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Do these two analyses make sense? Options
Maggie Q
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 5:34:28 AM
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Joined: 5/15/2017
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,343
The soldier lay low to the ground.

Question 1: In this case, the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right? (-How low did the soldier lie? -To the ground.)

Question 2: I’m just wondering if the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’

P.S. In this case, ‘lie low’ means to hide so you will not be caught by someone.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 3:17:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,208
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Maggie Q wrote:
The soldier lay low to the ground.

Question 1: In this case, the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right? (-How low did the soldier lie? -To the ground.)

Question 2: I’m just wondering if the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’

P.S. In this case, ‘lie low’ means to hide so you will not be caught by someone.
Yes. You have it right in both cases. Both would be understood in the context of avoiding being seen.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
NKM
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 3:42:03 PM

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Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,116
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Just to add a little perspective:

FounDit is right, but you're not very likely to hear "lay low" used that way as a past tense (though you may see it in writing.)

"Lie low", meaning "to try to avoid being found", is common enough. But the past tense of "lie" sounds exactly like the present tense of "lay", so many people (maybe most people) would be more likely to say "laid low" — grammatically incorrect, but unmistakably past-tense.

Of course "laid low" has a different meaning when it's passive — i.e., when "laid" is used as a participle. To "be laid low" is to be incapacitated or disabled by something, such as illness or injury.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 5:31:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,114
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello Maggie.

I'm British, so I may have a different viewpoint on this sentence from the Americans who have already answered.

I agree with them that the sentence is good and gives me the idea which you intend to give.

In "my grammar", I would split it differently.

"The soldier lay low." - with a full stop, no added phrase - simply means the soldier hid for some time.
He may have lain low in an attic!
"Lie low" is the phrasal verb meaning "to remain hidden", "to keep or be concealed or quiet" or "to wait for a favourable opportunity".

This guy is lying low - concealed in a tree waiting for an opportunity to shoot.



"The soldier lay low to the ground" does not use the phrasal verb.
He may have lain flat on the ground in full view.

The subject is "the soldier"
The verb is "lay" - past tense of 'lie'
The phrase "low to the ground" is an adverbial phrase, qualifying 'lie'

These soldiers are lying 'low to the ground' but are not particularly hiding.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Maggie Q
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 8:51:52 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 5/15/2017
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,343
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hello Maggie.

I'm British, so I may have a different viewpoint on this sentence from the Americans who have already answered.

I agree with them that the sentence is good and gives me the idea which you intend to give.

In "my grammar", I would split it differently.

"The soldier lay low." - with a full stop, no added phrase - simply means the soldier hid for some time.
He may have lain low in an attic!
"Lie low" is the phrasal verb meaning "to remain hidden", "to keep or be concealed or quiet" or "to wait for a favourable opportunity".

This guy is lying low - concealed in a tree waiting for an opportunity to shoot.



"The soldier lay low to the ground" does not use the phrasal verb.
He may have lain flat on the ground in full view.

The subject is "the soldier"
The verb is "lay" - past tense of 'lie'
The phrase "low to the ground" is an adverbial phrase, qualifying 'lie'

These soldiers are lying 'low to the ground' but are not particularly hiding.




Thank you


The soldier lay low to the ground.

The soldier.......lay............{..[low]...............................to the ground...................................}
Subject.......... verb...........{ [adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}
Subject.......... verb...........{.................................. ..adverbial phrase...................................}

Question 1: In this case, 'lie low' is a verb phrase so 'Subject..........verb...........{[adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}' make more sense, right?


The soldier lay
Q: How was he lying?
A: He was lying low.
Q: How low?
A: Low to the ground.

Question 2:

Q: How low?
A: Low to the ground.

Which means, in this case, the adverbial phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right?

Question 3: In this case, 'to the ground' is an adjunct, which means that the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’Right?

P.S. In this case, ‘lie low’ is a verb phrase meaning to hide so you will not be caught by someone.
Maggie Q
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 8:53:43 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 5/15/2017
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,343
NKM wrote:
Just to add a little perspective:

FounDit is right, but you're not very likely to hear "lay low" used that way as a past tense (though you may see it in writing.)

"Lie low", meaning "to try to avoid being found", is common enough. But the past tense of "lie" sounds exactly like the present tense of "lay", so many people (maybe most people) would be more likely to say "laid low" — grammatically incorrect, but unmistakably past-tense.

