The window appeared to be cracked in a number of places.

Bob8964

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

I have a sentence with appear as below"

The window appeared to be cracked in a number of places.

As I alway read the senteces like, He appeared very upset. Please advise if the sentence can be rewritten as:

The window appeared cracked in a number of place.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I agree with Keith, The window appeared to be cracked in a number of places. Without the to be, it is still correct but not as common.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I think that the reason we prefer "to be" in this context is that "appear" can be used in two senses. In this example it is ambiguous:
    The host appeared dressed in a blue gown.
    .. since "appeared" can be read either as "made her appearance" or "looked as though she was".

    We can use "to be" to clarify that the second sense is intended, or a comma after "appeared" if the first sense is intended. Your example can be read only one way, but that is a semantic inference: it helps to have syntactic pointers too.

    The same ambiguity can also arise, though less commonly, for adjectives which are not past participles. E.g.
    The host appeared resplendent in a blue gown.
     
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