2

The boy friend fled into a rehab facility, but the police remained inscrutable; those who had been with her on the evening before her death were hounded; thousands of columns of newsprint were filled, and hours of television news, and the woman who swore she had overheard a second argument moments before the body fell became briefly famous too, and was awarded smaller-sized photographs beside the images of the beautiful dead girl.
(The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith)

If ‘fell became’ were ‘fell become’ with past participle, it would have remained no curiosity. Yet verbs hand in hand without coordinator looks very foreign to me. Is it natural way of speaking with any verbs? Or is there some rule that restricts the usage?

1
  • 2
    "the woman (who swore she had overheard a second argument moments before the body fell) became briefly famous too"
    – Pockets
    Aug 9, 2014 at 12:48

1 Answer 1

4

As Samuel Lijin points out, you have a 'bracketing' problem here. Fell and became belong to different constituents.

  • The verb fell heads the clause which is the object of the preposition before. The PP before the body fell modifies moments: When did she hear the second argument? —She heard it moments before the body fell.

  • The verb became heads the first of two conjoined predicates whose subject is the woman: What happened to the woman who swore she had overheard a second argument moments before the body fell? —She became briefly famous too, and ...

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .