1

I came across the sentence like

"The ship began to move gently down the river with the out-running tide".

I checked "out-running tide" in dictionary but I can't find them. Could you teach me?

| improve this question | | | | |
  • 2
    The tide has ended, and the water is receding. It looks as if the excess water is "running out" of the river back into the sea. – CowperKettle Mar 5 '16 at 17:23
3

The out-running tide is tide which is running out. The participle-phrase can be turned into an adjective, but when that happens, the preposition, here out, is moved to the head:

When the tide is running out we can call it the out-running tide.

You won't necessarily find in a dictionary every adjective which can be formed in this manner.

Although it would be grammatical to transform almost any such phrase in this manner, if native speakers as a group don't tend to do so, the transformation would sound a little odd, or perhaps "literary". Here's an example:

His baggy trousers were slipping down.

He tightened his belt because he was wearing baggy down-slipping trousers.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | | | | |
  • That's the best worst example I can remember seeing in a long time. :-) +1 for a great explanation. – J.R. Mar 5 '16 at 19:34

Your Answer

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.