Andrés
Such a strange sentence... This is the sentence -I picked up from an online article: "She doesn’t bat an eyelid when asked to tell us her typical fee" So, my questions are: 1-What is the function of "asked"? I miss "she" and "was" next to... why "asked" goes alone? 2-Some have said to me that is not "she doesn't" but "she didn't"... Why? The article was written by a journalist, so I wonder if is it possible that a journalist commits such an error? 3-Could you please propose a simpler sentence as a alternative? -especially simpler in "bat an eyelid" ___________ Thank you for your time
Oct 10, 2019 9:22 PM
Answers · 12
Journalists do sometimes make mistakes, but in this case, the sentence is perfectly fine. It's in present tense, not past tense. 1) In this case, "when asked to" means "when she is asked to." The word "asked" is a passive participle here. Here are some examples with a similar structure: "Ice will melt if left in the sun." (Ice will melt if [it is] left in the sun.) "If hired, he will be expected to work on weekends." (If [he is] hired...) The participle describes the noun, in terms of a verb that affects it. You can also say "Ice left in the sun will melt." (What kind of ice? Ice [that is] left in the sun [by someone].) "The candidate hired by our company." The word "hired" describes the person. 2) "Doesn't" is fine. The sentence is in present tense. 3) To "bat an eye" or "bat an eyelid" means to hesitate or show some emotion such as surprise or embarrassment. The phrase is usually used in the negative: we say that a person "didn't bat an eye" in order to show that the person was not surprised, embarrassed, or hesitant. In this case, it shows that the woman is perfectly comfortable telling people what her fee is. To paraphrase the sentence, you could say: "She tells us her typical fee without hesitation" or "She isn't shy about telling us her typical fee."
October 10, 2019
1. You are right - the words 'she' and 'was' (or 'is') are missing, but these words are not necessary. We understand from the past participle ( 'asked') that the full form is "..when she is asked". This is an aspect of English grammar which confuses a lot of students when they meet it. It's a reduced participle clause, and it's actually very common in well-written English. It's a neat and 'elegant' way of expressing an idea with the minimum of words. 2. It isn't an error. (By the way, 'commit an error' is Spanglish: we make -not 'commit' - mistakes and errors in English). In fact, it is quite normal to use the present tense for narratives. This is a way of making the report more immediate. 3. 'She doesn't bat an eyelid when asked...' means that she answered without seeming shocked, embarrassed or surprised by the question. I hope that helps.
October 10, 2019
Hola Andrés, yo nuevamente antes de ir de visita por Chile. Me recomendaron el “Mercado central”, tengo que visitarlo! Bien, “bat an eyelid” es parpadear o pestañear. En este caso, quien lo escribe, tal vez haciendo uso de una licencia poética dice en presente algo que en realidad ya pasó. La prueba es “asked”. Por eso es que se puede decir que “she didn’t” es lo correcto. “Ella no parpadeó cuando le preguntamos cuál era su tarifa típica”. Saludos y hasta pronto
October 10, 2019
Machelle, thank you so much. I have learnt something new thank to you: the several names of the present when is written in a narrative way
October 11, 2019
Thank you Erik, very complete your explanation
October 11, 2019
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Andrés
Language Skills
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Portuguese