You rise groggily, the campsite a casualty of merriment.

Saw this on a story heavy game, I understand what it means but the grammar confused me. Is this a proper structure?


3 Answers 3


It’s a second person narrative style using ellipsis. Yes, it is grammatically correct.

From the Cambridge Dictionary :

Ellipsis happens when we leave out (in other words, when we don’t use) items which we would normally expect to use in a sentence if we followed the grammatical rules. The following examples show ellipsis. The items left out are in brackets [ ]:

I am absolutely sure [that] I have met her somewhere before.

A: [Have you] Seen my gloves anywhere?

B: They’re in the kitchen.

She sang and [she] played the violin at the same time.

A: [Are] You ready yet?

B: Yes. [I’m] Ready now. [I’m] Sorry to keep you waiting.

In fact, when we use ellipsis appropriately, no one thinks we have ‘left out’ anything, and ellipsis is normal and very common, especially in informal conversation. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/british-grammar/ellipsis

  • 2
    This answer would be better if it made clear what parts of what utterance had been left out to form the sentence in the question. Nov 7, 2021 at 7:26
  • 1
    Ellipsis here is of being (between campsite and a casualty). That portion of the sentence which follows the main cause and comma is an absolute construction. Nov 7, 2021 at 13:41
  • Yeah, I was going to ask the same thing. Thank you all for your answers.
    – Guest
    Nov 7, 2021 at 13:55

Yes, it is correct. The campsite a casualty of merriment is an absolute phrase.

An absolute phrase doesn't modify anything in the sentence but rather sets a scene. It consists of a noun/pronoun and a participle phrase:

I slept fitfully, the reindeer prancing on the roof.

If the participle is a form of to be, it can be omitted:

Reindeer [being] on the roof, I slept fitfully.

That's like your sentence:

You rise groggily, the campsite [being] a casualty of merriment.

(In case you were wondering about you rise groggily — it uses the narrative present.)


Yes, it is grammatically correct. The main clause, "You rise groggily", is a narrative about what you are doing. This clause can stand alone as a complete sentence.

The second part, "the campsite a casualty of merriment", is a subordinate clause which need not stand alone as a complete sentence providing additional information.

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