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UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG

Department of Languages and Literatures / English


Autumn 2010

ENGLISH GRAMMAR
(EN1A01 & EN1A04)
Theoretical background,
exercises and study
questions

by Andreas Nordin
ENGLISH GRAMMAR (EN1A01 & EN1A04)
Theoretical background, exercises and study questions
This compendium accompanies the 3rd edition of Greenbaum & Nelson, An Introduction to English
Grammar (Longman). The compendium provides additional theoretical discussions of certain topics of
English grammar, and contains a large number of exercises and study questions, most of which are
also suitable for self-study. At the beginning of each unit in the compendium you will find reading
instructions. It is suggested that before the lectures and workshops you first read the introductions (the
text parts) in each unit in the compendium and then the relevant sections in the textbook. In each
chapter of the book there is a wide range of exercises that you are also advised to do. Further, there is
a companion website for the textbook with additional exercises and answers to selected questions in
the book. The URL is http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/ema_uk_he_nelson_enggram_3/

What is grammar?
Grammar can be defined as a systematic description of a language. It is traditionally divided into two
branches, morphology and syntax.
Morphology is the study of the structure or forms of words. For example, in English the ending -s
may be used to form the plural of nouns (teacher vs teachers) or the present tense, 3rd person singular,
of verbs (I play vs she plays). Another ending, -ed, is added to verbs to form the past tense (I play vs I
played) or the so-called past participle (The role of Dracula was played by Christopher Lee).
Syntax is the study of the rules governing the way words are combined to form sentences. One such
rule says that in English (and many other languages including Swedish) the normal word order should
be Subject + Verb + Object (Elvis has left the building, not *Elvis the building has left (an asterisk is
used to show that the sentence is ungrammatical)).
We should distinguish between descriptive grammar on the one hand, and prescriptive grammar on
the other. Descriptive grammar, which this course is about, attempts to describe how the forms and
constructions in spoken and written language are actually used, and avoids rules of correctness. The
latter is, instead, the concern of prescriptive grammar, which states what is right and wrong in
language use. For example, in prescriptive grammar of English, the so-called split infinitive, a
construction with a word between to and a verb (To boldly go where no man has gone before) is
branded as incorrect and should therefore be avoided. (In actual fact, this construction is very common
and is sometimes the only natural choice.)

Aim of the course and some general study tips


This course provides a systematic description of English grammar. There is both a theoretical and a
practical aim of the course. The theoretical aim is that you should gain a better understanding of
English grammar as a system. The practical aim is that by using your theoretical knowledge of
grammar you should become considerably more proficient in writing and speaking English.
To describe and analyze grammar, we need terminology. Some of the terms used in the course you
will probably recognize immediately, for example noun, verb, subject, object, and sentence, others
may be new to you, for instance antecedent, restrictive clause and partial inversion. The use of this
terminology is, of course, meant to facilitate the understanding of the concepts in question.
So, what kind of questions should you be able to answer at the end of the course? Here are some
examples:
Why can the definite article not be used with coffee in Coffee has gone up?
What is the meaning of the modal auxiliary should in You should eat more fruit?
Why is there used as an Anticipatory Subject in There seem to be other problems as well?
What kind of word order is the underlined part of the following sentence and why is it
used? Not until yesterday did I realize my mistake.
Before you set about studying English grammar in earnest, it is a good idea to browse through the
course material to form a rough idea of the contents of the course. You will certainly find many things
that you are already familiar with to some extent, but you will also come across things you did not
know before or only had little knowledge about. Organize your studies from the very beginning and do
not postpone revising what you have read until the course is over.

We hope you will enjoy the grammar course. It is great fun!


UNIT CONTENTS (lectures + textbook + compendium)

Unit 1 A Grammatical Introduction


What is grammar? The building blocks of syntax: sentences, clauses, phrases
Clause elements Word classes Concord

Unit 2 Nouns and Noun Phrases


The structure and functions of the Noun Phrase Types of nouns: uncountables,
countables, proper nouns Types of plural Generic and specific reference The use
of the indefinite and definite articles The genitive

Unit 3 Verbs and Verb Phrases (I)


The structure and function of the Verb Phrase Types of verbs: lexical, primary, modal
The principle parts of a verb Finite and nonfinite forms Verbs + nonfinite forms
(verb + to-infinitive, verb + -ing form, etc) Transitivity Auxiliaries: functions (an over-
view) Primary verbs: functions Mood Modal auxiliaries: meanings Multi-word
verbs

Unit 4 Verbs and Verb Phrases (II)


Transitivity (cont. from Unit 3) Tense: definition Aspect: definition Simple and
progressive forms: main functions State (stative) and dynamic verbs Simple present,
past, present perfect and past perfect: the most important uses Future forms: six important
constructions Conditional sequences The passive construction The basic sentence
structures

Unit 5 Pronouns
Pronouns: functions Types of pronouns: personal, possessive, etc it and there,
reflexive, possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, relative, and indefinite pronouns: some
important uses

Unit 6 Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions and Conjunctions


The structure and functions of the Adjective Phrase Adjectives: formation and types of
comparison Some problematic adjectives Nominalized adjectives Nationality
words The structure and functions of the Adverb Phrase Adverbs: formation and types
of comparison Prepositions Conjunctions Word-forms belonging to more than one
word class

Unit 7 Word Order, Complex Sentences


Word order: the three types (normal word order, partial inversion, full inversion) and their
uses The position of certain Adverbials Sentences and clauses: compound sentences,
complex sentences, types of subclauses, etc.
UNIT 1 A GRAMMATICAL INTRODUCTION
Read Unit 1 in this compendium.
Sections in An Introduction to English Grammar by Greenbaum & Nelson (IEG):
Chapter 0: 0.1-0.8; Chapter 4: 4.1-4.10; Chapter 1: 1.1-1.2, 1.5-1.6, 1.14; Chapter 3: 3.1;
Chapter 5: 5.1-5.7
Exercises in Unit 1 in this compendium.

Before you start studying English grammar in earnest you need to familiarize yourself with a
number of elementary grammatical categories. These categories are described in this unit.

The largest building block of syntax* (in traditional grammar) is the sentence.
A sentence consists of one or more clauses.
A clause consists of one or more phrases.
A phrase consists of one or more words.

*) Syntax = The rules of grammar that are used for ordering and connecting words to form
phrases and clauses.

clause (and sentence)

phrase phrase phrase phrase phrase

word word word word word word word word


Most people actually consider these books rather expensive.

main clause (and sentence)

clause (subclause)

phrase phrase phrase phrase phrase phrase

word word word word word word word word


While I was asleep, I dreamed about you.

SENTENCE

A sentence consists of one or several clauses (see below). It expresses a complete idea or
asks a question. In English (and in many other languages) it begins with a capital letter and
ends with a full stop (AmE period). For examples, see Clauses below.

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CLAUSES

A clause can be defined as a group of words that contains a Subject and a Predicator, and in
most cases other elements as well. The following is a clause: The dog chased the cat. the
dog is the Subject, chased the Predicator, and the cat the Object.

Main clause = A clause which is never dependent on another clause.

Subclause or subordinate clause = A clause that functions as a clause element in the


main clause. A subclause can also be a clause element in another subclause in the same
main clause (see last example below).

I have been here before.


Main clause (the whole sentence).

Sarah plays the piano and Nicholas plays the flute.


Main clauses: 1) Sarah...piano, 2) Nicholas...flute

I was having a bath when the bomb exploded.


Main clause: the whole sentence.
Subclause: when the bomb exploded (=Adverbial in the main clause)

The woman who is standing in the corner is my wife and the man who is talking to her is her
brother.
Main clauses: 1) The woman...wife, 2) the man...brother
Subclause in 1st main clause: who is standing in the corner
Subclause in 2nd main clause: who is talking to her

I know that you are ill and that you have to stay at home.
Main clause: the whole sentence.
Subclauses: 1) that you are ill, 2) that you have to stay at home
The subclauses both depend on the main clause but not on each other. They both function
as Objects in the main clause.

I know that you think that this is wrong.


Main clause: the whole sentence.
Subclauses: 1) that you think that this is wrong (=Object in the main clause),
2) that this is wrong (=Object in 1st subclause)
The 2nd subclause depends on the 1st subclause.

For a description of types of subclauses, see pp. 76-78 in Unit 7.

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PHRASES

A phrase is a grammatical unit that lacks the Subject-Verb structure of clauses. It usually
consists of at least two words (but may be just one word).
There are five types of phrase: Noun Phrase (NP), Verb Phrase (VP), Adjective Phrase
(AdjP), Adverb Phrase (AdvP) and Prepositional Phrase (PP).
The categorization of all the phrase types except the PP is based on type of head (the most
important word) of the phrase. The Prepositional phrase (PP) has no head.
In the clause The new teacher has arrived there are two phrases: the new teacher (the
Subject of the clause) and has arrived, the Predicator. In the first phrase, the most important
word is teacher, which is a noun. For this reason, we call this phrase a Noun Phrase. The
second phrase only contains verbs. Such a phrase is called a Verb Phrase.

Noun Phrase (NP)


HEAD: a noun or pronoun

the new student in the class


Determiner Premodifier HEAD Postmodifier

The terms Determiner and Modifier are defined at the end of Clause elements below.

Verb Phrase (VP)


HEAD: a main verb

would have been working


Aux Aux Aux HEAD

Aux = auxiliary verb (Sw. hjlpverb)


(Sometimes, but not in this compendium, the first auxiliary is regarded as the head.)

Adjective Phrase (AdjP)


HEAD: an adjective

very good
Premodifier HEAD

Adverb Phrase (AdvP)


HEAD: an adverb

incredibly beautifully
Premodifier HEAD

Prepositional Phrase (PP)


1st element is a preposition, 2nd an NP.

in the garden
prep NP

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CLAUSE ELEMENTS

Clause elements can be combined to form seven basic clause types. It is the verb in the clause that
decides what other clause elements can or must be used. A clause element can be a word/phrase or a
whole clause. (The abbreviations S, V, etc., are explained under Primary clause elements.)

S+V I / shouted.
S+V+O I / read / the letter. I / know / that you are right.
S+V+C I / am / hungry. The fact / is / that you are right.
S+V+A I / went / to Gothenburg. She / blushed / when I turned up.
S+V+O+O I / gave / him / a pen.
S+V+O+C I / painted / the house / red.
S+V+O+A I / put / the money / on the table. I / will help / you / if you help me.

PRIMARY CLAUSE ELEMENTS

SUBJECT (S)

The Subject is placed before the Predicator (the verb) in statements: The man shouted. In
questions the Subject comes after the first verb: Are you coming?
The Subject decides whether the verb is singular or plural in the third person of the
present tense. He seems tired. They seem tired. That Tom will tell us the truth (S=clause) is
unlikely.
The Subject is very often the doer of the action, but not always. In, for example, a
passive clause it is instead the person or thing affected by the action, as in The money was
stolen.
If the Subject is an indefinite Noun Phrase or a clause, it is usually moved towards the end
of the clause. In its original initial position it is replaced by a so-called Anticipatory
Subject, there or it: There is a new car in the street. It is nice that you can come.
V iO dO
Note that in imperatives there is no Subject: Give | me | some water!
(iO = indirect Object; dO = direct Object > see further under Object below)
Subjects can be:
Noun Phrases (including pronouns): Eggs and sausages were sizzling in the pan. She fainted.
Clauses: That they failed to turn up surprised nobody.

VERB (V)

The verb plays a central role in the clause. It is usually obligatory and it also decides what
other clause elements can be used. The verb disappear, for example, must have a Subject (She
disappeared), but other clause elements would be optional. With the verb give, however, a
Subject, an Indirect Object and a Direct Object are obligatory clause elements (I gave her a
rose).
The Verb must be a Verb Phrase:
The dog chased the cat. Im hungry. She is playing tennis. She would have done it.
The Verb may consist of a main verb, as in the first and second example above, or a main
verb and one or several auxiliary verbs, as in the third and fourth example.

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OBJECT (O)

Some verbs, so-called transitive verbs, need an Object. This clause element usually
follows the Subject and Predicator in a clause. There are two types: Direct Object (dO) and
Indirect Object (iO).
The Direct Object is the common one and it has a wide variety of meanings. For example,
it can be the person or thing directly affected by the action expressed by the verb, as in The
doctor cured her patient, He headed the ball into the net, or be the result of somebodys
action, as in She wrote a letter.
The Indirect Object is usually the recipient of the action almost always a person, seldom
a thing. If there is an Indirect Object in a clause, there is normally a Direct Object as well. She
gave me (iO) a kiss (dO). Weve bought the children (iO) some presents (dO).
In these examples, the Indirect Object precedes the Direct Object. If, however, the Indirect
Object is constructed with a preposition, the Direct Object comes before the Indirect Object,
as in Weve bought some presents (dO) for the children (iO).
Objects can be:
Noun Phrases (including pronouns): Have you read this book? He bought me (iO) a ring (dO).
Clauses: I know that you are right.

COMPLEMENT (C)

Complements provide information about the Subject or Direct Object through a verb. The
information given is either descriptive, as in She is happy, or identifying, as in She is a teacher.
There are two types of Complement: Subject Complement (sC), and Object Complement (oC).
The Subject Complement is linked to the Subject through the verb be or other so-called
linking verbs, e.g. become and taste: He is a very lucky man. The problem became worse. The
soup tastes nice.
The Object Complement follows the Direct Object, and provides information about that
element. It made me angry. He considers himself a genius.
Complements can be:
Noun Phrases (including pronouns): Tom is my best friend. Thats it.
Adjective Phrases: The concert was marvellous. This looks very good.
Clauses: My belief is that things cant get any worse.

ADVERBIAL (A)

Adverbials have many different meanings, for example manner (He sings well), place (We
live in Sweden), time (I met her last week), condition (If you help me, I will help you),
purpose (They arrived early in order to get good seats), attitude (Regrettably, very few people
turned up for the meeting).
Some Adverbials modify, i.e. say something about, the verb in the clause (She walked
slowly), others link clauses together (Professor Watson has fallen ill. Consequently, her
lecture has been cancelled), or convey the speakers or writers comment on the information
in the rest of the clause (Fortunately, nobody was hurt).
Adverbials can be:
Adverb Phrases: She played very well. They travelled abroad.
Prepositional Phrases: He was educated in Scotland.
Noun Phrases: Are you going abroad this year?
Clauses: Ill talk to her when she comes back.

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Note the difference between Adverbial and adverb! An Adverbial is a clause element, an
adverb is part of a word class. Adverbs can certainly be used as Adverbials (see above) but
can also function as modifiers of nouns, as in The weather was fine the day before, where
before modifies the noun (the) day.
Note that Swedish gradadverbial is not included in the category of Adverbials in the
English system. It is a modifier (see below).

AGENT (Ag)

The agent is the doer of the action in a passive clause. It is always introduced by the
preposition by: The cat was chased by the dog.

SECONDARY CLAUSE ELEMENTS: modifiers

Modifiers are words or groups of words that give additional information about
another word (the HEAD). Modifiers can be adjectives (a fierce dog), adverbs (She sings very
beautifully) or phrases (a dog with a short tail).
Modifiers placed before the Head are called premodifiers, those placed after it are
called postmodifiers.

OTHER ELEMENTS: determiners

Determiners of nouns are grammatical words such as the definite and indefinite article (the,
a, an), demonstrative pronouns (this, that), possessive pronouns (my, our), genitives (Marys),
numerals (two) and quantifiers (some). Determiners are usually not considered to be clause
elements.
*

WORD CLASSES some characteristics

NOUNS: Words that refer to a person (such as Mary or teacher), place (such as New York or
city), a thing, quality, substance, or an activity (such as table, sorrow, coal or concert). A
noun is usually used as the head of the Subject, Object or Complement of a clause (The new
teacher (S) has arrived, Have you met the new teacher (O)?, Mr Grant is the new teacher
(C)). Nouns are divided into common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns are either
countable, which means they can appear in the plural, e.g. chair, woman, opinion or
uncountable, which means they cannot appear in the plural, e.g. water, bread, information.
Both countable and uncountable nouns can be preceded by the definite article (the), e.g. the
book, the bread. If the noun is countable it can also be preceded by the indefinite article (a,
an), e.g. a book. A proper noun is the name of a person, place, an institution, etc., and is
written with a capital letter, e.g. Tom, Mrs Jones, Rome, Texas, the Thames, the White House.

VERBS: Words that express actions, events, processes (such as walk, eat, play), and states
(such as exist, cost, love) or which give grammatical information, for example about aspect (I
have eaten). A verb is usually used as the Predicator of a clause (She walks two miles every
day) and typically appears in different tenses, e.g. she walks / she walked. Verbs are divided
into main verbs and auxiliary verbs. The main verb is the head of the Verb Phrase and denotes

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an action or state, such as work, run, read, appear, hate. Auxiliary (or helping) verbs are
used together with main verbs to express, among other things, aspect (She is studying, She has
left), and passive voice (The cat was chased by the dog). There are a few auxiliaries that do
not have a grammatical function but instead are used to express possibility, probability,
permission, necessity, etc. Such auxiliaries are called modal auxiliaries, e.g. I can help you,
You may leave, We must do something.

