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I need grammatical explanation for this sentence "its poor torn mouth an O of agony". It's weird to me that there is no verb in this sentence, I think it would be like "It's poor torn mouth formed an O of agony"

Full context:

The boy seized it and tore the bait from its mouth, ripping it horribly.

'Oh!' I whispered, covering my own lips.

It got a lot worse. The fish was flopping about frantically, its poor torn mouth an O of agony.

From "Buried Alive" by Jacqueline Wilson

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Aug 24 '18 at 7:47

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Actually it doesn't need a verb there, because there is already a main clause with a verb ("was flopping"). You could also write:

The fish was flopping about frantically, its poor torn mouth [like] an O of agony.

Compare:

I went to sleep, tired as a log.

She was screaming, [with] her hair [in] a mess.

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Some people refer to such clauses as "absolutes" and others call them "free adjuncts". They act as modifiers of the main clause and can omit a form of the verb-to-be. Semantically they pertain to the main clause but syntactically they're disconnected from it.

His hat at a rakish angle, he strode up to the bar and ordered a whisky, neat.

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