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 English Grammar in English

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مُساهمةموضوع: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:22 pm

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1 An Introduction to Word classes



Words are fundamental units in every sentence, so we will begin by looking at these. Consider the words in the following sentence:

my brother drives a big car
We can tell almost instinctively that brother and car are the same type of word, and also that brother and drives are different types of words. By this we mean that brother and car belong to the same word class. Similarly, when we recognise that brother and drives are different types, we mean that they belong to different word classes. We recognise seven MAJOR word classes:



Verb
be, drive, grow, sing, think
Noun
brother, car, David, house, London
Determiner
a, an, my, some, the
Adjective
big, foolish, happy, talented, tidy
Adverb
happily, recently, soon, then, there
Preposition
at, in, of, over, with
Conjunction
and, because, but, if, or

You may find that other grammars recognise different word classes from the ones listed here. They may also define the boundaries between the classes in different ways. In some grammars, for instance, pronouns are treated as a separate word class, whereas we treat them as a subclass of nouns. A difference like this should not cause confusion. Instead, it highlights an important principle in grammar, known as GRADIENCE. This refers to the fact that the boundaries between the word classes are not absolutely fixed. Many word classes share characteristics with others, and there is considerable overlap between some of the classes. In other words, the boundaries are "fuzzy", so different grammars draw them in different places.
We will discuss each of the major word classes in turn. Then we will look briefly at some MINOR word classes. But first, let us consider how we distinguish between word classes in general.

1.1 Criteria for Word Classes

We began by grouping words more or less on the basis of our instincts about English. We somehow "feel" that brother and car belong to the same class, and that brother and drives belong to different classes. However, in order to conduct an informed study of grammar, we need a much more reliable and more systematic method than this for distinguishing between word classes.
We use a combination of three criteria for determining the word class of a word:

1. The meaning of the word
2. The form or `shape' of the word
3. The position or `environment' of the word in a sentence
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In most cases, the comparative is formed by adding -er , and the superlative is formed by adding -est, to the absolute form. However, a number of very common adjectives are irregular in this respect:



Absolute
Comparative
Superlative
good
better
best
bad
worse
worst
far
farther
farthest


Some adjectives form the comparative and superlative using more and most respectively:



Absolute
Comparative
Superlative
important
more important
most important
miserable
more miserable
most miserable
recent
more recent
most recent

5.2 Attributive and Predicative Adjectives

Most adjectives can occur both before and after a noun:




the blue sea
~ the sea is blue
the old man
~ the man is old
happy children
~ the children are happy

Adjectives in the first position - before the noun - are called ATTRIBUTIVE adjectives. Those in the second position - after the noun - are called PREDICATIVE adjectives. Notice that predicative adjectives do not occur immediately after the noun. Instead, they follow a verb.
Sometimes an adjective does occur immediately after a noun, especially in certain institutionalised expressions:
the Governor General
the Princess Royal
times past
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We refer to these as POSTPOSITIVE adjectives. Postposition is obligatory when the adjective modifies a pronoun:
something useful
everyone present
those responsible
Postpositive adjectives are commonly found together with superlative, attributive adjectives:
the shortest route possible
the worst conditions imaginable
the best hotel available
Most adjectives can freely occur in both the attributive and the predicative positions. However, a small number of adjectives are restricted to one position only. For example, the adjective main (the main reason) can only occur in the attributive position (predicative: *the reason is main). Conversely, the adjective afraid (the child was afraid) can only occur predicatively (attributive: *an afraid child).
We have now looked at the main criteria for the adjective class - gradability, comparative and superlative forms, and the ability to occur attributively and predicatively. Most adjectives fulfil all these criteria, and are known as CENTRAL adjectives. Those which do not fulfil all the criteria are known as PERIPHERAL adjectives.
We will now examine the adjective class in more detail.

5.3 Inherent and Non-inherent Adjectives



Most attributive adjectives denote some attribute of the noun which they modify. For instance, the phrase a red car may be said to denote a car which is red. In fact most adjective-noun sequences such as this can be loosely reformulated in a similar way:




an old man

~a man who is old

difficult questions

~questions which are difficult

round glasses

~glasses which are round


This applies equally to postpositive adjectives:

something understood ~something which is understood
the people responsible ~the people who are responsible

In each case the adjective denotes an attribute or quality of the noun, as the reformulations show. Adjectives of this type are known as INHERENT adjectives. The attribute they denote is, as it were, inherent in the noun which they modify.
However, not all adjectives are related to the noun in the same way. For example, the adjective small in a small businessman does not describe an attribute of the businessman. It cannot be reformulated as a businessman who is small. Instead, it refers to a businessman whose business is small. We refer to adjectives of this type as NON-INHERENT adjectives. They refer less directly to an attribute of the noun than inherent adjectives do. Here are some more examples, showing the contrast betwen inherent and non-inherent:



Inherent
Non-inherent

distant hills

distant relatives

a complete chapter

a complete idiot

a heavy burden

a heavy smoker

a social survey

a social animal

an old man

an old friend
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:32 pm

5.4 Stative and Dynamic Adjectives



As their name suggests, STATIVE adjectives denote a state or condition, which may generally be considered permanent, such as big, red, small. Stative adjectives cannot normally be used in imperative constructions:


*Be big/red/small

Further, they cannot normally be used in progressive constructions:


*He is being big/red/small

In contrast, DYNAMIC adjectives denote attributes which are, to some extent at least, under the control of the one who possesses them. For instance, brave denotes an attribute which may not always be in evidence (unlike red, for example), but which may be called upon as it is required. For this reason, it is appropriate to use it in an imperative:


Be brave!

Dynamic adjectives include:




calm
careful
cruel
disruptive
foolish
friendly
good
impatient

mannerly
patient
rude
shy
suspicious
tidy
vacuous
vain

All dynamic adjectives can be used in imperatives (Be careful!, Don't be cruel!), and they can also be used predicatively in progressive constructions:



Your son is being disruptive in class
My parents are being foolish again
We're being very patient with you

The majority of adjectives are stative. The stative/dynamic contrast, as it relates to adjectives, is largely a semantic one, though as we have seen it also has syntactic implications.
5.5 Nominal Adjectives

Certain adjectives are used to denote a class by describing one of the attributes of the class. For example, the poor denotes a class of people who share a similar financial status. Other nominal adjectives are:
the old
the sick
the wealthy
the blind

the innocent
A major subclass of nominal adjectives refers to nationalities:

the French
the British
the Japanese
However, not all nationalities have corresponding nominal adjectives. Many of them are denoted by plural, proper nouns:

the Germans
the Russians
the Americans
the Poles

Nominal adjectives do not refer exclusively to classes of people. Indeed some of them do not denote classes at all:

the opposite
the contrary
the good
Comparative and superlative forms can also be nominal adjectives:

the best is yet to come
the elder of the two
the greatest of these
the most important among them
We refer to all of these types as nominal adjectives because they share some of the characteristics of nouns (hence `nominal') and some of the characteristics of adjectives. They have the following nominal characteristics:


  • they are preceded by a determiner (usually the definite article the)
  • they can be modified by adjectives (the gallant French, the unfortunate poor)
They have the following adjectival features:



  • they are gradable (the very old, the extremely wealthy)
many can take comparative and superlative forms (the poorer, the poorest
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:32 pm

5.6 Adjectives and Nouns

We have seen that attributive adjectives occur before a noun which they modify, for example, red in red car. We need to distinguish these clearly from nouns which occur in the same position, and fulfil the same syntactic function. Consider the following:

rally car
saloon car
family car
Here, the first word modifies the second, that is, it tells us something further about the car. For example, a rally car is a car which is driven in rallies. These modifiers occur in the same position as red in the example above, but they are not adjectives. We can show this by applying our criteria for the adjective class.
Firstly, they do not take very:

*a very rally car
*a very saloon car
*a very family car
Secondly, they do not have comparative or superlative forms:

*rallier *ralliest / *more rally / *most rally
*salooner *saloonest / *more saloon / *most saloon
*familier *familiest / *more family / *most family

And finally, they cannot occur in predicative position:

*the car is rally
*the car is saloon
*the car is family
So although these words occupy the typical adjective position, they are not adjectives. They are nouns.
However, certain adjectives are derived from nouns, and are known as DENOMINAL adjectives. Examples include:

a mathematical puzzle [`a puzzle based on mathematics']
a biological experiment [`an experiment in biology']
a wooden boat [`a boat made of wood']

Denominals include adjectives which refer to nationality:

a Russian lady [`a lady who comes from Russia']
German goods [`goods produced in Germany']

Denominal adjectives of this type should be carefully distinguished from nominal adjectives denoting nationalities. Compare:

Nominal Adjective: The French are noted for their wines
Denominal Adjective: The French people are noted for their wines
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:32 pm

5.7 Participial Adjectives

We saw in an earlier section that many adjectives can be identified by their endings. Another major subclass of adjectives can also be formally distinguished by endings, this time by -ed or -ing endings:



-ed form
computerized, determined, excited, misunderstood, renowned, self-centred, talented, unknown
-ing form
annoying, exasperating, frightening, gratifying, misleading, thrilling, time-consuming, worrying