PRONOUNS: Words that are used instead of a Noun Phrase with a noun as its head, as in
Where is John? He's in the garden (he replaces John), Have you met the new teacher?
She's from London (she replaces the new teacher). A pronoun can also refer directly to a
fact or situation, as in There'll be trouble and I don't like it. Pronouns have the same functions
as nouns, i.e. they can appear as Subject, Object, or Complement of the clause (She loves me,
This is it). Some pronouns can appear both together with nouns and on their own (This is my
book, It is mine). When appearing with a noun, they are said to function as determiners. Eight
different subclasses of pronouns can be recognized: Personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it,
we, they), reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, etc.), possessive pronouns (my/mine,
your/yours, his, her/hers, etc), reciprocal pronouns (each other, one another), interrogative
pronouns (who?, whom?, whose?, which?, what?), relative pronouns (who, whom, whose,
which, that), demonstrative pronouns (this/these, that/those), indefinite pronouns (e.g.
some, any, no, everyone, somebody, anything, either, neither, each, much, many, more, most,
less, fewer).

ADJECTIVES: Words that describe or classify people or things, for example, old,
interesting, American, legal in an old church, an interesting idea, an American tradition,
legal advice. Many adjectives, especially those that describe, can be compared (Sw.
kompareras): older/oldest, more/most interesting. An adjective can act as a Premodifier of a
noun, i.e it occurs immediately before a noun: an old building. This is the attributive
function of an adjective. An adjective can also be used as a Complement after linking verbs,
such as be, become, and seem: The building was old, She became famous, You seem tired.
This is the predicative function of the adjective. With many adjectives, very and other
intensifying words can be used as premodifiers: very old, extremely beautiful. Many
adjectives can be turned into adverbs by the addition of -ly: kind > kindly.

ADVERBS: Words that denote place (I live here), time (Lets do it now), manner (Drive
safely!) or degree (a fairly easy book). Adverbs modify verbs (She sings beautifully), clauses
(Fortunately, we got home before it started to rain), adjectives (The weather was
exceptionally cold) or other adverbs (He speaks too quickly). When the adverb modifies a
verb or a clause, it acts as an Adverbial. Modifying an adjective or another adverb, the adverb
acts as a Premodifier. Adverbs can also, but not typically, occur as modifiers of nouns, as in
the away team, and Europe today is not the Europe of 1946. Note the difference between
adverbs (a word class) and Adverbial (a clause element). Many adverbs are formed by the
addition of -ly to an adjective (e.g carefully). This is, however, not the only way of forming
adverbs.

PREPOSITIONS: Words or groups of words, such as after, in, from, to, with, out of and
instead of, used before a Noun Phrase including pronouns to indicate place, position,
direction, time or method. Some examples: She lives in the city, She began to walk away from
him, Leave your keys at reception before departure, Cut it with a knife.

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CONJUNCTIONS: There are two types of conjunctions:
Coordinating conjunctions are words, such as and, but or or, that connect clauses or clause
elements of equal importance. Examples: She's already had two holidays this year and now
she wants another one (two coordinated (main) clauses), We were tired and hungry (two
coordinated clause elements (Complements)).
Subordinating conjunctions are words that begin a subordinate clause, i.e. a subclause.
To this category belong, for example, although and because: Although the sun was shining
(=subclause) it wasn't very warm, I did it because he told me to.

NUMERALS: Words that represent numbers. There are two types. One is cardinal
numbers, such as one, two, three, which are used to show quantity rather than order. The
other type is ordinal numbers, such as first, second, third, which are used to refer to the
position of something in a series.

ARTICLES: The definite article the and the indefinite article a/an. The articles are usually
used as determiners in Noun Phrases: the (a) black cat.

*
CONCORD

By the term concord we mean agreement between one element and another, especially in
terms of number.

A singular noun as Subject co-occurs with the third-person singular form of the verb
in the present tense: This house is very old. My father takes out the garbage.
Note so-called uncountable nouns such as money and furniture, which are always
treated as singular: Where is the money? This furniture looks new.
Demonstrative pronouns have both a singular and a plural form: this/that vs.
these/those. If such a pronoun is used with nouns, the choice of form is governed by
whether the noun is in the singular or in the plural: this house, these houses, this/that
money. Also note that if an uncountable noun is replaced by a personal pronoun, the
form must be it (not they or them): Where is the money? I cant find it.
Some nouns are always treated as plural, for example people, trousers and scissors:
There were many people at the party. These are new trousers. Where are the scissors?
Especially in BrE, the singular form of a collective noun (a noun referring to a group
of people or things) can take both a singular and a plural verb. When members of the
group are viewed as a unit, a singular verb is used: The public has a right to know.
When the members of the group are viewed as individuals, a plural verb is used:
The government are (=The members of the government are) confused about what to
do next.
Plural phrases of quantity or extent take singular verbs when the quantity or extent is
viewed as a unit: Ten months is a long time. Otherwise, a plural is used: Ten months
have passed since I last saw Peter.
To describe some situations in which there are at least two participants or objects
involved, English uses a plural noun: The two men shook hands. We have to change
trains at Clapham Junction.

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Exercises
Phrases
What kind of phrase (NP, VP, AdjP, AdvP, PP) is the underlined part in each sentence? Note
that a phrase can consist of one word.

1 Do you know my brother?

2 I live in London.

3 Shes a very beautiful girl.

4 He sings extremely beautifully.

5 I would have done it if I had had the time.

6 Ive bought a big old round wooden table.

7 Thats highly unlikely.

8 I admired the paintings at the art gallery.

9 Can you do it for me?

10 They are happy to be here.

Clause elements I
What clause element is the underlined part in each sentence?
(S, V, sC, dO, oC, iO, A)

1 Where are you?

2 I met her in the park.

3 Im reading the paper.

4 Were so happy.

5 He ran away quickly.

6 We consider the answer wrong.

7 I gave her a kiss.

8 Unfortunately, she cant come to the party.

9 What are you reading?

10 I painted the house red.

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Clause elements II

Analyse the sentences below. Use the following abbreviations: S, V, sC, dO, oC, iO, A.

I met her the other day. The tiger is a dangerous animal.

She sent me a postcard. She was appointed chairperson.

Grandma told me a scary story. We offered them money.

I saw him in the street. The next morning we arrived in Brighton.

I consider the answer wrong. The parcel will be delivered by Monday.

She was sad. Our teacher made us nervous.

Jack built a house. They appointed her chairperson.

They were sitting in the garden. He seemed very reliable.

Mr Grant is our teacher. They named the girl Susan.

They drove home. Yesterday I saw a movie.

She drove quickly. I have a new car.

I was reading the paper. He had written me a letter.

Jackie is at home. This appears wrong.

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Clause elements III
Analyse the sentences below. Use the following abbreviations: S, V, sC, dO, oC, iO, A.
1. She hid the letter hastily. 8. The teacher became very angry.
2. Did you hear anything? 9. I will do it tomorrow.
3. Tom hired a car. 10. She made him furious.
4. The concert was marvellous. 11. Ill get you some coffee.
5. They appointed her First Secretary. 12. The bells rang.
6. I saw her in the street. 13. Read the book!
7. I have sent them an invitation. 14. My brother has become a ski instructor.

Phrases & clause elements


A Identify the clause elements in the sentences below. (V, S, sC, dO, oC, iO, A, Premod,
Postmod, Det)
B What phrase types are the primary clause elements? (NP, VP, AdjP, AdvP, PP)

1 The old man was sitting on the bench.

2 Our parents wished us a safe journey.

3 The weather was incredibly cold.

4 We considered the problem too difficult.

5 Do you know the girl with red hair?

6 Peters new car is a Jaguar.

7 She sings very beautifully.

8 The two birds were flying high in the sky.

9 His vivid description of the event was quite impressive.

10 After her fathers death Mary became a very rich woman.

11 The following day the money had disappeared.

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Concord (Comp. p. 8)
Explain the concord illustrated in the following sentences.
1 This information is valuable. 6 The committee have decided to...
2 These scissors are blunt. 7 People with different tastes shouldnt go on
3 They changed their minds. holiday together.
4 Twenty people means a large party. 8 She gives me useful advice when I need it.
5 The committee consists of 10 people.

Questions on IEG (=An Introduction to English Grammar)


References in brackets are to sections in IEG.
1 Why should we study grammar? (0.8)
2 What is meant by Standard English? (0.5)
3 What are descriptive and prescriptive rules? (0.7)
4 a) What are the four main types of sentences? (4.4)
b) Which of these types are illustrated by the following sentences? Punctuation
marks have been omitted.
1. Can you help me 2. What a beautiful morning it is 3. I dont like this
4. Go away 5. Who wrote The Canterbury Tales 6. We took a train to
Manchester 7. How kind of you to help 8. Dont do that
5 In IEG 1.6, six rules referring to the Subject are mentioned. Which of these rules
apply to the following sentences?
1. She defended herself. 2. Do you love me? 3. She loves me and I love her.
6 What is the meaning (agentive, affected, etc) of the Subjects and Direct Objects
in the following sentences? (1.14)
1. I have drawn a map of the island. 2. This page has been moved.
3. She hurt my feelings. 4. He kissed me. 5. You are my best friend.

12
KEY to exercises
Phrases Clause elements I

1 NP 2 PP 3 Adj P 4 AdvP 5 VP 1 S 2 A 3 dO 4 sC 5 A
6 AdjP 7 AdvP 8 PP 9 VP 10 NP 6 oC 7 iO 8 A 9 V 10 oC

Clause elements II

S V dO A S V sC
I | met | her | the other day. The tiger | is | a dangerous animal.

S V iO dO S V sC
She | sent | me | a postcard. She | was appointed | chairperson.

S V iO dO S V iO dO
Grandma | told | me | a scary story. We | offered | them | money.

S V dO A A S V A
I | saw | him | in the street. The next morning | we | arrived | in Brighton.

S V dO oC S V A
I | consider | the answer | wrong. The parcel | will be delivered | by Monday.

S V sC S V dO oC
She | was | sad. Our teacher | made | us | nervous.

S V dO S V dO oC
Jack | built | a house. They | appointed | her | chairperson.

S V A S V sC
They | were sitting | in the garden. He | seemed | very reliable.

S V sC S V dO oC
Mr Grant | is | our teacher. They | named | the girl | Susan.

S V A A S V dO
They | drove | home. Yesterday | I | saw | a movie.

S V A S V dO
She | drove | quickly. I | have | a new car.

S V dO S V iO dO
I | was reading | the paper. He | had written | me | a letter.

S V A S V sC
Jackie | is | at home. This | appears | wrong.

13
Clause elements III

S V dO A S V sC
1. She | hid | the letter | hastily. 8. The teacher | became | very angry.
V S V dO S V dO A
2. Did | you | hear | anything? 9. I | will do | it | tomorrow.
S V dO S V dO oC
3. Tom | hired | a car. 10. She | made | him | furious.
S V sC S V iO dO
4. The concert | was | marvellous. 11. I|ll get | you | some coffee.
S V dO oC S V
5. They | appointed | her | First Secretary. 12. The bells | rang.
S V dO A V dO
6. I | saw | her | in the street. 13. Read | the book!
S V iO dO S V sC
7. I | have sent | them | an invitation. 14. My brother | has become | a ski instructor.

Phrases & clause elements

S V A

Det Premod HEAD


1 [NP The old man] [VP was sitting] [PP on the bench].

S V iO dO

Det HEAD Det Premod HEAD


2 [NP Our parents] [VP wished] [NP us] [NP a safe journey].

S V sC

Det HEAD Premod HEAD


3 [NP The weather] [VP was] [AdjP incredibly cold].

S V dO oC

Det HEAD Premod HEAD


4 [NP We] [VP considered] [NP the problem] [AdjP too difficult].

V S V dO

Det HEAD Postmod


5 [VP Do] [NP you] [VP know] [NP the girl with red hair]?

14
S V sC

Det Premod HEAD Det HEAD


6 [NP Peters new car] [VP is] [NP a Jaguar].

S V A

Premod HEAD
7 [NP She] [VP sings] [AdvP very beautifully].

S V A A

Det Det HEAD


8 [NP The two birds] [VP were flying] [AdvP high] [PP in the sky].

S V sC

Det Premod HEAD Postmod Premod HEAD


9 [NP His vivid description of the event] [VP was] [AdjP quite impressive].

A S V sC

Det Premod HEAD


10 [PP After her fathers death] [NP Mary] [VP became] [NP a very rich woman].

A S V

Det Premod HEAD Det HEAD


11 [NP The following day] [NP the money] [VP had disappeared].

15
UNIT 2 NOUNS AND NOUN PHRASES
Read Unit 2 in this compendium.
Sections in IEG:
Chapter 3: 3.1-3.10; Chapter 2: 2.1-2.8, 2.34-2.38; Chapter 5: 5.5, 5.8; Chapter 6: 6.9;
Chapter 8: 8.13; Chapter 9 (Spelling): 9.1-9.2, 9.4
Exercises in Unit 2 in this compendium.

When we look at the way nouns behave, we find that the following factors are involved:

Syntactic structure: a noun is the chief item (or head') of a noun phrase, as in the new
telephones. It is often preceded by one of a small class of determiners, such as the or some.
Syntactic function: a noun functions as the subject, object, or complement of a clause, as in
Apples are popular, I like apples, Those objects are apples.
Grammatical morphology: a noun can change its form to express a contrast in
singular/plural number or to mark the genitive case, as in cat/cats/cat's/cats'.
Lexical morphology: a noun can be formed by adding one of a small list of suffixes to a
verb, an adjective, or another noun, e.g. -al (refusal), -ness (kindness), -hood (boyhood).

In describing nouns, traditional grammar insisted on noting gender (Sw. genus) as well as
number (Sw. numerus) and case (Sw. kasus). Modern grammars disregard this criterion,
recognizing that gender has no grammatical role in English. They do however find good
grammatical reasons for respecting the importance of several other traditional contrasts,
especially proper vs common, and abstract vs concrete, and have developed the contrast
between mass and countable nouns into a major dimension of subclassification.

The main subclasses

The first division of nouns is that into proper and common nouns. Common nouns can then be
divided into countable and uncountable nouns. And both of these can be further divided into
concrete and abstract types.

Nouns

Proper Common

Countable Uncountable

Concrete Abstract Concrete Abstract

Countable and uncountable nouns

Common nouns can be divided into two types. Countable nouns refer to individual, countable
entities, such as books, eggs, and ideas. Uncountable nouns refer to an undifferentiated mass

16
or notion, such as butter, music, and advice. Uncountable nouns are also known as mass
nouns. There are clear grammatical differences between them.

Countable nouns cannot stand alone in the singular (*Book is red); uncountable nouns can
(Chess is fun).
Countable nouns allow a plural (books, eggs); uncountable nouns do not (*musics).
Countable nouns occur in the singular with a (a book); uncountable nouns with some (some

music). Both types can occur with the (the book / the music).

Some nouns can be either countable or uncountable, depending on their meaning. Cake, for
example, is a countable noun in this sentence:

Would you like a cake?

but an uncountable noun in this one:

Do you like cake?

There are many such pairs:

The lights were amazing. Light travels very fast.


I've bought some bricks. It's built of brick.
I've had some odd experiences. I've not had much experience.

Abstract and concrete nouns

Both countable and uncountable nouns can be further divided into abstract and concrete
types. Concrete nouns refer to entities which can be observed and measured, such as book,
car, elephant, and butter. Abstract nouns refer to physically unobservable notions, such as
difficulty, idea, certainty, and remark. The distinction seems straightforward, but in fact it can
be quite difficult deciding whether a word is being used in a purely abstract or concrete way.
Nouns such as structure, version, and music permit both abstract and concrete interpretations.

Proper and common nouns

Proper nouns are names of specific people, places, times, occasions, events, publications, and
so on. They differ from common nouns in three main ways.

Proper nouns can stand alone as a clause element, as in I like London, Fred is here, Today
is Tuesday, whereas only certain common nouns can (Chess is fun, but *Egg is bad, *Book is
red, *I see cat, etc.).
Proper nouns do not usually allow a plural (*Londons, *Freds, *Everests), whereas most

common nouns do (books, eggs, pens, but *musics).


Proper nouns are not usually used with determiners (*a London, *the Fred, *some France),

whereas common nouns are (a book, the music, some bread). In some circumstances, proper
nouns can behave like common nouns:
Look at all those Smiths.
I used to know a Mary Jones.
I hate Mondays.

