reciprocal to circular motion

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
crank
a part of an axle or shaft bent out at right angles, for converting reciprocal to circular motion and vice versa
Oxford dictionary

Does the phrase in bold here act as an adjective meaning "reciprocal motion is converted to circular motion"? That is -- "reciprocal-to-circular".
Thank you.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes - for example, in an internal combustion engine, the reciprocal motion is the "up and down" of the piston and it is converted to circular motion by this connection.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Does the phrase in bold here act as an adjective meaning "reciprocal motion is converted to circular motion"? That is -- "reciprocal-to-circular".
    Thank you.
    That is indeed the meaning, Vik, but I don't see "reciprocal to circular" as an adjectival phrase. That would make 'reciprocal-to-circular motion' a kind of motion that the crank converts to ...what?!

    In fact there's an ellipsis in the original sentence (a very common construction): "... for converting reciprocal (motion) to circular motion and vice versa".

    So "reciprocal" is an adjective qualifying the implicit noun "motion", and "circular" is an adjective qualifying the noun "motion". "To" is a preposition introducing the noun phrase "circular motion" (or, if you prefer, a preposition heading the prepositional phrase "to circular motion").

    By the way, that definition of "crank" is somewhat inaccurate. If you just bend part of a shaft out at right angles, you don't get a crank. You also have to put in a second right-angled bend in the opposite direction.

    Ws
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you:)
    By the way, that definition of "crank" is somewhat inaccurate. If you just bend part of a shaft out at right angles, you don't get a crank. You also have to put in a second right-angled bend in the opposite direction.
    I thought that "at right angles" meant just that (two bends)...
     
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