Remember that some -ed forms, such as misunderstood and unknown, do not end in -ed at all. This is simply a cover term for this form. Adjectives with -ed or -ing endings are known as PARTICIPIAL ADJECTIVES, because they have the same endings as verb participles (he was training for the Olympics, he had trained for the Olympics). In some cases there is a verb which corresponds to these adjectives (to annoy, to computerize, to excite, etc), while in others there is no corresponding verb (*to renown, *to self-centre, *to talent). Like other adjectives, participial adjectives can usually be modified by very, extremely, or less (very determined, extremely self-centred, less frightening, etc). They can also take more and most to form comparatives and superlatives (annoying, more annoying, most annoying). Finally, most participial adjectives can be used both attributively and predicatively:



Attributive
Predicative
That's an irritating noise
That noise is irritating
This is an exciting film
This film is exciting
He's a talented footballer
That footballer is talented

Many participial adjectives, which have no corresponding verb, are formed by combining a noun with a participle:

alcohol-based chemicals
battle-hardened soldiers
drug-induced coma
energy-saving devices
fact-finding mission
purpose-built accommodation
These, too, can be used predicatively (the chemicals are alcohol-based, the soldiers were battle-hardened, etc).
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When participial adjectives are used predicatively, it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish between adjectival and verbal uses:

[1] the workers are striking
In the absence of any further context, the grammatical status of striking is indeterminate here. The following expansions illustrate possible adjectival [1a] and verbal [1b] readings of [1]:

[1a] the workers are very striking in their new uniforms (=`impressive', `conspicuous')
[1b] the workers are striking outside the factory gates (=`on strike')
Consider the following pair:

[2] the noise is annoying
[3] the noise is annoying the neighbours
In [2], we can modify annoying using very:

[2a] the noise is (very) annoying
But we cannot modify it in the same way in [3]:

[3a] *the noise is (very) annoying the neighbours
The acceptability of [2a] indicates that annoying is an adjective in this construction. In [3], the verbal nature of annoying is indicated by the fact that we cannot add very , as in [3a]. It is further indicated by the presence of the neighbours (the direct object) after annoying. Notice also that we can turn [3] into a passive sentence (the neighbours were annoyed by the noise). In this case, annoying is the main verb of the sentence, and it is preceded by the progressive auxiliary verb is. In [2], there is only one verb, the main verb is.
We can distinguish between the following pairs using the same criteria:



Adjectival
Verbal
This film is terrifying
This film is terrifying the children
Your comments are alarming
Your comments are alarming the people
The defendant's answers were misleading
The defendant's answers were misleading the jury
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:33 pm

We can also identify -ing forms as verbal if it is possible to change the -ing form into a non-progressive verb:



Progressive
Non-progressive
The children are dancing
The children dance
My eyes are stinging
My eyes sting
The wood is drying
The wood dries

Compare these changes from progressive to non-progressive with the following:



the work is rewarding
~*the work rewards
the job was exacting
~*the job exacted
your paper was interesting
~*your paper interested

In these instances, the inability to produce fully acceptable non-progressive sentences indicates adjectival use.
Similar indeterminacy occurs with -ed forms. Again, we can generally use very to determine whether the -ed word is adjectival or verbal:



The bomb was detonated
~*The bomb was very detonated
This document is hand-written
~*This document is very hand-written
My house was built in only twelve weeks
~*My house was very built in only twelve weeks
Ten people were killed
~*Ten people were very killed
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The inability to supply very in these cases indicates a verbal rather than an adjectival construction. However, this test is less reliable with -ed forms than it is with -ing forms, since very can sometimes be supplied in both the adjectival and the verbal constructions:



Adjectival
Verbal
I was embarrassed
I was very embarrassed

I was embarrassed by your behaviour
I was very embarrassed by your behaviour

She was surprised
She was very surprised

She was surprised by my reaction
She was very surprised by my reaction


The presence of a by-agent phrase (by your behaviour, by my reaction) indicates that the -ed form is verbal. Conversely, the presence of a complement, such as a that-clause, indicates that it is adjectival. Compare the following two constructions:



Adjectival:
The jury was convinced that the defendant was innocent
Verbal:
The jury was convinced by the lawyer's argument

Here are some further examples of adjectival constructions (with complements) and verbal constructions (with by-agent phrases):



Adjectival
Verbal
I was delighted to meet you again
I was delighted by his compliments
John is terrified of losing his job
John is terrified by his boss
I was frightened that I'd be late
I was frightened by your expression
I was disappointed to hear your decision
I was disappointed by your decision
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:33 pm

If the -ed form is verbal, we can change the passive construction in which it occurs into an active one:



Passive:
I was delighted by his compliments
Active:
His compliments delighted me

For more on active and passive constructions, see...