17
Proper nouns are written with an initial capital letter. But not all words with initial capitals are
proper nouns as in the ironic That's a Big Deal! Also, there is sometimes uncertainty as to
whether a word should be considered proper or common: is it the moon or the Moon? This
issue has important consequences when it comes to deciding the size of the lexicon.
From Crystal D. (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, pp. 208-209

The most important categories of common nouns


A. Uncountables (non-counts), e.g. evidence, information, money, news, progress, sugar.
Always singular (i.e. no plural is possible).

B. Countables (counts), the most important categories:


1. Nouns with regular or 3. Always plural, plural form 5. Nouns in ics: can be
irregular plural forms, e.g. (plural -s is used), e.g. shorts, treated both as singular and
table, man, sheep. pyjamas, glasses, scissors; plural, different meanings,
The plural of nouns such as odds, premises, remains. e.g. acoustics, economics,
sheep and series is identical to mathematics, statistics.
the singular form. Such a Where are the scissors? I cant
plural is called zero plural. find them. Statistics (=the subject) is a
branch of mathematics.
Statistics (= a group of numbers)
show an increase in violence.

2. Always plural but no plural 4. Singular and plural form, 6. Collective nouns, singular
ending (no plural -s), e.g. different meanings, e.g. and plural form, e.g.
cattle, people, police. content/s/, damage/s/, look/s/, audience, government, jury,
moral/s/, sale/s/. majority.
The police are searching for the In BrE the singular form can
missing girl. She had to pay damages for the take a plural verb:
damage. The Government have decided...

s-genitive and of-construction


The s-genitive is chiefly used of people, countries or animals. It also occurs in time
expressions: my sisters daughter, Swedens economy, my cats paws, ten minutes break
Note the position of the apostrophe:
1) Nouns with a regular plural (-s plural): 2) Nouns with an irregular plural:
the girls toys (genitive singular) the womans hat (genitive singular)
the girls toys (genitive plural) the womens hats (genitive plural)

Meanings of the genitive:


1) possessive: the girls toys (= the girl owns the toys)
2) subjective: the Presidents speech (= the President (=Subject) gave a speech)
3) objective: the prisoners release (= somebody released the prisoner (=Object))
4) classifying (descriptive): a boys school (= a school for boys)
5) time: two weeks holiday (vacation)

The of-construction (of + noun) is used for possession with most inanimate possessors:
the walls of the town, the wheels of the car

18
Generic and specific reference

When we make a generic statement about things, we refer to them as representatives of their
whole class (reference to a class or a kind). A Noun Phrase with generic reference can be
constructed with the indefinite article (a, an), the definite article (the) or no article at all
(zero):

(a) a(n) + singular countable noun: They say an elephant never forgets.

(b) the + singular countable noun: They say the elephant never forgets.

(c) zero + plural countable noun: They say elephants never forget.

(d) zero + uncountable noun: They say charity begins at home.

The meaning of the NPs in these sentences is any elephant and any kind of charity
respectively.

If the Noun Phrase has specific reference, the meaning is someone or something in
particular:

(e) A man (=A particular man) was here to see you just now.

(f) Can you see the elephant over there?

(g) I cant find the coffee. Where is it?

From these examples we can see that both the indefinite and definite article can be used to
refer to something generically and specifically.

Pay special attention to the use of the definite article with countable and uncountable nouns.
Note that countable nouns in the singular can take the definite article also when it has generic
reference (cf. example (b) above). To sum up:

Specific Generic
Countables in the singular the the
Countables in the plural the -
Uncountables the -

The indefinite article some important uses

Generic reference:
A whale can be dangerous to small boats.

Specific reference:
The boat collided with a whale.

19
Used with a Complement to show that someone is a member of a group or profession:
Peter is an American.
Mary is a professional actor.

Note that when the Complement names a unique role or task, there is no indefinite
article: Winston Churchill was Prime Minister during World War II.

The definite article some important uses

The definite article is used:

With countable and uncountable nouns, specific reference (see p. 19).

With countable nouns in the singular, generic reference (see p. 19).

With such nouns as climate, weather, economy and environment:


changes in the climate (the weather), The economy is the main problem for many
countries, We want to protect the environment from air pollution

Before a postmodifying of-phrase:


He was the son of a miner.

With many grammatical terms:


a noun in the singular, a verb in the past tense, a pronoun in the genitive

With some categories of proper nouns, for example:


1) Proper nouns in the plural: the Netherlands, the Smiths
2) Names of rivers: the Thames, the Nile
3) Names of seas/oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific
4) Names of museums, libraries, concert halls: the National Gallery, the Bodleian
Library, the Albert Hall
5) Theatres, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, etc: the Met[ropolitan], the Odeon, the
Hilton
6) Newspapers: the New York Times, the Guardian

No definite article, however, is used with proper nouns the first element of which is
itself a proper noun, and the second element of which is a countable noun in the
singular: Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, Kennedy Airport.
Nor is the definite article used with proper nouns (there are exceptions!) that are
modified by an adjective (unless the noun takes the definite article for another reason):
modern Canada, French-speaking Switzerland. (This is a Swedish-English contrastive
problem and not an irregularity in English grammar.)

20
Exercises
Categories of nouns I (see Comp. (=this compendium) p. 18)

Which categories do the nouns below belong to? There are three or four nouns per category.

aircraft, audience, cattle, committee, evidence, horsepower, jury, money, news, pants, people,
police, progress, pyjamas, scissors, species, Swiss, tongs

1 Zero plural

.............................................................................................................................................

2 Uncountables

.............................................................................................................................................

3 Always plural form of the noun, plural verb (two-part nouns)

.............................................................................................................................................

4 Collective nouns, the singular form of the noun may take a plural verb in BrE

.............................................................................................................................................

5 Always plural but no plural ending

.............................................................................................................................................

Categories of nouns II (see Comp. p. 18)

Which categories do the nouns below belong to? (uncountable; countable: always plural but
no plural ending; countable: collective noun, etc)

1 This is useful information.


2 New statistics show an increase in violence.
3 Where are the scissors?
4 The entire contents of the house were put up for auction.
5 There were many people at the party.
6 The money has been stolen.
7 The committee have decided to adopt the plan.
8 There are two new comedy series on TV now.
9 These are the remains of a medieval castle.

21
Generic or specific reference? (Comp. p. 19)

1. A lion was sleeping in the cage. 5. A lion can be dangerous.

2. Lions are dangerous animals. 6. Can you see the lion?

3. The lions were sleeping in a cage. 7. Milk is good for you.

4. The milk has turned sour. 8. The lion is a dangerous animal.

The use of the indefinite article (Comp. pp. 19-20)

A Explain why the indefinite article is used in the examples below.

1 There's a man here to see you.


2 A teacher needs to have a lot of patience.
3 She's a teacher.
4 A cheetah can run faster than a lion.
5 She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

B Why cannot the indefinite article be used with the noun in bold here?
She was captain of the hockey team at school.

The use of the definite article (Comp. p. 20)

Explain why the definite article is used or not used in the examples below.
Take the following into account in your answers where relevant: countable/
uncountable noun, generic/specific reference, proper noun (and type of proper
noun).

1 The summer of 1995 was very warm.


2 The course is on 18th-century French literature.
3 Beavers build dams.
4 This noun is in the singular.
5 In the Second Punic War Hannibal crossed the Alps.
6 The Smithsonian is the worlds largest museum complex.
7 The US Congress is situated on Capitol Hill.
8 The climate is getting worse.
9 Coffee has become more expensive.
10 This is a book on medieval Sweden.

22
Meanings of the genitive (Comp. p. 18)

Put the following phrases with the genitive in the correct categories below, four phrases in
each category.

a) the councils refusal e) the criminals punishment i) a womens magazine


b) Eves husband f) womens wear j) Johns application
c) a summers day g) at arms length k) her parents home
d) the hostages release h) the dogs tail l) six weeks holiday

m) the boys face q) childrens literature


n) a minutes hesitation r) the companys denial
o) Marys proposal s) two hours sleep
p) the enemys defeat t) the childrens education

1 Possessive genitive

.....................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................

2 Subjective genitive

.....................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................

3 Objective genitive

.....................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................

4 Descriptive (Classifying) genitive

.....................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................

5 Genitive of time and measure

.....................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................

23
Questions on IEG
1 Give a few examples of possible structures of noun phrases. (3.2)
2 What are the three classes of determiners? Give examples from each
category. (3.3, 2.34-2.38)
3 In what important respect do modifiers differ from determiners? (3.2)
4 Explain what is meant by a discontinuous modifier. (3.4)
5 What is the (syntactic) function of the underlined noun phrases in the
following sentences? (3.10)
1. She became a famous author. 2. I showed Peter my new car.
3. They called the match the event of the year. 4. I get up early every day.
5. You must tell me all your secrets. 6. I apologize for my late arrival.
7. Boys will be boys. 8. She suffered head injuries in the accident.
6 What is apposition? (3.7)
7 Nouns are either common or proper. How do they differ? (2.4)
8 Explain what is meant by concrete and abstract nouns. Give a few
examples. (2.4)
9 What is number? (2.5)
10 a) What is case? (2.7)
b) What are the two cases of (many) English nouns? (2.7)
11 What are collective nouns? Give examples. (5.5)
12 a) Use the following forms to state the general rules for forming the genitive
1. teacher 2. parents 3. children (8.13)
b) How is the genitive of such names as Jesus and Socrates written? (8.13)

KEY to exercises
Categories of nouns I
1 aircraft, horsepower, species, Swiss
2 evidence, money, news, progress
3 pants, pyjamas, scissors, tongs
4 audience, committee, jury
5 cattle, people, police

Categories of nouns II
1 Uncountable.
2 Noun in ics: both singular and plural, but different meanings.
3 Always plural, plural form.
4 Noun with both a singular and plural form, different meanings.
5 Always plural but no plural ending.
6 Uncountable.
7 Collective noun, in BrE the singular form of the noun can take a plural verb.
8 Zero plural.
9 Always plural, plural form.

24
Generic or specific reference?

1. Specific 5. Generic
2. Generic 6. Specific
3. Specific 7. Generic
4. Specific 8. Specific/Generic

The use of the indefinite article

A
1 Specific reference.
2 Generic reference.
3 A Complement (Sw. predikatsfyllnad) used to show that someone is a member of a
group or profession.
4 Generic reference.
5 See 3 above.

B
The Complement names a unique role or task.

The use of the definite article

1 Specific reference because of of-phrase.


2 Uncountable, generic reference.
3 Countable, plural, generic reference.
4 Grammatical term.
5 Proper noun in the plural.
6 Proper noun: name of museum.
7 Proper noun consisting of a proper noun and a countable noun in the singular.
8 Exception from the rule that an uncountable noun with generic reference does not take
the definite article.
9 Uncountable, generic reference.
10 A proper noun that does not take the definite article (cf. Swedish, where a proper noun
preceded by an adjective takes the definite article, e.g. det medeltida Sverige).

Meanings of the genitive

1 b, h, k, m 4 c, f, i, q
2 a, j, o, r 5 g, l, n, s
3 d, e, p, t

25
UNIT 3 VERBS AND VERB PHRASES (I)
Read Unit 3 in this compendium.
Sections in IEG:
Chapter 1: 1.3-1.14; Chapter 3: 3.11-3.13, 3.17-3.20; Chapter 2: 2.9-2.18;
Chapter 5: 5.20-5.21, 5.23-5.24; Chapter 9 (Spelling): 9.3-9.4:
Exercises in Unit 3 in this compendium.

A sentence may contain a single verb, or it may use a cluster of verbs which work together as
a verb phrase: I saw an elephant, You didn't see one, They couldn't have seen one. The last
two examples show a main verb (a form of see in each case) accompanied by one or more
auxiliary verbs. There can be up to four auxiliaries, all going in front of the main verb, though
constructions using all four are unusual: They must have been being advised by the
government.
Three classes of verb can occur within the verb phrase:

Lexical verbs (also called full verbs) are those with a meaning that can be clearly and
independently identified (e.g. in a dictionary), such as run, jump, walk, want, cogitate. They
act as main verbs.
Modal verbs convey a range of judgments about the likelihood of events; they function only

as auxiliary verbs, expressing meanings which are much less definable, focused, and
independent than those of lexical verbs. There are nine verbs in this subclass: can, could, may,
might, will, would, shall, should, and must, with dare, need, ought to, and used to having a
very similar function.
Primary verbs can function either as main verbs or as auxiliary verbs. There are just three of
them: be, have, and do.
Main verb use: They are happy. She has a dog. They do sums.
Auxiliary verb use: They are going. She has seen it. Do they go?

Finite and nonfinite

The forms of the verb, and the phrases they are part of, are usually classified into two broad
types, based on the kind of contrast in meaning they express. The notion of finiteness is the
traditional way of classifying the differences. This term suggests that verbs can be limited in
some way, and this is in fact what happens when different kinds of endings are used.

The finite forms are those which limit the verb to a particular number, tense, person, or
mood. For example, when the -s form is used, the verb is limited to the third person singular
of the present tense, as in goes and runs. If there is a series of verbs in the verb phrase, the
finite verb is always the first, as in I was being asked.
The nonfinite forms do not limit the verb in this way. For example, when the -ing form is
used, the verb can be referring to any number, tense, person, or mood:

I'm leaving (first person, singular, present)


They're leaving (third person, plural, present)
He was leaving (third person, singular, past)
We might be leaving tomorrow (first person, plural, future, tentative)
As these examples show, a nonfinite form of the verb stays the same in a clause, regardless of
the grammatical variation taking place alongside it.

26
Auxiliary verbs Main verb

advise
is advising
has been advising
must have been advising
(rare) must have been being advised

Finite contrasts

The finite forms of the verb are the -s form, the past form, and some uses of the base
form. The nonfinite forms show no variation.

Finite forms
The finite forms of the verb are the present and past tense and the imperative: I am happy, I was
happy, Be happy! The finite forms:
show a contrast in tense: She works in London vs She worked in London.
show a contrast in number and person: he works vs they work; I am vs you are.
allow the expression of facts, possibilities, wishes, and other contrasts of mood: They
suggested that the papers be delivered by hand. They were.

Nonfinite forms
There are three nonfinite forms of the verb:
The -ing participle (or present participle): I'm leaving.
The -ed participle (or past participle): I've asked. They were asked.
The base form used as an infinitive: They might see, He wants to see.

Verb + nonfinite form

See further a dictionary for more examples.

1) Verb + to-infinitive. Ex: attempt, hope, manage, mean


She attempted to repair the bike herself.

2) Verb + -ing form. Ex: avoid, consider, deny, dislike, enjoy, finish, keep, quit, risk
She must avoid offending the voters.

3) Verb with to-infinitive or -ing form. Ex: begin, start, continue, cease, forget, remember,
regret
He began to wave / waving his arms.

4) Verb + bare infinitive (i.e. infinitive without to). Ex: modal auxiliaries (can, could, etc),
help (also with to-infinitive)
You should leave now, She helped [to] organize the party.

Auxiliary verbs

Auxiliary (or helping) verbs assist the main verb in a clause to express several basic
grammatical meanings or functions, such as aspect and modality. They do not follow the same
grammatical rules as main verbs, which is why they must be considered as a separate class.

27
Auxiliaries can be used before the word not; main verbs (in modern English) cannot. We
can change I might go into I might not go, but we cannot change I saw it into *I saw not it.

The contracted form n't can be attached to almost all auxiliaries; this is not possible with
main verbs (apart from be and have). We can say can't and won't, but not *walkn't or
*jumpn't.

The first auxiliary in a verb phrase has a distinctive role, as it can be used before the subject
in order to ask a question; this is not possible with main verbs. We can say Have they gone
home?, but not *Saw they a car?

The auxiliary class can itself be divided into two subclasses:

The primary verbs have -s forms; the modals do not. We find is, has, and does, but not
*mays, *wills, or *musts.

The primary verbs have nonfinite forms; the modals do not. We find to have, having, and
had, but not *to may, *maying, or *mayed.

Transitivity

The choice of the verb actually determines, to a large extent, what other elements can be used
in the clause. Once we have picked our verb, certain other things are likely to happen.

If we pick leave, we can stop the clause there, without fear of being ungrammatical: The
trains leaving. Verbs of this type, which can be used without an object, have long been called
intransitive verbs.

If we pick enjoy, another element has to follow. We cannot say *The cat's enjoying. It has to
be The cat's enjoying something, with the object present.
Verbs which require an object are traditionally known as transitive verbs.

Some common transitives

bring, carry, desire, find, get, keep, like, make, need, use

Some common intransitives

appear, die, digress, fall, go, happen, lie, matter, rise, wait

Some verbs need a Complement (Sw. predikatsfyllnad, predikativ). They are called copular
verbs or linking verbs. To this category belong, for example, be, become, seem, appear: She is
beautiful, He became a doctor, This seems wrong, They appeared quick (=They appeared to
be quick).

