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

10.3 More Phrase Types


Just as a noun functions as the Head of a noun phrase, a verb functions as the Head of a verb phrase, and an adjective functions as the Head of an adjective phrase, and so on. We recognise five phrase types in all:

Phrase Type
Head
Example

Noun Phrase

Noun

[the children in class 5]

Verb Phrase

Verb

[play the piano]

Adjective Phrase

Adjective

[delighted to meet you]

Adverb Phrase

Adverb

[very quickly]

Prepositional Phrase

Preposition

[in the garden]


For convenience, we will use the following abbreviations for the phrase types:



Phrase Type

Abbreviation

Noun Phrase
NP

Verb Phrase
VP

Adjective Phrase
AP

Adverb Phrase
AdvP

Prepositional Phrase
PP

Using these abbreviations, we can now label phrases as well as bracket them. We do this by putting the appropriate label inside the opening bracket:
[NP the small children in class 5]
Now we will say a little more about each of the five phrase types.
10.4 Noun Phrase (NP)


As we've seen, a noun phrase has a noun as its Head. Determiners and adjective phrases usually constitute the pre-Head string:
[NP the children]
[NP happy children]
[NP the happy children]

In theory at least, the post-Head string in an NP can be indefinitely long:
[NP the dog that chased the cat that killed the mouse that ate the cheese that was made from the milk that came from the cow that...]
Fortunately, they are rarely as long as this in real use.
The Head of an NP does not have to be a common or a proper noun. Recall that pronouns are a subclass of nouns. This means that pronouns, too, can function as the Head of an NP:
[NP I] like coffee
The waitress gave [NP me] the wrong dessert
[NP This] is my car

If the Head is a pronoun, the NP will generally consist of the Head only. This is because pronouns do not take determiners or adjectives, so there will be no pre-Head string. However, with some pronouns, there may be a post-Head string:
[NP Those who arrive late] cannot be admitted until the interval
Similarly, numerals, as a subclass of nouns, can be the Head of an NP:
[NP Two of my guests] have arrived
[NP The first to arrive] was John

10.5 Verb Phrase (VP)


In a VERB PHRASE (VP), the Head is always a verb. The pre-Head string, if any, will be a `negative' word such as not [1] or never [2], or an adverb phrase [3]:
[1] [VP not compose an aria]
[2] [VP never compose an aria]
[3] Paul [VP deliberately broke the window]

Many verb Heads must be followed by a post-Head string:
My son [VP made a cake] -- (compare: *My son made)
We [VP keep pigeons] -- (compare: *We keep)
I [VP recommend the fish] -- (compare: *I recommend)

Verbs which require a post-Head string are called TRANSITIVE verbs. The post-Head string, in these examples, is called the DIRECT OBJECT.
In contrast, some verbs are never followed by a direct object:
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:38 pm

Susan [VP smiled]
The professor [VP yawned]

These are known as INTRANSITIVE VERBS.
However, most verbs in English can be both transitive and intransitive, so it is perhaps more accurate to refer to transitive and intransitive uses of a verb. The following examples show the two uses of the same verb:
Intransitive: David smokes
Transitive: David smokes cigars

We will return to the structure of verb phrases in a later section.
10.6 Adjective Phrase (AP)


In an ADJECTIVE PHRASE (AP), the Head word is an adjective. Here are some examples:
Susan is [AP clever]
The doctor is [AP very late]
My sister is [AP fond of animals]

The pre-Head string in an AP is most commonly an adverb phrase such as very or extremely. Adjective Heads may be followed by a post-Head string:
[AP happy to meet you]
[AP ready to go]
[AP afraid of the dark]

A small number of adjective Heads must be followed by a post-Head string. The adjective Head fond is one of these. Compare:
My sister is [AP fond of animals]
*My sister is [fond]

10.7 Adverb Phrase (AdvP)


In an ADVERB PHRASE, the Head word is an adverb. Most commonly, the pre-Head string is another adverb phrase:
He graduated [AdvP very recently]
She left [AdvP quite suddenly]

In AdvPs, there is usually no post-Head string, but here's a rare example:
[AdvP Unfortunately for him], his wife came home early
10.8 Prepositional Phrase (PP)


PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES usually consist of a Head -- a preposition -- and a post-Head string only. Here are some examples:
[PP through the window]
[PP over the bar]
[PP across the line]
[PP after midnight]

This makes PPs easy to recognise -- they nearly always begin with a preposition (the Head). A pre-Head string is rarely present, but here are some examples:
[PP straight through the window]
[PP right over the bar]
[PP just after midnight]
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:39 pm

10.9 Phrases within Phrases


We will conclude this introduction to phrases by looking briefly at phrases within phrases. Consider the NP:
[NP small children]
It consists of a Head children and a pre-Head string small. Now small is an adjective, so it is the Head of its own adjective phrase. We know this because it could be expanded to form a longer string:
very small children
Here, the adjective Head small has its own pre-Head string very:
[AP very small]
So in small children, we have an AP small embedded with the NP small children. We represent this as follows:
[NP [AP small] children]
All but the simplest phrases will contain smaller phrases within them. Here's another example:
[PP across the road]
Here, the Head is across, and the post-Head string is the road. Now we know that the road is itself an NP -- its Head is road, and it has a pre-Head string the. So we have an NP within the PP:
[PP across [NP the road]]
When you examine phrases, remember to look out for other phrases within them.
11 Clauses and sentences





