She has too much pride to pull the sheets above her head.

Is above the head modifies sheets or pull??

To my understanding, it can be either.

She can pull the sheets that above her head off somewhere


She can pull the sheets from somewhere to cover her head.

So which one is right???


This is a song lyric, you can read the whole of it here.

The little part of it is here:

She shuts the doors and lights and lays her body on the bed
Where images and words are running deep
She has too much pride to pull the sheets above her head
So quietly she lays and waits for sleep

And an additional question: Does the sentence mean that she has too much pride, so she won't pull the sheets above her head???

  • Bed sheets? A piece of fabric? Why would she do that, having too much pride to do it? Context, please!
    – Victor B.
    Mar 10, 2018 at 21:36
  • 1
    Surely, you mean: to pull the sheets over her head, as in cover. Not above. If she pulls the sheet above her head, that would be impossible for the same person.....
    – Lambie
    Mar 10, 2018 at 21:39
  • @Rompey Context added.
    – preachers
    Mar 10, 2018 at 21:43
  • 1
    @Lambie Another person trying to learn English from the lyrics of popular songs. Notice "lays" in the last line quoted. Mar 10, 2018 at 21:56
  • @Jeff Morrow Oh, Thank you, you reminded me an important thing. Actually, my main goal is to learn English pronunciation through it, the meaning is the second thing.
    – preachers
    Mar 10, 2018 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


The phrase modifies the action denoted by pull and so is adverbial. To be sure, the phrase does define where the sheets are and so does give additional information about the sheets as objects. But the mere physical position of bed sheets does not in itself involve her pride: would she feel shame if she walked under sheets drying on a line. Rather, she would be ashamed of the act of cowering in her bed. Grammatical roles cannot be assessed without reference to meaning.

  • I appreciate your answer, it's very helpful. But it's hard to understand "above her head", what does that mean? It's not "cover her head", it's "above her head"!
    – preachers
    Mar 10, 2018 at 22:55
  • 1
    One might argue that above her head is simply an unidiomatic substitute for over her head. I would respectfully disagree while conceding that over her head is far more common, at least in the U.S. (Ngrams provides some support for that claim on frequency.) In any case, it means that she pulls the bed sheets higher than the top of her head so that her face is covered. Now, as Lambie has cleverly implied, this probably is not meant to apply to the bottom sheet, but you can't expect sense from a popular song. Mar 10, 2018 at 23:16

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