Multi-word verbs

Some verbs consist of more than one word (and are thus better described as lexemes). The
most common type consists of a verb followed by one or more particles: come in, sit down,
drink up, put up with. The particles are either spatial adverbs (e.g. aback, ahead, and away),

28
prepositions (e.g. at, for, from), or words which in other contexts can act either as adverbs or
as prepositions (e.g. by, down, in).
Verbs which use adverb particles are often called phrasal verbs, with those taking
prepositional particles being distinguished as prepositional verbs. In some grammars,
however, the term phrasal verbs is used for both. Whatever the terminology, one fact is clear:
the number of multi-word verbs in the language has grown remarkably, especially in the
present century and last, and they constitute one of the most distinctive features of English
syntax.

From Crystal D. (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, p. 212,
with additions by A. Nordin

Primary verbs (be, do, have)

Primary verbs can be used as main verbs or as auxiliary verbs.When functioning as auxiliary
verbs they help create grammatical aspect (progressive or perfective) or voice (passive) or
are simply used for support, emphasis or as a substitute.

be
Main verb Auxiliary verb

1) Copula (linking verb): 1) Progressive aspect (form) (be + -ing


She is happy. participle of main verb):
2) = exist, be at a certain place: I am sailing.
She is in London. 2) Passive voice (be + past participle):
Peter was attacked by a madman.

have
Main verb Auxiliary verb

= own, possess: To form the present and past perfect (= tense


I have a dream. + aspect): I have never been here before,
I had never seen her before.

do
Main verb Auxiliary verb

= perform an action, activity, or job 1) Do-construction (or do-periphrasis):


What are you doing? I dont know what to a) in clauses negated with not (present & past
do. tense, imperative):
Ive done some shopping. He doesnt know. He didnt know. Dont
move!
b) interrogative clauses (present & past
tense):
Does he know? Did he know?
2) Emphatic:
I do want to come. (=I really want to come.)
3) Pro-form for other elements:
Does she love me? Of course she does.

29
Modal auxiliaries: can, could, may, might, shall, must, have to

can could may might

1 Ability: 1 Possibility:
I cannot play the piano at all. This may or may not be true.
She couldnt find her keys.
2 Permission:
2 Possibility: You may go when you like.
The stadium can be emptied in five The children asked if they might go to
minutes. the Zoo.

3 Permission:
You can take the car, if you want.

shall must have (got) to

Used in questions with 1st person 1 must have (got) to: Necessity and
singular and plural for making obligation:
offers or suggestions or asking advice: You must/have to be home by 11
What shall I wear to the party? oclock.
What shall we do this weekend? In BrE there is a difference between
must and have (got) to. Must is used to
talk about what the speaker or listener
wants (internal obligation), and have
(got) to about rules, laws and other
peoples wishes (external obligation).

2 must not: Prohibition:


You mustnt say things like that.

30
Modal auxiliaries: should, will and would

should will / would

1 Something recommended (obligation) 1 Future time incl. future in


You should go. the past; purpose
I will do it tomorrow. I wondered what
Bill would do next.
2 A likely assumption (probability,
certainty) 2 Volition (willingness)
It should be a good movie; the reviews
are good. (a) Questions
Will you help me?

3 Rhetorical questions (b) Negative statements


How should I know? I won't go there. She said she wouldn't go
there.

4 In subclauses (c) Conditional subclauses


(a) Future in the past (1st person) It would be a great help if you would
She told them I should be back by 5pm. send us the photos.

(b) that-clauses after subjective and/or 3 Predicted likelihood


emotional expressions (probability, certainty)
It's annoying that we should be late Ask your sister. She will know.
again.
4 Predictable habit
(c) that-clauses after expressions of She will (Sw. brukar, kan) / would (Sw.
volition brukade, kunde) sit knitting for hours.
The bank demands that the loan should
be paid back at once. 5 Conditional sequences
(a) Open condition
(d) Conditional subclauses (=by chance) If you help me, I will help you.
If you should see her tomorrow, please (b) Hypothetical condition
give me a ring. (Sw. konditionalis I)
If you helped me, I would help you.

(c) Rejected condition


(Sw. konditionalis II)
If you had helped me, I would have
helped you.
From Hudson et al. (2001) Basic English Grammar, pp. 51-53

31
Exercises
Main verbs and auxiliary verbs (Comp. pp. 26-27, 29)

Which of the verb forms in the sentences below are main verbs and which are auxiliary verbs?
What functions do the auxiliaries have? No modal auxiliaries have been included. All verbs
are printed in bold.

1 Have you seen her before? 7 I do most of my shopping on Mondays.


2 I hadnt eaten anything for three days 8 Do help yourself!
3 I have a dream. 9 Her husband was killed in the war.
4 What is she studying? 10 Did you do it yourself?
5 She is in New York now. 11 I have had enough!
6 Do you know? 12 The house was being pulled down.

be and do (Comp. p. 29)

Explain the uses of be and do in the following sentences.

be do

a) main verb: linking verb, a) main verb: to perform an activity or job,


b) main verb: exist b) auxiliary: do-construction,
c) auxiliary: progressive form, c) auxiliary: substitute for main verb,
d) auxiliary: the passive d) auxiliary: emphatic

1 Im dreaming of a white Christmas. 1 Who said that? I did.


2 The idea was rejected by everyone. 2 We dont want to leave.
3 She had been ill for two weeks. 3 I did lock the door.
4 Is there a pub here? 4 Ive done some shopping today.
5 Today is Monday. 5 Where do you work?
6 I shall be seeing him soon. 6 Dont speak to me like that!
7 I dont like being stared at. 7 I hate intense heat. So do I.
8 Troublemakers are encouraged to leave. 8 What are you doing over the weekend?
9 Be quiet! 9 Doesnt Matthew look old these days?
10 The food was already on the table. 10 She runs much faster than he does.
11 Ill be coming back on Tuesday. 11 Do shut up!
12 Weve never been here before. 12 What did you do?
13 I should do more exercise.
14 I didnt say that.

32
Finite and nonfinite forms I (Comp. p. 27)

Which of the verb forms in the sentences below are finite and which are nonfinite?
(Finite: the present and past tense forms. Nonfinite: the infinitive, the -ing participle (or the
present participle), the -ed participle (or the past participle).

1 She calls him every day.


2 She wants me to call.
3 She called yesterday.
4 She is calling him now.
5 She had called me earlier.
6 Shes called twice today.
7 She may call tonight.
8 Shed been trying to call me all day.
9 She couldve called me earlier!
10 Shes planning to call today.
11 Shed be happy, if you called her.
12 She wouldve been happy, if youd called her.
13 She is called Mary. (What construction is this?)

Finite and nonfinite forms II (Comp. p. 27)

Identify the infinitives and past participles in the following sentences. Some of the
sentences contain neither of these forms!

1 I didnt know the answer.


2 I know youre right.
3 Keep off the grass!
4 You should keep your passport in a safe place.
5 Cats always keep themselves clean.
6 The money has been stolen.
7 If I had had a car, I would have driven to work.
8 They had bad luck.
9 She has lost her wallet.
10 Some families lost everything in the flood.
11 Dont lose your patience!
12 What do you do for a living?
13 The part of Elizabeth was played by Cate Blanchett.
14 Cate Blanchett played Elizabeth.

Modal auxiliaries
can, could, may, might, shall, must, have to (Comp. p. 30)

Explain the meaning of can/could, may/might, shall, and must/have to in the sentences below.

1 Can you swim? No, I cant.


2 You can borrow my calculator if you want.
3 We could still win the game isnt over yet.
4 There may be an easier way of solving the problem.

33
5 I wonder if I might use your telephone.
6 Shall we have some lunch?
7 You mustnt use the office phone for private calls.
8 We must defend the freedom that our parents fought for.
9 We have to pay our bills now.

should (Comp. p. 31)


What meanings of should are illustrated in the following sentences?

1 Why should he be so foolish?


2 I explained that I should be too busy to see them the following day.
3 You should eat more fruit.
4 The committee demanded that the chief executive should be dismissed.
5 The meeting should have finished by now (=it is likely it has ended).
6 Should you need help, do not hesitate to call me.
7 How sad that she should have no one to comfort her.
8 We should leave a tip, shouldnt we?
9 Therell be lots of games, so it should be fun.
10 Our orders were that we should advance towards San Pedro.
11 Its odd you should mention Ben I was just thinking about him.
12 We promised we shouldnt be late.
13 Whats happened to my money? How should I know?
14 If anything should happen to me, please give this letter to my wife.

will and would (Comp. p. 31)


What meanings of will and would are illustrated in the following sentences?

1 An Englishman will usually show you the way in the street.


2 Inflation is rising and will continue to rise.
3 Will you marry me?
4 I wouldnt do it if I were you.
5 I wont (=refuse to) go there.
6 Theres the doorbell. Thatll be Janet.
7 If you would tell her, Id be grateful.
8 If you help me, Ill help you.
9 She would have bought the house if she had been able to afford it.
10 Most analysts expected that there would be a change in policy.
11 I asked her to help me but she wouldnt.
12 If you would only listen, I could help you.
13 If you put the baby down, shell scream.
14 Most of you will know about the problems weve been having.
15 There will be a short ceremony at the war memorial.
16 If she changed her opinions, shed be a more likeable person.
17 Oil will float on water.
18 If you had listened to me, you wouldnt have made so many mistakes.
19 On Sundays he would get up early and go fishing.
20 Wholl help me in the kitchen?
21 Hell talk for hours, if you let him.

34
22 I will never betray you.
23 Would you help me to address these letters?
24 As a child, she would often run away from home.

Questions on IEG
1 What is the typical structure of verb phrases? (3.11)
2 What are the four forms of regular main verbs? (3.12)
3 How are finite and non-finite verb phrases defined? (3.18)
4 Modal auxiliaries express two main types of meaning. What are they? (2.18)
5 What is an intransitive verb? (1.9)
6 What is a transitive verb? (1.7)
7 In IEG 1.7, four rules referring to the Direct Object are mentioned. Which of these
rules apply to the following sentences?
1. I love him vs. He loves me. 2. We must defend ourselves. 3. Everybody likes
Mary vs. Mary is liked by everybody.
8 a) What is meant by linking verb? (1.8)
b) What is the most common linking verb? Give examples of other common
linking verbs. (1.8)
9 What are Adverbial Complements? (1.10)
10 What does an Indirect Object refer to? (1.11)
11 a) What are the seven basic sentence structures? (1.13)
b) Which of these sentence structures are illustrated by the following
sentences? (1.13)
1. I consider this wrong. 2. Jack has built a house. 3. We all live in a yellow
submarine. 4. She gave me some advice. 5. The soup tastes good.
12 a) What is meant by mood? (3.19)
b) What mood is the underlined verb form in the following examples? (3.19)
1. Long live the Queen! 2. Get well soon! 3. Never say never!
4. What a beautiful day it is! 5. If I were you I wouldnt do it. 6. Kilroy was here.

KEY to exercises
Main verbs and auxiliary verbs

1 have = auxiliary verb (used to form the present perfect); seen = main verb
2 had = auxiliary verb (used to form the past perfect); eaten = main verb
3 have = main verb
4 is = auxiliary verb (used to form the progressive form); studying = main verb
5 is = main verb
6 do = auxiliary verb (the do-construction, Sw. do-omskrivning); know = main verb
7 do = main verb
8 do = auxiliary verb (emphatic); help = main verb
9 was = auxiliary (used to form the passive voice); killed = main verb
10 did = auxiliary verb (the do-construction); do = main verb
11 have = auxiliary verb (used to form the present perfect); had = main verb
12 was = auxiliary (used to form the progressive form); being = auxiliary verb (used to
form the passive voice); pulled = main verb

35
be and do

be do
1 auxiliary: progressive form 1 auxiliary: substitute for main verb
2 auxiliary: the passive 2 auxiliary: the do-construction
3 main verb: linking verb 3 auxiliary: emphatic
4 main verb: exist 4 main verb: to perform an activity or job
5 main verb: linking verb 5 auxiliary: the do-construction
6 auxiliary: progressive form 6 auxiliary: the do-construction
7 auxiliary: the passive 7 auxiliary: substitute for main verb
8 auxiliary: the passive 8 main verb: to perform an activity or job
9 main verb: linking verb 9 auxiliary: the do-construction
10 main verb: exist 10 auxiliary: substitute for main verb
11 auxiliary: progressive form 11 auxiliary: emphatic
12 main verb: exist 12 auxiliary: the do-construction
13 main verb: to perform an activity or job
14 auxiliary: the do-construction

Finite and nonfinite forms I

1 calls present tense: finite

2 wants present tense: finite


to call infinitive: nonfinite

3 called past tense: finite

4 is present tense: finite


calling -ing participle: nonfinite

5 had past tense: finite


called -ed participle: nonfinite

6 s (=has) present tense: finite


called -ed participle: nonfinite

7 may present tense: finite


call infinitive: nonfinite

8 d (=had) past tense: finite


been -ed participle: nonfinite
trying -ing participle: nonfinite
to call infinitive: nonfinite

9 could past tense: finite


ve (=have) infinitive: nonfinite
called -ed participle: nonfinite

36
10 s (=is) present tense: finite
planning -ing participle: nonfinite
to call infinitive: nonfinite

11 d (=would) past tense: finite


be infinitive: nonfinite
called past tense: finite

12 would past tense: finite


ve (=have) infinitive: nonfinite
been -ed participle: nonfinite
d (=had) past tense: finite
called -ed participle: nonfinite

13* is present tense: finite


called -ed participle: nonfinite

*) A passive construction.

Finite and nonfinite forms II


Only infinitives and past participles are underlined in the following.
inf = infinitive; pp = past participle (-ed participle)

1 I didnt know (inf) the answer.


2 I know youre right. (present tense, finite form)
3 Keep off the grass! (imperative, finite form)
4 You should keep (inf) your passport in a safe place.
5 Cats always keep themselves clean. (present tense, finite form)
6 The money has been (pp) stolen (pp).
7 If I had had (pp) a car, I would have (inf) driven (pp) to work.
8 They had bad luck. (past tense, finite form)
9 She has lost (pp) her wallet.
10 Some families lost everything in the flood. (past tense, finite form)
11 Dont lose (inf) your patience!
12 What do you do (inf) for a living?
13 The part of Elizabeth was played (pp) by Cate Blanchett.
14 Cate Blanchett played Elizabeth. (past tense, finite form)

Modal auxiliaries

can, could, may, might, shall, must, have to

1 Ability.
2 Permission.
3 Possibility.
4 Possibility.
5 Permission.
6 Suggestion, offer.
7 Prohibition (negative).
8 Necessity (according to speaker, internal obligation).
9 Necessity (according to other people, external obligation).

37
should
Numbers under Meaning refer to the table in this compendium of meanings of should (p. 31).

Sentence Meaning Sentence Meaning


1 3 8 1
2 4a 9 2
3 1 10 4c
4 4c 11 4b
5 2 12 4a
6 4d 13 3
7 4b 14 4d

will and would


Numbers under Meaning refer to the table in this compendium of meanings of will and would
(p. 31).

Sentence Meaning Sentence Meaning Sentence Meaning


1 4 9 5c 17 3
2 1 10 1 18 5c
3 2a 11 2b 19 4
4 5b 12 2c 20 2a
5 2b 13 5a 21 4
6 3 14 3 22 1
7 2c 15 1 23 2a
8 5a 16 5b 24 4

38
UNIT 4 VERBS AND VERB PHRASES (II)

Read Unit 4 in this compendium.


Sections in IEG:
Chapter 4: 4.10; Chapter 1: 1.13-1.14; Chapter 3: 3.13-3.17; Chapter 5: 5.22; Chapter 6: 6.15
Exercises in Unit 4 in this compendium.

Tenses and other present, past and future forms

English has two tenses: the present and the past tense. By combining the present and
past tense of the verb have with the past participle of a main verb, the present perfect
and past perfect are formed (have/has written, had written). Although they are not tenses,
these forms are actually very often referred to as such in the literature. This is also true of
future forms, for example will do, be going to do.

English has the following present, past and future forms:


Present: she writes
Past: she wrote
Present perfect: she has written
Past perfect: she had written
Future: she will write (see further pp. 43-44 below)
Future in the past: she would write
Future perfect: she will have written

The corresponding progressive forms are:


Present progressive: she is writing
Past progressive: she was writing
Present perfect progressive: she has been writing
Past perfect progressive: she had been writing
Future progressive: she will be writing
Future in the past progressive: she would be writing
Future perfect progressive: she will have been writing

Present, past, present perfect and past perfect main uses

SIMPLE PRESENT (The sun rises in the east.)

Meanings with reference to present time:

State present
General timeless statements, eternal truths

Water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. now


Water boils at 100 C.
Two and two make four.
The earth moves round the sun.
Everyone likes Mary.

39
Habitual present
Sequence of events repeated over a period.

We go to Brussels every year. now


Bill drinks heavily.
She makes her own dresses.

Instantaneous present
Used when the verb refers to a single action begun and completed approximately at the
moment of speech. Common in demonstrations and sports commentaries.

