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The Absolute (pg 139 in C.E.A.). AbP. Here are some sentences written by professional writers, but with parts left out. She returned to her bench. The boy watched. About the bones, ants were ebbing away Six boys came over the hill half an hour early that afternoon running hard.

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Here are some sentences written by professional writers but with parts left out l.jpg
Here are some sentences written by professional writers, but with parts left out

  • She returned to her bench.

  • The boy watched.

  • About the bones, ants were ebbing away

  • Six boys came over the hill half an hour early that afternoon running hard


Slide3 l.jpg
Now, compare those sentences with the originals. Notice that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • She returned to her bench, her face showing all the unhappiness that had suddenly overtaken her.

  • - Theodore Dreiser An American Tragedy

  • The boy watched, his eyes bulging in the dark.

  • - Edmund Ware An Underground Episode

  • About the bones, ants were ebbing away, their pincers full of meat.

  • - Doris Lessing African Stories

  • Six boys came over the hill half an hour early that afternoon running hard, their heads down, their forearms working, their breath whistling.

  • - John Steinbeck The Red Pony


Defintion l.jpg

Defintion that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

A two word combination.

A noun and a –ing or -ed verb added into a sentence.


Example l.jpg
Example that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • Instead of saying “The cat climbed the tree,” say

  • “Claws digging, feet kicking, the cat climbed the tree.”


Punctuation l.jpg

Punctuation that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

The AbP is always separated with a comma


Characteristics l.jpg
Characteristics that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • Absolutes are sentence parts that describe the rest of the sentence in which they appear. Absolutes are almost complete sentences. As a test, you can make any absolute a sentence by adding was or were.

  • Another way to identify an absolute is that many absolutes begin with the words my, his, her, its, our, their (possessive pronouns).

  • Absolutes can function as sentence openers, subject-verb splits, or sentence closers.


Sentence openers l.jpg
Sentence openers that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • His hands raw, he reached for a flat place at the top.

  • - Richard Connell The Most Dangerous Game

  • Each child carrying his little bag of crackling, we trod the long road home in the cold winter afternoon.

  • - Peter Abrahams Tell Freedom

  • Outside, his carpetbag in his hand, he stood for a time in the barnyard.

  • - Jessamyn West A Time for Learning


Subject verb splits l.jpg
Subject –verb splits that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • Miss Hearne, her face burning, hardly listened to those words.

  • - Brian Moore The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

  • High in the air, a little figure, his hands thrust in his short jacket pockets, stood staring out to sea.

  • - Katherine Mansfield The Voyage

  • An Arab on a motorcycle, his long robes flying in the wind of his speed, passed John at such a clip that the spirals of dust from his turnings on the road looked like little tornadoes

  • - Elizabeth Yates Standing in Another’s Shoes


Sentence closers l.jpg
Sentence closers that the additions account for the distinctiveness of the original sentences

  • She screamed for Klaus–shrieked for him-and Klaus came on a dead run, his work boots whitened by the half full pail of milk he had spilled on them.

  • - Stephen King The Two Dead Girls

  • He walked with a prim strut, swinging out his legs in a half-cirle with each step, his heels biting smartly into the red velvet carpet on the floor.

  • - Carson McCullers The Jockey

  • Those who had caught sharks had taken them to the shark factory on the other side of the cove where they were hoisted on a block and tackle, their livers removed, their fins cut off, their hides skinned out, and their flesh cut into strips for salting.

  • - Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea


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