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correct adverb placement
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:29 am    Post subject: correct adverb placement Reply with quote

This is the sentence I received back from a student by e-mail: The secretary finished the report and gave it quickly to her boss.

I was actually only wanting to figure out if it should be “gave it quickly” or “quickly gave it.” Then I looked up adverbs (http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/word-order/adverb-position) and quickly is an adverb of manner which means, according to the website, that these adverbs are put behind the direct object. So according to what I understand quickly is in the right place. However, I'd actually say “quickly gave it.”

In my quest to remember what the direct object is, I had to look up sentence diagramming, since I have forgotten a lot since my MA. I became even more curious about my sentence and came up with this basic model, but am unsure what to do with “boss.”

So my questions are: is this sentence wrong: The secretary finished the report and gave it quickly to her boss. and what is boss (indirect object?)? If the sentence is wrong, why and what is the right answer?
Thanks for your help. I've always found the discussions interesting.
By the way, this website: http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/directobject.htm was helpful to me and you can legally print out the info on it for students.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd just be happy that the adverb wasn't put in an ungrammatical position (*and gave quickly it to her boss; *to quickly her boss; *her quickly boss). And to be honest, I think applying function labels (to boxed or singly-bracketed items) is usually enough, and diagramming a little unnecessary.

An indirect object normally precedes the direct object in SVOO sentences, or becomes "dative" (or rather, appears after a preposition i.e. in a prepositional phrase) when put in second place (as in the student's example). The reason we might be or become unclear which is which (in the absence or forgetting of such rules) must have something to do with how the function can subtly change without any movement of the item:

He told his parents. ('His parents' is simply O).

He told his parents the news. ('His parents' has become an I.O, cf. He told the news to his parents).

Note that ostensibly ditransitive verbs will sound odd if there isn't an I.O "recipient" stated for the D.O (or some other item that wouldn't leave the D.O "hanging" quite so badly):

?He told the news. (vs. ...the news calmly?).
?She gave the report. (vs. ...the report in?).

My first port of call for formal grammar reference is usually Chalker & Weiner's excellent Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar, and I quite often base or develop a fair bit of my posts on or from it. (For example, the 'An indirect object normally precedes the direct object in SVOO sentences' bit of the above is verbatim, and the 'He told his parents...' examples the inspiration for my 'The reason we might be or become unclear...' point). It is inexpensive enough that I often recommend it on these forums. Wink


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quickly gave it
gave it quickly
gave it to her boss quickly

All same meaning. Adverbs are flexible that way. Some restrictions apply, case by case.
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fluffy,

I am trying to digest your post. So either way, as Glenski said, would be okay for her to write that sentence?
The diagramming is just for me. The more I delve into it, the more curious I become. I wouldn't be sharing that with my student, but I do want her to have the best possible English since she presents internationally at conferences.
So if I understand correctly, the I.O. is "to her boss?"
I will definitely check out the Oxford dictionary. I still haven't been able to get my books I need, but hope to get them eventually.
I guess maybe one problem with understanding where adverbs go is that they are flexible.
Thanks to you both for the answers.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aww, I thought that was a pretty clear post from me for once LOL.

As Glenski's said (and I was implying), adverbs are fairly moveable/fine in a variety of positions, so I think the student's and your choices are both equally valid (I certainly wouldn't start formulating any too-rigid rules about the point you raised).

The I.O in your sentence is just 'her boss'. (The 'to' is only needed because '*She gave the report her boss', versus 'She gave her boss the report', would be clearly ungrammatical, i.e. the preposition necessarily separates the nouns when they are in a report-boss order, and shows among other things the "directional" relationship between them).


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay! So I did understand your post. I didn't actually mean that I thought "to" was part of the I.O., so I had that right.
Thanks again.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, no worries JN! How's the sentence diagram going by the way, and what book was used on your MA to teach you them? (Just curious!).
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't remember what grammar book was used. I haven't been able to look at it for 2 1/2 years. It's packed away at my mom's house. I think I've satisfied my diagramming for right now. I've got to concentrate on my actually lesson planning, since my students definitely don't want to diagram.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:


quickly gave it
gave it quickly
gave it to her boss quickly

All same meaning. Adverbs are flexible that way. Some restrictions apply, case by case.