I pick up the fruit with a skewer, dip it into now


the batter, and lower it into the hot fat.
Smith passes to Brown.

Meanings with reference to other times:

Referring to the past


Describes the past as if it were happening now:
I couldnt believe it! Just as we arrived, up comes Ben and slaps me on the back as if were
life-long friends...
I hear youve resigned.

Referring to the future


1. In main clauses. The meaning is according to plan, programme, timetable, etc.
The plane leaves for Ankara at eight oclock tonight.

2. In conditional and temporal subclauses.


Hell do it if you pay him.
Ill let you know as soon as I hear from her.

Unlike Swedish, English makes very limited use of the present tense with future reference.

In imaginative writing
Promotes dramatic immediacy.
We look outside (dear reader) and we see an old man.

40
PAST (Freda started school last year.)

Most uses refer to an action or state which has taken place in the past, at a definite time, with
a gap between its completion and the present moment.

Meanings with reference to past time:

Event past

I arrived yesterday. then now


The eruption of Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii.

State past
They were upset. then now
Archery was a popular sport for the
Victorians.

Habitual past
They went to work every day. then now
In ancient times, the Olympic Games were
held (every four years) at Olympia in
Southern Greece.

Meanings with reference to present and future time:

Attitudinal past
Reflects a tentative state of mind, giving a more polite effect than would be obtained by
using the present tense.
Did you want to leave? (compare the more direct Do you want to leave?)

Hypothetical past
Expresses what is contrary to the speakers beliefs. It is especially used in if-clauses.
I wish I had a bike (i.e. I havent got one).

In indirect speech
A past tense used in the verb of saying allows the verb in the reported clause to be past
tense as well, even though it refers to present time.
Did you say you had no money? (i.e. you havent any now).

41
PRESENT PERFECT (Elvis has left the building.)

Signifies past time with current relevance.

There are three important meanings (cf. present and past tense):

State leading up to the present.

The house has been empty for years. now


Have you known my sister for long?

Event (indefinite event(s)) in a period leading up to the present. (Indefinite past; cf. past
tense = definite past.)

He has bought a car. now


All our children have had measles.

Habit (i.e. recurrent event) in a period leading up to the present.


Hes done it often. now
The province has suffered from disastrous
floods throughout its history.

PAST PERFECT (They had met before.)

The past perfective usually has the meaning of past-in-the-past. The three meanings of
state, event and habit can all occur.

then now

State Event Habit


The house had been empty He had bought a car. Hed done it often.
for years.

From Quirk et al. (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, pp. 179-197 (ed. by A.
Nordin)

42
FUTURE TIME
Four common constructions signifying future time

will (ll) + infinitive (sometimes in 1st person shall)

The most common way of expressing future time.

1. Neutral future:
He will be here in half an hour. No doubt I shall see you next week.

2. In interrogative clauses:
I dont know if he will come.

3. Intention:
How soon will you announce your decision?

be going to + infinitive

General meaning: FUTURE FULFILMENT OF THE PRESENT.

1. Immediate or near future, both personal and non-personal subjects:


Shes going to have a baby. Im going to tell you a story. Its going to rain.

2. Intention:
Were going to spend our holiday in Wales this year.
When are you going to get married?

In informal spoken English, going to often comes out as gonna.

be + ing-form (the present progressive)

Basic meaning: FUTURE ARISING FROM PRESENT ARRANGEMENT, PLAN, OR


PROGRAMME.
It usually expresses near future.

Particularly common with verbs of movement from one place to another (e.g. arrive, come,
go, land, leave, move, start, stop) and verbs indicating position (e.g. remain and stay):

The match is starting at 2.30 (tomorrow). When are you leaving?


Im staying at the Savoy.

Also with other verbs:

Im taking the children to the zoo (on Saturday).

43
The simple present
1. In conditional clauses:
What will you say if I marry the boss?

2. In temporal clauses:
At this rate, the guests will be drunk before they leave.

3. In main clauses. The meaning is plan, programme or according to the calendar:


The plane takes off at 20:30 tonight.
Tomorrow is Thursday.

_____________________________________________________________________

Simple form: main uses Progressive form: main uses

1) Habits Normal use: Something in progress


She always works hard. Im working on it now.
He plays tennis every Thursday. Special uses:
2) States 1) Speaker attitude (esp. irritation)
She has dark hair. Shes always losing her keys.
This shirt costs $20.
This drink contains no alcohol. 2) Politeness
They remained in Melbourne. I was wondering if I could borrow your
car. (cf. I wonder if...)
3) Deduction
Youve been drinking again, havent you?
4) Temporary conscious behaviour
Youre being nice today.

44
Exercises
Present, past and future forms I (Comp. p. 39)

What present, past and future verb forms are used in the sentences below? (Present, past,
present perfect, past perfect, future, future in the past, future perfect.)

1 It will probably rain tomorrow.


2 The plane will have landed by then.
3 The house had been empty for months.
4 Do you like this?
5 In three months time the plant will have taken root.
6 I didnt hear you.
7 Have you seen the film?
8 (The underlined part in:) They told me that they probably wouldnt come.
9 She has never lied to me.
10 (The underlined part in:) She said she would be here at seven oclock.
11 The letter will arrive tomorrow.
12 Had you met her before?
13 The boxes contain apples.
14 Where were you last night?

Present, past and future forms II (Comp. p. 39)

Change the verb form in He always chooses the right word to the

1 past perfect
2 past
3 future
4 present perfect

Future forms (Comp. pp. 43-44)

In the sentences below you will find examples of four common future forms. Identify them
(the underlined parts) and say why they are used.

1 Are you going to eat all that?


2 A: Theres somebody at the hall door. B: Ill go and open it.
3 Ill talk to her when she comes back.
4 Were coming back on Tuesday.
5 If I see him I will give him a lift.
6 I will know the result in a week.
7 Were interviewing the candidates tomorrow.
8 Listen to the wind. Were going to have a rough crossing.
9 Shell feel better in a couple of days.
10 Im staying at home this weekend.
11 If everything goes well, well be in New York tomorrow.

45
12 That rider is going to fall off.
13 The train from London arrives at 10.40 a.m.
14 Well stay here until he arrives.
15 I will climb that mountain one day.
16 How pale that girl is! I am sure she is going to faint.
17 Hes studying very hard; he is going to try for a scholarship.
18 The volcano will probably erupt very soon.
19 Its going to rain any minute now.
20 Theyre leaving tomorrow.

Progressive and simple form (Comp. p. 39)

A) Use the progressive form in the following sentences. Keep the tenses.

1 He had painted the door.


2 They always complain.
3 It has snowed for a long time.
4 She felt dizzy.
5 Will you rehearse on Friday?

B) Use the simple, i.e. non-progressive, form in the following sentences. Keep the tenses.

1 She was writing a novel last year.


2 Ill be seeing John tomorrow.
3 How long had she been waiting?
4 Where are you working?
5 How long have you been studying English?

Progressive form or not?

Which of the ing-forms in the sentences below are the progressive form? What is the ing-form
in the other cases? (Prep. + ing-form, verb + ing-form, adjective)

1 I was reading a novel yesterday evening.


2 Joan and Mary are playing tennis this morning.
3 Sarahs keen on dancing.
4 Theyve been working for five hours now.
5 You should avoid driving on slippery roads.
6 We are looking forward to meeting you.
7 He apologized for being late.
8 Well be touring Scotland next month.
9 The book is interesting.
10 Flirting again, are you?
11 That was a surprising comment.
12 When is your wife coming back?
13 Have you quit smoking?
14 Im not used to getting up early.

46
Present, past and future + simple or progressive?

What are the verb forms in bold in the sentences below called? (Simple present, present
progressive, etc.)

1 I sent the letter yesterday.


2 They had been working for five hours.
3 Elvis has left the building.
4 Im analysing the results now.
5 Who do you think will win on Saturday?
6 They said they would come on Friday.
7 Weve been rehearsing for a couple of days now.
8 He told us he would be touring in Scotland this summer.
9 I go for a walk every day.
10 She was having a bath when the bomb exploded.
11 Ill be seeing a lot of you in the near future.
12 They had already left when we arrived.

Questions on IEG
1 What is meant by tense? What are the two tense forms? (3.13)
2 a) How is aspect defined? (3.14)
b) What aspects are there in English and how are they used? (3.14)
3 a) Give (cf. 3.14)
1. the simple present of lose
2. the simple past of pay
3. the simple present perfect of choose
4. the simple past perfect of lay
b) Give (cf. 3.14)
1. the present progressive of die
2. the past progressive of travel
3. the present perfect progressive of do
4. the past perfect progressive lie (=tell a lie)
4 a) How is the passive (voice) constructed? (4.15)
b) What is the most common reason for using the passive? (3.15)
c) In what type of writing is the passive particularly common? (4.10)
5 How can it be shown that disappointed in They were disappointed at the result of
the game is an adjective and not a (passive) past participle? (3.15)

47
KEY to exercises
Present, past and future forms I

1 future 8 future in the past


2 future perfect 9 present perfect
3 past perfect 10 future in the past
4 present 11 future
5 future perfect 12 past perfect
6 past 13 present
7 present perfect 14 past

Present, past and future forms II

1 He had always chosen the right word.


2 He always chose the right word.
3 He will always choose the right word.
4 He has always chosen the right word.

Future forms

Construction Function
1 be going to + infinitive intention
2 will + infinitive intention
3 simple present used in a temporal clause
4 be + ing-form near future, used with verb of
movement
5 simple present used in a conditional clause
6 will + infinitive neutral future
7 be + ing-form near future (cf. 4)
8 be going to + infinitive immediate or near future
9 will + infinitive neutral future
10 be + ing-form used with verb indicating
position
11 simple present used in a conditional clause
12 be going to + infinitive immediate or near future
13 simple present according to timetable
14 simple present used in a temporal clause
15 will + infinitive intention
16 be going to + infinitive immediate or near future
17 be going to + infinitive intention
18 will + infinitive neutral future
19 be going to + infinitive immediate or near future
20 be + ing-form near future, used with verb of
movement

48
Progressive and simple form

A
1 He had been painting the door.
2 They are always complaining.
3 It has been snowing for a long time.
4 She was feeling dizzy.
5 Will you be rehearsing on Friday?

B
1 She wrote a novel last year.
2 Ill see John tomorrow.
3 How long had she waited?
4 Where do you work?
5 How long have you studied English?

Progressive form or not?

1 Progressive form.
2 Progressive form.
3 Prep. + ing-form.
4 Progressive form.
5 Verb + ing-form.
6 Progressive form; Prep. + ing-form.
7 Prep. + ing-form.
8 Progressive form.
9 Adjective.
10 Progressive form (=You are flirting again, arent you?).
11 Adjective.
12 Progressive form (about sth that will happen in the near future).
13 Verb + ing-form.
14 Prep. + ing-form.

Present, past and future + simple or progressive?

1 Simple past tense.


2 Past perfect progressive.
3 Simple present perfect.
4 Present progressive.
5 Simple future.
6 Simple future in the past.
7 Present perfect progressive.
8 Future in the past progressive.
9 Simple present.
10 Past progressive.
11 Future progressive.
12 Simple past perfect.

49
UNIT 5 PRONOUNS
Read Unit 5 in this compendium.
Sections in IEG:
Chapter 2: 2.24-2.33; Chapter 3: 3.5; Chapter 4: 4.17-4.19; Chapter 5: 5.6, 5.9-5.11, 5.18;
Chapter 6: 6.4, 6.13-6.14; Chapter 8: 8.8, 8.14
Exercises in Unit 5 in this compendium.

Pronouns are words which stand for a noun (Latin pro = for), a whole noun phrase, or
several noun phrases. They can also refer directly to some aspect of the situation surrounding
the speaker or writer. In each case, the meaning expressed is much less specific than that
found in phrases containing nouns.

Replacing a noun: I've got a red hat and Jane's got a brown one.
Replacing a noun phrase: My uncle Fred's just arrived. He's quite tired.
Referring to a very general concept which includes the meaning of many possible noun
phrases: I can see someone in the distance (where someone includes men, women, boys, girls,
soldiers, etc).
Referring to some unspecified event of the situation: (pointing) Look at that! He's going to
crash.

Pronouns carry out a similar range of functions to nouns and noun phrases for example, they
can appear as subject, object, or complement of the clause (She saw me, That's you).
However, they differ from nouns chiefly in not usually permitting modification (a big car, but
not *a big it), and in expressing a distinctive set of contrasts.

Some pronouns have separate cases for subject and object function, as in I vs me, who vs
whom.
Some show a contrast between personal and nonpersonal gender and between male and
female: he/she vs it, who vs which.
Some distinguish singular and plural number, but not by adding an -s, as in I vs we, he vs
they.
Some have different persons: I vs you vs he/she/it.

Types of pronoun

There are many kinds of words which can act as a pronoun, but they express different kinds of
meaning, and they do not all follow the same grammmatical rules. This means that different
subclasses of pronouns have to be recognized. The first three subclasses below are sometimes
grouped together as the central pronouns, because they all express contrasts of person,
gender, and number.

Personal pronouns are the main means of identifying speakers, addressees, and others: I
you, he, she, it, we, they.
Reflexive pronouns, always ending in -self or -selves (myself, etc.), reflect the meaning of
a noun or pronoun elsewhere in the clause: They washed themselves.
Possessive pronouns express ownership, and appear in two forms. My, your, etc. are used as
determiners in the noun phrase, as in my car, her bike. Mine, yours, etc. are used on their own,
as in This is mine, Hers is over there.

50
There are several other subclasses:

Reciprocal pronouns are used to express a two-way relationship: each other, one another.
Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions about personal and nonpersonal nouns:
who?,whom?, whose?, which?, what?
Relative pronouns (who, whom, whose, which, that) are used to link a subordinate clause to
the head of the noun phrase, as in That's the book which caused the trouble.
Demonstrative pronouns (this/these, that/those) express a contrast between near and
distant, as in Take this one here, not that one over there. They also have a range of extended
uses: for example, this may be used to introduce a new topic in familiar speech (I saw this
girl...), and that may express a negative attitude (That Roger!).
Indefinite pronouns express a notion of quantity or number. There are two main types.
Compound pronouns consist of two elements: every- , some-, any-, or no- + -one, -body, or
-thing, as in someone and anything. Of-pronouns consist of several forms which may appear
alone or be followed by of (I've eaten all the cake / all of the cake). Their meanings range
from the universal sense of all and both to the negative sense of none and few. Other items
in this class include each, much, many, more, most, less, fewer, some, and neither.

Me, myself, I

If people know anything at all about pronouns, it is usually about the personal pronouns,
which occur more frequently than any other type. They are called personal because
they refer to the people involved in the act of communication.

The first person involved refers to the speaker(s) or writer(s) of the message: I, me, my, mine,
myself; we, us, our(s), ourselves
The second person refers to the addressee(s), excluding speaker(s) or writer(s): you, your(s),
yourself/yourselves
The third person refers to third parties, i.e. excluding the speaker(s), writer(s), and
addressee(s): he, him, his, himself; she, her(s), herself; it, its, itself; they, them, their(s),
themselves. It is included, even though it refers to nonpersonal entities, because it behaves in the
same way as the others.

There are a few additional personal pronouns. A thou series (thee, thy, thyself, thine) is still
sometimes found in religious use, and in some rural British dialects. There are also some
nonstandard forms, such as youse in northern USA, Ireland, and parts of Britain (e.g. Liverpool,
Glasgow). Southern USA has the plural you-all or y'all.

Special uses
The above roles are the usual ones; but there are also a few special uses.

We can refer to a single person in the royal or editorial we: We are not amused.
We can refer to the addressee, especially when talking down: How are we today? (nurse to
patient).
We can refer to a third party: We're in a bad mood today (secretary about boss).
You and they can refer to people in general, or to some group within society: You never can
tell, They keep putting fares up.
It can be used to refer in a general way to time, distance, or life in general: Isn't it a
shame? It's lovely out.

From Crystal D. (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, p. 210

51
Some important uses of pronouns

it and there
it

1) Referential, i.e. referring back to sth or s.b. already mentioned, including identifying:
Wheres our train? Its over there. Whos that? Its my teacher.

2) In cleft constructions:
It was Mary who wrote the letter, not John.

3) Non-referential (or impersonal):


It is 40 degrees above zero. It is 25 miles to York, etc.

4) Anticipatory Subject when real (postponed) Subject is a clause:


It is a pity that you cant come. (cf. That you cant come is a pity.)

there

1) Anticipatory Subject when real (postponed) Subject is a Noun Phrase:


Theres a hotel near here. (cf. A hotel is near here.)
Theres someone here to see you. (cf. Someone is here to see you.)

2) Adverb:
Have you been there before?

