The difference is that none of the examples below have an object. The
object of a preposition is not the direct object of a verb and has no effect
on the verb. The meaning of "transitive" is that it transfers action to
something, so, for example, "these are the effects which would
necessarily follow from the position of the earth's axis" does not mean that
"effects" acts on or does something to the earth's axis.
It is not a matter of technicality but of completely different functions in the
sentence. And if you use Chomsky's sentence patterns, for example, the
patterns with transitive verbs and with intransitive verbs are separate
categories. They are defined as distinct forms of sentence concepts in
deep structure of grammar.
So it is a very interesting pattern in Eliot because they just "follow"; the
streets do not follow some thing. I have been thinking about how easily I
had read that as if it were clear. Now I am trying to reconstruct the whole
Date sent: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 22:44:37 -0700
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Overwhelming question about Prufrock
To: [log in to unmask]
I suppose technically those examples are intransitive,
but I don't see a big difference between
follow + object, and follow+preposition+object.
In any case, the follow in the poem has neither
explicit object nor preposition.
I didn't see anything in your examples which fits that
formulation (or lack thereof0.
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
From: Carrol Cox [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Overwhelming question about Prufrock
Peter Montgomery wrote:
> My question is, how can streets FOLLOW?
> >From everything I've been able to determine
> from my dictionaries, FOLLOW is a transitive
> verb, but I see no object, unless there is the
> implication that one street follows another.
I don't know if any of the following helps with Eliot's text, but they do
show that the verb can be intransitive. (All from OED 2d ed.)
II. Intransitive uses.
14. To go or come after a person or thing in motion; to move behind
some object; also, to go as a person's attendant or companion. Const.,
after, on, to. Also fig. Cf. 1.
c1250 Gen. & Ex. 3272 Egipcienes woren in twired wen queer he sulden
folen or flen. c1340 Cursor M. 11435 (Trin.) ei follewed on e sterre beme
Til ei coom to Ierusalem. Ibid. 19374 (Trin.) As bifore hem wrout he e wey
So aftir him faste folewed ey. c1400 Rom. Rose 6342 And with me folwith
loteby, To done me solas and company. c1475 Rauf Coilear 421 He followit
to him haistely..For to bring him to the king. 1513 MORE Rich. III (1641)
219 After whom folowed the King with his Crowne and Scepter. c1600
Sonn. xli. 4 For still temptation follows where thou art. 1697 DRYDEN
Virg. Georg. IV. 700 He first, and close behind him follow'd she. 1848 R.
I. WILBERFORCE Incarnat. Our Lord xiv. (1852) 401 The Philosopher of
Königsberg following in a measure in Plato's steps. 1874 GREEN Short
ii. §6. 89 Gilbert was one of the Norman strangers who followed in the
wake of the Conqueror.
15. a. To come (next) after something else in order or sequence. as
follows: a prefatory formula used to introduce a statement, enumeration,
or the like. Cf. 2. The const. in as follows is impers., and the verb
should always be used in the sing.; for the incorrect pl. see quots. 1776,
c1300 Cursor M. 19135 (Edin.) e toer dai at folwid neste. c1380 WYCLIF
Sel. Wks. III. 107 e secunde part..folwe in ese wordes. 1426 in Surtees
Misc. (1890) 9 Was done afterwarde als her fast folowys. 1486 Bk. St.
Albans Diij, Now foloys the naamys of all maner of hawkys. 1548 HALL
Chron., Edw. IV (an. 23) 247 He openly sayde as foloweth. 1607 TOPSELL
Four-f. Beasts (1658) 229 Vegetius having commended the Persian Horses
saith, that the Armenians and Sapharens do follow next. 1711 ADDISON
Spect. No. 58 6 The Subject of it (as in the rest of the Poems which
follow). 1776 G. CAMPBELL Rhetoric I. II. iv. 495 Analogy as well as usage
favour this mode of expression: 'The conditions of the agreement as
follows,' and not as follow. A few late writers have inconsiderately
adopted this last form through a mistake of the construction. 1797
Enquirer II. xii. §1. 374 The reasons that dissuade us..are as follow.
