What do we call this noun phrase?


Senior Member
"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort." Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two lemon drops, seemed not to notice. "It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

It seems ‘all this ‘You-Know-Who’ nonsense’ make a main clause in the meaning aspect, and for-clause subordinate one showing the reason for the main clause. But there’s no verb in the seeming-main clause. What do we call this kind of clause or phrase? Is there just omitting of verb? Or can a noun phrase make a clause semantically like an absolute phrase?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The 'for' is the time word, not the reason word. Dumbledore has been doing something for eleven years. That begins the main clause, with subject 'I'. The words before that are not really connected with the sentence. The dash indicates they are broken off. He might have continued with a verb there - this nonsense is absurd, for example - but didn't. You could regard that noun phrase as the topic, which is sometimes set apart at the beginning of a sentence but not grammatically linked to it any more than that.
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