As we have seen, discriminating between adjectival and verbal constructions is sometimes facilitated by the presence of additional context, such as by-agent phrases or adjective complements. However, when none of these indicators is present, grammatical indeterminacy remains. Consider the following examples from conversational English:
And you know if you don't know the simple command how to get out of something you're sunk [S1A-005-172]
But that's convenient because it's edged with wood isn't it [S1A-007-97]
With -ed and -ing participial forms, there is no grammatical indeterminacy if there is no corresponding verb. For example, in the job was time-consuming, and the allegations were unfounded, the participial forms are adjectives.
Similarly, the problem does not arise if the main verb is not be. For example, the participial forms in this book seems boring, and he remained offended are all adjectives. Compare the following:

John was depressed
John felt depressed
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:33 pm

5.8 The Ordering of Adjectives

When two or more adjectives come before a noun, their relative order is fixed to a certain degree. This means, for instance, that while complex mathematical studies is grammatically acceptable, mathematical complex studies is less so. Similarly:



a huge red bomber
~*a red huge bomber
a long narrow road
~*a narrow long road
the lovely little black Japanese box
~*the Japanese black little lovely box

Here we will discuss some of the most common sequences which occur, though these should not be seen as ordering rules. Counter examples can often be found quite easily.
Central adjectives, as we saw earlier, are adjectives which fulfil all the criteria for the adjective class. In this sense, they are more "adjectival" than, say, denominal adjectives, which also have some of the properties of nouns.
This distinction has some significance in the ordering of adjectives. In general, the more adjectival a word is, the farther from the noun it will be. Conversely, the less adjectival it is (the more nominal), the nearer to the noun it will be. The relative order of these adjective types, then, is:
Sequence (1): CENTRAL -- DENOMINAL -- NOUN
This is the ordering found in complex mathematical studies, for instance, and also in the following examples:

expensive Russian dolls
heavy woollen clothes
huge polar bears
Colour adjectives are also central adjectives, but if they co-occur with another central adjective, they come after it:
Sequence (2): CENTRAL -- COLOUR -- NOUN

expensive green dolls
heavy black clothes
huge white bears
and before denominal adjectives:
Sequence (3): COLOUR -- DENOMINAL -- NOUN

green Russian dolls
black woollen clothes
white polar bears
Participial adjectives also follow central adjectives
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:34 pm

Sequence (4): CENTRAL -- PARTICIPIAL -- DENOMINAL -- NOUN

expensive carved Russian dolls
heavy knitted woollen clothes
huge dancing polar bears
(1) - (4) account for many sequences of up to three adjectives, in which each adjective is a different type. In practice it is rare to find more than three attributive adjectives together, especially if they are all different types. However, such a sequence may occur:

certain expensive green Russian dolls
Here the sequence is:
Sequence (5): NON-GRADABLE -- CENTRAL -- COLOUR -- DENOMINAL -- NOUN
Non-gradable adjectives, in fact, are always first in an adjective sequence. Here are some more examples:
Sequence (5a): NON-GRADABLE -- CENTRAL -- NOUN

certain difficult problems
Sequence (5b): NON-GRADABLE -- PARTICIPIAL -- NOUN

sheer unadulterated nonsense
Sequence (5c): NON-GRADABLE -- DENOMINAL -- NOUN

major medical advances
So far we have looked at sequences in which each adjective is a different type. However, we very often find adjectives of the same type occurring together:

big old buildings
beautiful little flowers
rich young people
Here all the adjectives are central adjectives, and in sequences like these it is much more difficult to determine the general principles governing their order. Several schemes have been proposed, though none is completely satisfactory or comprehensive.
The ordering of adjectives is influenced to some degree by the presence of premodification. If one or more of the adjectives in a sequence is premodified, say, by very, then it generally comes at the start of the sequence.
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The laryngograph provides us with a very accurate non-invasive physical measure of voice [S2A-056-95]
It would be unusual, perhaps, to find very accurate elsewhere in this sequence:

?The laryngograph provides us with a non-invasive very accurate physical measure of voice
?The laryngograph provides us with a non-invasive physical very accurate measure of voice
Conversely, adjective order restricts the degree to which attributive adjectives may be premodified. Consider the following:

a wealthy young businessman
a very wealthy young businessman
We cannot modify young in this example, while keeping wealthy and young in the same relative order:

*a wealthy very young businessman
Nor can we move young to the first position and modify it there, while retaining the same degree of acceptability:

