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Hi!

I'm a Spanish student. I have to submit a paper on sentence analysis on Tuesday and I really need your help. The problem is that I don't know if in the sentence "In conditions of liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans" the first constituent ("in conditions of liquidity shortage") is a verbless clause. I think it is, but come of my classmates think it is just a prepositional phrase.

Thank you very much!!!
Comments  
Hello Guest

If we are using 'verbless clause' to mean 'a clause with an implied verb', I
would not apply it in this instance, as I can't find an implied verb.

The sentence can be rearranged happily as 'they will call back these
loans in conditions of liquidity shortage', which suggests to me that the
original first phrase is indeed prepositional.

MrP

Thanks for your reply!

I was just thinking that you could also rewrite the sentence as: If they are in conditions of liquidity shortage, they call back these loans...
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Hi!

Thank you for your reply. I was just thinking that it's also possible to rewrite the sentence as follows: If they are in conditions of liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans...
Hello Antía

I was taking 'in conditions of liquidity shortage' to mean 'in the event
of a liquidity shortage', i.e.

'When there is a liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans.'

But your rewrite suggests that I've misunderstood the context, and
that the sentence really means:

'If subject to liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans'.

Is this the case?

If so, the clause is indeed verbless: 'if [they are] subject to...'

Apologies for the confusion!
MrP

Hello again,

now I cannot see the semantic difference between your two rewritten sentences...

Thanks!
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"in conditions of liquidity shortage" is a way of saying "if there is a liquidity shortage", so I believe it can be considered a verbless clause.

Or, I don't quite understand what you're asking.

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I may be imagining a semantic difference here, but I find
two possible readings. This is my line of thought:

1. Not Verbless: i.e. 'liquidity shortage' is non-specific.

a) 'In conditions of liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans' =
b) 'If there is a liquidity shortage, they...'.

Since 'if there is' replaces - and could serve as a synonym for - 'in
conditions of', nothing has been added in the transition from A to B.
Thus not verbless.

2. Verbless: i.e. 'liquidity shortage' is specific.

a) 'In conditions of liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans' =
b) '[If they are] in conditions of liquidity shortage, they...'

Here, 'if they are' adds to 'in conditions of'. Thus verbless.
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The difference seems to depend on whether we take 'in' as part
of 'in conditions of', or as part of '[to be] in', where [to be] is
implicit. I would reduce the two options as follows:

1. Not verbless - general
If [liquidity shortage] = true, then...

2. Verbless - specific
If [they experience+liquidity shortage] = true, then...

(In practice, #2 seems to be the only option that would have meaning
in terms of real loans.)

MrP

PS:
I'm ignoring a 3rd possible reading, since the comma's position precludes it:

a) 'In conditions of liquidity shortage, they will call back these loans' =
b) 'They will call back these loans in conditions of liquidity shortage' =
c) 'Liquidity shortage will accompany their calling back of these loans'.