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# Absolute Phrases

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Intern
Joined: 02 Feb 2019
Posts: 2

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28 Feb 2020, 12:03
Hey,
I saw the following example in Manhattan prep guide:
Right: Owen walked out of the store, his head held high.

Why is the above example not a Run-on sentence (since it is connecting two independent clauses only using commas)?

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Joined: 04 Sep 2016
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28 Feb 2020, 20:40
Ayushigupta2948

Absolute phrases are basically noun + noun modifers

Quote:
Right: Owen walked out of the store, his head held high.

Why is the above example not a Run-on sentence (since it is connecting two independent clauses only using commas)?

In your example, there is no proper FANBOYS connector between two independent clauses.

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Joined: 04 Dec 2015
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07 Mar 2020, 18:51
2
Ayushigupta2948 wrote:
Hey,
I saw the following example in Manhattan prep guide:
Right: Owen walked out of the store, his head held high.

Why is the above example not a Run-on sentence (since it is connecting two independent clauses only using commas)?

"His head held high" isn't an independent clause! You could say "he held his head high," and that would be an independent clause. However, as written, it's a modifier, and the sentence is correct even without a conjunction.

That's the short answer - here's a little more elaboration if you're curious. "held" isn't really a verb, in your example sentence. It's actually something called a participle. However, it's not immediately obvious that's the case, because "held" is an example of a word that looks (is spelled) the same regardless of whether it's a verb or a participle. The clue is that when you use the verb "held," the subject of the verb has to be holding something. "His head" would have to be the subject, given its position in the clause; however, the head isn't holding anything!

This sentence is similar to yours, grammatically:

Owen walked out of the store, whistling a happy song.

This sentence is also correct, and it isn't a run-on, even though it doesn't have a conjunction. That's because "whistling" is a participle, and that makes the second half of the sentence a modifier (not an independent clause).
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Re: Absolute Phrases   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2020, 18:51
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