Reflexive pronouns
A reflexive pronoun is normally used as an Object which is coreferential with the Subject,
that is the Object refers to the same person or thing as the Subject: I hurt myself at the disco
last night. When a reflexive pronoun is used in this way, it is unstressed.
Another use of the reflexive pronoun is illustrated by the following sentence: Im only
speaking for myself. Here the reflexive pronoun is stressed. This is the emphatic use of the
pronoun.
Note that prepositions of place (usually stressed) are followed by personal pronouns, not
reflexive in spite of coreference: They took their new camera with them.

Possessive pronouns
In active clauses when the Subject is the owner, possessive pronouns (not the definite article)
are used with clothes, parts of the body and personal belongings and the like: She put on her
jacket, He lost his balance. If however the Object is the owner, the definite article is used: The
dog bit me in the leg. He hurt himself in the leg (Object = reflexive pronoun). The definite
article is also used in passive clauses: She was bitten in the leg by a dog.

Demonstrative pronouns

A. In clauses with a Complement


1) a demonstrative pronoun as Subject is singular if the Complement is singular.
This is an interesting idea, This is good news.

52
2) a demonstrative pronoun as Subject is plural if the Complement is plural.
These are interesting ideas, These are my trousers.

B. Demonstrative pronouns can also be used as pro-forms of, i.e. substitute for, a preceding
Noun Phrase. They are then followed by a restrictive (i.e. obligatory) postmodifier
(very often a relative clause):

1) In the singular, the one or that is used as a pro-form of a nonpersonal countable noun. In
the plural, the ones or those is used.
This vacuum cleaner is better than the one/that which broke down.
These boots are better than the ones/those I had before.

2) The rule in (1) also applies to personal countable nouns with the exception that that is not
used in the singular, only the one:
Which girl do you mean? The one whos standing in the corner.

3) Only that can be used as a pro-form of an uncountable noun:


This steel is of higher quality than that produced a generation ago.

4) Before an of-phrase, that and those (not the one/the ones) are used:
He has one merit, that of being honest, Children of lower socioeconomic class
sleep worse than those of middle class.

5) With generic reference, denoting a set of people, the one/the ones are not used.
Anyone who (Whoever) goes to England should visit Canterbury.
Those who go (People who go) to England should visit Canterbury.

Interrogative pronouns

who? Used when asking about a persons identity: Who is she?

whom? 1) The formal Object form of who: Whom did you meet? 2) Obligatory form of
who used after the preposition in a PP: To whom should I give this?
whose? Genitive of who: Whose is this money?

what? Used when asking for particular information about something or somebody:
What is this thing?, What is she? A teacher.

which? Used to ask somebody to be exact about about one or more people or things from a
limited number (i.e. which is used with limited reference):
Which girl do you mean?, Which of these books have you read?

Compare: What years are leap years? (=What is the definition of leap year?), Which years
are leap years? (=The actual leap years).

53
Relative pronouns
Personal Non-personal Antecedent = Restrictive Non-restrictive Genitive
antecedent antecedent clause or part clause clause
of a clause
who + - - + + -
whose + + - + + +
whom + - - + + -
which - + + + + -
of which - + - + + +
that + + - + - -

The element (normally a noun with or without determiners and modifiers) that the pronoun
replaces is called the antecedent (Sw. korrelat): I discussed it with my sister, who is a lawyer.

Note the following:


A. Immediately after a preposition:
1) which (with a non-personal antecedent): This book, of which youve all heard, ...
2) whom (with a personal antecedent): This composer, of whom youve all heard, ...

B. The antecedent may be the whole previous clause (or part of that clause), in which case
which is used: She was late, which surprised me.

C. whose and of which are genitives.

D. that is more frequent than who and which respectively in the following cases:
After superlatives and after first: He was one of the most remarkable men that ever
lived.
After only: Peter is the only person that knows the answer.
After pronouns in -thing: Everything (Anything, Nothing) that has happened so far is
likely to be recorded.
After something, however, which is more frequent: This is something which (that) has
always puzzled me.
After any, every, no: Any man that (who) wants to be a good husband should learn to
cook.

E. The relative pronoun can be (and usually is) omitted in restrictive clauses unless it is the
Subject of that clause: She is the woman [who(m)] I want to marry. (The relative pronoun is
the Object of the relative clause.)

Indefinite pronouns
Note the following:
1) Some-words are assertive forms, any-words are non-assertive. Assertive means that what
one is referring to exists (or probably exists). Non-assertive means that what one is referring
to does not exist or is nonspecific.
Study these examples: Are there any letters for me? Are there some letters for me?
There are some letters for you. There arent any letters for you. Someone has stolen my
wallet. Anyone could have done that.

54
2) none (of) is used about three people/things or more or with uncountables: None of the
students knew the answer. None of the stolen money has been found.
neither (of) is used about two people/things: Neither of my twin brothers has (have) been here
before.

3) Some important (indefinite pronouns used as) amount words:


We can order the most common amount words roughly on a scale, moving from the inclusive
words at the top, to the negative words at the bottom:

COUNTABLE UNCOUNTABLE
all/every all
most most
many, a great many (etc) much, a great deal of (etc)
some some
several -
a few a little
few little
none

All the students... All the money..., etc.

NB! The difference between a few/a little on the one hand, and few/little on the other, is that
the former have a positive meaning, the latter a negative.

Exercises
it and there (Comp. p. 52)

Explain why it and there are used in the sentences below.


Examples: It is 40 miles to York. Non-referential S.
There is a unicorn in the garden. Anticipatory S; postponed S (a unicorn) = NP.

1 There was at least one person who wanted to buy the car.
2 Your sister? Yes, and it was she who bought it.
3 It is twenty miles to Manchester.
4 There is no money left.
5 There seem to be many good candidates.
6 It doesnt seem right that he should do it.
7 There need not be any disagreement between them.
8 It was John who wrote this.
9 Its great fun to be here.
10 There remains a good deal to be done.
11 It is almost necessary to know English these days.
12 Its hot today.
13 Whats that? Its my new modem.
14 There happen to be other reasons.
15 Look, there it is!
16 I understand youve bought a new house. Was it expensive?

55
17 It surprised us that they came.
18 There is a solution to the problem.
19 It was nice meeting you.
20 Will there be nothing left?
21 Wait there until I get back.
22 Theres something odd about her.
23 It was this letter that Mark sent yesterday.
24 It shocked her to see him drunk.
25 Dont blame me. It wasnt my idea.

Reflexive pronouns (Comp. p. 52)

A Why is a reflexive pronoun used in the following sentence?


They hurt themselves.

B Fill in the missing reflexive pronouns:

1 We defended .........................
2 He looked at ........................ in the mirror.
3 She looked at ........................ in the mirror.
4 I hope you will all enjoy ..................... while you are here.

C Why are personal pronouns and not reflexive pronouns used in the sentences below?

1 He looked about him.


2 Have you got any money on you?
3 They had their luggage beside them.

Possessive pronouns (Comp. p. 52)

A Explain why a possessive pronoun or the definite article is used.


Example: I lost my patience. Answer: Active clause, Subject is owner of Object.

1 Mary has broken her leg.


2 He gave me a hit on the head.
3 He shot himself in the foot.
4 I was bitten in the leg by a dog.

B Further examples. Explain why a possessive pronoun or the definite article is used.

1 The woman was hit in the back.


2 He shot himself in the leg.
3 She took me by the hand.
4 Dont lose your balance.
5 He kissed her on the cheek.

56
Demonstrative pronouns (Comp. pp. 52-53)

A Explain why the singular or the plural this or these is used.

1 This is a new house.


2 These are new houses.
3 This is my money.

B Demonstrative pronouns used as pro-forms and followed by a restrictive


postmodifier.
Explain the choice of demonstrative pronouns in the following examples.

1 Our new car is more spacious than the one we had before.
2 These scissors are more blunt than the ones (those) I used before.
3 The police found the new evidence more interesting than that produced earlier in the
investigation.
4 He has one fault, that of being lazy.
5 Which of the men do you mean? The one standing in the corner.
6 Which of the women do you mean? The ones (Those) who are talking to the
professor.
7 Those who want to know more about modern drama should read this book.

Interrogative pronouns (Comp. p. 53)

A Explain the use of the interrogative pronouns in the following sentences.

1 Who is he?
2 Which girl do you mean? The one in the corner.
3 Which painting do you mean? The one on that wall.
4 Whose is this money?
5 Whom do you admire most?
6 To whom should I turn?

B Who, what or which. Think of possible contexts for these sentences.

1 Whats the name of this tune?


2 Which is your favourite conductor?
3 Which do you prefer?
4 What numbers are prime numbers?
5 Which numbers are prime numbers?
6 Who is your favourite actor?

57
Relative pronouns I (Comp. p. 54)

Explain the choice of relative pronoun in the sentences below. Take the following into
account:

Type of antecedent (personal, non-personal, or previous clause).


Type of relative clause (restrictive or non-restrictive).
Function of relative pronoun in the relative clause (Subject, Object, determiner (= a
genitive), or used after preposition).

Can another relative pronoun be used? Can the pronoun be left out? If so, why?

Example: John, who is my brother, is a teacher.


Answer: Personal antecedent, non-restrictive relative clause, the rel. pron. is the Subject of the
rel. clause. No other relative pronoun can be used. Pronoun cannot be left out because the
clause is non-restrictive.

1 Gold, which is a soft yellow metal, is used for making coins and jewellery.
2 Draw a triangle whose angles measure 30, 60 and 90 degrees respectively.
3 Im the person that you need to speak to.
4 She was late, which surprised me.
5 I discussed it with my sister, who is a lawyer.
6 I hate people who cant stop talking.
7 You are free to marry the man whom you love.
8 There are lots of things that I need to buy before the trip.
9 There are many teachers here, most of whom Ive met before.
10 Ive been thinking about those questions which you asked me last week.
11 Help is needed for families whose homes were destroyed in the bombing.
12 Dickens, of whom you have all heard, lived in this house.
13 He has many fine books, most of which are French.

Relative pronouns II (Comp. p. 54)

Insert who, whose, whom, which, of which or that in the blanks below. In several cases more
than one pronoun is possible. Where can a zero construction be used (i.e. no pronoun at all)?
Explain your choices.

1 These are principles ...... we all believe in.


2 He rang James, ...... was a good friend as well as the family doctor.

58
3 He took out a photo of his son, ...... he adores.
4 I cant find the books ...... I got from the library.
5 Cohen, ...... contract expires next week, is likely to move to play for a European
club.

6 This river is hemmed in on either side by mountains, the sides ...... rise almost
perpendicularly.
7 Its the third in a sequence of three books, the first of ...... I really enjoyed.
8 That bar on Milton Street, ...... by the way is very nice, is owned by Trevors
brother.
9 This is Gabriel, ...... I told you about.
10 Anyway, that evening, ...... Ill tell you more about later, I ended up staying at
Rachels place.

11 The other people ...... live in the house are really friendly.
12 They meet in an old house, ...... basement has been converted into a chapel.
13 It isnt a subject to ...... I devote a great deal of thought.
14 He showed me round the town, ...... was very kind of him.
15 I think it was your Dad ...... phoned.

16 Sheila is a person ...... you can trust.


17 Mr Jones is the person to ...... I wish to speak.
18 I have many books, most of ...... are English.
19 She says its Charlottes fault, ...... is rubbish, and that she blames her.
20 Is this the train ...... stops at Cambridge?

21 My father, ....... is a teacher, was born in Brighton.


22 You know that little Italian restaurant the one ...... I mentioned in my letter?
23 Fraud detectives are investigating the company, three of ...... senior executives have
already been arrested.
24 Have you been to the restaurant ...... has just opened in town?
25 She entered a vast cave, the roof ...... was supported by huge natural pillars of rock.

26 Shes the only one ...... I can trust.


27 Is that the film in ...... he kills his mother?
28 Shes one of those people ...... love to be the centre of attention.
29 The rules of operation or play require an event the result ...... is determined by
chance, outside the control of the contestant or participant.
30 Shes not the best performer ...... Ive seen.

31 There were 500 passengers, of ...... 120 drowned.


32 The death of his son was an experience from ...... he never fully recovered.
33 Everything ...... you need to know about the subject you can read in this book.
34 Theres the shop ...... I was talking about.
35 I met a man with ...... I used to work.
36 A good saddle is an absolute necessity for anyone ...... cares about his/her horse.

59
Indefinite pronouns: Some, any and no words (Comp. pp. 54-55)

A Comment on the use of some and any in the following sentences.

1 There are some letters for you.


2 Someone/Somebody has stolen my wallet.
3 Are there any letters for me?
4 There arent any letters for you.
5 Arent there some letters for me?
6 If there are any letters for me, please let me know.
7 Anyone can do that.

B What is the difference in meaning?

1 Some other wine would be preferable to this.


2 Any other wine would be preferable to this.
3 If there is anything missing, please let me know.
4 If there is something missing, please let me know.

C Rephrase the following sentences to show explicitly that any is a non-assertive form.

1 He left London without telling anyone.


2 Hardly anybody can do that.
3 I doubt that she has any money.
4 She ran faster than any other girls in her class.
5 Few people know anything about this.
6 I fail to see any force in your arguments.
7 Im reluctant to give her any advice.

D No-words. Explain the choice of none and neither in these two sentences.

1 None of my relatives lives nearby.


2 Neither of my parents can come.

Questions on IEG
1 Personal, possessive and reflexive pronouns can be said to be related pronouns?
In what sense? (2.24)
2 What is the objective case of the personal pronouns I, we and she? (2.25)
3 Explain what is meant by dependent and independent possessives (possessive
pronouns). (2.26)
4 Write the genitives of the reciprocal pronouns each other and one another. (2.29)
5 a) Which one of the interrogative pronouns has three cases? (2.30)
b) What is said in IEG 2.30 about the interrogative pronoun whom with regard to style?
6 a) What is the genitive case of the relative pronoun who? (2.31)
b) What is meant by a zero relative pronoun? (2.31)
c) What is the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses? (8.8)
d) Which of the two types of relative clauses (restrictive and non-restrictive) should
be enclosed by commas? (8.8)
7 What is said in IEG 2.32 about the use of the indefinite pronouns some and any
respectively?

60
8 a) What is the difference in terms of information structure between these two
sentences? (4.17)
Somebody is knocking on the door. There is somebody knocking on the door.
b) There in the second sentence in 8a is a so-called Anticipatory Subject. When is such a
Subject used? (4.17, 6.4)
9 a) What is the usual structure of a cleft sentence? (4.18)
b) Why is a cleft sentence used? (4.18, 6.4)
10 A clause (subclause) functioning as Subject is usually avoided as the first element
of a sentence. What construction is used instead? (4.19)

KEY to exercises
it and there

1 Anticipatory S; postponed S (at least...car) = NP.


2 Cleft construction.
3 Non-referential S.
4 Anticipatory S; postponed S (no hope) = NP.
5 Anticipatory S; postponed S (many...candidates) = NP.
6 Anticipatory S; postponed S (that...it) = clause.
7 Anticipatory S; postponed S (any...them) = NP.
8 Cleft construction.
9 Anticipatory S; postponed S (to be here) = clause.
10 Anticipatory S; postponed S (a good deal...done) = NP.
11 Anticipatory S; postponed S (to know...days) = clause.
12 Non-referential S.
13 Referential (Identifying).
14 Anticipatory S; postponed S (other reasons) = NP.
15 Adverb.
16 Referential (Refers back to preceding NP).
17 Anticipatory S; postponed S (that...came) = clause.
18 Anticipatory S; postponed S (a solution) = NP.
19 Anticipatory S; postponed S (meeting you) = clause.
20 Anticipatory S; postponed S (nothing) = NP.
21 Adverb.
22 Anticipatory S; postponed S (something...her) = NP.
23 Cleft construction.
24 Anticipatory S; postponed S (to see...drunk) = clause.
25 Referential (Refers back to content of previous clause).

Reflexive pronouns
A The reflexive pronoun is used to show that the Object is coreferential with the Subject,
that is to show that the Object refers to the same people as the Subject.

B 1) ourselves 2) himself 3) herself 4) yourselves

C After prepositions denoting room/space a personal pronoun is used, not a reflexive


pronoun.

61
Possessive pronouns

A B
1 Active clause, Subject is owner of Object. 1 Passive clause.
2 Object is owner. 2 Object (reflexive pronoun) is owner.
3 Object (reflexive pronoun) is owner. 3 Object is owner.
4 Passive clause. 4 Active clause, Subject is owner of Object.
5 Object is owner.

Demonstrative pronouns

1 The demonstrative pronoun is the Subject, singular because the Complement is singular.
2 The demonstrative pronoun is the Subject, plural because the Complement is plural.
3 The demonstrative pronoun is the Subject, singular because the Complement is singular
(an uncountable noun).

1 Substitutes for a previously mentioned non-personal countable noun in the singular.


2 Substitutes for a previously mentioned non-personal countable noun in the plural.
3 Substitutes for a previously mentioned non-personal uncountable noun.
4 Only that or those before an of-phrase.
5 Substitutes for a previously mentioned personal countable noun in the singular.
6 Substitutes for a previously mentioned personal countable noun in the plural.
7 Refers forward, denoting a set of people, generic reference.