Of course "laid low" has a different meaning when it's passive — i.e., when "laid" is used as a participle. To "be laid low" is to be incapacitated or disabled by something, such as illness or injury.




Thank you


The soldier lay low to the ground.

The soldier.......lay............{..[low]...............................to the ground...................................}
Subject.......... verb...........{ [adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}
Subject.......... verb...........{.................................. ..adverbial phrase...................................}

Question 1: In this case, 'lie low' is a verb phrase so 'Subject..........verb...........{[adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}' make more sense, right?


The soldier lay
Q: How was he lying?
A: He was lying low.
Q: How low?
A: Low to the ground.

Question 2:

Q: How low?
A: Low to the ground.

Which means, in this case, the adverbial phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right?

Question 3: In this case, 'to the ground' is an adjunct, which means that the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’Right?

P.S. In this case, ‘lie low’ is a verb phrase meaning to hide so you will not be caught by someone.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 11:31:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,114
Neurons: 149,104
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Ah right!

So -
Q1 - yes that is how I read it.
The soldier lay - he put himself into a prone position. The past tense of 'lie'.

lie
intr.v. lay (lā), lain (lān), ly·ing (lī′ĭng), lies
1. To be or place oneself at rest in a flat, horizontal, or recumbent position; recline: He lay under a tree to sleep.


How did he lay?
Low to the ground.
This adverbial phrase is made up of the adverb 'low' and the adverb of degree 'to the ground'.
It does not have any implication of 'hiding'.

2. Yes
If I were speaking this sentence, I would make the adverbial phrase modify the whole clause.
It would not change the meaning, but would change the pronunciation and punctuation.
"The soldier lay, low to the ground."
Most probably, I would avoid any misunderstanding by saying "The soldier lay flat on the ground."

3. In my mind, this changes the meaning - which, I think, means that it is not classified as an adjunct.

"The soldier lay low" means "The soldier was hiding."

lie low (idiom)
1. To keep oneself or one's plans hidden.
2. To bide one's time but remain ready for action.

American Heritage

lie low
a. to keep or be concealed or quiet
b. to wait for a favourable opportunity

Collins English Dictionary

"To the ground" could not be used as an adverbial for this meaning.
Replacing 'lay low' with its meaning 'hid' would give:
"The soldier hid to the ground." which does not make sense

***********
If I wanted to say that he was hiding by lying on the ground, I would use another adverbial or another verb:
"The soldier lay low, flat on the ground."
"The soldier lay low, lying on the ground."
"The soldier hid, lying on the ground."



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Maggie Q
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 11:34:57 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 5/15/2017
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,343
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Ah right!

So -
Q1 - yes that is how I read it.
The soldier lay - he put himself into a prone position. The past tense of 'lie'.

lie
intr.v. lay (lā), lain (lān), ly·ing (lī′ĭng), lies
1. To be or place oneself at rest in a flat, horizontal, or recumbent position; recline: He lay under a tree to sleep.


How did he lay?
Low to the ground.
This adverbial phrase is made up of the adverb 'low' and the adverb of degree 'to the ground'.
It does not have any implication of 'hiding'.

2. Yes
If I were speaking this sentence, I would make the adverbial phrase modify the whole clause.
It would not change the meaning, but would change the pronunciation and punctuation.
"The soldier lay, low to the ground."
Most probably, I would avoid any misunderstanding by saying "The soldier lay flat on the ground."

3. In my mind, this changes the meaning - which, I think, means that it is not classified as an adjunct.

"The soldier lay low" means "The soldier was hiding."

lie low (idiom)
1. To keep oneself or one's plans hidden.
2. To bide one's time but remain ready for action.

American Heritage

lie low
a. to keep or be concealed or quiet
b. to wait for a favourable opportunity

Collins English Dictionary

"To the ground" could not be used as an adverbial for this meaning.
Replacing 'lay low' with its meaning 'hid' would give:
"The soldier hid to the ground." which does not make sense

***********
If I wanted to say that he was hiding by lying on the ground, I would use another adverbial or another verb:
"The soldier lay low, flat on the ground."
"The soldier lay low, lying on the ground."
"The soldier hid, lying on the ground."



Thank you
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:01:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,114
Neurons: 149,104
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Those were the questions I just answered . . . Think
Maybe I don't understand what you are actually asking.

Q1. You want to know whether your analysis:
Quote:
In this case, 'lie low' is a verb phrase so 'Subject..........verb...........{[adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}'
make more sense, right?

