So what billj said earlier about "black" being a predicative adjunct is correct?
    I’ve been deliberately avoiding a label, because I’m not 100% sure if it’s an adjunct or a complement, but you’ve now cornered me. :D Elsewhere, @billj has indicated that he distinguishes between the two in a different way from the one I know, so I’m not sure why he determined that it’s an adjunct. What I know is that an adjunct is non-essential whereas a complement is essential. So, for example, in “I judged the contest entries,” “entries” is a complement because “I judged” is incomplete, whereas in “I danced naked,” “naked” is an adjunct because “I danced” is complete. So the question is, is “black” in “He ordered his coffee black” essential? I’m not entirely sure, but either way, whether it’s an adjunct or a complement, it’s definitely an adjective and not an adverb.
    I'm interested to see that adjuncts often have adverbial functions in sentences
    It doesn’t have an adverbial function. I think you’re being distracted by the word order. Adjectives in English can appear in attributive or predictive positions (before or after the noun they modify, respectively). Often, predicative adjectives follow a verb, as in “I am angry” or “He looks scared,” but they don’t have to, as my examples above show.
    In that case it has the overtones of giving yourself a gift. It's a special purchase. It deserves extra language, like part of you gave it to the other part and the other part is grateful. That's usually not true for coffee but could be true if the occasion is special in some way.
    This doesn’t apply, though, to “He ordered his coffee black” in my example.
    I thought usage defied logic here.
    It’s not about “usage defying logic.” As I said, language usage and word choice are about much more than strictly conveying what is “necessary.” In Korean, if you told me that you had learned Spanish, I could respond to you with “Where learned?”, without “you” or “it,” whereas in English I would need to say “Where did you learn it?”. Are “you” and “it” “necessary”? In Korean, they are not considered necessary because they are understood from the context, whereas in English they are necessary even though “Where learned?” can’t mean anything else in this context.
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks for the reply, @elroy. By "functions as an adverb", I don't mean that the adjective is an adverb--you've persuaded me that they're adjectives. But I've seen in two places that predicative adjuncts can have adverbial functions in sentences, meaning that they modify the verb, whether or not they're adverbs/adverbial phrases. Again, this is the distinction I remember from the Cambridge Grammar between a part of speech and its function.

    Poking around in the Cambridge Grammar, i see that in "I ordered the coffee with cream", "with cream" is a predicative adjunct in their "instrument" category (page 665). They then note that predicative adjuncts of the manner, means, and instrument categories can be questioned with "How":

    "How did you order the coffee? I ordered it with cream. I ordered it black."

    I may be being over-simplistic, but the fact that "black" is used in parallel with "with cream", which I think is clearly a predicative adjunct, persuades me that it is too.

    They also have a short bit on adjectives as predicative adjuncts, two of their examples being:

    "He died young. They served the coffee blindfolded." (page 529)

    Interesting that the latter is the same example that @e2efour gave, though with "blindfold" rather than "blindfolded"! :) e2efour emphasized that in that instance "blindfold" referred to how the action of serving the coffee was performed. I'm not sure, but I think he/she may have been offering "blindfold" as an example of an adverb rather than an adjective, but I read CG as saying it's an adjective that is modifying the verb. As e2efour noted, clearly it's the serving that's done blindfolded, not blindfolded coffee. But in "he died young", it's he who was young, not the dying. Yet it's still an adjective as a predicative adjunct, like (I think) "black" in the case of ordering or serving coffee.

    In your (elroy) examples of adjectives following nouns, they're all predicative adjuncts or predicative complements, right?

    Complements:

    "I consider him arrogant."
    "I deem his application strong."
    "I find her unbearable."
    "I declared the game lost."

    Adjuncts:

    "I painted the barn red."
    "I ate the bread plain."
    "I swallowed the pill whole."
    "I drank the tea unsweetened."
    "I marked the order incomplete."

    (I'm following the distinction you cite, because frankly I hadn't remembered that.)

    In all of these examples, the adjective may be an attribute of the noun, but it's modifying the verb, isn't it?

    "How do you consider him? I consider him arrogant."

    In other words, he may or may not actually be arrogant, but the point of the sentence is that he is being considered arrogant. Similarly, the bread is being eaten plain, the pill is being swallowed whole. "Plain" and "whole" describe how the eating and swallowing is being done. Even in the case of the red barn, where red is unquestionably an attribute of the barn (like "young" is of the person who died), "red" in that sentence described how the barn is painted, not the color of the barn itself (though after it was painted, it would indeed be a "red barn").
     
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    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Thank you for elaborating. I still don't see anything adverbial in any shape, manner, or form about these words -- whether we're talking about form or function. None of them describe the manner, time, or location of the action or state expressed by the verb.

    I ordered my coffee black. = I ordered coffee, and my order specified that I wanted black coffee.

    Compare this with

    I ordered my coffee quickly / hastily / nervously / yesterday / elsewhere.

    In these examples, we have adverbs that tell us the manner, time, or location of the action.