1806-7 J. BERESFORD Miseries Hum. Life (1826) II. iv, Beat what follows
you can. 1843 MILL Logic I. iii. §7 There are philosophers who have argued
b. To happen or occur after something else; to come next as an
event; to ensue. Const. on.
c1400 Lanfranc's Cirurg. 120 If e crampe folowe it is deedly. a1533 LD.
BERNERS Huon lxxxii. 254 It shall not folow after thy counsell. 1548 HALL
Chron., Hen. VI (an. 5) 103b, The Castle was almoste undermined, so that
yeldyng must folowe. 1611 BIBLE Exod. xxi. 22 If men striue, and hurt a
woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischiefe
follow. 1667 MILTON P.L. II. 206 When those who at the Spear are bold
vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear What yet they know must
follow. 1688 J. SMITH Baroscope 65 If Fair Weather follows immediately
upon the Mercury's Rising. 1839 J. YEOWELL Anc. Brit. Ch. iii. (1847) 28
That the martyrdom of this blessed apostle followed very shortly after the
writing of this Epistle. 1888 MRS. H. WARD R. Elsmere I. iii, That state
which so often follows on the long confinement of illness. 1903 R.
LANGBRIDGE Flame & Flood ii, A rich-souled organ poured out its
absolution; following on the voice of the violin.
16. To result (as an effect from a cause, an inference from
premisses); to be, or occur as, a consequent. Const. from (of). Often
impers. with a clause, it follows (that)... Cf. 2c.
a1300 Cursor M. (Gött.) 2892 Fleis at sine ouer al is erde, e wreche at
foluis haue e herd. c1386 CHAUCER Melib. 110 And though that Salomon
seith, That he ne fond never womman good, it folweth nat therfore that
alle wommen ben wikke. c1449 PECOCK Repr. II. i. 132 If this be trewe,
thanne..it muste nedis folewe that [etc.]. 1624 W. SIMONS in Capt.
Wks. (1819) I. 166 In a short time it followed, that could not be had for
a pound of Copper, which before was sould vs for an ounce. 1678 DRYDEN
Limberham I. Wks. 1883 VI. 27 But what followed of this dumb interview?
1698 J. KEILL Exam. Th. Earth (1734) 55 These are the effects
necessarily follow from the position of the Earths axis. 1751 JORTIN Serm.
(1771) II. iii. 44 Though we have received a command to pray for our
enemies, it follows not thence we may not wage war with them. 1843 MILL
Logic II. i. §1 We say of a fact or statement, that it is proved, when we
believe its truth by reason of some other fact or statement from which it
is said to follow.
17. a. To go in chase or pursuit. Const. after, on, upon. Also fig. of
things. Cf. 5.
c1250 Gen. & Ex. 1751 He toc and wente and folwede on, And hot in
Iacob to slon. c1400 Destr. Troy 10459 Theire fos on hom folowet. c1420
Anturs of Arth. v, The king blue a rechase, Folut fast on the trase. 1535
COVERDALE Prov. xiii. 21 Myschefe foloweth vpon synners. 1611 BIBLE
xliv. 4 Vp, follow after the men. 1623 BINGHAM Xenophon 115 They dare
will be readie to follow vpon vs, if we retire.
b. to follow after: to strive to reach, gain, or compass. Cf. 6.
1362 LANGL. P. Pl. A. x. 189 au ei don hem to donmowe..To folewen
aftur e Flucchen, fecche ei hit neuere. 1611 BIBLE Ps. cxix. 150 They
nigh that follow after mischiefe. 1881 BIBLE (R.V.) Heb. xii. 14 Follow
after peace with all men.
c. ? To tend to. Obs.
c1475 Rauf Coilear 508 Thow fand me fechand nathing that followit to
18. Of a person: To proceed with, or continue doing, something
begun. Cf. 6b. Obs.