So far we have been looking at phrases more or less in isolation. In real use, of course, they occur in isolation only in very restricted circumstances. For example, we find isolated NPs in public signs and notices:
[Exit]
[Sale]
[Restricted Area]
[Hyde Park]

We sometimes use isolated phrases in spoken English, especially in responses to questions:
Q: What would you like to drink?
A: [NP Coffee]

Q: How are you today?
A: [AP Fine]

Q: Where did you park the car?
A: [PP Behind the house]

In more general use, however, phrases are integrated into longer units, which we call CLAUSES:
Q: What would you like to drink?
A: [I'd like coffee]

Q: How are you today?
A: [I'm fine]

Q: Where did you park the car?
A: [I parked the car behind the house]
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11.1 The Clause Hierarchy


The clause I'd like coffee is a SUBORDINATE CLAUSE within the sentence I think I'd like coffee. We refer to this larger clause as the MATRIX CLAUSE:

The matrix clause is not subordinate to any other, so it is, in fact, co-extensive with the sentence.
We say that the matrix clause is SUPERORDINATE to the subordinate clause.
The terms subordinate and superordinate are relative terms. They describe the relationship between clauses in what is called the CLAUSE HIERARCHY. We can illustrate what this means by looking at a slightly more complicated example:
He said I think I'd like coffee
Here the matrix clause is:
He said I think I'd like coffee
This matrix clause contains two subordinate clauses, which we'll refer to as Sub1 and Sub2:

Sub1 is both subordinate and superordinate. It is subordinate in relation to the matrix clause, and it is superordinate in relation to Sub2.
Subordinate and superordinate, then, are not absolute terms. They describe how clauses are arranged hierarchically relative to each other.
We can bracket and label clauses in the same way as phrases. We will use the following abbreviations:
Matrix Clause: MC
Subordinate Clause: SubC

Applying these labels and brackets to our first example, we get:
[MC I think [SubC I'd like coffee]]
Just as we've seen with phrases, we can have embedding in clauses too. Here, the subordinate clause is embedded within the matrix clause.
There is a greater degree of embedding in our second example, where there are two subordinate clauses, one within the other:
[MC He said [SubC I think [SubC I'd like coffee]]]
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:45 pm

11.2 Finite and Nonfinite Clauses

As a working definition, let us say that clauses contain at least a verb phrase:
[MC [VP Stop]]
[
MC David [VP composed an aria] when he was twelve]
[
MC My solicitor [VP sent me a letter] yesterday]
As these examples show, clauses can also contain many other elements, but for now we will concentrate on the VP. We have already seen that verbs (and therefore the VPs that contain them) are either FINITE or NONFINITE, so we can use this distinction to classify clauses. Clauses are either finite or nonfinite.
Finite verb phrases carry tense, and the clauses containing them are FINITE CLAUSES:
[1] She writes home every day (finite clause -- present tense verb)
[2] She wrote home yesterday (finite clause -- past tense verb)

On the other hand, nonfinite verb phrases do not carry tense. Their main verb is either a to-infinitive [3], a bare infinitive [4], an -ed form [5], or an -ing form [6]:
[3] David loves [to play the piano]
[4] We made [David play the piano]
[5] [Written in 1864], it soon became a classic
[6] [Leaving home] can be very traumatic

These are NONFINITE CLAUSES.
Matrix clauses are always finite, as in [1] and [2]. However, they may contain nonfinite subordinate clauses within them. For example:
[MC David loves [SubC to play the piano]]
Here we have a finite matrix clause -- its main verb loves has the present tense form. Within it, there is a nonfinite subordinate clause to play the piano -- its main verb play has the to-infinitive form.
On the other hand, subordinate clauses can be either finite or nonfinite:
Finite: He said [SubC that they stayed at a lovely hotel] -- past tense
Nonfinite: I was advised [SubC to sell my old car] -- to-infinitive

11.3 Subordinate Clause Types

Subordinate clauses may be finite or nonfinite. Within this broad classification, we can make many further distinctions. We will begin by looking at subordinate clauses which are distinguished by their formal characteristics.
Many subordinate clauses are named after the form of the verb which they contain:
TO-INFINITIVE CLAUSE:

You must book early [to secure a seat]

BARE INFINITIVE CLAUSE:

They made [the professor forget his notes]

-ING PARTICIPLE CLAUSE:

His hobby is [collecting old photographs]

-ED PARTICIPLE CLAUSE:

[Rejected by his parents], the boy turned to a life of crime

For convenience, we sometimes name a clause after its first element:
IF-CLAUSE:

I'll be there at nine [if I catch the early train]

As we'll see on the next page, if-clauses are sometimes called conditional clauses.
THAT-CLAUSE:

David thinks [that we should have a meeting]

The that element is sometimes ellipted:
David thinks [we should have a meeting]
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:45 pm

11.3.1 Relative Clauses

An important type of subordinate clause is the RELATIVE CLAUSE. Here are some examples:
The man [who lives beside us] is ill
The video [which you recommended] was terrific

Relative clauses are generally introduced by a relative pronoun, such as who, or which. However, the relative pronoun may be ellipted:
The video [you recommended] was terrific
Another variant, the REDUCED RELATIVE CLAUSE, has no relative pronoun, and the verb is nonfinite:
The man [living beside us] is ill
(Compare: The man [who lives beside us]...)