    "I ordered my coffee black" does not in fact tell us about the manner in which I carried out the action of ordering.

    Similarly,

    I consider him arrogant. = I consider that he is arrogant.
    I deem his application strong. = I deem that his application is strong.
    I find her unbearable. = I find that she is unbearable.
    I declared the game lost. = I declared that the game was lost.

    In these three examples, the versions on the left are simply rewrites of the versions on the right, which clearly show that the adjectives modify the subjects of the noun clauses. The semantics don't change when we rewrite the sentences with noun clauses instead of adjectival complements.

    I painted the barn red. = I painted the barn, and as a result, it was red.
    I ate the bread plain. = I ate the bread, and it was in a state of being plain when I ate it.
    I swallowed the pill whole. = I swallowed the pill, and this happened with the pill remaining whole.
    I drank the tea unsweetened. = I drank the tea, and it was in a state of being unsweetened when I ate it.
    I marked the order incomplete. = I marked the order, and I used the label "incomplete" to mark it.

    Again, none of these say anything about the manner, time, or location of the painting/eating/swallowing/drinking/marking (the action). Rather, they say something about the direct object: something about its state after or during the performance of the action.

    Whether we can ask "How?" to elicit a certain sentence does not mean that that sentence contains an adverb. "How are you?" can elicit the response "I am fine," where "fine" is clearly an adjective and not an adverb.
     

    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks for your detailed reply, elroy. I see where you're coming from, and I respect your opinion, but nothing you say undermines the understanding of the situation that I think I've arrived at, which I described in my last post. I think I'm applying what I'm reading in the Cambridge Grammar, but of course I'm not completely sure.

    The one thing in your reply that makes me worry that you may not be understanding me is in your last paragraph, where you reject the idea that, "the sentence contains an adverb." Since your first post in this thread, I've tried to emphasize that I don't think the adjectives in question are adverbs. I don't think that the sentences, "I painted the barn red," or "I ordered my coffee black," contain adverbs. But I do in both cases think that the adjectives, as they are used in such sentences, relate grammatically to how the barn was painted and how the coffee was ordered. In the physical world, it's the barn that is becoming red and the coffee that is remaining black. But in the sentences, the adjectives are as predicative adjuncts modifying the verbs.

    Maybe a more telling example is, "The magician threw the knife blindfolded." In this case, the blindfold is of course on the magician, the subject rather than the object of the sentence. But that doesn't make the sentence grammatically equivalent to, "the blindfolded magician threw the knife." Ontologically equivalent, yes, but not grammatically. In "the magician threw the knife blindfolded," "blindfolded" has the grammatical function of describing how the magician threw the knife. Hence it is modifying a verb, hence it has an "adverbial" function, even though as a part of speech it's not an adverb.

    Incidentally, having written that, I had a look at the Cambridge Grammar's discussion of the adverbial function of prepositions, which they set up by saying:

    "Adverbs are traditionally defined as words that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Elements traditionally regarded as modifying the verb are, in our framework, adjuncts, but prepositions also occur as heads of phrases with this function."

    So according to them, and as I've been saying, adjuncts modify verbs. And in the Wikipedia article on adverbials, I see, "All verb- or sentence-modifying adjuncts are adverbials, but some adverbials are not adjuncts." That's really all I'm saying.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Don't worry, I've understood you this whole time. ;)

    As I said, there is nothing adverbial about these words, and they do not modify the verb.
    But I do in both cases think that the adjectives, as they are used in such sentences, relate grammatically to how the barn was painted and how the coffee was ordered.
    They do not. They do not tell us anything about the manner of painting or ordering.
    If I paint my barn red and you paint yours blue, we are not each using a different style or manner of painting.
    In "the magician threw the knife blindfolded," "blindfolded" has the grammatical function of describing how the magician threw the knife.
    "blindfolded" tells us what state the magician was in as he threw the knife; it doesn't tell us anything about the manner in which he threw the knife.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Don't worry, I've understood you this whole time. ;)

    As I said, there is nothing adverbial about these words, and they do not modify the verb.

    They do not. They do not tell us anything about the manner of painting or ordering.
    If I paint my barn red and you paint yours blue, we are not each using a different style or manner of painting.

    "blindfolded" tells us what state the magician was in as he threw the knife; it doesn't tell us anything about the manner in which he threw the knife.
    For what it's worth, I concur 100% with this.
    To put it differently, "The magician threw the knife blindfolded" equals to "The magician threw the knife while being blindfolded", which clearly shows that "blindfolded" isn't modifying the verb "threw" in any way, shape or form but is simply helping describe "The magician".

    I think I remember reading in the bits of the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language that I've sampled that the function of a word or phrase in a sentence can be different from the part of speech of the word or phrase.
    Yes. CGEL tries to avoid confusion between lexical/phrasal categories and functions. Lexical categories are basically parts of speech (e.g., noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.) and phrasal categories are simply expanded on lexical categories (e.g, NP, VP, AdjP, AdvP) and also include Clause. But functions are not related to either of these categories. Examples of functions include heads (e.g, predicates, predicators), dependents (complements, modifiers and determiners), supplements, adjuncts (modifiers and supplements), etc. To go a little further, complements include subjects, objects, predicative complements, catenative complements, etc.

