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a dog barking / a barking dog

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
what's the difference between (a) and (b)?
(a) There's a dog barking at the entrance.
(b) There's a barking dog at the entrance.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

lanthas

 
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a) could technically be misinterpreted as the dog having beef with the entrance, similar to "There's a dog barking at the mailman." (Then again, some dogs will bark at just about anything...)
b) doesn't have this ambiguity. It simply says there's a dog located at the entrance, barking at *something*.
 
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There's also a difference of focus. A brings more attention to the fact that the dog is barking than B.
 

nahadef

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The rule for participial adjectives is this: if it’s a single word, it goes before (like a standard adjective does). If it is part of a phrase, it goes after. I think barking dog is preferable here, since the entrance and barking have no connection.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, lanthas, Julimaruchan and nahadef.
It seems that your opinions are divided. I'd like to hear other people's views if possible.
 

nahadef

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If you check the book Practical English Usage, by Oxford, see the entry on participles, Participles (3) 1 used as adjectives and participles (4) clauses, it outlines the rules fairly clearly :emoji_wink:
 

hirashin

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Thanks,nahadef. If it is the one by Michael Swan, I have it. I'll check it.
 
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