11.3.2 Nominal Relative Clauses

NOMINAL RELATIVE CLAUSES (or independent relatives) function in some respects like noun phrases:
[What I like best] is football
(cf. the sport I like best...)

The prize will go to [whoever submits the best design]
(cf. the person who submits...)

My son is teaching me [how to use email]
(cf. the way to use email)

This is [where Shakespeare was born]
(cf. the place where...)

The similarity with NPs can be further seen in the fact that certain nominal relatives exhibit number contrast:
Singular: [What we need] is a plan
Plural: [What we need] are new ideas

Notice the agreement here with is (singular) and are (plural).

11.3.3 Small Clauses

Finally, we will mention briefly an unusual type of clause, the verbless or SMALL CLAUSE. While clauses usually contain a verb, which is finite or nonfinite, small clauses lack an overt verb:
Susan found [the job very difficult]
We analyse this as a unit because clearly its parts cannot be separated. What Susan found was not the job, but the job very difficult. And we analyse this unit specifically as a clause because we can posit an implicit verb, namely, a form of the verb be:
Susan found [the job (to be) very difficult]
Here are some more examples of small clauses:
Susan considers [David an idiot]
The jury found [the defendant guilty]
[Lunch over], the guests departed quickly

All of the clause types discussed here are distinguished by formal characteristics. On the next page, we will distinguish some more types, this time on the basis of their meaning.
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11.4 Subordinate Clauses: Semantic Types

Here we will look at subordinate clauses from the point of view of their meaning. The main semantic types are exemplified in the following table:

Subordinate Clause Type
Example
Temporal
I'll ring you again [before I leave]

David joined the army [after he graduated]

[When you leave], please close the door

I read the newspaper [while I was waiting]

Conditional
I'll be there at nine [if I can catch the early train]

[Provided he works hard], he'll do very well at school

Don't call me [unless its an emergency]

Concessive
He bought me a lovely gift, [although he can't really afford it]

[Even though he worked hard], he failed the final exam

[While I don't agree with her], I can understand her viewpoint

Reason
Paul was an hour late [because he missed the train]

I borrowed your lawn mower, [since you weren't using it]

[As I don't know the way], I'll take a taxi

Result
The kitchen was flooded, [so we had to go to a restaurant]

I've forgotten my password, [so I can't read my email]

Comparative
This is a lot more difficult [than I expected]

She earns as much money [as I do]

I think London is less crowded [than it used to be]

The table does not cover all the possible types, but it does illustrate many of the various meanings which can be expressed by subordinate clauses.
Notice that the same word can introduce different semantic types. For instance, the word while can introduce a temporal clause:
I read the newspaper [while I was waiting]
or a concessive clause:
[While I don't agree with her], I can understand her viewpoint.
Similarly, the word since can express time:
I've known him [since he was a child]
as well as reason:
I borrowed your lawn mower, [since you weren't using it]
In the following exercise, be aware of words like these, which can introduce more than one type of subordinate clause.
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:45 pm

11.5 Sentences


Most people recognise a sentence as a unit which begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop (period), a question mark, or an exclamation mark. Of course, this applies only to written sentences. Sentences have also been defined notionally as units which express a "complete thought", though it is not at all clear what a "complete thought" is.
It is more useful to define a sentence syntactically, as a unit which consists of one or more clauses. According to this definition, the following examples are all sentences:
[1] Paul likes football
[2] You can borrow my pen if you need one
[3] Paul likes football and David likes chess
Sentence [1] is a SIMPLE SENTENCE -- it contains only one clause.
Sentence [2] consists of a matrix clause You can borrow my pen if you need one, and a subordinate clause if you need one. This is called a COMPLEX SENTENCE. A complex sentence is defined as a sentence which contains at least one subordinate clause.
Finally, sentence [3] consists of two clauses which are coordinated with each other. This is a COMPOUND sentence.
By using subordination and coordination, sentences can potentially be infinitely long, but in all cases we can analyse them as one or more clauses.
11.6 The Discourse Functions of Sentences

Sentences may be classified according to their use in discourse. We recognise four main sentence types:


  • declarative
  • interrogative
  • imperative
  • exclamative

11.6.1 Declarative

Declarative sentences are used to convey information or to make statements:
David plays the piano
I hope you can come tomorrow
We've forgotten the milk

Declarative sentences are by far the most common type.
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11.6.2 Interrogative

Interrogative sentences are used in asking questions:
Is this your book?
Did you receive my message?
Have you found a new job yet?

The examples above are specifically YES/NO INTERROGATIVES, because they elicit a response which is either yes or no.
ALTERNATIVE INTERROGATIVES offer two or more alternative responses:
Should I telephone you or send an email?
Do you want tea, coffee, or espresso?

