The adverbial modifier as a part of the sentenceп | Статья в сборнике международной научной конференции

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Рубрика: 5. Общее и прикладное языкознание

Опубликовано в

IV международная научная конференция «Современная филология» (Уфа, март 2015)

Дата публикации: 10.03.2015

Статья просмотрена: 16234 раза

Библиографическое описание:

Раджапова, О. Э. The adverbial modifier as a part of the sentenceп / О. Э. Раджапова. — Текст : непосредственный // Современная филология : материалы IV Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Уфа, март 2015 г.). — Уфа : Лето, 2015. — С. 79-81. — URL: (дата обращения: 20.10.2021).

We must begin by stating that the term «adverbial modifier» cannot be said to be a very happy one, as it is apt to convey erroneous ideas about the essence of this secondary part. The word «adverbial» may give rise to two notions, both of them wrong. For one thing, we may suppose that an adverbial modifier is always expressed by an adverb, which of course is not true: an adverbial modifier may be expressed by different morphological means. Secondly, the term «adverbial» may give rise to the notion that an adverbial modifier always modifies a verb, which is also wrong! An adverbial modifier may modify a part of the sentence expressed by an adjective or by an adverb, as well as by a verb. As the term «adverbial modifier» is firmly established, it would be futile to try and substitute another term in its place. So we will keep the term, bearing in mind what has been said about its meaning.

There are several ways of classifying adverbial modifiers:

(1)   according to their meaning;

(2)   according to their morphological peculiarities;

(3)   according to the type of their head word.

Of these, the classification according to meaning is not in itself a grammatical classification. For instance, the difference between an adverbial modifier of place and one of time is basically semantic and depends on the lexical meaning of the words functioning as adverbial modifiers. However, this classification may acquire some grammatical significance, especially when we analyze word order in a sentence and one semantic type of adverbial modifier proves to differ in this respect from another. Therefore the classification of adverbial modifiers according to their meaning cannot be ignored by syntactic theory.

Types of the adverbial modifiers used in E. Hemingway’s “Fiesta”

According to their meaning we distinguish the following kinds of adverbial modifiers.

1.      The adverbial modifier of time.

a)      Adverbial modifiers of definite time usually stand at the very end of the sentence. (at the very beginning before the subject).

On Monday nights it was closed. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.25]

b)      Adverbial modifiers of indefinite time usually stand before the main verb of the predicate.

…he never fought except in the gym. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.11]

2.      The adverbial modifier of frequency.

One night a week it was the dancing — club [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.25]

3.      The adverbial modifier of place and direction. They usually stand after the predicate or after the object.

The dancing — club was in the Rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.25]

4.      The adverbial modifier of manner.

I drank a beer, standing in the doorway and getting the cool breath of wind from the street. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.25]

5.      The adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances.

She looked up, very bright-eyed and trying to talk inconsequentially. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.49]

6.      The adverbial modifier of degree and measure. They usually stand before the words they modify.

He had a lot of money on his last book, and was going to make a lot more. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.67]

7.      The adverbial modifier of cause.

As he had been thinking for months about leaving his wife and had not done it because it would be too cruel to deprive her of himself, her departure was a very healthful shock.        

8.      The adverbial modifier of result (consequence).

I would like to have it illuminated to hang in the office. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.36]

9.      The adverbial modifier of condition.     

She was looking into my eyes with that way she had of looking that made you wonder whether she really saw out of her own eyes. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.31]

10.  The adverbial modifier of comparison. 

She looked as though there were nothing on earth she would not look at like that, and really she was afraid of so many things. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.31]

There are other streets in Paris as ugly as Boulevard Raspail. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.44]

11.  The adverbial modifier of concession.

The taxi went up hill, passed the lighted square, then on into the dark, still climbing, then leveled out on to a dark street behind St Etienne du Mont, went smoothly down the asphalt, passed the trees and standing bus at the Place de la Contrescarpe, then turned on to the cobbles of the Rue Mouffetard. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.30]

12.  The adverbial modifier of purpose.

The beer was not good and I had a worse cognac to take the taste out of my mouth. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.26]

Ways of expressing the adverbial modifier used in Hemingway’s “Fiesta

Adverbial Modifier can be expressed by:

1.      An adverb.

He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.11]

2.      A noun with or without accompanying words.

That winterRobert Cohn went over to America with his novel, and it was accepted by a fairly good publisher. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.15]

3.      A prepositional phrase

By that time, though, he had other things to worry about. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.13]

4.      A noun, pronoun, adjective, infinitive, participle, or prepositional phrase with a subordinating conjunction.

If necessary, she must see Mr. Cohn [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.74]

