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Hi:

I asked this question a long time ago, but I have one question remaining, if you could please take a look.

There are a series of conflicts that run throughout this story, the most important being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country, an external conflict between Trujillo and society.

There are a series of conflicts that run through this story
=Main Clause

The most important being Trujilo's abuse over the country=??What is the best way to determine if this is a gerund or particple? I was told this is a gerund phrase. So how is it functioning in the sentence? obect, appostive, subject, etc.?

an external conflict between trujilo and society=noun phrase. Apposition to 'abuse.'

Thanks a lot!
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Hi Eddie,
There are a series of conflicts that run throughout this story, the most important being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country; an external conflict between Trujillo and society.

I just want to comment briefly that the semicolon above should be followed by a main clause that can stand alone as a sentence.
In other words, what follows the semi-colon above is not correct.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi, Clive:

Yes, I know, but I thought I'd keep it the same way the writer presented it to me. It is an ugly sentence; that's for sure! I would replace the semicolon with a comma. Very few people seem to grasp when a semicolon can be used, even though it is so simple.

So do you know how the italicised words are functioning in the sentence? I realise the words following the semicolon are an appositive/noun phrase, but the other phrase is troubling me.

Cheers.
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Hi Eddie,

With regard to the semi-colon, I don't think that it's a good idea to present a sentence that you know is incorrect in some way and then proceed to ask detailed questions about other aspects of it. It can waste people's time.

As I indicated, I was really just interested in making that one comment.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Eddie
I've just started working on these grammar terms recently and was also trying to figure out the difference between a gerund and a participle. As far as I can tell, a gerund works as a noun and is usually the subject or object of a sentence. A participle phrase, on the other hand, is a modifier that describe another part of the sentence.
In your example, I think "the most important being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country" gives more information about the conflicts (I suppose it doesn't refer to "story") and therefore functions as an adjective. My opinion is that it is a participle phrase.
Hi;

I agree that this phrase modifies 'conflicts.'

However, I was told, when I previously posted this question, that it was, in fact, a gerund. If it is a gerund, then I suppose it is an appositive of conflict, but this doesn't seem right, does it.

So, I'd agree that it is a particple modifying conflicts:

There are a series of conflicts that run throughout this story, the most important being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country, an external conflict between Trujillo and society.

There are a series of conflicts that run throughout this story= Main clause

the most important being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country=Definite article;adverb;noun;particple;modifiers

an external conflict between Trujillo and society=noun phrase/apposition to 'conflicts'

Would you agree with this then?

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Hi Eddie,
I have to say again that I am no expert in grammar but since I am also learning these grammatical terms recently, I would like to try and offer my analysis. Hope some others would correct me if I got anything wrong.
Here is what I think

"There are a series of conflicts" ---> main clause

"that run throughout this story" ---> a relative clause that restrict the scope of conflicts
"the most important (of which) being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country" ---> a participle phrase referring to "conflicts" (or a relative clause set off by the omitted "which" and that the participle phrase is just part of the relative clause? I don't know.)

"an external conflict between Trujillo and society" ---> a noun phrase that functions as an apposition to the noun phrase "Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country"
Does that make sense?
The phrase "an external conflict between Trujillo and society" cannot be referring to "conflicts" in the main clause. "an external conflict" is singular and refers to only one particular conflict. The "conflicts" in the main clause refers to all conflicts in the story.
Anyway, the sentence is rather messy. We may really be wasting our time in analysing a badly written sentence.
Hi,

the most important (of which) being Trujillo’s abuse of his dictatorship over the country" ---> a participle phrase referring to "conflicts" (or a relative clause set off by the omitted "which" and that the participle phrase is just part of the relative clause? I don't know.)

Are you trying to say it is a reduced relative clause? I disagree. Why are you trying to add 'of which'?

And sorry, I meant that the phrase is in apposition to 'abuse' not conflict.
For once I agree with you about the apposition of "conflict" to "abuse," dragging along the rest of the phrases as well.
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