?a very young wealthy businessman


6 Adverbs





Adverbs are used to modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb:

[1] Mary sings beautifully
[2] David is extremely clever
[3] This car goes incredibly fast

In [1], the adverb beautifully tells us how Mary sings. In [2], extremely tells us the degree to which David is clever. Finally, in [3], the adverb incredibly tells us how fast the car goes.
Before discussing the meaning of adverbs, however, we will identify some of their formal characteristics.
6.1 Formal Characteristics of Adverbs



From our examples above, you can see that many adverbs end in -ly. More precisely, they are formed by adding -ly to an adjective:



Adjective

slow

quick

soft

sudden

gradual

Adverb

slowly

quickly

softly

suddenly

gradually


Because of their distinctive endings, these adverbs are known as -LY ADVERBS. However, by no means all adverbs end in -ly. Note also that some adjectives also end in -ly, including costly, deadly, friendly, kindly, likely, lively, manly, and timely.
Like adjectives, many adverbs are GRADABLE, that is, we can modify them using very or extremely:




softly

very softly

suddenly

very suddenly

slowly

extremely slowly


The modifying words very and extremely are themselves adverbs. They are called DEGREE ADVERBS because they specify the degree to which an adjective or another adverb applies. Degree adverbs include almost, barely, entirely, highly, quite, slightly, totally, and utterly. Degree adverbs are not gradable (*extremely very).
Like adjectives, too, some adverbs can take COMPARATIVE and SUPERLATIVE forms, with -er and -est:


John works hard -- Mary works harder -- I work hardest
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However, the majority of adverbs do not take these endings. Instead, they form the comparative using more and the superlative using most:



Adverb
Comparative
Superlative

recently

more recently

most recently

effectively

more effectively

most effectively

frequently

more frequently

most frequently


In the formation of comparatives and superlatives, some adverbs are irregular:



Adverb
Comparative
Superlative

well

better

best

badly

worse

worst

little

less

least

much

more

most
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6.2 Adverbs and Adjectives



Adverbs and adjectives have important characteristics in common -- in particular their gradability, and the fact that they have comparative and superlative forms. However, an important distinguishing feature is that adverbs do not modify nouns, either attributively or predicatively:



Adjective
Adverb

David is a happy child

*David is a happily child

David is happy

*David is happily


The following words, together with their comparative and superlative forms, can be both adverbs and adjectives:
early, far, fast, hard, late
The following sentences illustrate the two uses of early:



Adjective
Adverb

I'll catch the early train

I awoke early this morning


The comparative better and the superlative best, as well as some words denoting time intervals (daily, weekly, monthly), can also be adverbs or adjectives, depending on how they are used.
We have incorporated some of these words into the following exercise. See if you can distinguish between the adverbs and the adjectives.

Although endings, gradability and comparison allow us to identify many adverbs, there still remains a very large number of them which cannot be identified in this way. In fact, taken as a whole, the adverb class is the most diverse of all the word classes, and its members exhibit a very wide range of forms and functions. Many semantic classifications of adverbs have been made, but here we will concentrate on just three of the most distinctive classes, known collectively as circumstantial adverbs.
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6.3 Circumstantial Adverbs



Many adverbs convey information about the manner, time, or place of an event or action. MANNER adverbs tell us how an action is or should be performed:


She sang loudly in the bath
The sky quickly grew dark
They whispered softly
I had to run fast to catch the bus

TIME adverbs denote not only specific times but also frequency:


I'll be checking out tomorrow
Give it back, now!
John rarely rings any more
I watch television sometimes

And finally, PLACE adverbs indicate where:


Put the box there, on the table
I've left my gloves somewhere

These three adverb types -- manner, time, and place -- are collectively known as CIRCUMSTANTIAL ADVERBS. They express one of the circumstances relating to an event or action - how it happened (manner), when it happened (time), or where it happened (place).
6.4 Additives, Exclusives, and Particularizers

Additives "add" two or more items together, emphasizing that they are all to be considered equal:
[1] Lynn's prewar success had been as a light historical novelist; he employed similar fanciful ideas in his war novels [...] Joseph Hocking's war novels are also dominated by romance and adventure [W2A-009-40ff]

[2] German firms have an existing advantage as a greater number of their managers have technical or engineering degrees. Japanese managers, too, have technical qualifications of a high order. [W2A-011-51ff]
In [1], the adverb also points to the similarities between the war novels of Lynn and those of Hocking. In [2], the adverb too functions in a similar way, emphasizing the fact that the qualifications of Japanese managers are similar to those of German managers.
In contrast with additives, EXCLUSIVE adverbs focus attention on what follows them, to the exclusion of all other possibilities:
[3] It's just a question of how we organise it [S1B-075-68]

