Syncretic forms 288
Difficulties of this kind arise where a part of the sentence contains two meanings at once and it is not always clear which of them is the predominant. This is usually the case with various classes of adverbials, especially those expressed by an infinitive, a participle, or phrases and complexes with these verbals.
Here are some examples.
She looked under the cot and laughed to see the girl crouched there.
The work done, I felt as free as a bird.
It growing dark, she hurried the boys home.
In all these sentences the parts in italics express at the same time the idea ofthe cause of the action of the predicate verb andan indication of the time of these actions.
In the sentenceTo hear him talk, you’ll think he's at least ten years old the part in italics combines the ideaof time with thatof condition.
In the sentences She was clever enoughto keep silent; I’ve watched you work too longto underrate you the adverbials combine the ideaof resultwith the ideaof degree.
Sometimes an adverbial expressed by a noun with a preposition which name the place where the action of the predicate verb was performed actually denotes ratherthe time of the action than its place. This is usually the case where the adverbial is detached, as in: Athome, she took off her hat and cloak and hurried to the kitchen. Here Athome has rather the meaning ‘when she came home’.