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I suspect there might be something missing between ‘experience’ and ‘a much’ in the sentence.

She has emerged from the experience a much stronger person.

Is that grammatically correct? I don’t have the slightest clue how to understand the structure. it could mean "From the experience she has become a much stronger person." I tried to research ‘Resultative Complement’, but only found information about the Chinese resultative complement. I couldn’t find any content related to that in any English grammar books or dictionaries. An AI chatbot only explains it this way.

This type of sentence structure is called a ‘resultative complement’. A resultative complement is an additional component that represents the result of the action or state indicated by the verb. In this structure, a verb like ‘emerge’ indicates a change, and a part like ‘a much stronger person’ represents the result of that change. Therefore, the sentence “She has emerged from the experience a much stronger person.” indicates that she has transformed into a new state, ‘a much stronger person’, through the experience.

Here are some examples with resultative complement provided by the chatbot.

(a) He walked away from the negotiation a winner.
(b) She came out of the training a much better athlete.
(c) They emerged from the crisis stronger and more unified.

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1 Answer 1

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There is nothing wrong with your example. If it helps, you can change the word order, or even omit the PP that may seem to slightly disrupt the flow:

She has emerged a much stronger person [from the experience].

Emerged is a linking verb and a much stronger person is the subject complement. The word order Subject + linking Verb + Subject Complement is correct.

It is true, however, that when emerge is followed by a noun phrase, it is more commonly used with the preposition as: enter image description here

See also this Ngram.

But as it is written in the OP, the sentence has a certain strength which I find would be slightly diminished if you added as before a much stronger person.

As for resultative complements, they normally do not follow linking verbs, but transitive verbs, as you can see from the examples given by Wikipedia in the link kindly provided by @Peter:

He painted the barn red.
She wore her hair long.
He found the man guilty.
He made the porridge sacred.

Grammar-quizzes explains:

With a particular group of transitive verbs, an adjective can be placed after the object noun to express its resulting state after the action is taken. The meaning expresses "so that it became".

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  • I fail to see how you prove that. It depends on the noun phrase. Try: emerged a stronger man.
    – Lambie
    Feb 4 at 16:50
  • 1
    Yes, we can imagine as there. Feb 4 at 16:58
  • I wouldn't say that "emerge" is a linking verb, as you put it. It does take certain predicative adjuncts, though, as in "He emerged a better person". I take "be" to be the only copular verb.
    – BillJ
    Feb 5 at 10:33
  • @Lambie: there's nothing wrong with "he emerged a stronger man", either — aside from the fact that "he emerged stronger" means the same thing, and is simpler. Feb 5 at 12:43
  • Thank you, Lambie, for a refreshingly straightforward explanation, which shows clearly why no special vocabulary needs to be invoked. The advice about the use or absence of 'as' is spot on. Imagine if Coleridge had written "AS a sadder and a wiser man he woke the morrow morn.".
    – Tuffy
    Feb 5 at 13:11

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