Interrogative pronouns

1 Asking about a persons identity.


2 Asking about a persons identity. Limited reference (selection).
3 Asking about the identity of a thing. Limited reference (selection).
4 Genitive.
5 Object form of who, referring to a person.
6 Referring to a person, the form whom is obligatory after a preposition.

1 Unlimited reference. No particular names to choose from.


2 Limited reference. You probably have to choose from a couple of names, e.g. von
Karajan and Stokowsky.
3 For example, tea or coffee. Limited reference.
4 What are the criteria? (Numbers that can only be divided exactly by themselves and
one, for example seven.) Unlimited reference.
5 In, say, a list. Limited reference.
6 Unlimited reference. No particular names to choose from.

62
Relative pronouns I

Whom is either the Object form of who (3, 7) or the obligatory form after a preposition if the
antecedent is personal (9,12).
A relative pronoun can be left out in a restrictive clause if it is not the S of the clause
(3, 7, 8, 10).

Antecedent Restrictive or Function of Other possible Can relative


non-restrictive rel.pron. in rel. relative pron be left
clause clause pronoun out?
1 Non-personal Non-restrictive S No
2 Non-personal Restrictive Determiner of which No
3 Personal Restrictive O who, whom Yes
4 The previous clause Non-restrictive S No
5 Personal Non-restrictive S No
6 Personal Restrictive S that No
7 Personal Restrictive O who, that Yes
8 Non-personal Restrictive O which Yes
9 Personal Non-restrictive After prep. No
10 Non-personal Restrictive O that Yes
11 Personal Restrictive Determiner No
12 Personal Non-restrictive After prep. No
13 Non-personal Non-restrictive After prep. No

Relative pronouns II

= zero construction

1 which, that, 13 which 25 of which


2 who 14 which 26 that, who,
3 who, whom 15 who, that 27 which
4 which, that, 16 who, whom, that, 28 who, (that)
5 whose 17 whom 29 of which
6 of which 18 which 30 that, who,
7 which 19 which 31 whom
8 which 20 that, which 32 which
9 who, whom 21 who 33 that,
10 which 22 that, which, 34 that, which,
11 that, who 23 whose 35 whom
12 whose 24 that, which 36 that, who

Indefinite pronouns: Some, any and no words

1 Assertive. What one is referring to exists.


2 Assertive. What one is referring to exists.
3 Non-assertive. No existing letters specified.

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4 Non-assertive. What one is referring to does not exist.
5 Assertive. What one is referring to probably exists.
6 Non-assertive. No existing letters specified.
7 Non-assertive. No particular person specified.

1 Limited choice.
2 Unlimited choice.
3 No specification.
4 Specific, but not specified.

1 No one was told.


2 Almost no one can do that.
3 She probably has no money.
4 No other girls ran faster.
5 There are not many people who know anything about this.
6 I cannot see any force in your arguments.
7 I am not willing to give her any advice.

1 Used about a choice between three or more.


2 Used about a choice between two.

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UNIT 6 ADJECTIVES, ADVERBS, PREPOSITIONS &
CONJUNCTIONS

Read Unit 6 in this compendium.


Sections in IEG:
Chapter 2: 2.19-2.23, 2.39-2.42; Chapter 3: 3.21-3.26; Chapter 5: 5.26-5.27
Exercises in Unit 6 in this compendium.

The class of adjectives

Words which express some feature or quality of a noun or pronoun are traditionally known as
adjectives. To decide if a word is an adjective, several criteria are available.

An adjective can occur immediately before a noun: a big house. This is called the adjective's
attributive function.
An adjective can occur alone after forms of the verb be: The house was big. This is the
adjective's predicative function.
An adjective can be immediately preceded by very and other intensifying words: very big,
terribly nice.
An adjective can be compared: bigger/biggest, more/most beautiful.
Many adjectives permit the addition of -ly to form an adverb: sad > sadly.

To count as an adjective, a word must be able to function in both attributive and predicative
positions. The vast majority of adjectives are like this, and these form the central class of
adjectives. Words which can appear in only one or other of these positions are peripheral
adjectives. Some of these can only be used as premodifiers of nouns, for example inner, outer,
elder, former, chief, main, utter and loath: we can say utter nonsense, but not *the nonsense is
utter. Others are used (almost) exclusively as Complements. They include health adjectives
like faint, ill and well. We can say the man was ill, but not *an ill man (at least it is rare). In
the category of predicative-only adjectives we also find alive, alone, asleep, aware and glad.

Absolute comparative
Sometimes comparative forms of adjectives are used without any real comparison being made.
The sense is instead rather, fairly; very. The absolute comparative is rare in English. Some
Latin comparatives, however, are always used in this way, such as major, minor, superior,
inferior: A major (=very important) operation will be necessary.

Adjective or not?

The adjective is a good example of a word class with fuzzy edges. Some words are
much more adjective-like than others.

Numerals, such as four and forty, share some of the properties of central adjectives, but
not others. They can occur before a noun and after be (the four cats, She's four), but
cannot compare or take -ly (*fourer, *fourly).
Words ending in -ed or -ing could be either an adjective or a form of a verb. In the

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interesting problem, we see an adjective; in We are interesting them in the problem, we
see the -ing form of a verb. Sometimes there is ambiguity: She is calculating.
Words which are normally used as nouns may appear in the position associated with
adjectives: the garden party. They are no longer strictly nouns, because (for example)
they have lost their capacity to pluralize: we cannot say *the gardens party. On the
other hand, they are not strictly adjectives either, because (for example) they cannot
compare: we cannot say *the gardenest party. They form a mixed word class.

Nominalized adjectives

The typical function of adjectives is to modify the head of a Noun Phrase: rich people, a
supernatural phenomenon. But some adjectives can themselves take the place of such Noun
Phrases (i.e. they are used instead of adjective + noun). Adjectives that are used in this way are
called nominalized adjectives. They appear in three cases:

1) Referring to a category of people, plural, generic reference:


The rich (=rich people) often have everything, yet they may have nothing.

2) Denoting an abstract quality, singular, generic reference:


Do you believe in the supernatural (=supernatural phenomena)?

3) As superlative forms, specific reference:


Lets hope for the best, She feared the worst.

Nationality words

Nationality words (both nouns and adjectives) can be categorized as follows:

Group 1 the English


With generic reference, the adjective can be nominalized.
The English won the game. (Specific reference: The Englishmen we met at the pub.)
Group 2 the Swedes
Adjectives and nouns have different forms; -s plural of noun.
Swedish (adj.), Swede(s) (noun)
Group 3 the Germans
Adjectives and nouns have the same form; -s plural of noun.
German (adj.), German(s) (noun)
Group 4 the Chinese
Adjectives and nouns have the same form; zero plural of noun.
Chinese (adj.), one (two, several) Chinese (noun)

The class of adverbs

The adverb is the most heterogeneous of all word classes in English grammar. Over the years,
words have been assigned to it which perform a wide variety of functions within the sentence.
Traditional grammar included under this heading not only such items as quickly and soon,
which are representative of large groups words, but also such idiosyncratic items as no, not,
and the (as in the sooner the better) largely, one supposes, because there was no other class
to which they could easily be assigned. Modern grammars try to make adverbs less of a
dustbin class by identifying their main functions and setting up subclasses to handle the
most divergent types.
Adverbs have two chief uses. Most can act as an element of clause structure (an adverbial),
usually relating directly to the meaning of the verb (as in We're leaving tonight), but often to

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some other element of the clause or to the clause as a whole (as in Morally, he should resign).
Some adverbs affect the meaning of an adjacent word or phrase by attaching themselves to it,
as in very anxiously and quite a party or the day before and someone else.

Types of adverb

Most adverbs are fairly easy to recognize because they are formed by adding an -ly suffix to an
adjective, as in quickly and happily. Less obvious are the following:

Adverbs which have no distinctive element, such as just and soon, or compound adverbs,
such as somehow and whereby.
A few other endings which mark a word as an adverb, used especially in informal speech:
new-style, earthwards, clockwise, sideways, sailor-fashion. Coinages such as physics-wise are
very common in American English.

The class of prepositions

A preposition expresses a relationship of meaning between two parts of a sentence, most often
showing how the two parts are related in space or time: We sat on the bench, They left at
three. Most of the common prepositions consist of only one word; they have no distinctive
ending, and do not vary. Several prepositions consist of more than one word.

Single-word prepositions include: about, at, before, by, down, for, from, in, of, on, out, over,
round, since, through, to, under, up, with.
Multi-word prepositions include: (two words) ahead of, because of, due to, instead of, near
to; (three words) as far as, by means of, in accordance with, in spite of, on behalf of. The
words in these prepositions do not vary freely, as they would in other circumstances. In spite
of, for example, cannot change to *out spite of or *in spite for.

Several prepositions are restricted in their frequency of use, especially such foreign
borrowings as anti, circa, versus, and vis--vis. Unto is archaic, and used only in religious
contexts. There are also some dialect uses, such as towards (British) vs toward (American),
outwith (Scots, except), and while (Yorkshire, until).

The class of conjunctions

Conjunctions are items which join clauses or parts of clauses together. There are two ways in
which this can be done: through coordination and subordination. There are thus two types of
conjunctions:

Coordinating conjunctions link units which have the same status in the sentence, such as two
clauses, two noun phrases, or two adjectives. The chief items are and, or, and but, and there
are a few pairs, such as neither...nor. These conjunctions signal such meanings as addition
and sequence (and), the expression of alternatives (or), and contrast (but). Coordination with
and and or could continue indefinitely: We were wet and dirty and tired and hungry and...

Subordinating conjunctions join units which do not have the same grammatical status in the
sentence.The typical case is when one clause is subordinated to another, as in We went out
when the rain stopped. Here, the main clause (We went out) is joined to the subordinate clause

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(the rain stopped) by the conjunction when. Subordinating conjunctions far outnumber
coordinating ones, and several consist of more than one word.

Some subordinate meanings

There are over a dozen types of meaning expressed by subordinating conjunctions. Here are
some of them:

Time: I stayed until you left.


Place: Ive hidden the money where no one will find it.
Condition: We'll get wet if it rains.
Concession: He was there, though the bus was late.
Purpose: She wrote in order to get her money back.
Reason: I can't buy it because it's expensive.

From Crystal, D. (1995). The Encyclopedia of the English Language, pp. 211, 213, with additions by
A. Nordin

Word-forms belonging to more than one word class


Many English word-forms belong to more than one word class. Some examples:

WORK
1) Verb, as in He works hard. Criteria: Can be preceded by the infinitive marker (to work
hard), can be used in different tenses (he works/worked/has worked, etc., hard).

2) Noun, as in He loves his work. Criteria: Can be used as a Subject, Object (as here) or
Complement, can be preceded by an adjective as premodifier (hard work).

SINCE
1) Preposition, as in Since the war life is much better. Criterion: Introduces a
Prepositional Phrase (and is immediately followed by a Noun Phrase).

2) Conjunction, as in Since the war ended, life is much better. Criterion: Links a subclause
to a main clause.

3) Adverb, as in I haven't seen here since. Criterion: Appears on its own as Adverbial.

WRONG
1) Adjective, as in She was driving on the wrong side of the road. Criteria: Can be used as
Premodifier of a noun (as here) or a Complement (This is wrong).

2) Adverb, as in What am I doing wrong? Criterion: Functions as an Adverbial


(modifying a verb).

3) Noun, as in It is time to forgive past wrongs if progress is to be made. Criterion: Can


take a plural -s.

4) Verb, as in He felt deeply wronged by the allegations. Criterion: Can be used in


different tenses.

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Adjective or adverb?

1) The weather is lovely. sC = adjective

2) Weve had lovely weather the past few weeks. Premod of noun = adjective

3) The food tastes good. sC = adjective

4) He was more late than usual. sC = adjective (=...than it was usual)

5) The train arrived early. A = adverb

6) She sings very beautifully. Premod of adv = adverb

7) Im very tired. Premod of adj = adverb

8) Unfortunately, I cant come. A = adverb

Exercises

Adverbs: Functions (Comp. p. 69)

An adverb can modify 1) a verb, 2) a whole clause, 3) an adjective, 4) another adverb. When
the adverb modifies a verb or a clause, it acts as an Adverbial. Modifying an adjective or
another adverb, the adverb acts as a Premodifier.
What does the adverb (the word in bold) modify in the following sentences?
Example: She answered politely. Answer: The adverb modifies the verb (answered).

1 She drives well.


2 We worked incredibly hard.
3 Everything was so strangely quiet.
4 Today the team played worse than usual.
5 I probably still have my old army pictures.
6 A very rare bird was seen here yesterday.
7 She sings extraordinarily beautifully.
8 Id like to come here more often.
9 He writes badly.
10 Unfortunately, we cant come.
11 It was an extremely difficult problem.
12 I can certainly help you.

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13 She is undoubtedly our best teacher.
14 John drove very fast.
15 The most difficult part was still ahead of us.
16 He may easily change his mind.
17 Come quickly!
18 Surely, they'll understand.
19 The job was done absolutely perfectly.
20 Seriously, do you want to leave?

Adjective or adverb (Comp. p. 69)

Explain grammatically whether the words in bold are adjectives or adverbs.


Example: She was driving slowly. Answer: Adverbial, modifies a verb (driving): Adverb.

1 Shes cheerful and friendly the whole time.


2 From the airport there are daily flights to Miami.
3 Snow showers are likely in the next 24 hours.
4 We ran back to the house as fast as we could.
5 Shed been working hard all night.
6 He had left his lowly (ringa) origins far behind.
7 The castle was surrounded by high walls.
8 This flower smells bad.
9 Shes grown old.
10 Its becoming more and more difficult to find a job.
11 Come a little closer, so you can see better.
12 How early does the early train arrive?
13 What are the seven deadly sins?
14 The new server seems fast and reliable.
15 Come here as quickly as possible.
16 She is a highly educated woman.
17 He threw the ball high into the air.
18 My dreams have come true.
19 The train was early.
20 The chairs in the waiting room felt hard and uncomfortable.
21 What are manly qualities?

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22 They appeared quickly.
23 She was more late than usual.
24 Mary and I have always been close friends.
25 The soup tastes awful.
26 Dont be silly!
27 Id very likely have done the same thing in your situation.
28 The milk has turned sour.
29 She became very angry.
30 The zoo is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Nominalized adjectives (Comp. pp. 65-66)

Some of the phrases in bold in the sentences below contain a nominalized adjective. Which?
Explain why a nominalized adjective can be used in those cases. Why can a nominalized
adjective not be used in the other cases?

1 The supernatural fascinates me.


2 We train guide dogs here for the blind.
3 The strange thing is that nobody knows the answer.
4 The old man crossed the street slowly.
5 Now comes the difficult part.
6 Youre seldom prepared for the unexpected.
7 The only person who knew anything about it was John.
8 We feared that the worst might happen.
9 The English are a nation of shopkeepers. (Napoleon)
10 The Englishmen at the conference came from Newcastle.
11 I helped the disabled people up the stairs.
12 Lets hope for the best.

Word-forms belonging to more than one word class (Comp. p. 68)


Explain grammatically what word class the words in bold belong to.
Example: After youd left, I got a phone call from Peter. Answer: Conjunction. Links a
subclause to a main clause.

1 I met her just after the war.


2 I shall arrive after you have left.

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3 What comes after?
4 Lets play a round of golf.
5 I like this round table.
6 Look up the following words in a dictionary. What word classes do they
belong to?
before, buy, can, down, firm, house, since

Questions on IEG
1 a) What structures of adjective phrases are mentioned in IEG 3.21?
b) What (syntactic) functions do the adjective phrases in the following sentences
have? (3.22)
1. There was a small cottage on the heath. 2. All the people concerned have
been informed. 3. We have proved them wrong. 4. The flowers smell very nice.
2 a) What structure do the adverb phrases in the following sentences have? (3.23)
1. The chorus sings extremely well. 2. She is very brave. 3. They need to be
punished very severely indeed. 4. We didnt leave early enough.
b) What (syntactic) function do the adverb phrases in the following sentences
have? (3.24)
1. Peter did rather well in his exams. 2. Its extremely kind of you to help me.
3. We have to study the map very carefully.
3 a) What structures of prepositional phrases are mentioned in IEG 3.25?
b) What (syntactic) functions do the prepositional phrases in the following
sentences have? (3.26)
1. I met her at the corner of the street. 2. I feel sorry for Jane. 3. I attended a
very interesting lecture on linear algebra.
4 What are the three types of comparison of adjectives? Give examples of
adjectives of each type. (2.21)
5 What are the three types of comparison of adverbs? Provide examples of adverbs
of each type. (2.23)
6 a) What are the three central coordinators? What do they have in common? (2.39)
b) What is the function of subordinating conjunctions (subordinators)? (2.40)

KEY to exercises
Adverbs: Functions
The adverb modifies...

