'Thanks,' said Harry, picking up a packet of tiny black Pepper Imps. 'What's Hogsmeade like? Where did you go?'

By the sound of it — everywhere. Dervish and Banges, the wizarding equipment shop, Zonko's Joke Shop, into the Three Broomsticks for foaming mugs of hot Butterbeer and many places besides.

'The post office, Harry! About two hundred owls, all sitting on shelves, all colour-coded depending on how fast you want your letter to get there!'

I couldn't identify any verbs in the sentence in bold above. Does it have a verb in it? To me, it just provides a list of shops' names. I'm not sure if it is common in English. I've never seen this type of sentence before. Do we have a specific technical term to address it? Or if any kind of the guide when/where/how to use it?

  • 1
    It is a response to the question "Where did you go?" and so went is understood to be present: "(went) everywhere" and what follows is a list of a places apposite everywhere. You could replace that full stop after "everywhere" with a colon or dash, and the dash before everywhere with a comma. Those are mere vagaries of punctuation. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 18 '18 at 12:38
  • I don't quite follow "by the sound of it" which is normally something said by a listener to a story, not the teller of the story, at least in my experience. By the sound of it, you went everywhere, not By the sound of it, I went everywhere. I've always heard "by the sound of it" used to mean "judging from what has been said" though I suppose it could mean "judging from what is about to be said". Who is speaking those words? Is that how those paragraphs are presented in the book? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 18 '18 at 12:42
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Yeah, I have read that part several times. I have a little doubt about it, but as a learner I can't decide anything and just try hard to follow new conventions. – dan Nov 18 '18 at 12:49
  • Is it the narrator's (not the character's) voice intruding, summarizing the character's tale and describing the listener's (Harry's) reaction in advance of presenting the list of places visited? Is that Ron who is talking about the owls? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 18 '18 at 12:50
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo This is the exact copy from the book. It's not the words from any characters. – dan Nov 18 '18 at 12:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.