Yes/no interrogatives and alternative interrogatives are introduced by an auxiliary verb.
WH- INTERROGATIVES, on the other hand, are introduced by a wh- word, and they elicit an open-ended response:
What happened?
Where do you work?
Who won the Cup Final in 1997?

Questions are sometimes tagged onto the end of a declarative sentence:
David plays the piano, doesn't he?
We've forgotten the milk, haven't we?
There's a big match tonight, isn't there?

These are known as TAG QUESTIONS. They consist of a main or auxiliary verb followed by a pronoun or existential there

11.6.3 Imperative

Imperative sentences are used in issuing orders or directives:
Leave your coat in the hall
Give me your phone number
Don't shut the door
Stop!

Tag questions are sometimes added to the end of imperatives:
Leave your coat in the hall, will you?
Write soon, won't you?

In an imperative sentence, the main verb is in the base form. This is an exception to the general rule that matrix clauses are always finite.

11.6.4 Exclamative

Exclamative sentences are used to make exclamations:
What a stupid man he is!
How wonderful you look!

The four sentence types exhibit different syntactic forms, which we will be looking at in a later section. For now, it is worth pointing out that there is not necessarily a one-to-one relationship between the form of a sentence and its discourse function. For instance, the following sentence has declarative form:
You need some help
But when this is spoken with a rising intonation, it becomes a question:
You need some help?
Conversely, rhetorical questions have the form of an interrogative, but they are really statements:
Who cares? ( = I don't care)
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:46 pm

11.7 The Grammatical Hierarchy: Words, Phrases, Clauses, and Sentences


Words, phrases, clauses, and sentences constitute what is called the GRAMMATICAL HIERARCHY. We can represent this schematically as follows:
sentences consist of one or more...

clauses
consist of one or more...

phrases
consist of one or more...

words
Sentences are at the top of the hierarchy, so they are the largest unit which we will be considering (though some grammars do look beyond the sentence). At the other end of the hierarchy, words are at the lowest level, though again, some grammars go below the word to consider morphology, the study of how words are constructed.
At the clause level and at the phrase level, two points should be noted:
1. Although clauses are higher than phrases in the hierarchy, clauses can occur within phrases, as we've already seen:
The man who lives beside us is ill
Here we have a relative clause who lives beside us within the NP the man who lives beside us.
2. We've also seen that clauses can occur within clauses, and phrases can occur within phrases.
Bearing these two points in mind, we can now illustrate the grammatical hierarchy using the following sentence:
My brother won the lottery
As a means of illustrating the grammatical hierarchy, the labelled brackets we have used here have at least one major drawback. You've probably noticed it already -- they are very difficult to interpret. And the problem becomes more acute as the sentence becomes more complex. For this reason, linguists prefer to employ a more visual method, the TREE DIAGRAM.
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:46 pm

12 Form and Function

We have used the word "form" quite often in the Internet Grammar. It was one of the criteria we used to distinguish between word classes -- we saw that the form or "shape" of a word is often a good clue to its word class.
When we looked at phrases, too, we were concerned with their form. We said that phrases may have the basic form (Pre-Head string) - Head - (Post-Head string).
And finally, we classified clauses according to the form (finite or nonfinite) of their main verb.
In all of these cases, we were conducting a FORMAL analysis. Form denotes how something looks -- its shape or appearance, and what its structure is. When we say that the old man is an NP, or that the old man bought a newspaper is a finite clause, we are carrying out a formal analysis.
We can also look at constituents -- phrases and clauses -- from another angle. We can examine the FUNCTIONs which they perform in the larger structures which contain them.

12.1 Subject and Predicat

The most familiar grammatical function is the SUBJECT. In notional terms, we can think of the Subject as the element which performs the "action" denoted by the verb:
[1] David plays the piano
[2] The police interviewed all the witnesses
In [1], the Subject David performs the action of playing the piano. In [2], the Subject the police performs the action of interviewing all the witnesses. In these terms, this means that we can identify the Subject by asking a wh-question:
[1]David plays the piano
Q. Who plays the piano?
A. David ( = Subject)

[2] The police interviewed all the witnesses
Q. Who interviewed all the witnesses?
A. The police (= Subject)

Having identified the Subject, we can see that the remainder of the sentence tells us what the Subject does or did. In [1], for example, plays the piano tells us what David does. We refer to this string as the PREDICATE of the sentence. In [2], the Predicate is interviewed all the witnesses.
Here are some more examples of sentences labelled for Subject and Predicate.


Subject
Predicate
The lion
roared
He
writes well
She
enjoys going to the cinema
The girl in the blue dress
arrived late
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In each of these examples, the Subject performs the action described in the Predicate. We've seen, however, that there are problems in defining verbs as "action" words, and for the same reasons, there are problems in defining the Subject as the "performer" of the action. The Subject in John seems unhappy is John, but we would hardly say he is performing an action. For this reason, we need to define the Subject more precisely than this. We will look at the characteristics of the Subject on the next page.

12.2 Characteristics of the Subject

The grammatical Subject has a number of characteristics which we will examine here.

