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The appended modifier (уточнение)

§ 191. Another way of sentence extension, but based on syntactical parallelism or doubling, is an appended modifier, which usually is parenthetic and follows the headword as an afterthought. It is a dependent part, which can refer to practically any part of the sentence and answer the same question, but in a fuller and more detailed way, narrowing or particularizing the notion, expressed by the headword. Therefore the headword is usually more general in meaning than the appended part; very often it is a pronoun, made explicit by the following nouns.

They were alike, his father and he.


Being a dependent part of the sentence, the appended modifier still cannot be opposed either to the main, or to secondary parts of the sentence. Its dependence also accounts for the reason why the appended part cannot be considered as homogeneous with the headword. Besides they are very often morphologically inacceptable in the structure of the sentence:

Her face was very pale - a greyish pallor.

His daily trips were really very easy - about a mile and a half.

There was very little to do - parading with the Company inspection, a little drill, orderly officers




Appended parts may be joined asyndetically, and in this case they are marked off graphically by a comma or a dash. They may be also joined by some conjunctions (and, or), or else by explanatory words (namely, that is, i.e. (= that is), to wit, for example, for instance); also by intensifying particles (almost, especially, etc.).

Language makers, that is ordinary speakers, are not very accurate thinkers.

He had discovered that he had a talent for mathematics - almost a genius for it.

Another way of linking the appended modifier to its headword is the repetition of the same part with modifying words.

My object is secure happiness- the happiness of both of us.

There are three structural types of appended modifiers.


1. The most common case of an appended modifier is when a different word or even a different morphological form refers to the headword. Standing for identical notions, the appended part gives a fuller and more detailed nomination of the same concept. In some way appended modifiers of this type resemble appositions, only unlike appositions, they may refer to words of non-nominal nature (verbs, adverbs). Even referring to nouns, they never qualify words, but particularize the notion.


Yet it worried her, this queer intensity of Hughie’s.

(appended subject)


I used to do as Jean Jacques did — lie down on my boat and get it glide whereas it would.

(appended predicate with dependent words)


Hughie wanted to be a star, a footballer in the big league.

(appended predicative)


And we’ll talk it over, every bit of it.

(appended object)


2. Appended modifiers of the second type form a string of homoge­neous parts referring to a headword with a general meaning (thing, problem, question, etc.). Here again the appended modifiers may refer to different parts of the sentence.


She kept up her music, she read an awful lot - novels, poetry, all sorts of stuff.


She was allowed to choose things from the shop; jam, or paste, or biscuits, or the slab cake.


3. Appended parts of the third type - with a repeated headword - usually have an emphatic force.


There was only one road: the main road, the road that struck due east.

(appended subject)


He had his pride of course, the natural pride of a liberal enlighted man.

(appended object)


He had been a fool, a presumptuous fool.

(appended predicative)


In silence they stood, in mortal silence.

(appended adverbial modifier)


The emphatic force is often manifested by adverbs of degree, intensifying particles (just, even, especially, particularly, at least, in particular), or modal words (in fact, indeed, etc.). The explanatory function is carried out by modifying words or attributive clauses.


In one place Winterbourne found... a French-woman with two starved children living in a cottage with nothing but straw - literally nothing but straw...

They assured him that they were the only men- or almost the only men - left alive...



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