Source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/many-ukrainians-flee-to-russia-angry-afraid-determined-to-stay-1404333568?ru=yahoo?mod=yahoo_itp

An excerpt from that news article:

Oksana Vasilieva was in the kitchen of her home on Comintern Street in the Ukrainian city of Slovyansk in late May as the shelling of her neighborhood began. She screamed for the children to run outside and then herded them into the cellar.

When they emerged, the neighbors' house had been hit. So had their sandy-brown dog, its dead body mangled in the remnants of a destroyed metal fence. She boarded an evacuation bus and fled to Russia.

Alright, this means that their sandy-brown dog had been hit too and then it goes on to tell us what happened with the dog's body. But I don't really see the predicate part. Its dead body appears to be the subject of the sentence. But then we have the phrase describing the dog's dead body: mangled in the remnants of a destroyed metal fence. That just tells us some more about the dog. But where's the predicate part? What is happening with the dog's body? The dead and mangled body of a dog in the remnants of a destroyed metal fence and...?

  • I asked a similar question once. It's an absolute clause. I think you have no problem to understand mangled as a past participle used for indicating the passive. See my old question here: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/17110/…. Jul 3, 2014 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


The 'matrix clause' (the main clause of the sentence) is

So had their sandy-brown dog.

  • Its subject is their sandy-brown dog, inverted with its predicate (which is a rule with so)
  • So represents a combination of the meaning too or also and the last part (complement) of a predicate headed by the initial auxiliary had. This complement is 'anaphoric': it refers (like a pronoun) to the same component of the previous sentence, been hit.

So the whole is parsed thus:

[SUBJ The neighbors' house]   [PRED             [HEADhad] [COMPLbeen hit]].
[SUBJ Their sandy-brown dog]  [PRED ALSO       [HEADhad] [COMPLbeen hit]].
                         ⇓      So                   ⇦
[SUBJ Their sandy-brown dog]  [PRED [ [COMPLSo ] [HEADhad] been hit]
[PRED [COMPLSo ] [HEADhad]   [SUBJ their sandy-brown dog]

The last part of the sentence, after the comma, is a separate clause, Its dead body was mangled in the remnants of a destroyed metal fence; this is loosely subordinated to the matrix clause by recasting the finite passive construction was mangled as a ‘bare’ passive participle. As Damkerng T. says, this converts it into an absolute construction.

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