COMMENTARY

NOTES

1. A snob is a person who has too great a respect for wealth and social position, who is ashamed of connections with people in what are called "the lower walks of life"; who despises anyone whose achievements in life are lower than his own.

The word snob (snobbery) came into wide use after the appearance of "The Book of Snobs", by the English satirist W.M. Thackeray, published in 1848. Its origin is unknown.

2. ... and in his rather shabby clothes he looked very much like a working-man.

Once he looked anxiously at Grace ...

Among these people ... she looked tall and splendidly alone.

He looked up cautiously, for they were about eight feet away from his father.

As seen from the above examples the verb to look may enter into different' grammatical structures. The potential ability of a word to appear in specific grammatical structures is termed grammatical valency (грамматическая валентность).

As a rule a difference in grammatical structures signals a difference in the meaning of a word, e. g.

  • to look like smb - to be similar in appearance to smb
  • to look at smb - to deliberately turn one's eyes towards smb or smth
  • to look + adj - to have a certain appearance
  • to look up - to raise one's eyes

Another characteristic of vocabulary units is lexical valency (лексическая валентность) which is the aptness of a word to appear in different collocations (сочетание слов). For example, in the text we find the adjective easy combined with the noun words in the sentence: The young man's easy words trailed away ... Непринужденность, с которой молодой человек разговаривал с девушкой, стала исчезать.

The adjective easy can also be found in many other combinations, e.g. an easy task (not difficult - легкое задание), an easy life (free rom trouble, anxiety, etc - лёгкая, беззаботная жизнь), an easy

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path (comfortable to walk along - удобная тропа), easy manners (not showing embarrassment - непринужденные манеры), etc, thus displaying different shades of its meaning.

The grammatical valency of English and Russian words similar in meaning is not always identical and requires careful attention, e. g.

  • to suggest that smb do smth - предлагать кому-л. сделать что-л.
  • to operate on smb - оперировать кого-л.
  • to think it wrong to do smth - считать неправильным сделать что л.

The same difficulty can be revealed when comparing the lexical valency of words in English and Russian. Words which correspond in their general meaning cannot always be combined in the same way, e.g.

  • fresh water - пресная вода
  • a bad mistake - грубая ошибка .
  • high hopes - большие надежды
  • to make tea - заварить чай

STRUCTURAL PATTERNS

1. Absolute Nominative Constructions

So young Harcourt stood still, with his head down.

Absolute constructions consist of two elements, the first is usually a noun, the second element may be expressed by a participle (Participle I, Participle II), an adjective, a prepositional phrase or .an adverb. Absolute constructions are separated from the rest of .the sentence by a comma or a semicolon. An absolute construction may be introduced by the preposition with.

Absolute constructions are often used in the function of an adverbial .modifier of attending circumstances. In rendering this construction into Russian a coordinate clause, a prepositional phrase or деепричастный оборот is used.

The boys sat gazing into the fire, their minds wandering elsewhere. Мальчики сидели и смотрели 'в огонь, а их мысли витали где-то далеко.
She looked at me all the time, her eyes bright with happiness. Она все время смотрела на меня, глаза ее сияли счастьем.
The child lay on the bed, his eyes shut. Ребенок лежал на постели с закрытыми глазами.
He came up to us, his hat still in his hand. Он подошел к нам, все еще держа шляпу в руках.
This thought broke her down and she wandered away with tears rolling down her cheeks. Эта мысль сломила ее, и она медленно пошла прочь: слезы ручьями текли у нее по щекам.

Absolute constructions are typical of literary style where their use is quite extensive. But they are hardly ever used in spoken English. .

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2. There's not a...

There's not a breath of air in here.

Negation expressed by the particle not with nouns in the singular may serve as a means of emphasis. The idea of oneness (единичность), always implied by the indefinite article, becomes in this case quite prominent, the whole structure meaning not a single one.

Compare the following sentences:

There is no shop (there are no shops) in this street. На этой улице нет магазина (нет магазинов).
There's not a shop in this street and we have to walk a long way to buy our groceries. ... ни единого магазина, и нам приходится далеко ходить за продуктами.

