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Hi,

The sentence
(1) "Though he was a child, he could outwit the robber"

can, in a very formal writtten style, be rephrased as

(2) "Child as he was, he could outwit the robber."

My question is: What is the rationale for the absence of the article 'a' before 'Child' in (2)?

Happy New Year, everyone!
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The sentence
(1) "Though he was a child, he could outwit the robber"

>>>>>>>>>>>>
JTT:

Hi Komountain. Is your real name Koyama? Can I ask you about the sentence above. What is the context surrounding it?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

can, in a very formal writtten style, be rephrased as

(2) "Child as he was, he could outwit the robber."

My question is: What is the rationale for the absence of the article 'a' before 'Child' in (2)?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
JTT: I'm not familiar with "Child as he was,". I've only heard "Child that he was". This phrasing doesn't refer to a person as A child; it is a deprecating statement meaning somebody is acting childishly rather than as the adult they should be.

A good paraphrase might be,

Acting childishly, ...

But I'm a bit confused. Your second sentence doesn't say the same thing as your first one. (1) states that the person is a child while (2) leads us to believe it's an adult acting like a child.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Hello Komountain

Did you mean to write for #2: 'Child though he was'?

This would fit the context better.

MrP
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Hi, JTT and MrP.

First, I am not a Japanese. komountain is just my log-in handle. I know 'mountain' is 'yama'
in Japanese. I know just that much about the language. Asked many times, however, if Koyama is my real name, I am tempted to ask back if it sounds strange, pompous, arrogant, silly, or something in Japanese.

Second, judging from your responses, "Child as he was" doesn't seem to be the same as
"Child though he was". This is where I'm shaken up. In this particular construction, I have always thought 'as' is equivalent to 'though', thus interchangeable. My first-language dictionaries I have just consulted list two sentences fitting the construction in question.

*Woman as she was, she was brave.
*Hero as he was, he shuddered at the sight.

If you both still shake your heads on these examples, I am linguistically behind the times and so too are the dictionaries. I am afraid I have too old an English writing style under my belt.
If that is the case, I'm more than ready to throw away the apparently problematic structure. While looking for a garbage can, I'm waiting for a few more feedbacks.
Is this a bilingual dictionary, Komountain? While and can be used interchangeably in some instances, that doesn't mean they can be used across the board in all situations.

I see these types of strange English sentences all the time in Japanese-English dictionaries.
Yes, bilingual ones.

Based on your responses, the [Noun as S V] structure doesn't exist in comtemporary English.
But given that the two examples I presented in my previous post have somehow made their entry into the dictionaries whose quality you may question, I wonder if the structure was used in the past like in the 19th century or older times, if not today.

With the [Noun As S V] construction put aside for a moment, is the [adj/adv as S V] pattern (as shown in the following examples) acceptable then?

1. Hungry as he was, the old man shared his food with the children around him.
2. Hard as he tried to swim back to the shore, he felt he was being pulled farther away from it.

If these two sentences are okay, I would conclude that the [adj/adv as S V] pattern is in use, while the [Noun as S V] construction is not. Could my conclusion be legitimate?
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Hello Komountain

Those two sentences seem fine to me.

Don't throw your books away yet. It may be that e.g. 'child as he was' is used, in some regions or contexts. I'll look into it a little further.

MrP
Thank you, MrP.

I'm agog for your research results.

In the meantime, let's suppose 'Child though he was' is the correct expression.
Then, I'd like to go back to my very first post and ask the same question: What's
the rationale for the absence of the article 'a' before 'Child'?
Still waiting for your research result, MrP.

I'd appreciate it if you'd be so considerate as not to put this thread on the back burner.

Thank you.
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