1. Subject-Verb Inversion

In a declarative sentence, the Subject comes before the verb:
Declarative: David is unwell
When we change this into a yes/no interrogative, the Subject and the verb change places with each other:
If an auxiliary verb is present, however, the Subject changes places with the auxiliary:
Declarative: Jim has left already
Interrogative: Has Jim left already?
In this interrogative, the Subject still comes before the main verb, but after the auxiliary. This is true also of interrogatives with a do-auxiliary:
Declarative: Jim left early
Interrogative: Did Jim leave early?
Subject-verb inversion is probably the most reliable method of identifying the Subject of a sentence.

2. Position of the Subject

In a declarative sentence, the Subject is usually the first constituent:
Jim was in bed
Paul arrived too late for the party
The Mayor of New York attended the banquet
We made a donation to charity

However, there are exceptions to this. For instance:
Yesterday the theatre was closed
Here, the first constituent is the adverb phrase yesterday, but this is not the Subject of the sentence. Notice that the theatre, and not yesterday, inverts with the verb in the interrogative:
Declarative: Yesterday the theatre was closed
Interrogative: Yesterday was the theatre closed?
So the Subject here is the theatre, even though it is not the first constituent in the sentence.

3. Subject-verb Agreement

Subject-verb AGREEMENT or CONCORD relates to number agreement (singular or plural) between the Subject and the verb which follows it:
Singular Subject: The dog howls all night
Plural Subject: The dogs howl all night
There are two important limitations to Subject-verb agreement. Firstly, agreement only applies when the verb is in the present tense. In the past tense, there is no overt agreement between the Subject and the verb:
The dog howled all night
The dogs howled all night

And secondly, agreement applies only to third person Subjects. There is no distinction, for example, between a first person singular Subject and a first person plural Subject:
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:46 pm

I howl all night
We howl all night

The concept of NOTIONAL AGREEMENT sometimes comes into play:
The government is considering the proposal
The government are considering the proposal

Here, the form of the verb is not determined by the form of the Subject. Instead, it is determined by how we interpret the Subject. In the government is..., the Subject is interpreted as a unit, requiring a singular form of the verb. In the government are..., the Subject is interpreted as having a plural meaning, since it relates to a collection of individual people. Accordingly, the verb has the plural form are.

4. Subjective Pronouns

The pronouns I, he/she/it, we, they, always function as Subjects, in contrast with me, him/her, us, them:
I left early
*Me left early

He left early
*Him left early

We left early
*Us left early

They left early
*Them left early

The pronoun you can also be a Subject:
You left early
but it does not always perform this function. In the following example, the Subject is Tom, not you:
Tom likes you

12.3 Realisations of the Subject

In the sentence, Jim was in bed, the Subject is the NP Jim. More precisely, we say that the Subject is realised by the NP Jim. Conversely, the NP Jim is the realisation of the Subject in this sentence. Remember that NP is a formal term, while Subject is a functional term:

FORM
FUNCTION
Noun Phrase
Subject
Subjects are typically realised by NPs. This includes NPs which have pronouns [1], cardinal numerals [2], and ordinal numerals [3] as their Head word:
[1] [We] decided to have a party
[2] [One of my contacts lenses] fell on the floor
[3] [The first car to reach Brighton] is the winner

However, other constituents can also function as Subjects, and we will examine these in the following sections.
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Clauses functioning as Subject
Clauses can also function as Subjects. When they perform this function, we refer to them generally as Subject clauses. The table below shows examples of the major types of Subject clauses:


CLAUSES
functioning as
SUBJECTS
EXAMPLE
Finite

That
-clause


Nominal Relative clause



[1] That his theory was flawed soon became obvious

[2] What I need is a long holiday

Nonfinite

To-
infinitive clause


-ing clause



[3] To become an opera singer takes years of training

[4] Being the chairman is a huge responsibility

Notice that some of these Subject clauses have Subjects of their own. In [1], the Subject clause that his theory was flawed, has its own Subject, his theory. Similarly, in [2], the Subject of what I need is I.
Among nonfinite clauses, only to-infinitive clauses and -ing participle clauses can function as Subject. Bare infinitive clauses and -ed participle clauses cannot perform this function. In the examples above -- [3] and [4] -- the nonfinite Subject clauses do not have Subjects of their own, although they can do:
[3a] For Mary to become an opera singer would take years of training
[4a] David being the chairman has meant more work for all of us
Prepositional Phrases functioning as Subject
Less commonly, the Subject may be realised by a prepositional phrase:
After nine is a good time to ring
Prepositional phrases as Subject typically refer to time or to space.