3. Participle I as Adverbial Modifier

... she said, smiling at him brightly and not noticing the uneasiness in his face.

Participle I used as an adverbial modifier often expresses a second action accompanying the action expressed by the predicative verb. As a rule the participle follows the predicate group and is separated by a comma from the rest of the sentence.

Manuel went in, carrying his suit-case. Мануэль, с чемоданом в руке, вошел в дом.
He looked at his father, listening with a kind of painful desperation. Он смотрел на отца, слушая его с каким-то болезненным отчаянием.

Participle I placed at the head of the sentence may acquire causa-, tive meaning (причинное значение).

Seeing their embarrassment, he changed the subject. Видя их замешательство, он сменил тему разговора.
Not finding what he wanted, he looked slowly about the room. Не находя того, что ему было нужно, он медленно осмотрел комнату.

The adverbial modifier may also be expressed by a gerund. Used with the preposition without the gerund serves to show that an action which may logically be expected to accompany the action of the predicate verb does not take place.

They entered the house without Они вошли в дом, не постучав, knocking.

VOCABULARY

А

Translate the words and word combinations in bold type and the sentences which illustrate them:

1. John Harcourt caught a glimpse of his father at the book counter.

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to catch (get) a glimpse of smb, smth - see for a moment

glimpse n - a quick, imperfect view; a short look at something or somebody out of the corner (tail) of one's eye

I caught a glimpse of him in the crowd. He caught a glimpse of her from the window of the tram.

As compared with to catch sight of, to catch a glimpse of stresses the imperfect character of seeing rather than the fact of seeing.

2. ... that he was accustomed to buying books for young ladies.

to be (get, become) accustomed to smth, to do (doing) smth - be (get, become) used to, as by frequent prolonged experience or by constant practice.

Oliver soon became accustomed to hard work and bad food. He could not get accustomed to sitting on the floor in a Japanese house. He is accustomed to getting up early. There was a small summer cottage in the garden where she was accustomed to spend a good deal of her time.

3. ... as if something in the book had stirred him.

to stir vt - rouse; excite

His sincerity, the depth of his feelings began to stir her.

The woman's pitiful story stirred everybody.

4. They listened and shared this new world with him.

to share vt - use or enjoy together; have in common

He hated having to share the hotel-bedroom with a stranger. Only we two shared the secret.

5. You'd turn up your nose at them ...

to turn up one's nose at smb, smth - (fig) show dislike for, have a superior and critical attitude toward

She turned up her nose at the idea (suggestion).

6. He was groping for words to describe the secret thoughts he had always had about her.

to grope vi (about, for, after) - search for blindly, in a doubtful, hesitating way (fig)

He groped for an answer to her question.

7. ... and now they were both quickly eager to hurt each other,

to hurt vt - pain a person, his feelings

He was rather hurt by their criticism. She was hurt to find that no one admired her performance.

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B

I. Translate the following sentences paying careful attention to the words and word combinations in bold type. Give possible variants:

1. The boys held (caught) their breath when they saw Injun Joe come into the house where they were hiding. She was out of breath when she reached the top of the hill. Half-way up the hill, he stopped to take breath. The sight of the mountain range glittering in the sunshine took our breath away. 2. He groped for the door-handle in the dark. We groped our way through the dark streets. 3. Be sure to write and give me all the news. Be sure and ring me up tonight. Make sure you will be here in time. I think there's a train at 5.15, but you'd better make sure. Do you know it for sure? 4. His hair is turning grey. He promised to turn over a new leaf, but I doubt whether he'll keep his promise. He's always turning up where you don't want him. Come round next week, and maybe a job will turn up by then. The strange noise frightened me, but Mary didn't turn a hair. If you tell that to her, she won't turn a hair: she's the earth's most matter-of-fact young woman. 5. Children ought not to sit up late looking at TV programmes. The nurse sat up with her patient all night. I shall be late getting back, so please don't sit up for me. She was asleep when a loud noise on the staircase woke her up; she sat up and listened. Sit up straight!

II. Look up the meanings of the verbs to divide and to share as used in the following sentences and say how they differ:

The partition divided the room into two unequal parts.

They shared a room when they lived in London.

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