2Absolute Phrase Absolutes are sentence parts that describe the rest of the sentence in which they appear. Absolutes are almost complete sentences. As a test, you can make any absolute a sentence by adding was or were.
3Another way to identify an absolute is that many absolutes begin with the words my, his, her, its, our, their (possessive pronouns). Absolutes can occur as sentence openers, subject-verb splits, or sentence closers. Examples are boldfaced.
4His hands raw, he reached a flat place at the top His hands raw, he reached a flat place at the top. Richard Connell, “The Most Dangerous Game”
5Miss Hearne, her face burning, hardly listened to these words Miss Hearne, her face burning, hardly listened to these words. Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
6Those who had caught sharks had taken them to the shark factory on the other side of the cove where they were hoisted on a block and tackle, their livers removed, their fins cut off, and their hides skinned out, and their flesh cut into strips for salting. (four closers)
8High in the air, a little figure, his hands thrust in his short jacket pockets, stood staring out to sea. Katherine Mansfield, “The Voyage.”
9Each scrambled sentence has one or more absolute phrases. Identify them. Then unscramble the sentence parts and write out the sentence, punctuating it correctly.
10a. I b. each set upon a carved wooden base c a. I b. each set upon a carved wooden base c. looked across to a lighted case of Chinese design d. which held delicate-looking statues e. of horses and birds, small vases and bowls
11I looked across to a lighted case of Chinese design which held delicate-looking statues of horses and birds, small vases and bowls, each set upon a carved wooden base. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
12a. to light the cigarette b. his throat sore c. he forgot d a. to light the cigarette b. his throat sore c. he forgot d. his head aching
13His head aching, his throat sore, he forgot to light the cigarette His head aching, his throat sore, he forgot to light the cigarette. Sinclair Lewis, Cass Timberlane
14a. while Buck struggled in fury b a. while Buck struggled in fury b. then the rope tightened mercilessly c. and his great chest panting d. his tongue lolling out of his mouth
15Then the rope tightened mercilessly while Buck struggled in fury, his tongue lolling out of his mouth and his great chest panting. Jack London, The Call of the Wild