lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up entire being

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know . I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
http://www.suddenlysenior.com/growingupoptional.html

I have three questions about interpretation of the bolded part:

1. I think "beam up at" means "smile at", so "beaming up at me with a smile" is hard for me to understand. Is it redundant?
<< Moderator note: only one question per thread please - the second two have been deleted. Feel free to start threads for each>>

Thank you in advance.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You should read this as
    "a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being."
    The apparent redundancy is required to specify what kind of smile is being used in this instance of beaming.
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    You should read this as
    "a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being."
    The apparent redundancy is required to specify what kind of smile is being used in this instance of beaming.
    Thank you very much, JulianStuart. :)


    That sort of construction is completely new (and interesting) for me. Or is that not redundant in the first place?
    Do native English speakers use that structure sometimes?
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is a perfectly normal construction, e.g.

    The athlete jumped the hurdles with ease.
    The lady looked at me with a smile.
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    This is a perfectly normal construction, e.g.

    The athlete jumped the hurdles with ease.
    The lady looked at me with a smile.
    Thank you very much, PaulQ and Biffo.:)
    Yes, I wished to have another example.
    To me, the original sentence looked like "The lady gave me a smile with a smile that lit up her entire being." :confused:
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you very much, PaulQ and Biffo.:)
    Yes, I wished to have another example.
    To me, the original sentence looked like "The lady gave me a smile with a smile that lit up her entire being." :confused:
    Yes, you are right. I would have written your version like this:

    "The lady smiled at me with a smile that lit up her entire being." (correct but repetitious)

    The author has used 'beamed' to avoid the obvious repetition but hasn't removed the redundancy completely.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Actually, it would be "The lady smiled up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being." Fortunately, there is an alternative verb for "to smile" so we do not get the repetition.
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes, you are right. I would have written your version like this:

    "The lady smiled at me with a smile that lit up her entire being." (correct but repetitious)

    The author has used 'beamed' to avoid the obvious repetition but hasn't removed the redundancy completely.
    I see. I appreciate your help so much. :)
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Actually, it would be "The lady smiled up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being." Fortunately, there is an alternative verb for "to smile" so we do not get the repetition.
    Yes, I totally understand. It's really interesting... Thank you so much, PaulQ. :)
     
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