He shrank back, his arms lifted as though to ward off physical violence. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.76]

5.      A participle or a participial phrase.

As they went in, under the light I saw white hands, wavy hair, white faces, grimacing, gesturing, and talking. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.26]

6.      Absolute constructions.

(a)    The Nominative Absolute Participial Construction

He wrapped her up with great care, the night being dark and frosty. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.26]

(b)   The Nominative Absolute Construction

He stopped and turned about, his eyes brightly proud. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.89]

(c)    The Prepositional Absolute Participial Construction

Robert looked at him attentively, with his whole face breathing short and quick in every feature. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.94]

(d)   The Prepositional Absolute Construction

He rushed forward, with fury in his looks, and fire in his eyes. [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.185]

7.      A prepositional phrase or construction with a gerund.

I took the liberty of just bringing these roses [E. Hemingway “Fiesta” p.56]

8.      An infinitive, an infinitive phrase, or an infinitive construction.

The infinitive may serve as an adverbial modifier to a verb. In this function it is used to express purpose, consequence, comparison, condition and exception. The infinitive as an adverbial modifier of purpose is always used with the particle to.

The number of verbs followed by an infinitive of purpose is not restricted and their lexical character may be quite different. But they are all alike in one respect-they all express actions deliberately carried out with a definite aim in view. In other words, these actions are aimed at the realization of the action denoted by the infinitive.

The action of the infinitive follows that of the predicate verb and is unaccomplished as yet.

e.g. I dressed and went out to buy the morning paper.

I came in to see if I could help you pack, Alison.

He put his head out of the window to get some fresh air.

The infinitive of purpose may occasionally be preceded by the modifiers in order and so as which emphasize the idea of purpose (generally they are not needed).

e.g. I was silent for a moment in order to give greater force to my next cool off.

Next we slid into the river and had a swim, so as to freshen up and cool off.

So as is quite common with a negative infinitive of purpose, however.

e.g. We had gone into the middle of Hyde Park so as not to be overheard.

She hurried so as not to give him time for reflection.

The infinitive may also be preceded by other modifiers. Unlike in order and so as which only make the idea of purpose more prominent, the other modifiers serve to add their own specific shades of meaning.

e.g. He opened his mouth wide as if to speak.

Christine smiled mockingly turned away, as though to go out of the room.

He gave me a little smile as much as to say, “You see, I don’t mean any harm.”

He had never cared for that room, hardly going into it from one year’s end to another except to take cigars.

They were waiting in there just to see him.

Chris seemed to be always wrapped in a gloomy thoughtfulness, rarely spoke, and then as a rule, only to quote some poet or philosopher.

He told his joke merely to gain time.

The infinitive of purpose generally follows the predicate verb. But if special stress is laid on the infinitive of purpose, it may be placed at the head of the sentence. However, it is not often found in this position.

e.g. To relieve my feelings I wrote a letter to Robert.

I forgive you. To prove it I’ll drop in at your lab some time.

Occasionally the infinitive of purpose is placed between the subject and the predicate.

e.g. Ann, to pass the time, had left her kitchen to see whether Mr. Faber was all right.

The infinitive as adverbial modifier of consequence is used with the particle to. It is structurally dependent — we find it in a peculiar sentence pattern, the first part of which is (he) had only to… or (he) had but to….

e.g. I had only to look at mother to know the answer.

He had only to open the door to find the anxiously waiting for him.

Here was romance and it seemed that you had but to stretch out your hand to touch it.

In this sentence pattern the action expressed by the predicate verb- it is sufficient to perform the first action for the second action to follow.

The use of the infinitive of consequence is frequent.

The infinitive as an adverbial modifier of comparison is also structurally dependent. It is preceded by than and modifies a predicate group containing the comparative degree of an adjective or an adverb. The infinitive is generally used with the particle to, tough it may be sometimes found without it.

e.g. She seemed more anxious to listen to he troubles of other than to discuss her own.

I should have known better than to expect to find it.

Damn it, I’ve got more important things to do than look at the sea.

This function is not of frequent occurrence.

The infinitive (with to) may serve an adverbial modifier of condition. In this case it expresses a condition under which the action of the predicate verb can be realized. The predicate verb is, as a rule, used in the form of the Conditional Mood.




1.      M. Blokh. A Course in Theoretical English Grammar. M., 1983 p.280

2.      M. Bryant. A Functional English Grammar. Boston, 1995 p.270

3.      Ch. Fries. The Structure of English. N.Y., 1952 p.290

4.      Z. Harris. String Analysis of Sentence Structure. The Hague, 1962 p.270

5.      B. Ilyish. The Structure of Modern English. М.-Л., 1965 p.260