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About 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

Asked if she had been embarrassed by the protests which have followed her around on her two-day visit, Ms Rice said she respected the demonstrators' right to protest.

"Democracy is the only system that allows people to be heard and be heard peacefully," she said.

"When there are more places where people's voices can be heard peacefully, especially in the Middle East, we are all going to be better off."

Saddam overthrow 'right'

Ms Rice said her meeting with local Muslim leaders had been "stimulating and candid".




She said they had discussed how conflicts could be better resolved through "politics and debate than through conflict and violence". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She said they had discussed how conflicts could be better resolved ........

Is it a must to use the past perfect in this context?

Wouldn't you write the simple past?

She said they discussed how conflicts could be better resolved ........... [ Is this flawed?]
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Ms Rice said her meeting with local Muslim leaders had been "stimulating and candid".



She said they had discussed how conflicts could be better resolved through "politics and debate than through conflict and violence".

Ms Rice said her meeting with local Muslim leaders was "stimulating and candid".



She said they discussed how conflicts could be better resolved through "politics and debate than through conflict and violence".

The first quote is more precise, formal, journalistic, and - might I say - elegant.
The second is more informal and conversational.
These illustrate differences in style, not differences in grammatical correctness.
As is appropriate, the news article was written in journalistic style.

CJ


RotterAbout 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.
Hello, guys

I'm interested in the usage of "were gathered outside". Is this a passive construct? Or is it a copula predication using an adjective "gathered"? I cannot find an adjective "gathered" in any of my dictionaries. If it is a passive construct, is it a passive version of "someone gathered demonstrators"? Personally I feel this "were gatherd" might be synonymous to intransitive "gathered" or "had gathered". Could you give me your opinion?

paco
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I found it as an adjective (adjective: brought together in one place) at One Look, but actually, I am surprised that you would expect to find all -ed adjectives in any dictionary. I would have thought that they expect the reader to extrapolate them from the verb. As usual, I suppose that this case could be interpreted either way. One test, I recall, is whether it can also premodify:

The crowd was gathered = the gathered crowd

but

The child was born vs the born child (?)
Paco2004
RotterAbout 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.
Hello, guys

I'm interested in the usage of "were gathered outside". Is this a passive construct? Or is it a copula predication using an adjective "gathered"? I cannot find an adjective "gathered" in any of my dictionaries. If it is a passive construct, is it a passive version of "someone gathered demonstrators"? Personally I feel this "were gatherd" might be synonymous to intransitive "gathered" or "had gathered". Could you give me your opinion?

paco
In Longman it is under gather v come together (I) come together and form a group

be gathered Dozens of photographers were gathered outside Jagger's villa.

It is interesting that it has not been listed under gather (T), which is suggestive of its not being a passive construction. I think it is a special use, where the normal rules do not apply. Maybe it is just a relic from the Old English. Maybe a native can tell me whether there is any difference between:

Dozens of photographers were gathered outside Jagger's villa and

Dozens of photographers gathered outside Jagger's villa.
Hello MM and Diamond

Thanks for your quick responses. I agree with MM that we had better take "be gathered" as <be + adjective> as long as we want to be happy with the current main-stream grammar. However, I sometimes imagine that it might be possible we have another system to describe such stuff like "be gathered".

I noticed quite recently that it is rather common in English that past participles of intransitive verbs are used in combination with "be" to tell a state of the subject, which was a result of the subject's past activity described by the intransitive verb. Some examples I came across here in this forum are "He is retired", "We are prepared to do something", and, probably "She is dressed in a red robe". I understand that syntactically those sentences could be analyzed as <is/are + adjective>, but I feel they are close to <has/have + past participle> semantically. So I have an opinion that it might be better for us ESL learners to classify these sentences into a special type of copula predication, a bit different from the common copula predications of the form <be + adjective> such as "He is American" or "She is pretty".

paco
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Yes, that would be a useful classification, Paco.

MM (unsigned-in)
MrMicawberYes, that would be a useful classification, Paco.
Thanks, MM.

paco
AnonymousYes, that would be a useful classification, Paco.
(EX) So, "you're done" means "you're finished", right?
(EX) The winter is past, and the spring flowers have come again.
(EX) His father, who is retired, was a reporter for a newspaper.
(EX) I'm not certain I'm parked in a legal space.
(EX) They heard the news that a rapist was escaped from prison.
(EX) We are gathered here to morn the loss of our best friend.
(EX) I'm prepared to do anything to defend our country.
(EX) A lot of my youth memories are vanished or left in the shadows.
(EX) My mother, who is now deceased, was named Mary Butler.
(EX) The piers and harbor-side buildings are collapsed and gone,
(EX) My visa is expired. How do I get my visa extended?

paco
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Diamondrg
Paco2004
RotterAbout 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.
Hello, guys

I'm interested in the usage of "were gathered outside". Is this a passive construct? Or is it a copula predication using an adjective "gathered"? I cannot find an adjective "gathered" in any of my dictionaries. If it is a passive construct, is it a passive version of "someone gathered demonstrators"? Personally I feel this "were gatherd" might be synonymous to intransitive "gathered" or "had gathered". Could you give me your opinion?

paco
In Longman it is under gather v come together (I) come together and form a group

be gathered Dozens of photographers were gathered outside Jagger's villa.

It is interesting that it has not been listed under gather (T), which is suggestive of its not being a passive construction. I think it is a special use, where the normal rules do not apply. Maybe it is just a relic from the Old English. Maybe a native can tell me whether there is any difference between:

Dozens of photographers were gathered outside Jagger's villa and

Dozens of photographers gathered outside Jagger's villa.

Um.....I can't resist this one....

The context is the gathering of 200 demonstrators. "Were gathered" to me sounds a bit odd, although I heard that usage before in news cast. My curiousity is who "gathered" the 200 demonstrators? If the gathering is due to the demonstrator themselves, then should it be "had gathered" rather than "were gathered". Just food for thought.......Emotion: smile