Two-object verbs...

One thing that I’ve noticed that I am not sure is found in the manual–

In one game I have a pair of binoculars, and the verb I have attached to it is ‘Examining it through’ (with an ‘Understand’ rule linking a number of likely variations to the action). The verb requires one touchable noun (presumably you’re going to apply it to a visual aid or lens that the player will have on him or will need to pick up) and one visible noun (presumably the player will want to look more closely at something already visible). I did not realize how it actually matters what order you list the required ‘things’ when defining the verb, until I tried to use the binoculars while sitting on a supporter–my code was like this–

Examining it through is an action applying to one touchable thing and one visible thing and requiring light.  

I guess I assumed that the ‘held’ object should be listed first. Anyway, it triggered my ‘Reaching outside of’ rule for that supporter, I guess it was because it assumed that I would need to be able to ‘touch’ what I was actually trying to view, so it told me I had to ‘get off my lazy duff’?

I switched the nouns to ‘one visible thing and one touchable thing’, and I assume Inform wants them in the order in which they would appear in the command…??


You can define the action in either order. Use “with nouns reversed” if the verb grammar is backwards from the action definition.

You’ll typically want grammar to support both orderings, e.g:

Understand “examine [something] through [something]” as examining it through.
Understand “look at [something] through [something]” as examining it through.
Understand “look through [something] at [something]” as examining it through (with nouns reversed).

Thanks Zarf.

Can I use the options with ‘(with nouns reversed)’ in a list of options, or do they need to be in individual ‘Understand’ rules??

I’m not sure what you mean by a list of options. The phrase “(with nouns reversed)” is only meaningful for Understand lines for actions.

They need to be in individual understand lines. In other words, you can’t do “understand ‘foo’ or ‘bar’ (with nouns reversed) or ‘baz’ as…”

For example–

Understand "examine [something] through/with [something]", "look at [something] through/with [something]" as examining it through.

Could I add ’ “look through [something] at [something]” (with nouns reversed)’ to the list, or would it need to be in an ‘Understand’ line of its own??

Putting it another way, do ‘(with nouns reversed)’ options have to be in their own ‘Understand’ lines? Or can they have their own list, such as–

Understand "peek through [something] at [something]", "gaze through [something] at [something]" as examining it through (with nouns reversed).

Thanks Draconis–I was writing while you submitted.

The latter example I think should work, but I haven’t tried it.