    In "the magician threw the knife blindfolded," "blindfolded" has the grammatical function of describing how the magician threw the knife. Hence it is modifying a verb, hence it has an "adverbial" function, even though as a part of speech it's not an adverb.
    Under CGEL's terminology, therefore, I'm afraid that using the term "an adverbial function" defeats the very purpose of avoiding the confusion between categories and functions.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    "He died young. They served the coffee blindfolded." (page 529)

    Interesting that the latter is the same example that @e2efour gave, though with "blindfold" rather than "blindfolded"! :) e2efour emphasized that in that instance "blindfold" referred to how the action of serving the coffee was performed. I'm not sure, but I think he/she may have been offering "blindfold" as an example of an adverb rather than an adjective.
    I did not say that the serving of the coffee was blindfold.:)
    If you serve something blindfod, you are clearly blindfold, not the serving.

    Maybe a more telling example is, "The magician threw the knife blindfolded." In this case, the blindfold is of course on the magician, the subject rather than the object of the sentence. But that doesn't make the sentence grammatically equivalent to, "the blindfolded magician threw the knife." Ontologically equivalent, yes, but not grammatically. In "the magician threw the knife blindfolded," "blindfolded" has the grammatical function of describing how the magician threw the knife. Hence it is modifying a verb, hence it has an "adverbial" function, even though as a part of speech it's not an adverb.

    Again blindfolded refers to the magician, not the throwing of the knife. It seems to be stretching a point to talk about a "blindfold throw".

    The terms adjective and adverb (i.e. what are commonly known as parts of speech) are only a help in framing a grammatical definition. They are not set in stone. The problem in the case of English is that we cannot always identify what an adjective is by its form. This inevitably leads to difficulties. A good example is the term gerund, wihich is certainly not clearly defined and has fallen out of favour in modern grammar.
     
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    jbening

    Senior Member
    American English
    Looks like I'm in the minority here, but I still disagree--with increasing confidence, actually, now that I've thought more about it and found more support for my view elsewhere. I continue to think you folks are failing to distinguish between the physical reality being spoken of and the grammatical processes being used to describe it.

    But I earnestly hope this doesn't become a bone of contention between us, because I respect all of your opinions generally, and I'm grateful to e2efour for having spoken up in the first place, which helped me clarify my understanding. I also still wonder whether "e2efour" is a reference to a chess opening move.

    One mistake I have been making, according to Merriam-Webster anyway, is writing adverbial ("of, relating to, or having the function of an adverb"), when I meant adverbal ("modifying a verb"), though I'm not sure that distinction is always honored in actual usage.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I also still wonder whether "e2efour" is a reference to a chess opening move.

    One mistake I have been making, according to Merriam-Webster anyway, is writing adverbial ("of, relating to, or having the function of an adverb"), when I meant adverbal ("modifying a verb"), though I'm not sure that distinction is always honored in actual usage.
    Adverbal seems not to be used in grammar books or linguistics. If it is, it means adverbial (according to the OED).

    For your question about my name, look in your Conversations.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I continue to think you folks are failing to distinguish between the physical reality being spoken of and the grammatical processes being used to describe it.
    I sincerely have no idea what you’re talking about here. :confused:
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    CGEL by H&P endorses "He served her her steak almost raw". (Page 250)
    If that works, do you think "He ordered himself his coffee black" should be treated differently?


    Could you explain to me how you know it's not a complement but an adjunct? I for one think that that example's structure is similar to that of "He wanted his coffee black", where I think "black" is a complement.

    In "He wanted his coffee black", do you think "black" is a complement or an adjunct?

    The claim is that obligatory predicatives are clearly complements, dependent on the occurrence of an appropriate head.

    With optional ones, however, there are grounds for saying that while the resultatives are complements, the depictives are adjuncts, either modifiers or supplements:

    Predicative complements – resultatives

    We painted the fence blue. .......................... [optional – complement]

    This got me furious. ....................................[obligatory – complement]

    Predicative adjuncts –depictives

    They look fantastic. .................................... [obligatory – complement]

    They left empty-handed. ............................. [optional -- modifier]

    Unwilling to accept the terms, Ed resigned. .... [optional -- supplement]

    By regarding such predicatives as adjuncts, the predicative/non-predicative contrast cuts across that between complements and adjuncts.

    I hope that’s clear!!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    There are a lot of posts and perhaps someone already suggested this. I only require a comma.

    I'd like a black coffee, no sugar please.

    I'd like a coffee, black, no sugar
    . (though I would be OK with "I'd like a coffee; black; no sugar.")

    (Or daily at Starbucks):

    I'd like a Tall Pike Place please. Black, no sugar. Nothing in it; just coffee.

    (Despite asking for "black", the barista will frequently ask, "Should I leave room for milk?" so I add the "Noting in it..." bit.)
     
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