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The blonde girl named Sarah, who was a foreign exchange student from England, quickly climbed the ladder of popularity during her junior year, smiling her way through cheerleading and an ASB presidency term she inched near the top and was a sure fit as junior prom queen."
The above is taken from grammarly.com, an example of modifiers.
Is "The blonde girl named Sarah quickly climbed the ladder of popularity"
Or
"She inched near...queen" the main idea?
What is the grammatical form and function of "smiling her way...term"?
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JigneshbharatiWhat is the grammatical form and function ...

You ask this nearly every time you post, and I'm never sure what you want to know. Maybe you could explain it sometime. Emotion: smile

JigneshbharatiThe blonde girl named Sarah, who was a foreign exchange student from England, quickly climbed the ladder of popularity during her junior year, smiling her way through cheerleading and an ASB presidency term she inched near the top and was a sure fit as junior prom queen.

The sentence is anomalous (not correct).

It's like two sentences squeezed together in such a way that it's hard to untangle them. I think I might separate them thus:

The blonde girl named Sarah, who was a foreign exchange student from England, quickly climbed the ladder of popularity during her junior year. Smiling her way through cheerleading and an ASB presidency term, she inched near the top and was a sure fit as junior prom queen.

JigneshbharatiIs "The blonde girl named Sarah quickly climbed the ladder of popularity"Or"She inched near...queen" the main idea?

In view of the fact that it's really two sentences, each is the main idea within its own sentence.


'smiling her way ...' is a participle clause. Mr Bharati! You know this! Emotion: smile

CJ

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https://www.grammarly.com/blog/modifiers/

Thank you CJ.

Is "smiling her way through" an idiom as I couldn't find online? Is it also applicable to "an ASB presidency term"?

"What is the grammatical..." seems to be one my idiosyncrasies.

I took a look at that link. I'm surprised that that example got past the editors at Grammarly. It's a horrible example, and it totally fails as the illustration of modification they intended to create.

JigneshbharatiIs "smiling her way through" an idiom

Not an idiom. It's called the "X's way" construction. It's always followed by a prepositional phrase that shows a resultant state or location.

More examples:

She shopped her way around New York.
We talked our way out of the problem.
The mountaineer climbed his way to the top.
The students worked their way through the book.
The stranger pushed his way through the crowd.

JigneshbharatiIs it also applicable to "an ASB presidency term"?

Yes.

CJ

What does way mean here?

Generally it means path, method.

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Jigneshbharati

What does way mean here?

Generally it means path, method.

It means 'path', but it's not a literal path. It's supposed to suggest progress, forward movement.

If you push your way through a crowd, you are making a path for yourself to go through the crowd. You may have to use your elbows a little to do that. So the "X's way" construction can suggest exerting an effort to "clear the path" as you attempt to accomplish your goal, as in "climb your way to the top of a mountain", or "cut your way through a jungle".

CJ

Thank you so much 😊

https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/work-your-way-to-through-etc-something

Does the above (b) fit the context?

Or

It's a completely different construction.

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JigneshbharatiDoes the above (b) fit the context?

Yes. That is certainly one of the more common uses of the X's way construction. It's so often used that it has its own entry in a dictionary. But as we have seen, it's not the only example of an X's way construction. Far from it.

JigneshbharatiOr It's a completely different construction.

No. It's not sufficiently different to classify it in a different way. It belongs with all the other X's way examples.

CJ

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