I've seen a number of different phrases in different books describing the action of closing a door, and I'm not quite sure that I fully understand the grammar behind them. For example:

(1) [He] clicked the door shut. / [You] push the door open.

(2) The door clicked shut. / The door clicked open.

The first two pretty much remind me of complex object construction, but I am confused by the atypical verbs as "click" and "push". As for the second one, I want to specify whether I'm right that it's just the sequence "noun + verb + adjective" as sth like "The house stands empty" etc.

Could someone make it clear? Thank you in advance!

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    Maria, when you have a minute, look at the edit to your question. See if you understand the reasons for changing the way you said things. – lly Apr 28 at 23:32
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    You also probably want to ask most questions like this at ell.stackexchange.com . – lly Apr 28 at 23:47
  • Ily, thank you for editing and the link. Next time I'll ask something that stupid there) – Maria Apr 29 at 0:57
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    It isn't a stupid question. It's just one that seems more helpful for ESL students such as yourself. – lly Apr 29 at 9:24

Wikipedia and Wiktionary still don't know that "complex objects" exist. As far as I can tell from cursory googling, it's just a term some teachers use to describe any object with some modifiers attached. It's not a very useful concept, since there are several completely different constructions that make predicates more complicated. Using one term as a catch-all can create a false sense of understanding.

In any case, it looks like the term for this construction is secondary predicate. Wikipedia also seems to group several ideas under that heading, but they all have the structure of action verb + [object] + adjective:

  • All men are created equal.
  • His speech left me cold.
  • She shot him dead.
  • He ran himself ragged.

In this case, push is a bog standard verb for doors; click (=made ~ go 'click') is just a descriptive word for whatever action caused that noise to be made. In this case, there's probably a light latch.

In your examples, the extra adjective at the end is describing the state resulting from the action: He ~ the door [and then it was] shut... He ~ the door [and then it was] open... You could also think about the structure in a few other ways: He ~ the door [so that it was] shut... She ~ the door [until it was] open...

  • @Ily , I have also never had any special sympathy for this concept. But I do remember that "I make him do something" and "I expect him to be honest" are related to that weird notion. That is just what I was taught. My apologies, up untill now, I thought that it was sth generally accepted and common. As for this case, I confused "adjective" at the end with the " infinitive", but, thanks to your examples, it seems that everything is in its place now. Thank you for your suggestions and a nice explanations here! – Maria Apr 29 at 1:10

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