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I am wondering about a certain type of sentence construction which seems to somehow exclude the word being. For example,

A native English speaker, he was well suited for the task.

Well versed in the English language, he was well suited for the task.

These are different in essence: the first includes the noun in the first sub-clause and the second does not. Are any or both of these grammatically sound?

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From a summary of To Kill a Mockingbird... Chastened, he tells Mr. Gilmer about finding Tom Robinson raping his daughter. Perfectly normal English, using word order inversion to emphasise the first part. Not so common in speech though, because it's harder both to produce and to understand. –  FumbleFingers Oct 25 '11 at 22:24
    
Thanks, but what about the first form (the one I am least sure of (as a non-native English speaker)), is it also ok? –  andreasdr Oct 25 '11 at 22:33
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I don't see any significant difference. You can put He was in front of a native English speaker just the same as well versed in the English language. They both look like adjectival phrases to me, as is the shared component well suited for the task. –  FumbleFingers Oct 25 '11 at 22:43
    
Alright, thanks! –  andreasdr Oct 26 '11 at 7:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You're right, they are grammatically different.

The first uses a NP (noun phrase) in apposition to the subject.

The second uses a AP (adjectival phrase) modifying the subject.

Both are fully grammatical, though many people would, as you suggest, transform them to different kinds of constituent: either an absolute clause (some would say a modifying clause) with "being" or (in the first case) an adjunct PP (prepositional phrase) with "as".

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