12.4 Some Unusual Subjects

Before leaving this topic, we will point out some grammatical Subjects which may at first glance be difficult to recognise as such. For example, can you work out the Subject of the following sentence?
There is a fly in my soup
As we've seen, the most reliable test for identifying the Subject is Subject-verb inversion, so let's try it here:
Declarative: There is a fly in my soup
Interrogative: Is there a fly in my soup?
The inversion test shows that the subject is there. You will recall that this is an example of existential there, and the sentence in which it is the Subject is an existential sentence.
Now try the same test on the following:
It is raining
The inversion test shows that the Subject is it:
Declarative: It is raining
Interrogative: Is it raining?
These two examples illustrate how limited the notional definition of the Subject really is. In no sense can we say that there and it are performing an "action" in their respective sentences, and yet they are grammatically functioning as Subjects.
On this page, we've seen that the function of Subject can be realised by several different forms. Conversely, the various forms (NP, clause, PP, etc) can perform several other functions, and we will look at these in the following pages.
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12.5 Inside the Predicate

Now we will look inside the Predicate, and assign functions to its constituents. Recall that the Predicate is everything apart from the Subject. So in David plays the piano, the Predicate is plays the piano. This Predicate consists of a verb phrase, and we can divide this into two further elements:
[plays] [the piano]
In formal terms, we refer to the verb as the PREDICATOR, because its function is to predicate or state something about the subject. Notice that Predicator is a functional term, while verb is a formal term:


FORM
FUNCTION
Verb
Predicator
However, since the Predicator is always realised by a verb, we will continue to use the more familiar term verb, even when we are discussing functions.

12.6 The Direct Object

In the sentence David plays the piano,the NP the piano is the constituent which undergoes the "action" of being played (by David, the Subject). We refer to this constituent as the DIRECT OBJECT.
Here are some more examples of Direct Objects:
We bought a new computer
I used to ride a motorbike
The police interviewed all the witnesses

We can usually identify the Direct Object by asking who or what was affected by the Subject. For example:
We bought a new computer
Q. What did we buy?
A. A new computer ( = the Direct Object)
The Direct Object generally comes after the verb, just as the Subject generally comes before it. So in a declarative sentence, the usual pattern is:
Subject -- Verb -- Direct Object
The following table shows more examples of this pattern:


Subject
Verb
Direct Object
The tourists
visited
the old cathedral
She
sent
a postcard
The detectives
examined
the scene of the crime
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12.7 Realisations of the Direct Object

The Direct Object is most often realised by an NP, as in the examples above. However, this function can also be realised by a clause. The following table shows examples of clauses functioning as Direct Objects:


CLAUSES
functioning as
DIRECT OBJECTS
EXAMPLES
Finite
That-clause
Nominal relative clause


[1] He thought that he had a perfect alibi
[2] The officer described what he saw through the keyhole
Nonfinite
To-infinitive clause
Bare infinitive clause
-ing clause
-ed clause


[3] The dog wants to play in the garden
[4] She made the lecturer laugh
[5] Paul loves playing football
[6] I'm having my house painted


12.8 Subjects and Objects, Active and Passive

A useful way to compare Subjects and Direct Objects is to observe how they behave in active and passive sentences. Consider the following active sentence:
Active: Fire destroyed the palace
Here we have a Subject fire and a Direct Object the palace.
Now let's convert this into a passive sentence:

The change from active to passive has the following results: 1. The active Direct Object the palace becomes the passive Subject

2. The active Subject fire becomes part of the PP by fire (the by-agent phrase
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12.9 The Indirect Object

Some verbs occur with two Objects:
We gave [John] [a present]
Here, the NP a present undergoes the "action" (a present is what is given). So a present is the Direct Object. We refer to the NP John as the INDIRECT OBJECT.
Indirect Objects usually occur with a Direct Object, and they always come before the Direct Object. The typical pattern is:
Subject -- Verb -- Indirect Object -- Direct Object
Here are some more examples of sentences containing two objects:



Indirect Object
Direct Object
Tell
me
a story
He showed
us
his war medals
We bought
David
a birthday cake
Can you lend
your colleague
a pen?
Verbs which take an Indirect Object and a Direct Object are known as DITRANSITIVE verbs. Verbs which take only a Direct Object are called MONOTRANSITIVE verbs. The verb tell is a typical ditransitive verb, but it can also be monotransitive:




Indirect Object
Direct Object
Ditransitive
David told
the children
a story
Monotransitive
David told

a story
As we've seen, an Indirect Object usually co-occurs with a Direct Object. However, with some verbs an Indirect Object may occur alone:
David told the children
although we can usually posit an implicit Direct Object in such cases:
David told the children the news
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12.10 Realisations of the Indirect Object

NPs are the most common realisations of the Indirect Object. It is a typical function of pronouns in the objective case, such as me, him, us, and them.
Less commonly, a clause will function as Indirect Object:
David told whoever saw her to report to the police

12.11 Adjuncts

Certain parts of a sentence may convey information about how, when, or where something happened:
He ate his meal quickly (how)
David gave blood last week (when)
Susan went to school in New York (where)

The highlighted constituents here are ADJUNCTS. From a syntactic point of view, Adjuncts are optional elements, since their omission still leaves a complete sentence:
He ate his meal quickly ~He ate his meal

David gave blood last week ~David gave blood

Susan went to school in New York ~Susan went to school

Many types of constituents can function as Adjuncts, and we exemplify these below.

12.12 Realisations of Adjuncts

Noun Phrases functioning as Adjuncts
David gave blood last week
Next summer, we're going to Spain
We've agreed to meet the day after tomorrow

NPs as Adjuncts generally refer to time, as in these examples.

