Hello Teachers

I often come across sentences where subject-oriented adjectives are used just as adverbs.
Do they sound completely natural to you?

[1] He married young to Ethel who was just eighteen.
[2] The ship Carpathia sailed empty from Liverpool to Fiume.
[3] We arrived exhausted at the 7043 feet summit.
[4] They shall return honored and triumphant to their homes.


Completely natural. They are the essence of English. They blend quite naturally into our phrasal verb structures.

The ship sailed empty from Liverpool.
The ship sailed up from Liverpool.

He married young to Ethel.
He caught up to Ethel.

We arrived exhausted at the summit.
We pooped out at the summit.

They'll return triumphant to their homes.
They'll go back to their homes.

Paco - I spent ten minutes composing a reply to your post, and then it disppeared while I was searching for the vertical line required to produce the "nerd smiley" so I have to start over.

2, 3 and 4 are just fine. (I have a vague feeling that is should be "the 7043 foot summit" instead of "feet" but I really can't explain why.)

Sentence #1 is a little odd, but its because of the rest of the sentence, not "he married young" (which would be fine by itself). I think the problem is that we don't say "he married to Ethel," but just "he married Ethel," and you can't say "he married young Ethel" because that would mean that Ethel was young. You can say "he got married to Ethel," but "He got married young to Ethel who was just eighteen" is just awkward - it would be better just to rephrase that sentence.

These sentences would be fine:
He married young.
He married young and regretted it later.
He married young, but he was wise beyond his years.
He married Ethel when they were both quite young.

If you happen to know how to get the nerd smiley, please let me know. I can't find that vertical line anywhere on my keyboard!
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Shift Backslash.
Probably in the row just above the Enter key.

As often happens, I find that while I'm typing my reply, CalifJim sneaks in with a more concise answer. This time, though, I must dissent on "he married young to Ethel." Jim, would you really say it that way? --khoff

Aha! - on my keyboard that looks like two separate lines, kind of like an elongated colon (which sounds like a medical problem). Thanks!! Emotion: geeked
Nope. You caught me on a detail while I was concentrating on another issue! Emotion: geeked
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Hello CJ and Khoff

Thank you for the replies as usual.

I found these sentences online. Yes, you are right. [1] is somehow wrong. How about if I changed it into like:
[1] He got married young to Ethel, who was only eighteen.

As for [3], I agree 'feet' should be 'foot'

So could I take this kind of construction as a grammatical sentence pattern? I mean, could I use any combination of that seems still not established as an idiomatic expression?

For example, could I write like this;
[1] They went back delighted with the victory to their homes.
Or should I write like this;
[2] They went back to their homes, delighted with the victory.

Hi Paco - yes, "He got married young to Ethel, who was only eighteen." is fine. With the other pair, I much prefer "They went back to their homes, delighted with the victory." With example [1], when I get to the word "victory" I somehow expect that if there is any more of the sentence it will modify "victory" -- "They went back delighted with the victory over the evil barbarians." In this sentence, "to their homes" is just too far away from "they went back." I'm sorry its not a better explanation - I hope it makes some sense. You could say, "After their victory, they went back to their homes delighted."
Hello Khoff again

Indeed, 'They went back delighted with the victory to their homes' could be taken as 'They went back, delighted [with the victory to their homes]'. I feel composition of an English sentence is a quite subtle task, if we want to make it into such a form that nobody would mistake it. Anyway thank you for your kind reply.

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