His hat was tilted slightly at an angle.

buoo

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, how would changing A to B change your reading of the sentence?

A. His hat was tilted slightly at an angle. (oxford advanced american dictionary)

B. His hat tilted slightly at an angle.

Is the difference that in A that "he" tilted his hat is implied, while in B it is not?
 
  • buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Oh I didn't see the action(event) reading was coming. Yes, definitely that's a possibility. However, I intended B to receive a state reading.

    Here is one more example from oxforddictionaries.com

    C. The floor tilted slightly.

    If I rewrote it as

    D. The floor was tilted slightly.

    What would be your reading then? I belive C is clearly(or not :)) a description of a state.

    Your verdict please.
     
    Last edited:

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Well, one is able to walk on the floor and, as one walks, one may perceive the floor tilting slightly. Then, even though 'tilt' is an active verb, it will be the description of a stationary position, as KB puts it - the floor is stationary and it tilts as you walk on it.

    The same is a lot more difficult to infer about a hat, unless one was reading a story told by an ant :D

    Then the floor could also physically tilt during an earthquake or bombing or something, just like a hat could in a gust of wind, for instance.
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Okay, I thought it'd be better for me to clarify my question.

    C. The floor tilted slightly.

    D. The floor was tilted slightly.

    First, are both of these apt for a state(stative?) reading?
    If yes, what would be the difference?

    Thank you boozer, KB
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In C, "tilted" is a verb.
    I was on a boat. A wave struck the boat and the floor tilted slightly. The floor moved.

    In D, "tilted" could be a verb or an adjective.
    A wave struck the boat and the floor was tilted slightly (by the wave). The floor moved.
    The builders did a bad job on my previous house. The floor was tilted slightly. The floor was uneven because it was built that way.
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Myridon. I might have been the only one who thinks 'tilt' can take a meaning of 'BE in a slopping position'(=state) after all. :)
    I think I started with a wrong example. It would have been better if I asked about 'slope', maybe.
    The floor sloped to one side / was sloped to one side.
    Anyway, thanks.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Thank you, Myridon. I might have been the only one who thinks 'tilt' can take a meaning of 'BE in a slopping position'(=state) after all. :)
    I think you mean a 'sloping' position; but no, you are not the only one.

    Chambers English Dictionary (1990) gives the following as intransitive meanings of 'tilt':
    to pitch, as a ship; to lean, heel over; to slope; to slant, esp. in a vertical plane.

    The latter two meanings show that the verb does not necessarily imply motion.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The latter two meanings show that the verb does not necessarily imply motion.
    The floor tilts. This could be either sense - the moving one or the non-moving one
    "The floor was tilted." There's a change (implied movement of the floor) here either way. The floor was moved into a tilted position or it used to be true that the floor tilts and now it is not true. How did that happen if nothing moved? :)
     
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