“High” as an adverb?

  1. They maintained high prices.

  2. They maintained the prices high.

Is there any difference between these two sentences? Is the former grammatical correct? Why or why not?


They are both technically grammatical, and they both mean essentially the same thing.

However, the second sentence seems unidiomatic to me.

Typically, maintain is used in only a few ways.

It’s first use is maintain [adjective] (noun):

She maintained the machinery.
He couldn’t maintain his argument.
They tried to maintain their high hopes.

This is the construction that the first sentence takes.

Second, it can be (phrase) (to / be) maintain:

There were to many components to maintain.
The level of excellence could not be maintained.
To survive, it was a feat he had to maintain.

Last, with a difference sense of maintain, there is maintain that (phrase):

I maintain that this is how it’s done.
You maintain that you need to go to sleep.
We maintain that we will not be denied.

Your second sentence follows none of those constructions. Instead, its construction follows maintain (noun) [adjective]. That’s unusual.

Any of these seem normal to me:

They maintained the prices.
They maintained high prices.
They maintained the high prices.

But, typically, I would not expect to see your second sentence:

They maintained the prices high.

Instead, I’d expect to more commonly see a different verb:

They kept the prices high.

Source : Link , Question Author : Rare , Answer Author : Jason Bassford

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