Adverb Phrases functioning as Adjuncts

They ate their meal too quickly
She walked very gracefully down the steps
Suddenly, the door opened


Prepositional Phrases functioning as Adjuncts

Susan went to school in New York
I work late on Mondays
After work, I go to a local restaurant

PPs as Adjuncts generally refer to time or to place -- they tell us when or where something happens.

Clauses functioning as Adjuncts

Subordinate clauses can function as Adjuncts. We'll begin with some examples of finite subordinate clauses:


Clauses
functioning as
Adjuncts
EXAMPLES
Finite
While we were crossing the park, we heard a loud explosion
I was late for the interview because the train broke down
If you want tickets for the concert, you have to apply early
My car broke down, so I had to walk
Nonfinite
To-infinitive clause
Bare infinitive clause
-ing clause

-ed clause

Small clause


To open the window, you have to climb a ladder
Rather than leave the child alone, I brought him to work with me
Being a qualified plumber, Paul had no difficulty in finding the leak
Left to himself, he usually gets the job done quickly
His face red with rage, John stormed out of the room
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You will notice that these clauses express the range of meanings that we looked at earlier (in Subordinate Clauses: Semantic Types). In all cases, notice also that the Adjuncts express additional and optional information. If they are omitted, the remaining clause is still syntactically complete.

12.13 Sentence Patterns from a Functional Perspective

In order to summarise what we have learned, we will now look at some typical sentence patterns from a functional perspective. We will then conclude this section by looking at some untypical patterns, on the next page.
As we've seen, the Subject is usually (but not always) the first element in a sentence, and it is followed by the verb:
Pattern 1

Subject
Verb
David

The dog

Susan

sings

barked

yawned

In this pattern, the verb is not followed by any Object, and we refer to this as an intransitive verb. If the verb is monotransitive, it takes a Direct Object, which follows the verb:
Pattern 2

Subject
Verb
Direct Object
David

The professor

The jury

sings

wants

found

ballads

to retire

the defendant guilty


In the ditransitive pattern, the verb is followed by an Indirect Object and a Direct Object, in that order:
Pattern 3

Subject
Verb
Indirect Object
Direct Object
The old man

My uncle

The detectives

gave

sent

asked

the children

me

Amy

some money

a present

lots of questions

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:49 pm

Adjuncts are syntactically peripheral to the rest of the sentence. They may occur at the beginning and at the end of a sentence, and they may occur in all three of the patterns above:
Pattern 4


(Adjunct)
Subject
Verb
Indirect Object
Direct Object
(Adjunct)
[1]
Usually
David
sings


in the bath
[2]
Unfortunately
the professor
wants

to retire
this year
[3]
At the start of the trial
the judge
showed
the jury
the photographs
in a private chamber
Pattern 4 is essentially a conflation of the other three, with Adjuncts added. We have bracketed the Adjuncts to show that they are optional. Strictly speaking, Objects are also optional, since they are only required by monotransitive and ditransitive verbs, as in the examples [2] and [3] above.

12.14 Some Untypical Sentence Patterns



The sentence patterns we looked at on the previous page represent typical or canonical patterns But you will often come across sentences which do not conform to these patterns. We will look at some of these here.




Extraposition
The Subject is sometimes postponed until the end of the sentence. Here are some examples:
In first place is Red Rum
Inside the house were two detectives
More important is the question of compensation

Here, the typical declarative order has been disrupted for stylistic effect. In these examples, the Subject comes after the verb, and is said to be EXTRAPOSED. Compare them with the more usual pattern:


In first place is Red Rum

~Red Rum is in first place

Inside the house were two detectives

~Two detectives were inside the house

More important is the question of compensation

~The question of compensation is more important

The Subject is also extraposed when the sentence is introduced by anticipatory it:
It is a good idea to book early
It is not surprising that he failed his exams

In the more typical pattern, these constructions may sound stylistically awkward:
To book early is a good idea
That he failed his exams is not surprising

Extraposition is not always just a matter of style. In the following examples, it is obligatory:


It seems that he'll be late again

~*That he'll be late again seems

It turned out that his secretary had stolen the money

~*That his secretary had stolen the money turned out

Direct Objects, too, can be extraposed. Recall that their typical position is after the verb (Pattern 2). However, when anticipatory it is used, the Direct Object is extraposed:
He made it very clear that he would not be coming back
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:49 pm

Again, the canonical pattern is stylistically very awkward:
*He made that he would not be coming back very clear


Cleft Sentences
A declarative sentence, such as David studied English at Oxford can be reformulated as:
It was David who studied English at Oxford
This is called a CLEFT SENTENCE because the original sentence has been divided (or "cleft") into two clauses: It was David and who studied English at Oxford. Cleft sentences focus on one constituent of the original sentence, placing it after it was (or it is). Here we have focussed on the Subject David, but we could also focus on the Direct Object English:
It was English that David studied at Oxford
or on the Adjunct at Oxford
It was at Oxford that David studied English
Cleft constructions, then, exhibit the pattern:
It + be + focus + clause
13 Functions and Phrases

The syntactic functions which we looked at in the last section -- Subject, Object, Predicate, Adjunct, etc -- are all functions within sentences or clauses. We saw, for instance, that most sentences can be divided into two main functional constituents, the Subject and the Predicate:


