Hello.

Sentence:

-He broke the glass, thus being scolded by his mother.

Out of context, I came up with 2 interpretations of this sentence:

1. He was scolded by his mother almost right after he broke the glass.

Considering this sentence has the same formulation as:

-He fell off the bike, breaking his knees.

The time differential between these 2 actions is very small.

2. He broke the glass some time ago and he is being scored by his mother now. 

 

Which interpretation is correct? or maybe both?

Many thanks in advance.

Last edited by Robby zhu
Original Post

Well, someone posted it elsewhere and they were discussing about the exact meaning of it. I actually don't know where it came from, probably, from a test. I never thought it wouldn't work.

Is it possible to rescue it from ungrammaticality by making a little change?

 

Last edited by Robby zhu

I prefer this:

- He broke the glass, being scolded by his mother as a result.

Although "thus" can indicate consequence, the meaning expressed by "thus" is  similar to "and in this way":

- He broke the glass, thus getting seriously injured.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor
Robby zhu posted:

Is it possible to rescue it from ungrammaticality by making a little change?

I like the change that Gustavo has suggested; "as a result" makes it clear that the scolding came as a result of his breaking the glass.

I also agree that original sentence does not work. Perhaps present-participial clauses of result don't work well in the passive, without overt indicators of result.

Here is another way of fixing the sentence. Notice that it does not use the passive and does not need an overt indicator of result:

  • He broke the glass, earning a scolding from his mother.

Although no overt indicator of result is needed there, we could add "thereby" before "earning" to make it extra clear.

  • He broke the glass, thereby earning a scolding from his mother.

One other way to fix the sentence is to use an absolute clause with an indicator of result like "forthwith." This fix is rather formal and old-fashioned.

  • He broke the glass, his mother scolding him forthwith.

Thanks for these good versions, Gustavo and David. And I also want to know if it is possible to convey the idea by using a present-participial clause that he broke the glass yesterday and he is being scolded by his mother now(not right after his broking).

Last edited by Robby zhu
Robby zhu posted:

And I also want to know if it is possible to convey the idea by using a present-participial clause that he broke the glass yesterday and he is being scolded by his mother now(not right after his broking).

He is being scolded by his mother for breaking / having broken the glass.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

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