1. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe

    Sat as a past participle

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wreybies, Jan 26, 2017.

    He was sat forward on the main deck.

    Does this intransitive, adjectival use of the word work for you, or does it read as a true passive voice, with an unknown actor causing the person to sit? I know sitting is clearly an option here. I'm asking about the choice in question. I've heard this in BrE, but in AmE I feel unsure.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    18,147
    Likes Received:
    21,138
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I think "was sat" or indeed "he sat" would be fine here - however was he 'sat forward' in his bodily position, in which case may be a word like 'hunched' or are you refering to his location on the deck - in which case maybe just say foredeck (that part of the deck forward of the wheel but aft of the forecastle)

    "He sat on the foredeck, hunched against the wind driven spray that speckled his face giving the illusion of tears"

    eta the nautical term for 'wind driven spray' which i couldnt think of earlier is 'spindrift'
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
    Wreybies likes this.
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Ah, see.... you've illuminated another, different issue. I'll have to rephrase this sentence altogether. I meant forward as in forward vs. aft, not hunched. But now that you point it out, the confusion of what modifies what is all too clear.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    18,147
    Likes Received:
    21,138
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I was thinking about this - on reflection i think that while people say 'was sat' a lot in BRe its probably not techincally correct useage

    I'd say that Sat is to Sitting as Ran is to Running , and you wouldnt say 'was ran' you'd say 'he was running' or 'he ran' , so it probably ought to be 'he was sitting' or 'he sat'
     
  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,344
    Likes Received:
    13,070
    I don't "hear" it as passive voice, but I do stumble on it. And now that I know that "forward" is his location rather than his posture, I stumble even more--somehow "was sat" came closer to working for me with a description of posture.
     
  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    3,906
    American here, and to be honest if I saw this in a book I'd assume it was a typo. Like you were going back and forth between "sat" and "was sitting", decided on "sat" and then forgot to take out the "was". I've just not seen "was sat" used that way before, at least not that I can recall.
     
    Elven Candy and Wreybies like this.
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Yeah, I'm realizing the sentence has more than one problem to it. I've rewritten it to:

    From the wheel of the Northern Wave, Tevin eyed Brenn on the foredeck with Old Cray, Bretton, and Chippy,...

    I needed to fix an unclear POV as well since this is the first sentence in this chapter and upon review it wasn't apparent who we were with until a bit further along.
     
  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    14,322
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Ditto. I've never seen "was sat" in any context anywhere before...
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    18,147
    Likes Received:
    21,138
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    Sorry to be that guy but given that its a sailing ship (a caravel I think you plumped for) can Tevin actually see the fore deck from the wheel position on the quarter deck ?

    if you look at this picture

    [​IMG]

    it appears that his sight lines forward would be blocked by the main sail and the lanteen - so unless this scene takes place in port or as the ship is cleared for action (and the sails semi furled so that canvas doesn't burn round the crews ears) this may not work.

    Even with the sails furled his view would still be impaired by the masts (the wheel position being central) and the cordage, other men and so forth
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Well, it's only caravel-ish. It's not our world or our timeline. But still, you've a point. Form follows function, so the basic structure would be similar enough. I may have to move him away from the wheel.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    18,147
    Likes Received:
    21,138
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    You could put him in the crows nest - then he could look down at Brenn on the foredeck past the billowing sails. Plus the mast top is about the only place where he could stand still and gaze without an officer getting on his case.
     
  12. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    Looks fine to me, I wouldn't stumble on it and I'm kinda surprised people would.
     
  13. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,675
    If it were in a story otherwise written in heavy dialect, I'd accept it as part of the dialect. But if the rest of the story is written in "standard' English it would definitely jar my eye as I read.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    18,147
    Likes Received:
    21,138
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    yeah but like me you are in the UK - you only see 'was sat' in common usage in British English, not American English
     
  15. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    I'm American, and I don't think I'd have a problem with this usage. Maybe I'd stumble slightly, but not enough to put half a thought to it.
     
  16. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    I felt the need to be one voice saying that I found it okay, without the caveat in your post of suggesting it's not correct usage.

    To rewind a bit to your post, actually, when you say that one wouldn't say 'He was ran', I meant to point out that the equivalent structure would really be 'He was run' (because we're dealing with past participles). That's not exactly unimaginable as a saying, given how it used to be common usage to have 'be' as an auxiliary verb for verbs of motion. 'I am come', for example.

    But yeah, the main point is that I wanted to stand up for this little guy, the poor, maligned thing.
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  17. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Thanks, man. :) Really, I knew that sat as a replacement for sitting is not typical at all of AmE. You don't hear Americans say things like "Look, I was just sat there minding my own, and this git started winding me up..." We just don't use that word that way. I just didn't know if it would off enough to throw the meaning off for folks this side of things. No one here calls an elevator a lift and two weeks is two weeks, not a fortnight, but we do know those words perfectly well, their meaning and use. We just don't use them. So, yeah, like that. :)
     
  18. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    733
    Location:
    Tranquility Base
    Interesting thread. Up my alley.

    The OED says...

    Usage
    In sentences such as we were sat there for hours the use of the past participle sat with the verb ‘to be’ is informal and not part of standard English. Originally only in dialect, it is now common in British (though not US) English. Standard English uses the present participle sitting in similar contexts, as in we were sitting there for hours.

    ------------

    Bit of a pointless post, this, but maybe interesting to some.
     
  19. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    10,127
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    ...we were, sat there for hours, on our backsides... ..?

    ...He was sat, forward on the main deck.

    ?

     
  20. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    'ere, we was sat there for hours we was, love.
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  21. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    10,127
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Thanks @Niall,

    ...sitted f'ward of mainmast, sea foamed left right through bulwark.

    'My culottes' seating is sodden,' I said.

    So together we sat where captain satted, his poop deck sated, shined in seawater; scenario bracing to constitution under skies: the skies that raced - sky jockeys sat on skyhorses.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice