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Hi, Gilbert,

In the sentence:

@gilbert posted:

"The wine should be kept chilled in the fridge"

"chilled" is a past participle functioning as an adjective. "How"-questions may be answered with adjectives or with adverbs of manner. In this case, an adjective has been used because it refers to "the wine." This is usually the case with verbs like stay, remain, feel, look or be kept, where the adjective that follows refers to the subject.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

Hi, Gilbert—I agree with Gustavo that "chilled" is functioning as an adjective there. Sometimes it can be instructive to compare one construction with others, in which one type of word is clearly right, and the other type clearly wrong:

(1a) The room was kept clean.
(1c) *? The room was kept cleanly.

(2a) He kept his room clean.
(2b) *? He kept his room cleanly.

Notice that (2b) is not an instance of the resultative construction; it doesn't mean he kept his room in a clean state. It means he kept his room in a clean manner and is equivalent to the strange sentence "He cleanly kept his room."

Last edited by David, Moderator


Notice that (2b) is not an instance of the resultative construction; it doesn't mean he kept his room in a clean state. It means he kept his room in a clean manner and is equivalent to the strange sentence "He cleanly kept his room."

Thank you very much, Gustavo and David for helping me see that chilled is a past participle doing its job as an adjective in that sentence.

David, I hope you don't mind my asking but could you help me understand what the difference is between kept his room in a clean state and kept his room in a clean manner? I thought they meant the same thing.

Could you also tell me whether this sentence makes any sense at all?:

                           "He kept the wine chillily in the fridge."

Thanks a lot.

Last edited by gilbert
@gilbert posted:

David, I hope you don't mind my asking but could you help me understand what the difference is between kept his room in a clean state and kept his room in a clean manner? I thought they meant the same thing.

Hi, Gilbert—In "kept his room in a clean state," the prepositional phrase "in a clean state" can apply either to the subject (he was clean as he kept his room) or to the object (his room stayed clean as a result of his efforts).

In "kept his room in a clean manner," on the other hand, the prepositional phrase "in a clean manner" can apply only to the subject, since a manner is not something that a room can be in.

@gilbert posted:


Could you also tell me whether this sentence makes any sense at all?:

                           "He kept the wine chillily in the fridge."

Well, that sentence need not be interpreted as giving the same meaning as "He chillily kept the wine in the fridge." The sentence may be interpreted as grammatically analogous to a sentence like this:

  • He kept his feet warmly in front of the fire.

In that sentence, the basic idea is that he kept his feet in front of the fire. "Warmly" conveys that his feet were warm as they were kept in front of the fire, and suggests that he kept his feet there for the sake of keeping them warm.

Accordingly, your unusual sentence ("He kept the wine chillily in the fridge") can be interpreted as meaning that he kept his wine in the fridge for the sake of keeping it chilly, and that the wine remained chilly as it remained in the fridge.



Accordingly, your unusual sentence ("He kept the wine chillily in the fridge") can be interpreted as meaning that he kept his wine in the fridge for the sake of keeping it chilly, and that the wine remained chilly as it remained in the fridge.

Hi, David.

I totally agree with you that it is a really odd sentence. Don't worry. I don't think I'll need to use the word chillily--ever!



  • He kept his feet warmly in front of the fire.


David, I know that we can also use warm instead of warmly in the sentence above. I'd just like to know which of the two would be more natural. Would a native speaker say, "I kept my feet warm in front of the fire" or "I kept my feet warmly in front of the fire"?

Thank you, sir.

@gilbert posted:

David, I know that we can also use warm instead of warmly in the sentence above. I'd just like to know which of the two would be more natural. Would a native speaker say, "I kept my feet warm in front of the fire" or "I kept my feet warmly in front of the fire"?

Hi, Gilbert—Both sentences are fine from a native-speaking standpoint, but the meaning and syntax are slightly different. In "I kept my feet warm in front of the fire," the basic idea is that you kept your feet warm; where you did that was in front of the fire. It was in front of the fire that you kept your feet warm.

In "I kept my feet warmly in front of the fire," the basic idea is that you kept your feet in front of the fire. "Warmly" modifies "in front of the fire," but few adverbs could be substituted for it. It functions as commentary. Here are two other cases where the adverb before the prepositional phrase works similarly.

  • He kept his gold securely in a safe-deposit box.
  • They lived dangerously near the wildfire.

"Warmly" modifies "in front of the fire," but few adverbs could be substituted for it. It functions as commentary. Here are two other cases where the adverb before the prepositional phrase works similarly.

  • He kept his gold securely in a safe-deposit box.
  • They lived dangerously near the wildfire.

That's very interesting. I had never thought about it that way, but it does make sense. It seems to me that, in such constructions, the prepositional phrase explains why the adverb of manner holds true. There seems to be a causal relationship: being in front of the fire implies warmth, being inside the safe implies security, being close to the wildfire implies danger.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

Here are two other cases where the adverb before the prepositional phrase works similarly.

  • He kept his gold securely in a safe-deposit box.
  • They lived dangerously near the wildfire.

Hi, David.

Reading your sentence, "He kept his gold securely in a safe-deposit box" and comparing it to "I  kept my feet warmly in front of the fire", has helped me better  understand how the adverb works.

Thank you so much. 

It seems to me that, in such constructions, the prepositional phrase explains why the adverb of manner holds true.

HI, Gustavo.

This sentence from your reply makes a lot of sense to me.

Thanks a lot.

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