[4] The federal convention [...] comes together solely for the purpose of electing the president [S2B-021-99]
In [3], just excludes all other potential questions from consideration, while in [4], solely points out the fact that the federal convention has no other function apart from electing the president. Other exclusives include alone, exactly, merely, and simply.
PARTICULARIZERS also focus attention on what follows them, but they do not exclude other possibilities:
[5] The pastoralists are particularly found in Africa [S2A-047-3]

[6] Now this book is mostly about what they call modulation [S1A-045-167]
In [5], it is implied that Africa is not the only place where pastoralists live. While most of them live there, some of them live elsewhere. Sentence [6] implies that most of the book is about modulation, though it deals with other, unspecified topics as well.
Other particularizers include largely, mainly, primarily, and predominantly.
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6.5Wh- Adverbs



A special subclass of adverbs includes a set of words beginning with wh-. The most common are when, where, and why, though the set also includes whence, whereby, wherein, and whereupon. To this set we add the word how, and we refer to the whole set as WH- ADVERBS. Some members of the set can introduce an interrogative sentence:


When are you going to New York?
Where did you leave the car?
Why did he resign?
How did you become interested in theatre?

They can also introduce various types of clause:


This is the town where Shakespeare was born
I've no idea how it works


6.6 Sentence Adverbs



We conclude by looking at a set of adverbs which qualify a whole sentence, and not just a part of it. Consider the following:


Honestly, it doesn't matter

Here the sentence adverb honestly modifies the whole sentence, and it expresses the speaker's opinion about what is being said (When I say it doesn't matter, I am speaking honestly). Here are some more examples:


Clearly, he has no excuse for such behaviour
Frankly, I don't care about your problems
Unfortunately, no refunds can be given

Some sentence adverbs link a sentence with a preceding one:


England played well in the first half. However, in the second half their weaknesses were revealed.

Other sentence adverbs of this type are accordingly, consequently, hence, moreover, similarly, and therefore.
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7 Prepositions



Prepositions cannot be distinguished by any formal features. A list of prepositions will illustrate this point:

across, after, at, before, by, during, from, in, into, of, on, to, under, with, without
We can, say, however, that prepositions typically come before a noun:



across town
after class

at home

before Tuesday

by Shakespeare

for lunch
in London

on fire

to school

with pleasure


The noun does not necessarily come immediately after the preposition, however, since determiners and adjectives can intervene:

after the storm
on white horses
under the old regime
Whether or not there are any intervening determiners or adjectives, prepositions are almost always followed by a noun. In fact, this is so typical of prepositions that if they are not followed by a noun, we call them "stranded" prepositions:



Preposition
Stranded Preposition
John talked about the new film
This is the film John talked about

Prepositions are invariable in their form, that is, they do not take any inflections
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7.1 Complex Prepositions



The prepositions which we have looked at so far have all consisted of a single word, such as in, of, at, and to. We refer to these as SIMPLE PREPOSITIONS.
COMPLEX PREPOSITIONS consist of two- or three-word combinations acting as a single unit. Here are some examples:


according to
along with

apart from

because of

contrary to

due to
except for

instead of

prior to

regardless of

Like simple prepositions, these two-word combinations come before a noun:
according to Shakespeare
contrary to my advice
due to illness
Three-word combinations often have the following pattern:

Simple Preposition + Noun + Simple Preposition
We can see this pattern in the following examples:


in aid of
on behalf of

in front of

in accordance with

in line with

in line with
in relation to

with reference to

with respect to

by means of

Again, these combinations come before a noun:
in aid of charity
in front of the window
in line with inflation
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7.2 Marginal Prepositions


A number of prepositions have affinities with other word classes. In particular, some prepositions are verbal in form:
Following his resignation, the minister moved to the country
I am writing to you regarding your overdraft
The whole team was there, including John
We refer to these as MARGINAL PREPOSITIONS. Other marginal prepositions include:
concerning, considering, excluding, given, granted, pending
Non-verbal marginal prepositions include worth (it's worth ten pounds) and minus (ten minus two is eight).
8 Conjunctions

Conjunctions are used to express a connection between words. The most familiar conjunctions are and, but, and or:

Paul and David
cold and wet
tired but happy
slowly but surely
tea or coffee
hot or cold
They can also connect longer units:

Paul plays football and David plays chess
I play tennis but I don't play well
We can eat now or we can wait till later
There are two types of conjunctions. COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS (or simply COORDINATORS) connect elements of `equal' syntactic status:

Paul and David
I play tennis but I don't play well
meat or fish
Items which are connected by a coordinator are known as CONJOINS. So in I play tennis but I don't play well, the conjoins are [I play tennis] and [ I don't play well].
On the other hand, SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS (or SUBORDINATORS) connect elements of `unequal' syntactic status:

I left early because I had an interview the next day
We visited Madame Tussaud's while we were in London
I'll be home at nine if I can get a taxi
Other subordinating conjunctions include although, because, before, since, till, unless, whereas, whether
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Coordination and subordination are quite distinct concepts in grammar. Notice, for example, that coordinators must appear between the conjoins:

[Paul plays football] and [David plays chess]
~*And [David plays chess] [Paul plays football]
However, we can reverse the order of the conjoins, provided we keep the coordinator between them:

[David plays chess] and [Paul plays football]
In contrast with this, subordinators do not have to occur between the items they connect::

I left early because I had an interview the next day
~Because I had an interview the next day, I left early
But if we reverse the order of the items, we either change the meaning completely:

I left early because I had an interview the next day
~I had an interview the next day because I left early

or we produce a very dubious sentence:

I'll be home at nine if I can get a taxi
~?I can get a taxi if I'll be home at nine

This shows that items linked by a subordinator have a very specific relationship to each other -- it is a relationship of syntactic dependency. There is no syntactic dependency in the relationship between conjoins. We will further explore this topic when we look at the grammar of clauses.


8.1 Coordination Types

Conjoins are usually coordinated using one of the coordinators and, but, or or. In [1], the bracketed conjoins are coordinated using and:
[1] [Quickly] and [resolutely], he strode into the bank
This type of coordination, with a coordinator present, is called SYNDETIC COORDINATION.
Coordination can also occur without the presence of a coordinator, as in [2]:
[2] [Quickly], [resolutely], he strode into the bank
No coordinator is present here, but the conjoins are still coordinated. This is known as ASYNDETIC COORDINATION.
When three or more conjoins are coordinated, a coordinator will usually appear between the final two conjoins only:
[3] I need [bread], [cheese], [eggs], and [milk]
This is syndetic coordination, since a coordinating conjunction is present. It would be unusual to find a coordinator between each conjoin:
[3a] I need [bread] and [cheese] and [eggs] and [milk]
This is called POLYSYNDETIC COORDINATION. It is sometimes used for effect, for instance to express continuation:
[4] This play will [run] and [run] and [run]
[5] He just [talks] and [talks] and [talks]
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8.2 False Coordination

Coordinators are sometimes used without performing any strictly coordinating role:

I'll come when I'm good and ready
Here, the adjectives good and ready are not really being coordinated with each other. If they were, the sentence would mean something like:

I'll come [when I'm good] and [when I'm ready]
Clearly, this is not the meaning which good and ready conveys. Instead, good and intensifies the meaning of ready. We might rephrase the sentence as

I'll come when I'm completely ready.
Good and ready is an example of FALSE COORDINATION -- using a coordinator without any coordinating role. It is sometimes called PSEUDO-COORDINATION.
False coordination can also be found in informal expressions using try and:

Please try and come early
I'll try and ring you from the office
Here, too, no real coordination is taking place. The first sentence, for instance, does not mean Please try, and please come early. Instead, it is semantically equivalent to Please try to come early.
In informal spoken English, and and but are often used as false coordinators, without any real coordinating role. The following extract from a conversation illustrates this:

Speaker A: Well he told me it's this super high-flying computer software stuff. I'm sure it's the old job he used to have cleaning them

Speaker B:
But it went off okay last night then did it? Did you have a good turnout? [S1A-005-95ff]


Here, the word but used by Speaker B does not coordinate any conjoins. Instead, it initiates her utterance, and introduces a completely new topic.
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9 Minor word classes





We have now looked at the seven major word classes in English. Most words can be assigned to at least one of these classes. However, there are some words which will not fit the criteria for any of them. Consider, for example, the word hello. It is clearly not a noun, or an adjective, or a verb, or indeed any of the classes we have looked at. It belongs to a minor word class, which we call formulaic expressions.

