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Jigneshbharati
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:07:47 AM
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Hurricane Sally moved slowly closer to the US Gulf Coast on Tuesday...
I read the above at Timesofindia.com.
Why do we need "closer" and "close"?
Is it an adjective in the given context?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:15:46 AM

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It didn't move to the coast. It has not reached the coast.

So you need to express where it actually is, or what direction it is moving in.


close/closer
What is the difference between the two?

It moved close to the coast.
ie it ended up near the coast.
What does 'near' or 'close to' mean? One mile, ten miles, 500 yards?


It moved closer to the coast.
This is a comparative. It is closer compared to where it was before.
ie it was out in the Gulf, and now it has moved closer to the coast.
It is not a vague distance, it is a comparative direction.
And what is the implication of that?
It is moving in that direction. But slowly.
That is the important bit. Not where it is - you know where it is. What is important is what direction it is moving in, and how fast, so you can prepare to get out of its path.


It is the relative change that is the important information.
That is not expressed by 'moved to the coast', because it is not at the coast.
It is not usefully expressed by 'moved close to', because it is not close to the coast. It is still out over the sea.
But it is perfectly expressed by 'moved closer to'. It is heading towards the coast. So keep watching the news and prepare for it to hit you.






Jigneshbharati
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:31:11 AM
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thar, your explanation style is the best!
thar
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 4:54:47 AM

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thankyou! Happy if I can help. Angel

I just noticed I didn't answer the question about terminology directly, only indirectly.
Tara2
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 4:58:41 AM

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Jigneshbharati wrote:
thar, your explanation style is the best!

Yes, agreed
Tara2
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:02:46 AM

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thar wrote:
thankyou! Happy if I can help. Angel

I just noticed I didn't answer the question about terminology directly, only indirectly.

You always help us. Wh are very thankful to you always.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 2:23:33 PM

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Hi Jignesh.
That's a good question - is it an adjective?

Maybe some grammar expert can explain, but here are my thoughts on that.

In FORM it is an adjective (the comparative adverb would be "more closely").
However, it is describing the direction of the verb "moved", so seems to be (at least partly) doing the job of an adverb.

I would explain it (though I may be wrong) as "an adjective which is part of an adverbial phrase".

"closer" is an adjective.
But "closer to the shore" is an adverbial phrase.

Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:52:25 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
But "closer to the shore" is an adverbial phrase.

I have been thinking about this. If "closer to the shore" in "I moved closer to the shore" is an adverbial phrase, wouldn't that make "closer" in "I moved closer" a one-word adverbial phrase (i.e. an adverb) if the words "to the shore" are removed?

I think "closer" in "I moved closer" is an adjective (a subject complement), and likewise "closer to the shore" is an adjectival phrase complementing the subject (= I moved so that I was closer to the shore).
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:06:27 PM

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Hmmm. . .
Quite possibly - mine was conjecture.

Then I would say that "closer" was an adjective in an adverbial clause "so that I was closer to the shore" (modifying "move").
Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:29:01 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Then I would say that "closer" was an adjective in an adverbial clause "so that I was closer to the shore" (modifying "move").

That is one possible reading. Do you see any grammatical difference between the following?

1. I was positioned closer to the shore.
2. I stood closer to the shore.
3. I moved closer to the shore.
4. I sang closer to the shore. ["so that I was..." does not work here]
5. Closer to the shore, something moved.
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 3:03:47 AM
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🙏
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:20:55 AM

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Hi Jignesh.
I guess you have more than your answer now.
I'm going to continue the discussion with Audiendus, but please "jump in" if you have another question on this topic!

Hi Audiendus.
Definitely - I see at least three different constructions . . .

1. I was positioned closer to the shore. I see "was positioned" as a past continuous and effectively stative. "closer to the shore" looks like an adjective. Like "The grass was coloured green."

2. I stood closer to the shore. "Stand" (by definition really) is stative. It's "closer" the adjective in an adjectival phrase. As above.

3. I moved closer to the shore. "Move" is not stative. This is "closer" the adjective, in an adverbial phrase of direction. "Closer to the shore" is the direction "shorewards".

4. I sang closer to the shore. ["so that I was..." does not work here] This is the adjective "closer" in an adverbial phrase of location.

5. Closer to the shore, something moved. This is the adjective "closer" in an adverbial phrase of location.

Do I pass? Anxious
BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:48:04 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:


1. I was positioned closer to the shore. I see "was positioned" as a past continuous and effectively stative.


It may be stative in one of its possible meanings, but it's past simple (passive).
Audiendus
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 9:46:01 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi Audiendus.
Definitely - I see at least three different constructions . . .

1. I was positioned closer to the shore. I see "was positioned" as a past continuous and effectively stative. "closer to the shore" looks like an adjective. Like "The grass was coloured green."

2. I stood closer to the shore. "Stand" (by definition really) is stative. It's "closer" the adjective in an adjectival phrase. As above.

3. I moved closer to the shore. "Move" is not stative. This is "closer" the adjective, in an adverbial phrase of direction. "Closer to the shore" is the direction "shorewards".

4. I sang closer to the shore. ["so that I was..." does not work here] This is the adjective "closer" in an adverbial phrase of location.

5. Closer to the shore, something moved. This is the adjective "closer" in an adverbial phrase of location.

Do I pass? Anxious

I agree with you on 1, 2, 4 and 5. I think I agree on 3 also, but this would make 3 and 4 similar in grammatical structure. However, we can invert 4 (Closer to the shore, I sang) but not 3 (Closer to the shore, I moved), which shows that they are structurally different.

I will think further about this. Thanks for your comments anyway.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020 3:37:28 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

1. I was positioned closer to the shore. I see "was positioned" as a past continuous and effectively stative.

It may be stative in one of its possible meanings, but it's past simple (passive).

Ah, I see. Sorry, you're right. That sentence form could be either:

I was positioned closer to the shore. = My position was closer to the shore. (past simple stative)
I was positioned closer to the shore. = Someone positioned me closer to the shore. = Someone moved me to a point closer to the shore. (past simple passive dynamic)

This is one of the times when the two do not mean at all the same thing.
One would have to decide from context.
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020 8:53:22 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I was positioned closer to the shore. = My position was closer to the shore. (past simple stative)
I was positioned closer to the shore. = Someone positioned me closer to the shore. = Someone moved me to a point closer to the shore. (past simple passive dynamic)

Some languages use different verbs for these two meanings. For example, German uses the verbs sein and werden for stative and passive respectively, and Spanish uses estar and ser. (Use Google Translate to translate "I was trapped" (stative) and "I was seen" (passive) into German, and you will see that the auxiliary verb changes.)
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