It makes sense to me except that the final adverbial phrase is not an adjunct.
If you remove it, it changes the meaning of the sentence.

"The soldier lay low to the ground" means "The soldier lay close to the ground."
If you remove the last adverbial phrase:
"The soldier lay low" means "The soldier remained hidden." or "The soldier hid, waiting for an opportunity."

Quote:
Q2. the adverbial phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right?

Yes

Quote:
Q3: In this case, 'to the ground' is an adjunct, which means that the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’Right?
In this case, ‘lie low’ is a verb phrase meaning to hide so you will not be caught by someone.


If you mean to use 'lay low' to mean 'hide', then it is impossible to use "to the ground" as an adverbial to modify it.
It does not make sense.
The soldier hid to the ground.

The sentence "The soldier lay low to the ground" has a totally different meaning from "The soldier lay low, near the ground."

*********
I think that you have the two terms "verb phrase" and "phrasal verb" mixed up.

A phrasal verb is a verb which is made up of two or more words - and it has an idiomatic meaning different from the basic meaning of the words.
'lie low' is a phrasal verb meaning 'hide', 'remain quiet', 'wait for an opportunity'.
phrasal verb n
(Grammar) (in English grammar) a phrase that consists of a verb plus an adverbial or prepositional particle, esp one the meaning of which cannot be deduced by analysis of the meaning of the constituents:
"take in" meaning "deceive" is a phrasal verb.


A verb phrase is a verb, plus adverbs, objects and so on.
verb phrase n
(Grammar) grammar a constituent of a sentence that contains the verb and any direct and indirect objects but not the subject.


In the sentence "The soldier lay low to the ground", "lay low to the ground" is the verb phrase.
It is not a phrasal verb.

In the sentence "The soldier lay low", "lay low" is a phrasal verb.
The word 'low' is not an adverb, it is a particle and is part of the verb 'lay low'.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Maggie Q
Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:35:35 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 5/15/2017
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,343
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Those were the questions I just answered . . . Think
Maybe I don't understand what you are actually asking.

Q1. You want to know whether your analysis:
Quote:
In this case, 'lie low' is a verb phrase so 'Subject..........verb...........{[adverb]...adverbial prepositional phrase (adjunct) modifying "low".}'
make more sense, right?

It makes sense to me except that the final adverbial phrase is not an adjunct.
If you remove it, it changes the meaning of the sentence.

"The soldier lay low to the ground" means "The soldier lay close to the ground."
If you remove the last adverbial phrase:
"The soldier lay low" means "The soldier remained hidden." or "The soldier hid, waiting for an opportunity."

Quote:
Q2. the adverbial phrase ‘to the ground’ functions as an adverbial of degree modifying the adverb ‘low,’ right?

Yes

Quote:
Q3: In this case, 'to the ground' is an adjunct, which means that the meaning of the sentence ‘the soldier lay low’ is still complete without the prepositional phrase ‘to the ground.’Right?
In this case, ‘lie low’ is a verb phrase meaning to hide so you will not be caught by someone.


If you mean to use 'lay low' to mean 'hide', then it is impossible to use "to the ground" as an adverbial to modify it.
It does not make sense.
The soldier hid to the ground.

The sentence "The soldier lay low to the ground" has a totally different meaning from "The soldier lay low, near the ground."

*********
I think that you have the two terms "verb phrase" and "phrasal verb" mixed up.

A phrasal verb is a verb which is made up of two or more words - and it has an idiomatic meaning different from the basic meaning of the words.
'lie low' is a phrasal verb meaning 'hide', 'remain quiet', 'wait for an opportunity'.
phrasal verb n
(Grammar) (in English grammar) a phrase that consists of a verb plus an adverbial or prepositional particle, esp one the meaning of which cannot be deduced by analysis of the meaning of the constituents:
"take in" meaning "deceive" is a phrasal verb.


A verb phrase is a verb, plus adverbs, objects and so on.
verb phrase n
(Grammar) grammar a constituent of a sentence that contains the verb and any direct and indirect objects but not the subject.


In the sentence "The soldier lay low to the ground", "lay low to the ground" is the verb phrase.
It is not a phrasal verb.

In the sentence "The soldier lay low", "lay low" is a phrasal verb.
The word 'low' is not an adverb, it is a particle and is part of the verb 'lay low'.


Thank you
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