If an object complement can be an adjective, noun, or pronoun, what is then "working at the desk" in this sentence?

I found Jack working at the desk

Why isn't it adverbial of place?

  • 3
    I'm not sure if I understand your question correctly, but I think this is an object complement because it describes Jack, not the act of finding. You didn't find him by working at the desk, you found him and he is working at the desk. – stangdon Mar 18 '16 at 20:01
  • I think what OP means is why working at his desk is not an adverbial and is a complement instead. He believes working at his desk is actually the short form of this sentence: "I found Jack while he was working at his desk". I think it's a good question. – Yuri Mar 31 '16 at 21:00

I found Jack [working at the desk].

That [working at the desk] is an object complement, consisting of various grammatical elements. It's Jack who is [working at the desk].

working => Gerund-Participle form of verb, realised by a verb + ing. Here it indicates the action of Jack in progress at the time of my finding him.

at the desk => An adjunct, indicating the place where Jack's action is taking place at the time of my finding him. This adjunct is realised by a Prepositional Phrase (PP) - at the desk. The head preposition is - at and it's complement is a Noun Phrase (NP) - the (determiner) desk (head noun).

  • 3
    I don't think "Jack working at his desk" can be an NP, especially if "working at the desk" is a Complement of the verb found. Also consider the passivisation "Jack was found working at the desk" and compare it with "*Jack working at the desk was found". – Araucaria - Not here any more. Jul 10 '16 at 10:12

Isn't it a reduced relative clause?

I found Jack who was working at the desk.

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