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Is it natural to use an article to specify the state of an object or person? Or alternatively, is this structure not suitable?

For example, see the following sentence.

An unconscious Michael Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on Thursday afternoon by paramedics who performed C.P.R., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

from EthiopeanReview.

As a writer for whom English is a second language, I feel a little worried about the start of the sentence. It does not feel natural.

possible revision : Michael Jackson in an unconscious state, was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on Thursday afternoon by paramedics who performed C.P.R., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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This may look a little strange - and maybe it is by grammar rules - but it is absolutely normal in native English.

Equally weirdly the definite article is just as acceptable and means exactly the same.

If you don't want to write it like that there are plenty of alternatives. The one you gave, plus:

Michael Jackson, unconscious, was rushed...

Michael Jackson was rushed unconscious...

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This is a turn typical of newspaper and magazine articles. Here is another example from The Independent.

  • He might angrily protest when Vincent (John Travolta) shows up with an unconscious Mia (Uma Thurman), who has snorted one line too many, but there's never any doubt of him helping his pal through his predicament.

According to Wikepedia the use of adjectives in this way does not go beyond the practice of adding "emotive colouring".

Proper nouns, and all proper names, differ from common nouns grammatically in English. They may take titles, such as Mr Harris or Senator Harris. Otherwise, they normally only take modifiers that add emotive coloring, such as old Mrs Fletcher, poor Charles, or historic York; in a formal style, this may include the, as in the inimitable Henry Higgins. They may also take the in the manner of common nouns in order to establish the context in which they are unique: the young Mr Hamilton (not the old one), the Dr Brown I know; or as proper nouns to define an aspect of the referent: the young Einstein (Einstein when he was young). […] Proper names based on noun phrases differ grammatically from common noun phrases. They are fixed expressions, and cannot be modified internally: beautiful King's College is acceptable, but not King's famous College.

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  • Thanks for the description.
    – ankit7540
    Oct 12 '21 at 14:07

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