The traveller, being weary, sat by the woodside to rest.

My book says the present participle being weary (passive) is used absolutely in the sentence with the noun The traveller. But it's separated by a comma and the sentence makes sense without the participle. I think the the book is wrong and it's a particle phrase or adjective phrase and it's not used absolutely with the noun the traveller. The noun the traveller is attached to the independent clause and being weary is a participle or adjective phrase separated by the commas. Am I wrong?

  • In this usage of the term 'absolute', the implication is that though there is a referent, the descriptor is not linked by being in a prenominal (a weary traveller), postnominal (the people concerned) or predicative (the traveller is weary) position. A debated usage. Jul 27, 2020 at 14:37
  • You probably mean 'participle phrase'; 'participial clause' is the preferred terminology and analysis nowadays. This is a non-defining participial clause, 'non-defining' as it does not identify a particular traveller. It corresponds to the non-defining relative clause [,] who was weary[,]. Jul 27, 2020 at 14:50
  • Sorry, I didn't understand what you wrote. Can you please explain in simple terms? Jul 27, 2020 at 14:51
  • Does this answer your question? Examples of absolute phrases with adverbs instead of participles (Billy's example 'Dressed to the nines, she walked gracefully into the room.') Jul 27, 2020 at 14:59
  • "Being weary" is a non-finite clause, but it has no subject so it can't be an absolute. It's actually a depictive adjunct, predicative in that it relates to a predicand, here "the traveller".
    – BillJ
    Jul 27, 2020 at 16:26


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