9.1 Formulaic Expressions



To express greetings, farewell, thanks, or apologies, we use a wide range of FORMULAIC EXPRESSIONS. These may consist of a single word or of several words acting as a unit. Here are some examples:


bye
goodbye
hello
farewell
hi
so long

excuse me
thanks
thank you
thanks a lot
sorry
pardon


Some formulaic expressions express agreement or disagreement with a previous speaker:
yes, yeah, no, okay, right, sure
INTERJECTIONS generally occur only in spoken English, or in the representation of speech in novels. They include the following:
ah, eh, hmm, oh, ouch, phew, shit, tsk, uhm, yuk
Interjections express a wide range of emotions, including surprise (oh!), exasperation (shit!), and disgust (yuk!).
Formulaic expressions, including interjections, are unvarying in their form, that is, they do not take any inflections.
9.2 Existential there

We have seen that the word there is an adverb, in sentences such as:
You can't park there
I went there last year
Specifically, it is an adverb of place in these examples.
However, the word there has another use. As EXISTENTIAL THERE, it often comes at the start of a sentence:
There is a fly in my soup
There were six errors in your essay
Existential there is most commonly followed by a form of the verb be. When it is used in a question, it follows the verb:
Is there a problem with your car?
Was there a storm last night?
The two uses of there can occur in the same sentence:
There is a parking space there

In this example, the first there is existential there, and the second is an adverb.
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9.3 Uses of It

In the section on pronouns, we saw that the word it is a third person singular pronoun. However, this word also has other roles which are not related to its pronominal use. We look at some of these other uses here.
When we talk about time or the weather, we use sentences such as:
What time is it?
It is four o'clock
It is snowing
It's going to rain
Here, we cannot identify precisely what it refers to. It has a rather vague reference, and we call this DUMMY IT or PROP IT. Dummy it is also used, equally vaguely, in other expressions:
Hold it!
Take it easy!
Can you make it to my party?
It is sometimes used to "anticipate" something which appears later in the same sentence:
It's great to see you
It's a pity you can't come to my party
In the first example, it "anticipates" to see you. We can remove it from the sentence and replace it with to see you:
To see you is great
Because of its role in this type of sentence, we call this ANTICIPATORY IT.
See also: Cleft Sentences
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10 Introduces phrases





We have now completed the first level of grammatical analysis, in which we looked at words individually and classified them according to certain criteria. This classification is important because, as we'll see, it forms the basis of the next level of analysis, in which we consider units which may be larger than individual words, but are smaller than sentences. In this section we will be looking at PHRASES.
10.1 Defining a Phrase


When we looked at nouns and pronouns, we said that a pronoun can sometimes replace a noun in a sentence. One of the examples we used was this:
[Children] should watch less television
~[They] should watch less television

Here it is certainly true that the pronoun they replaces the noun children. But consider:
[The children] should watch less television
~[They] should watch less television

In this example, they does not replace children. Instead, it replaces the children, which is a unit consisting of a determiner and a noun. We refer to this unit as a NOUN PHRASE (NP), and we define it as any unit in which the central element is a noun. Here is another example:
I like[the title of your book]
~I like [it]

In this case, the pronoun it replaces not just a noun but a five-word noun phrase, the title of your book. So instead of saying that pronouns can replace nouns, it is more accurate to say that they can replace noun phrases.
We refer to the central element in a phrase as the HEAD of the phrase. In the noun phrase the children, the Head is children. In the noun phrase the title of your book, the Head is title.
Noun phrases do not have to contain strings of words. In fact, they can contain just one word, such as the word children in children should watch less television. This is also a phrase, though it contains only a Head. At the level of word class, of course, we would call children a plural, common noun. But in a phrase-level analysis, we call children on its own a noun phrase. This is not simply a matter of terminology -- we call it a noun phrase because it can be expanded to form longer strings which are more clearly noun phrases.

From now on in the Internet Grammar, we will be using this phrase-level terminology. Furthermore, we will delimit phrases by bracketing them, as we have done in the examples above.
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تاريخ التسجيل : 03/12/2008

مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:38 pm

10.2 The Basic Structure of a Phrase

Phrases consist minimally of a Head. This means that in a one-word phrase like [children], the Head is children. In longer phrases, a string of elements may appear before the Head:
[the small children]
For now, we will refer to this string simply as the pre-Head string.
A string of elements may also appear after the Head, and we will call this the post-Head string:
[the small children in class 5]
So we have a basic three-part structure:


pre-Head string
Head
post-Head string
[the small
children
in class 5]
Of these three parts, only the Head is obligatory. It is the only part which cannot be omitted from the phrase. To illustrate this, let's omit each part in turn:


pre-Head string
Head
post-Head string
[--
children
in class 5]
*[the small
--
in class 5]
[the small
children
--]

Pre-Head and post-Head strings can be omitted, while leaving a complete noun phrase. We can even omit the pre- and post-Head strings at the same time, leaving only the Head:


pre-Head string
Head
post-Head string
[--
children
--]
This is still a complete noun phrase.
However, when the Head is omitted, we're left with an incomplete phrase (*the small in class five). This provides a useful method of identifying the Head of a phrase. In general, the Head is the only obligatory part of a phrase.
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