Nicely done! Economical and elegant.

.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, Glenski just "expanded" on the really easy one!
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being such a stickler on spelling and grammar, etc. myself, I just have to correct my post. It should be "my actual lesson planning."
Glenski was very helpful, but I'd have to say that I wouldn't have been satisfied without Fluffy's "non-expanded" explanation.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks JN! Honour is restored! Laughing

I don't think it's being a stickler to muse about grammar (or to correct one's own spelling LOL), and Chalker & Weiner just happens to be a good muse for me, in that the little extra details and terms that their book supplies get me thinking a bit more than the average reference. And there are some references (e.g. Michael Pearce's otherwise excellent Routledge Dictionary of English Language Studies) that fail to mention that the I.O can come last/after a preposition. Surprised But perhaps I should make something like Swan's Practical English Usage (Second edition - but there's at least a Third out!) my first port of call from now on, as he's usually clear yet detailed enough, and might therefore help keep me on the "straight and narrow":

Quote:
583 verbs with two objects
1 indirect and direct objects
Many verbs can be followed by two objects - one indirect and one direct. Usually the indirect object refers to a person, and comes first.
He gave his wife a camera for Christmas.
etc.

2 indirect object last
We can put the indirect object after the direct object. In this case it normally has a preposition (usually to or for).
I handed my licence to the policeman.
Mother bought the ice-cream for you, not for me.


One thing I find strange in Swan (in 583.3, where he discusses what to do/what order to use when both objects are pronouns) is that he implies that Give it (to) me (i.e. Give it me) is more acceptable informally than (the unstated) Give me it (the analogy he seems to be making is with the "unnatural" He gave you it, though his other example of Send them them is admittedly a bit silly-sounding). So he isn't always as clear or straightforward as he could be (but then, there's always going to be a little reading between the lines involved at some point with whatever reference work!). IMHO awry prescriptions are Swan's weak point - he either rules out some things that sound fine to my ear, or on the other hand almost champions what I'd consider marginal or questionable usages.

All I need to do now is keep Swan off the double-packed shelf and readily accessible! Cool


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indirect object jokes:

1. A man staying at a hotel awoke late for an important appointment, dressed hurriedly and rushed downstairs. As he exited the lobby, he yelled at the doorman, "Quick, call me a taxi!"
The doorman gave him a quizzical look, shrugged his shoulders and replied, "OK, you're a taxi."

2. A man buys an old brass oil lamp at a garage sale. When he takes it home and polishes it, to his amazement, a genie appears and says, "Master, I am at your service. I may grant you three wishes."
The man thinks for a bit and then says, "OK, first I want a hundred billion dollars in my bank account."
The genie waves his hand and announces, "It is done, Master."
Next the man orders, "Now, I want the most beautiful woman in the world to be hopelessly in love with me."
The genie waves his hand, and Angelina Jolie appears, throws her arms around the man's neck and begins kissing him passionately.
After a while, the genie says, "You have one more wish, Master."
The man reluctantly disengages himself from Ms Jolie, thinks for a moment, and finally says, "Well, gosh - I have money and the most beautiful woman in the world. What more could I need? Hmm, actually, I'm a bit hungry. Genie, make me a ham sandwich."
The genie raises his eyebrows, and then, shrugging his shoulders. says,
"Your wish in my command, Master." Shazam, you're a ham sandwich."

Grammar humor
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Regards,
John


Last edited by johnslat on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the ol' SVOO to SVOC switcheroo, John (or the VNN to VN-N, as the OALD would have it). Funny. Razz
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fluffy, you mention that Swan mentions that informally people might say, Give it me. Are there native speakers that would actually say that? I never would, but maybe that's just my language background.
John, the grammar humor was fun!
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