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'The dying girl' Vs. 'The dead girl' (participles) Options
A cooperator
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 1:37:47 PM

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Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,880
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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone!
I am right about thinking of these forms as the following:
"Me and the Earl and the dying girl." means "Me and the Earl and the girl who is/was/has been dying."
"Me and the Earl and the dead girl." means"Me and the Earl and the girl who is/was/has been dead."




Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
thar
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:15:03 PM

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In each case the word before the noun describes the noun. There is no verb so there is no tense, but the participle is the action happening at that time. And the adjective describes the person at that time.

But what does that mean to you?

I think you will make this too complicated if you try to match them too closely.

Dying is a participle - it represents an action. The girl was dying. That was what she was doing.

The dying girl
The running girl
The laughing girl.

At that moment, she was dying, or running, or laughing.
If you are dying, you may end up dead, or you may be saved and end up fine. It doesn't say what happens next. Dying is not a very dynamic action, but grammatically it is still an action, just as much as laughing.

'dead' is an adjective. It describes the state of the girl. She is dead. She is not alive. She may have just died, or she may have died a long time ago. It is not something that she is doing, or something that is happening to her. It just describes her at that time. And if she is a dead girl, then unless this is a horror story she is going to stay that way.
The dead girl
The tall girl
The French girl

I am not sure from your question why you want to write the sentences that way - whether you are questioning the timing of the action, or something else.
But there is a difference in meaning - one is happening, and you can do something about it.
One is a state, and there is nothing you can do about it.
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:13:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,880
Neurons: 10,567
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
thar wrote:
I think you will make this too complicated if you try to match them too closely.
Dying is a participle - it represents an action. The girl was dying. That was what she was doing.

The dying girl
The running girl
The laughing girl.

At that moment, she was dying, or running, or laughing.
If you are dying, you may end up dead, or you may be saved and end up fine. It doesn't say what happens next. Dying is not a very dynamic action, but grammatically it is still an action, just as much as laughing.


Thanks a lot, Thar
1- does any present participle modifying a noun a participle represent an action.
a walking boy => a boy who is/was/has walking.
a Lying man => a man who is/was/has been lying.
Etc.

2- if a participle comes after a noun, then what it represents:

Caring my sick mother is a time consuming.
The man asking me is rogue.
The boy walking is my friend.
Any man lying can do anything.

thar wrote:
'dead' is an adjective. It describes the state of the girl. She is dead. She is not alive. She may have just died, or she may have died a long time ago. It is not something that she is doing, or something that is happening to her. It just describes her at that time. And if she is a dead girl, then unless this is a horror story she is going to stay that way.
The dead girl
The tall girl
The French girl


Thar,
1- if an ordinary adjective(non-derived adjectives from P.P), such as tall, French, bad, etc. is followed by or following a noun, then no doubt it describes a state of sth. However, "dead" is past participle which can be passivised form (something that is happening to someone).
The dead man was buried.

2- if a participle comes after a noun, then what it represents:

The man dead was buried.=> The man who was dead was buried.


As I am asking in general, not only with "dead".

I've been struggling to master these patterns to be able to write my own sentences well.
So, would you be so kind as to tell me the key of mastering such structures?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, November 12, 2018 6:20:31 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,406
Neurons: 179,317
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!
Just as a general comment (to answer your last question first) I don't know the key to understanding these.
I can only give the advice - "It will help you if you continue to 'experiment' - making up sentences like these and being corrected. Then trying again."

One piece of advice is that you should know that "the use of the past participle in sentences and adjectival phrases & clauses" is one subject.
"the use of the present participle in sentences and adjectival phrases & clauses" is a completely different subject. They are related - both involve participles and adjectivals - but are different subjects. It will be easier to learn each one than to try to combine them into a composite subject (That's rather like trying to learn "The digestive systems of mammals" and "The digestive systems of carnivorous plants" as a combined subject. It's possible, but is simpler if you separate the parts).

That is how 'native speakers' learn.
However, maybe someone else has a better idea, and can give you better advice.

************
There are some verbs which are very common, but very awkward to use as examples, because they don't always follow the patterns which almost all other verbs follow. (Be, have, 'lie - lay, lain, lying, lies', 'lie - lied, lying, lies and lay - laid, laying, lays are examples). I will try to avoid those type.

***********
Not all present participles modifying nouns (placed before the noun in the sentence) really represent an action directly - but (I think this is true, and can't think of any exception) they represent an action, a 'mental action' or a state resulting from an action.

The singing boy was very good. ("Singing" is the action being done by the boy. "Singing" is an adjectival participle.)
The thinking man was so occupied that he walked into a tree. ("Thinking" is a 'mental action' - you don't see any activity, but it is something you DO.)
The lying man woke up and said "Where am I?" ("Lying" is a state, the result of having lain down - active, he did it himself - OR a result of having been laid down - passive, someone else knocked him down or something).

**************
The present participle after a noun is adjectival (that is the job it does), and it is often connected to other words which make the meaning more exact.

The boy singing the ballad was very good.
"Singing" is the participle,
"Singing the ballad" is a participle phrase acting as an adjective.
You can consider it to be equivalent to a reduced relative clause, if you want to. (I usually just consider the whole participle phrase to be "an adjective".

Similarly:
The man thinking about the accident walked into a tree.

The man lying in the street woke up and said "Where am I?"

*************
You have a totally different form of sentence as your first example.

"Time-consuming" is an adjective. It has its own definition in the dictionaries.
time-consuming adj
taking up or involving a great deal of time


Caring for my sick mother is time-consuming.
"Caring for my sick mother" (noun, subject of the sentence)
"is" - (verb, linking verb)
"time-consuming" (adjective, subject complement)

******************
The participle/adjectival is usually put before the noun if it is a single word.
It comes after the noun if it is connected up as a phrase.
The running horse is black.
The horse running across the field is black.
The walking boy is my friend.
The boy walking down the road is my friend.

Many verbs sound a little 'odd' when used alone, and are quite rare.
The asking man is a rogue. - not a common sentence.
The man asking me is a rogue. - more common.

**************
"Dead" is an adjective. It is not part of a verb at all.

The present participle of the verb "die" is "dying".
The past participle is "died".
It cannot be passive, because 'die' is intransitive.

You cannot have "Someone died him" - it is "He died."
You cannot have "He was died" - it is "He was killed." (the transitive verb is 'kill'.)

******
The dead man was buried.
"Dead" is an adjective.
"was buried" is the passive verb.

**************
I hope that helps.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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