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I found Berhman in his room helpless with pain and fever.

I have read about the following structure associated with the word "find":

  • "find (object) (adjective)".

But I am somehow confused with this sentence, choosing between

  1. "Berhman in his room" as the object of "found", and
  2. "in his room" as the adverb of "found".
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    What do you mean by "I have read find object adjective?" The prepositional phrase "in his room" does not serve as an adverbial phrase. Instead, it modifies "Berhman," which is the object of "found." – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 2 '16 at 6:03
  • It looks as if you put punctuation in random places here and there without rhyme or reason. We use a space only after punctuation, not before it. What does "helpless with help" mean? – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 2 '16 at 6:06
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    "Berhman" is direct object of "found". The object complement is the AdjP "helpless with pain and fever". The preposition phrase "in his room" is a locative complement of "found". – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 7:28
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Functions of each constituents is shown below -

[I]COMPLEMENT [found][PREDICATOR] [Berhman]COMPLEMENT [in his room]ADJUNCT [helpless with help]COMPLEMENT.

I -> COMPLEMENT (Subject) -> Realized by a pronoun, a subclass of Noun Phrase.

found -> PREDICATOR -> Realized by a verb.

Berhman -> COMPLEMENT (Object) -> Realized by a Noun Phrase.

in his room -> ADJUNCT -> Realized by a Prepositional Phrase.

helpless with help -> COMPLEMENT -> Realized by Adjective Phrase.

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  • Would you not consider that "in his room" is a locative complement rather than an adjunct? The PP is structurally comparable with a predicative (it is object orientated) and hence comparable to assigning a property to the object "Berhman". – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 7:35
  • @BillJ that is what I initially thought. But then it occurred to me that we can drop that PP without making that sentence ungrammatical. – Man_From_India Sep 2 '16 at 7:44
  • That's true, but then omissibility is not always a good test for adjuncthood. In general, complements can often be dropped without loss of grammaticality but they are still complements, as in "We cycled [from Oxford to Banbury]"; "I left my wallet at home, so Jill paid [the bill]". If we compare examples like "The keys are [in the drawer]" and "I hid the keys [in the drawer]", the PP "in the drawer" has a similar function in both since it denotes the location of the keys. And yet the PP is a complement in the first, and an adjunct in the second. Interesting! – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 8:47
  • @BillJ I think I have a reason to not consider that PP as a complement. The verb - find - licences two slots. Both are complement - one is object and the other is predicative complement. If that AdjP is a predicative complement, the PP has to be an adjunct. On the other hand, in the absence of that AdjP, that PP is a complement. – Man_From_India Sep 2 '16 at 14:03
  • Yes, I agree with you about "find" having 2 complements, the object "Berhman" and the PC "helpless with pain and fever". The bit about the PP "in his room" is subtle, perhaps, and it certainly looks like a locative adjunct, but I'm reasonably certain that it is a 3rd complement of "find". Have you got a copy of CGEL to hand? – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 14:13
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I use traditional, standard English grammar, and this might help...

I found Berhman in his room helpless with pain and fever.

This is a Simple Sentence with one subject "I" and one verb "found."

"found" is a transitive verb and takes an object, here, a direct object: Berhman.

The verb "found" is modified by an adverb prepositional phrase "in his room" to answer what an adverb would ask, "Where?" Where did you find Berhman? In his room.

The preposition phrase consists of the preposition "in" a possessive pronoun "his" and the object of the preposition (a noun or pronoun) "room."

An adjective doesn't always have to come right next to the word it modifies, so "helpless" is just that an adjective modifying "Berhman."

e.g. I found helpless Berhman in his room with pain and fever. [sounds awkward, hence, it's placed later in the sentence]

The adjective "helpless" simply means "without help or defense" and is being modified to by the adverb prepositional phrase "with pain and fever." The phrase answers, "To what extent?" To what extent was he helpless? Pain and fever caused him to become helpless more or less.

The objects for the preposition "without" are "help, defense" [both nouns]

So...

But I am somehow confused with this sentence, choosing between

"Berhman in his room" as the object of "found", and

"in his room" as the adverb of "found".

You are correct on both.

Again, Berhman is the object (direct object) of found.

in his room is the adverb modifying found.

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  • No, "helpless with pain and fever" is not a modifier; it is an objective predicative complement of "found". The preposition phrase "in his room" is locative complement of "found". – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 13:36
  • @BillJ it's true that AdjP is a predicative complement. But it is at the same time a modifier of the object. – Man_From_India Sep 2 '16 at 13:55
  • I never said "helpless with pain and fever" is a modifier. The definition of "helpless" as an adjective: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helpless // is separately modifying the direct object, and the adverb phrase "with pain and fever" is modifying the adjective. Please review the Eight Parts of Speech for what an adjective and an adverb functions as; also, learn about prepositional phrases: grammar-monster.com/glossary/preposition_definition.htm and grammar-monster.com/glossary/prepositional_phrase.htm // – Arch Denton Sep 2 '16 at 13:56
  • You said "helpless" was a modifier, and since "with pain and fever" is part of the adjective phrase, it follows that you are saying "helpless with pain and fever" is a modifier, which it isn't. – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 13:59
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    No, the AdjP "helpless with pain and fever" is not modifying "Berhman"; it is an objective predicative complement of "find". It is of course object orientated, hence its name "objective PC" but there is a big difference between modifiers and complements. A typical and very commonly-used example is "They painted the house red", where "house" is direct object and "red" is objective PC (not modifier). – BillJ Sep 2 '16 at 14:21

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