'sentences' & 'clause(S+V), absolute phrase'

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bonbon2023

Senior Member
Korean(south)
Consider how the sentence just seen might be broken down into two sentences:


The hunters rested for a moment in front of the shack.
Their breaths were white in the frosty air.

The second sentence, we see, can be turned into an absolute phrase simply by omitting the linking verb were. As we have seen, the absolute phrase may appear at the end of a sentence:

The hunters rested for a moment in front of the shack, their breaths white in the frosty air.

http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/sbabsolutephr.htm
Is "The hunters rested for a moment in front of the shack, their breaths white in the frosty air." more literary and less colloquial than "The hunters rested for a moment in front of the shack. Their breaths were white in the frosty air."? Otherwise, is choice between the two just matter of preference?
 
  • bonbon2023

    Senior Member
    Korean(south)
    Thank you, JuanEscritor. Then, do you have a certain construction between the two you frequently use or prefer?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    What do you mean by "colloquial"? I think you mean "everyday." Then neither of these sentences are particularly everyday, which has to do more with the choice of vocabulary than the choice of structure. (Pluralizing "breaths"? Really?)

    Although it's generally true that longer, more complicated sentence structures are normally more literary, absolute phrases like this are used very commonly in everyday English. There are lots of common ones. This one sticks out because it's particularly uncommon in its word choice and phrasing.
     

    bonbon2023

    Senior Member
    Korean(south)
    The hunters stopped in front of the shack. You could see their breath in the cold.
    JE
    I like the sentences. :)

    What do you mean by "colloquial"? I think you mean "everyday." Then neither of these sentences are particularly everyday, which has to do more with the choice of vocabulary than the choice of structure. (Pluralizing "breaths"? Really?)

    Although it's generally true that longer, more complicated sentence structures are normally more literary, absolute phrases like this are used very commonly in everyday English. There are lots of common ones. This one sticks out because it's particularly uncommon in its word choice and phrasing.
    I mean 'colloquial (English)', that is, 'spoken (English)' you use in your everyday life. Thanks for your input on structure and vocabulary, lucas. :)
     
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