Subject
Predicate
[1] The lion
Roared
[2] He
writes well
[3] She
enjoys going to the cinema
[4] The girl in the blue dress
arrived late

Within the Predicate, too, constituents perform various functions -- in [3], for example, going to the cinema performs the function of Direct Object, while in [4], late performs the function of Adjunct. In each of these cases, we are referring to the roles which these constituents perform in the sentence or clause.
We can also assign functions to the constituents of a phrase. Recall that we have said that all phrases have the following generalised structure:
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:50 pm

pre-Head string) --- Head --- (post-Head string)
where the parentheses denote optional elements.
In this section, we will consider the functions of these parts of a phrase -- what roles do they perform in the phrase as a whole?
We will begin by looking at functions within verb phrases.

13.1 Complements

Consider the bracketed verb phrase in the following sentence:
David [VP plays the piano]
In formal terms, we can analyse this VP using the familiar three-part structure:


pre-Head string
Head
post-Head string
--
plays
the piano
Let us now consider the functions of each of these three parts.
Actually, we already know the function of one of the parts -- the word plays functions as the Head of this VP. The term "Head" is a functional label, indicated by the capital (upper case) letter. Remember that we also capitalize the other functions -- Subject, Object, Predicate, etc.
Turning now to the post-Head string the piano, we can see that it completes the meaning of the Head plays. In functional terms, we refer to this string as the COMPLEMENT of the Head. Here are some more examples of Complements in verb phrases:


pre-Head string
Head
Complement
never
needs
money
--
eat
vegetables
not
say
what he is doing
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In each case, the Complement completes the meaning of the Head, so there is a strong syntactic link between these two strings.
At this point you may be wondering why we do not simply say that these post-Head strings are Direct Objects. Why do we need the further term Complement?
The string which completes the meaning of the Head is not always a Direct Object. Consider the following:
She [VP told me]
Here the post-Head string (the Complement) is an Indirect Object. With ditransitive verbs, two Objects appear:
We [VP gave James a present]
Here, the meaning of the Head gave is completed by two strings -- James and a present. Each string is a Complement of the Head gave.
Finally, consider verb phrases in which the Head is a form of the verb be:
David [VP is a musician]
Amy [VP is clever]
Our car [VP is in the carpark]

The post-Head strings here are neither Direct Objects nor Indirect Objects. The verb be is known as a COPULAR verb. It takes a special type of Complement which we will refer to generally as a COPULAR COMPLEMENT. There is a small number of other copular verbs. In the following examples, we have highlighted the Head, and italicised the Complement:
Our teacher [VP became angry]
Your sister [VP
seems upset]
All the players [VP
felt very tired] after the game
That [VP
sounds great]
It is clear from this that we require the general term Complement to encompass all post-Head strings, regardless of their type. In verb phrases, a wide range of Complements can appear, but in all cases there is a strong syntactic link between the Complement and the Head. The Complement is that part of the VP which is required to complete the meaning of the Head.
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13.2 Complements in other Phrase Types

Complements also occur in all of the other phrase types. We exemplify each type in the following table:


Phrase Type
Head
Typical Complements
Examples
Noun Phrase (NP)
noun
PP


clause
respect for human rights

the realisation that nothing has changed
Verb Phrase (VP)
verb
NP


clause


PP
David plays the piano

They realised that nothing has changed

She looked at the moon

Adjective Phrase (AP)
adjective
clause

PP

easy to read

fond of biscuits

Adverb Phrase (AdvP)
adverb
PP
luckily for me
Prepositional Phrase (PP)
preposition
NP

PP

in the room

from behind the wall

Adverb phrases are very limited in the Complements they can take. In fact, they generally occur without any Complement.
Noun phrases which take Complements generally have an abstract noun as their Head, and they often have a verbal counterpart:


the pursuit of happiness
~we pursue happiness
their belief in ghosts
~they believe in ghosts
the realisation that nothing has changed
~they realise that nothing has changed
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: English Grammar in English   السبت مارس 07, 2009 7:50 pm

13.3 Adjuncts in Phrases

The term "Complement" is not simply another word for the "post-Head string" -- post-Head strings are not always Complements. This is because the post-Head string is not always required to complete the meaning of the Head. Consider:
[NP My sister, who will be twenty next week,] has got a new job.
Here the relative clause who will be twenty next week is certainly a post-Head string, but it is not a Complement. Notice that it contributes additional but optional information about the Head sister. In this example, the post-Head string is an ADJUNCT. Like the other Adjuncts we looked at earlier, it contributes additional, optional information.
Adjuncts can occur in all the phrase types, and they may occur both before and after the Head. The following table shows examples of each type:


Phrase Type
Head
Typical Adjuncts
Examples
Noun Phrase (NP)
noun
PP

AP

clause
the books on the shelf

the old lady

cocoa, which is made from cacao beans
Verb Phrase (VP)
verb
AdvP

PP

she rapidly lost interest

he stood on the patio

Adjective Phrase (AP)
adjective
AdvP
it was terribly difficult
Prepositional Phrase (PP)
preposition
AdvP
completely out of control
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