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In the sentence "He emerged victorious." The head judge at our Linguistics competition ruled that "emerged" is a linking verb and so "victorious" is a predicate adjective. My friend then asked if "left" could be used as a linking verb, in the sentence "He left satisfied." My guess was that "satisfied" was somehow functioning as an adverb, modifying "left". His reply was that "satisfied" can't be an adverb. We both tend to think that "left" can't be a linking verb, but he sees the situation as similar to "He emerged victorious."

Could someone please solve this dilemma?

Thank you very much!
Comments  
Hello Guest

I think they are elliptical forms of participle constructs.

The boy came back singing a song.
She married young = She married being young.
He emerged victorious = He emerged being victorious.
He left satisfied = He left being satisfied.

paco
I wonder why you feel that "leave" can't be a linking verb, especially if you accept that "emerge" can be a linking verb. Semantically, they both concern motion out, though as it turns out, that may be irrelevant.

I suppose, in a way, we could define a linking verb as any verb which can occur in the construction Subject - Verb - Predicate Adjective. (I'll ignore other possibilities for the sake of a simpler presentation just now.)

A predicate adjective is an adjective which modifies the subject, so in "He emerged victorious", the question is whether "victorious" modifies "he". Elementary, I'd say. He was victorious (when he emerged). "victorious" describes him. So in "He emerged victorious", "victorious" is a predicate adjective. That means "emerged" is a linking verb.

The parallel with "leave" seems to act the same way. In "He left satisfied", "satisfied modifies "he". He was satisfied (when he left). "satisfied" describes him. So in "He left satisfied", "satisfied" is a predicate adjective. That means "left" is a linking verb.

On the other side of the question are the arguments against the claim that "victorious" and "satisfied" are adverbs in the cited contexts.

I would claim that just as in "He emerged victorious", "victorious" does not modify "emerged" (because the act of emerging itself is not victorious), so too, in "He left satisfied", "satisfied" does not modify "left" (because the act of leaving itself is not satisfied). Compare with "He ran fast", in which "fast" does modify "ran" because the running itself is fast, making "fast" an adverb. For lack of a verb-modifying function, "victorious" and "satisfied" cannot be adverbs. (I'm ignoring adverbs which modify other elements because any such elements are absent in the given contexts.)

There is a slight difference in the two structures. In some way perhaps, the subject 'undergoes' the emerging and is less of an agent in the process, whereas the subject does not so much 'undergo' the leaving but acts as its agent. Nevertheless, I don't think this minor difference is enough to have a significant bearing on the decision to call both "emerged" and "left" linking verbs.

Hope this helps.
CJ
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i need a verb, adverb, adjective for decision. can u plz tell me a verb, adverb and adjective for decision
Hi,

i need a verb, adverb, adjective for decision. can u plz tell me a verb, adverb and adjective for decision

If you look in your dictionary at the word 'decision', very close to it you will find these words: decide / decisively / decisive.

Best wishes, Clive
I know what an adjective is, but what is a predicate adjective? Further, what is a predicate?

Thanks,

QP
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Hi,

I know what an adjective is, but what is a predicate adjective? Further, what is a predicate?

A predicate is what is said about the subject, eg in Mary cooked dinner, cooked dinner is the predicate.

A predicate (or predicative) adjective is one that is contained in the predicate following a linking verb, eg The dinner was delicious..

You might also want to consider the term attributive adjective, eg Mary cooked a delicious dinner, where the adjective qualifies a noun..

Best wishes, Clive