I walked in, and walked upstairs, () conscious that I was surveyed.

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The narrator recalls his adolescence.
He visited his old friend Traddles' place for the first time.

A mysterious voice from the end of the passage replied "Yes." Upon which the youthful servant replied "Yes."
"Is he at home?" said I.
Again the mysterious voice replied in the affirmative, and again the servant echoed it. Upon this, I walked in, and in pursuance of the servant's directions walked upstairs, conscious, as I passed the back parlour-door, that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye, probably belonging to the mysterious voice.
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I'd like to know why "was" is omitted before "conscious."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Here "conscious" is an adjective. No, wait. Actually it is the start of a very long adjectival phrase:

    I walked in, and...walked upstairs, conscious (as I passed the back parlour-door) that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye....

    So the phrase is conscious that I was surveyed.... This whole phrase is an adjective which modifies "I".

    Let's see how the sentence lookes with a simpler adjective placed in the same spot:

    I walked in, and...walked upstairs, incurious.
    I walked in, and...walked upstairs, exhausted.
    I walked in, and...walked upstairs, hesitant.

    Does it make sense that "I was" does not have to be added in front of the words in bold?
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    "Was" is not omitted. We can add an adjective (or in this case an adjectival phrase) to a sentence no matter what the main verb is. It would be grammatically incorrect to insert "was" - you would have to start a new sentence ("It was...") instead.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Glasguensis, for your so very kind answer. :)

    Glasguensis said:
    you would have to start a new sentence ("It was...") instead.
    But I couldn't find out why the subject of "was conscious" is "it," not "I."
     
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