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Consider (Source):

  1. A goldfinch flew across the field, struck the glass and was knocked inert.
  2. The large birds flew together and struck the glass; they were knocked into a stupor.

Question 1 : Would you tell me how the adjective can be used after verb in sentence #1? I am saying that since I never saw the verb knock being used as a linking verb.

Question 2: As far as I know, stupor is a state and knock someone into something means to make someone strike something. Has the verb knock used figuratively? I want to know more about it.

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    He was knocked out. He was knocked unconscious. The baseball player knocked the ball out of the park. They slapped him silly. Jun 25, 2016 at 12:58
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    You have transitive knock being cast in the passive. The birds were knocked unconscious by the collision. Jun 25, 2016 at 13:03
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    unconscious and out are complements of the verb indicating the resulting state of that which got knocked. Jun 25, 2016 at 13:04
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    1 See this question 2. 'knock' is not being used figuratively. You are can use 'knock into (a state)'–for example, knocked into a stupor; just like you can say 'knocked senseless' (see 1). Jun 25, 2016 at 13:52
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    She left the room angry is ambiguous, as it could be the room that was left angry, as in 'the people who stayed in the room'. @DamkerngT. Also, angry could be used as a flat adverb here, and thus equivalent to angrily. So maybe Cardinal's comment asking about the two sentences is best covered as a new question and answer. Jun 25, 2016 at 17:18

1 Answer 1

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Question 1 : Would you tell me how the adjective can be used after verb in sentence #1? I am saying that since I never saw the verb knock being used as a linking verb.

  • A goldfinch flew across the field, struck the glass and was knocked inert.
    • 'Knock' is used as a linking verb in the sense that two objects collided and therefore produced a result, this result being the "inert" state which the bird now finds himself. With a verb like this, you need the adjective to describe how he was knocked - was he knocked silly? Knocked unconscious? Knocked simply off-balance? The adjective describes which state the thing being knocked becomes as a result of the knocking.

Question 2: As far as I know, stupor is a state and knock someone into something means to make someone strike something. Has the verb knock used figuratively? I want to know more about it.

  • The large birds flew together and struck the glass; they were knocked into a stupor.
    • Again, this is the same thing as above, just a little different. Because they knocked the glass, they went into a stupor. The implied meaning here is the word 'upon,' in two cases. The new sentence might read like this: "The large birds flew together and struck upon the glass; upon doing so, they were knocked into a stupor."
      • It can be used figuratively. The example you linked to is very literal, and closest to the actual definition of the word 'knock.' It's a very active verb in the sense that there is only one thing that can happen when someone is knocked - they are knocked, literally. They fall over. They stumble, etc. But with idioms and phrases, this verb acts completely different. Some examples are: knock into shape, knock the habit, etc. Keep in mind though that there are multiple definitions of knock, such as which apply only to what you'd do to a door, for example. Some mean 'punch.' Some are lighter than that and only mean 'tapped,' or something similar. It's all about context, unfortunately.
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  • Thank you for the answer. Just for curisity, are you native? I checked your profile, but it seems you did not edit your prifile.
    – Cardinal
    Aug 7, 2016 at 19:30

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