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The sentence at issue is

When I woke up with my legs dangling over the side of the bed, my feet touched something other than the floor.

Could you help me determine whether "with my legs dangling over the side of the bed" is an adverbial clause of manner or and adverbial clause of accompaniment, or does it have an entirely different function? I have searched on the Internet but found very few examples of adverb clauses starting with "with", so further explanations would be extremely appreciated!

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  • Here "with" functions as a preposition.
    – Sam
    Nov 2, 2022 at 5:58
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    Thank you for your answer. I understand the part of speech of "with" is a preposition. But in this example it also serves as the beginning of an averbial clause, the function of which is what I want to focus on. This is also similar to the example in grammar-monster.com/glossary/adverbial_clauses.htm, where the preposition "after" starts an advertbial clause of time: "He lost his double chin after he gave up chocolate."
    – Karl
    Nov 2, 2022 at 6:48
  • It's certainly an adjunct, but I'm not sure what semantic kind it is. Possibly comitative, or otherwise manner.
    – BillJ
    Nov 2, 2022 at 8:45
  • It might even be adjectival, performing the same function as "hungry" in this sentence: "I woke up hungry." (I don't favor that interpretation, but it's possible.) Nov 2, 2022 at 16:03

2 Answers 2

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When I woke up with my legs dangling over the side of the bed, my feet touched something other than the floor.

"With" is used here to express manner. It expresses the way in which an action occurs.

"She was walking around with an air of confidence."

"I woke up with my legs dangling over the side of the bed"

The use of "with" expressing accompaniment includes a second noun in the action, as if it were the subject, or near, allied, or akin to the subject:

"She was walking around with her friend Mary."

"I woke up with the others at the first light of dawn."

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It sounds as if the legs were found to be dangling upon their owner's waking. That sounds more like "accompaniment" than "manner". The sleeper didn't wake himself by means of dangling his legs.
But the meaning of the phrase seems clear enough, however you categorize it.

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  • Thank you for your input. The issue with this sentence was found during translation, as the translator is not sure whether if the dangling happened after or before, or at the same time the sleeper woke up. As we can't literally translate the word "with" in our language in this case, the before-after detail is rather important. I figure that knowing the semantic role of the adverb clause here would help clarifying the confusion, as accompaniment clause would mean the dangling happened along side the waking, not after it. I look forward to your continued discussion on this. Thank you very much!
    – Karl
    Nov 2, 2022 at 8:11
  • As I read it, in that sentence, with means that the waking led to the discovery of dangling legs, indicating simultaneity. Nov 2, 2022 at 16:09
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    To clarify, the sentence has no information about when the legs started dangling, and no implication that dangling caused the wakeup. Nov 2, 2022 at 18:43
  • You have to use knowledge of how people sleep, rather than relying on the grammar.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 3, 2023 at 16:23

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