What kind of grammatical construction is 'its purpose hidden' from the following fragment:?
‘All autumn the tree shed its leaves and stood in vigil outside the ward, its purpose hidden.’
Is it a subordinate? And is it a passive construction?
- NancyLv 71 year agoFavorite Answer
It isn't a subordinate clause because it isn't a clause. There's no subject-verb.
It's also not a passive construction because, again, there's no subject-verb.
The pronoun "its" refers possessively to the antecedent "tree," meaning "the tree's purpose hidden." "Its" adjectivally modifies "purpose" as a grammatical indicator. "Purpose" is a noun that is then subsequently adjectivally modified by the participle "hidden."
In short, it's an adjectival phrase that modifies the subject "tree." More specifically, the kind of adjectival phrase it is is called an "absolute phrase."
- bluebellbkkLv 71 year ago
In Latin this would be called an 'ablative absolute' - a phrase separate in syntax from the rest of the sentence, and indicating a fixed situation.
- GypsyfishLv 71 year ago
It's an adjective phrase, describing the tree. No, it's not passive. It's saying the tree has hidden its purpose. It might be called anthropomorphism- attributing human characteristics to a non-human object.