1 a verb. 8 an adverb. 15 an adjective.


2 an adverb. 9 a verb. 16 a verb.
3 an adjective. 10 a whole clause. 17 a verb.
4 a verb. 11 an adjective. 18 a whole clause.
5 a whole clause. 12 a whole clause. 19 an adverb.
6 an adjective. 13 a whole clause. 20 a whole clause.
7 an adverb. 14 an adverb.

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Adjective or adverb?

Function Adjective or adverb

1 Subject Complement Adjective


2 Premodifier of a noun (flights) Adjective
3 Subject Complement Adjective
4 Adverbial, modifies a verb (ran) Adverb
5 Adverbial, modifies a verb Adverb
(working)
6 Premodifier of a noun (origins) Adjective
7 Premodifier of a noun (walls) Adjective
8 Subject Complement Adjective
9 Subject Complement Adjective
10 Subject Complement Adjective
11 Adverbial Adverb
12 1) early: Adverbial, modifies a Adverb
verb (arrive)
2) early: Premodifier of a noun Adjective
(train)
13 Premodifier of a noun (sins) Adjective
14 Subject Complement Adjective
15 quickly: Adverbial, modifies a Adverb
verb (come)
possible: Subject Complement Adjective
(as it is possible)
16 Premodifier, modifies an Adverb
adjective (educated)
17 Adverbial Adverb
18 Subject Complement Adjective
19 Subject Complement Adjective
20 Subject Complement Adjective
21 Premodifier of a noun (qualities) Adjective
22 Adverbial Adverb
23 Subject Complement (than it was Adjective
usual)
24 Premodifier of a noun (friends) Adjective
25 Subject Complement Adjective
26 Subject Complement Adjective
27 Adverbial, modifies the whole Adverb
clause
28 Subject Complement Adjective
29 Subject Complement Adjective
30 Adverbial Adverb

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Nominalized adjectives

1 Nominalized adjective, singular, abstract, generic reference.


2 Nominalized adjective, plural, category of people, generic reference.
3 Specific reference.
4 Specific reference.
5 Specific reference.
6 Nominalized adjective, singular, abstract, generic reference.
7 Specific reference.
8 Nominalized adjective, superlative, specific reference.
9 Nominalized adjective, plural, category of people, generic reference.
10 Specific reference.
11 Specific reference.
12 Nominalized adjective, superlative, specific reference.

Word-forms belonging to more than one word class

1 Introduces a PP (and is immediately followed by an NP) = Preposition.


2 Links a subclause to a main clause = Conjunction.
3 Appears on its own as an Adverbial (time) = Adverb.
4 Preceded by the indefinite article, can appear in the plural = Noun.
5 Premodifier of a noun = Adjective.
6 before preposition, conjunction, adverb
buy verb, noun
can verb, noun
down adverb, preposition, adjective, verb, noun
firm noun, adjective
house noun, verb
since preposition, conjunction, adverb

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UNIT 7 WORD ORDER, COMPLEX SENTENCES
Read Unit 7 in this compendium.
Sections in IEG:
Chapter 4: 4.1-4.19; Chapter 8: 8.5, 8.10
Exercises in Unit 7 in this compendium.

The most important uses of the three types of word order


A. Normal word order (the usual type): S + V Ex: I have a dream.

Note that this word order is usually used even if the sentence starts with an Adverbial:
Tomorrow well go to the beach.

B. Partial inversion: Aux + S + Main verb Ex: Have you been here before?

1) In yes/no-questions and WH-questions (unless the WH-word is the Subject): Did you
reply, What did you reply? But: Who left yesterday? (the WH-word is the Subject).
2) In clauses with initial* so + adj or adv.: So happy was he that..., So fast did she run
that...
3) In clauses with initial so = too, as well: I prefer the first version. So do we (=we prefer it
too). Note that the Subject is stressed (so do we). If the verb is stressed, normal word
order is used: She said shed go and so she did.
4) In clauses with an initial clause negation or restriction. (e.g. Not until then did I realize...)

C. Full inversion: V + S Ex: Here comes the bus.

1) In sentences with an initial Adverbial, an intransitive verb (of situation or direction), and a
heavy Subject (not a pronoun): Next to me sat a man of about 40.
2) In reporting clauses after the quote if the Subject is heavy (not a pronoun) and there are no
auxiliaries: I need more money, exclaimed Mary (my sister).
If the reporting clause contains an Indirect Object, normal word order is used: Whats the
trouble? Bill asked his wife.

*) Initial means placed at the beginning of the clause. If a word is placed inside the clause, it
is said to have medial position, if placed at the end of the clause, final position.

The position of light adverbials (e.g. never)

1) Immediately before the main 3) Immediately after a form of


verb if there are no auxiliaries. be also when used as a main
(e.g. I never go there. He said verb. (e.g. Shes never in London
he never goes there.) these days.)
2) Immediately after 1st auxiliary 4) Immediately before an
verb. (e.g. I would never go infinitive. (e.g. He told me
there. She said she would never never to go there.)
go there. She said she would 5) Immediately before an
never have gone there.) imperative. (Never go there!).

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The position of heavy adverbials in medial position
A heavy Adverbial (an Adverbial consisting of several words) must not be placed between
the Subject and the Verb. Instead it should be placed either before the Subject or after the
Subject and the Verb: When, two years later, she returned, the house was gone or When she
returned two years later...

Manner adverbials
Manner adverbials usually have end-position: He drives carelessly, The enemy treated us
well.

Sentence adverbials
Sentence adverbials often convey speakers comments on the content of what they are saying.
They are usually placed initially in the clause: Frankly, this isnt good enough, Surely no
other novelist can give such a vivid description.

TYPES OF SUBCLAUSES
(See also Unit 1 p. 2)

Finite subclauses

1) that-clauses
Subject Its a pity that you cant come. (That you cant come...)
Object I know that you are right.
Complement That fact is that she didnt even try.
Postmodifier The news that she had arrived safely made us happy.

2) Relative clauses
Postmodifer The woman who is standing over there is my sister.

3) Interrogative clauses (Indirect questions)


Subject Where you want to go is your decision.
Object Do you know when she left?
Complement The question is where we should go.
Postmodifier This answers the question where they are.

4) Adverbial clauses
a) Temporal clauses (Clauses of time)
after, as soon as, before , now [that], since, until, when, etc.
When he came home, he felt tired.

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b) Clauses of place
where, wherever
Where you are, I want to be.
c) Clauses of condition
if, unless, in case, etc
If you help me, Ill help you.

d) Concessive clauses
The point expressed in the main clause continues to be valid despite the
point made in the subordinate clause.
although, though, etc
Although she was ill, he went to work.

e) Clauses of reason or cause


because, since, etc
We went by bus because it was cheaper.

f) Clauses of purpose
so that, in order that, etc (also non-finite: in order to, etc)
Regular checks are required in order that safety standards are maintained.

g) Consecutive clauses
so that
He was standing in the shadow so that I couldnt see his face clearly.

h) Clauses of comparison
as, the way som, as if, as though, etc
It looks as if its going to rain.

Nonfinite subclauses

1) Infinitive clauses
Subject Its good to be here again. (Postponed Subject)
Object I want to go home.

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Complement What you should do is sell the story to the press.
Postmodifier Her decision to retire came as a shock.
Adverbial Nobody came to help me.
(purpose)

2) ing clauses (-ing participle clauses)


Subject Its sometimes an advantage being a man.
Object Amanda dislikes watching music videos.
Complement Johns hobby is watching music videos.
Adverbial When boarding, please go to your seat immediately.
Postmodifier The problems facing the developing countries are well known.

3) Past participle clauses


Adverbial When told to leave he became very upset.
Postmodifier The paintings sold at the auction are all by Dutch masters.

Exercises
WORD ORDER (Comp. pp. 75-76)
A What type of word order is used in the parts in bold in the sentences below?
(Normal word order, partial inversion (question word order) or full inversion.)
Why is this word order used?
Example: There goes my chance of promotion. Answer: Initial adverbial, an
intransitive verb, and a heavy subject.

1 Next year well go to Italy.


2 If youve finished the letter, John can post it for you.
3 Never in my life have I seen anything more pitiable.
4 Here comes the bus.
5 Here it comes.
6 Come here, said the policeman.
7 Come here, he said.
8 Thats the wrong way, my grandfather would say.
9 Do you still love me? Mary asked her husband.

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10 In no other country do you find such well-kept lawns as in England.
11 Next to me sat a girl of about four.
12 From the bagpipe came a piercing scream.
13 On the sofa a black cat was lying.
14 Only last week did she recover.
15 Only last week she was well.
16 Mary was upset, and so was her husband.
17 Jane had decided to buy a guitar, and so she did.
18 So happy was Mary that she gave me a kiss.

B Adverbial position
Explain the position of the adverbials (the words in bold).

1 He usually had breakfast with his daughters.


2 She said that she would never have done it.
3 He said that he is never at home on Sundays.
4 He sometimes wished that he had never lied.
5 She realized that it was already too late.
6 I promised myself never to go there again.
7 The policeman who was here told us not to touch anything.
8 Never say please when you give someone something.
9 When she saw the film again after three months (When, after three months, she saw
the film again), she didnt like it at all.

COMPLEX SENTENCES (comp. pp. 76-78)

Underline and classify the subclauses in the following sentences.


State their function (S, sC, dO, A, postmod.).

A Finite subclauses

Types: that-clause, relative clause, interrogative clause, adverbial clause

1 If you had told me earlier I would have come.

2 This is the book that our teacher recommended.

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3 Didnt you know that she is leaving today?

4 Why he left is a mystery.

5 My father, who lives in Brighton, will be 65 next year.

6 The question is who did it.

7 It is strange that she left her book behind.

8 As she was the most qualified applicant, she got the job.

B Nonfinite subclauses

Types: infinitive clause, -ing clause, past participle clause

1 Our job is to teach the students.

2 The students like studying English.

3 The man arrested by the police is my cousin.

4 Writing poems is my favourite pastime.

5 To do well in a career was my goal.

6 The letter written by my aunt got lost in the post.

7 She ran to catch the bus.

8 The man sitting in the corner was a private detective.

9 When asked about her plans, she would remain silent.

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Questions on IEG
1 a) What are the two main types of interrogative sentences? (4.6)
b) How are they constructed? (4.6)
2 What is (a) a declarative question, (b) an alternative question, (c) a tag question,
(d) a rhetorical question? (4.6)
3 Give an example of an imperative sentence. (4.7)
4 Give an example of an exclamative. (4.8)
5 a) What is a compound sentence? (4.12)
b) Give an example of a compound sentence. (4.12)
6 a) What is a complex sentence? (4.13)
b) Give an example of a complex sentence. (4.13)
7 What are the three types of non-finite clauses? (4.14)
8 What is a verbless clause? (4.14)
9 a) Explain briefly what functions nominal, modifier and adverbial clauses
have. (4.15)
b) Which of the underlined subordinate clauses below are nominal clauses, which
are modifier clauses, and which are adverbial clauses? (4.15)
1. I very much enjoy going for long walks in the woods.
2. Well go when youre ready.
3. My sister, who lives in Glasgow, will be forty next year.
4. If you hadnt told me, I wouldnt have known.
5. This is why we have to do it.
6. People working in the IT business are often young.
10 What is direct and indirect speech respectively? (8.5)

KEY to exercises
WORD ORDER
A
1 Normal word order (cf. Swedish, where an initial A is followed by full inversion).
2 Normal word order (cf. (1) above)
3 Partial inversion, initial clause negation or restriction.
4 Full inversion, initial adverbial, an intransitive verb, no auxiliary, and a heavy subject.
5 Normal word order, the subject is not heavy. (Cf. 4)
6 Full inversion, reporting clause (Sw. anfringssats), heavy subject, no auxiliaries, no
indirect object.
7 Normal word order, reporting clause, subject = pronoun (i.e. not heavy).
8 Normal word order, reporting clause, auxiliary.
9 Normal word order, reporting clause, the verb has an indirect object.
10 Partial inversion, initial clause negation or restriction.
11 Full inversion, initial adverbial, an intransitive verb, no auxiliary, and a heavy subject.
12 Full inversion, see 4 & 11.
13 Normal word order, auxiliary.
14 Partial inversion, initial clause negation or restriction (only = not until).
15 Normal word order, initial element is not a negation (only = as late as). (Cf. 14)
16 Partial inversion, clause initial so (Sw. det...ocks), subject is stressed.
17 Normal word order, clause initial so, verb is stressed. (Cf. 16)
18 Partial inversion, clause initial so + adjective as Complement.

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B
1 Before main verb (no auxiliaries).
2 After 1st auxiliary.
3 After a form of be (also when it is a main verb).
4 See 2.
5 See 3.
6 Before an infinitive.
7 Before an infinitive. (Cf. 6)
8 Before an imperative.
9 Heavy adverbials before the Subject or after the Verb.

COMPLEX SENTENCES

A Finite subclauses

Types: that-clause, relative clause, interrogative clause, adverbial clause


1 If you had told me earlier I would have come. advl cl, A
2 This is the book that our teacher recommended. rel cl, postmod
3 Didnt you know that she is leaving today? that-cl, dO
4 Why he left is a mystery. interr cl, S
5 My father, who lives in Brighton, will be 65 next year. rel cl, postmod
6 The question is who did it. interr cl, sC
7 It is strange that she left her book behind. that-cl, S
8 As she was the most qualified applicant, she got the job. advl cl, A

B Nonfinite subclauses
Types: infinitive clause, -ing clause, past participle clause

1 Our job is to teach the students. inf cl, sC


2 The students like studying English. -ing cl, dO
3 The man arrested by the police is my cousin. past part cl, postmod
4 Writing poems is my favourite pastime. -ing cl, S
5 To do well in a career was my goal. inf cl, S
6 The letter written by my aunt got lost in the post. past part cl, postmod
7 She ran to catch the bus. inf cl, A
8 The man sitting in the corner was a private detective. -ing cl, postmod
9 When asked about her plans, she would remain silent. past part cl, A

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UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG EN1A01/EN1A04 grammar
Dept. of languages and literatures SAMPLE EXAM I
Andreas Nordin/Joe Trotta

1 Phrases and clause elements (0.5 x 10)

Identify the phrase types (NP, VP, AdjP, AdvP, PP) in the sentence below and
also state their grammatical function (V, S, sC, dO, oC, iO, A).

A S V dO oC

Not surprisingly the managers remark had made all the employees very upset.
AdvP NP VP NP AdjP
2 Nouns (a: 1 x 2/b-d: 1 x 3)

a) Underline the nouns below that belong in the category in question: Three out of five are
correct
1. Zero plural (i.e. the plural is identical to the singular)

furniture aircraft analysis series Swiss

(note: furniture is UNCOUNTABLE; analysis is an irregular plural, ie analysis/analyses)

2. Always plural form, treated as plural.

news pyjamas jeans business scissors

b) Explain what is meant by collective nouns and give one example.

A collective noun is a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or
things.
Example: team (IEG 5.5; Comp., Unit 2)

c) Nouns are either common or proper. How do they differ?

Proper nouns are the names of specific people, places and things (or occasions), and they
usually begin with a capital letter, such as Shakespeare, Chicago, January, Christmas, etc.
Common nouns are nouns that are NOT the names of specific people places and things.
(IEG 2.4; Comp., Unit 2)

d) Which sentence contains a noun phrase without a premodifier? Circle the correct number
(1, 2 or 3).
1. There were some difficult questions.
2. All the ten paintings have been stolen.
3. I like Australian wines.
Note: In sentences 1 and 2, difficult and Australian are clearly premodifying adjectives. In 2, the
phrase all the ten is made up of determiners, not modifiers (IEG 2.34 & 2.34)

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3 Nouns (1 x 5)
Explain why the definite article is used or not used in the underlined parts in the following
sentences. (A sample answer is provided below.)
a) The tiger (= the species) is a dangerous animal.
In this example, the definite article is used with a countable noun in the singular to show
generic reference. (IEG 2.36; Comp., Unit 2.)
b) The mechanism of language remains a myster.
Here, an uncountable noun is used with generic reference and therefore NO definite
article is used.
(IEG 2.36; Comp., Unit 2.)
c) She was born in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is a proper noun in the plural, in such an example the definite article is a
part of the proper noun. (Comp., Unit 2.)
d) This book is about medieval Sweden.
In (d), Sweden is a proper noun and does not take the definite article, despite the
premodifier medieval. (Comp., Unit 2.)

Note: in some languages, like Swedish, the presence of the premodifier (medieval) would trigger the
use of the definite article (eg Denna bok handlar om det medeltida Sverige).

e) Times have changed.


In this example, times is a countable noun in the plural used for generic reference and
therefore the definite article is NOT used. (IEG 2.36; Comp., Unit 2.)

4 Verbs (1 x 5)
What is the meaning of should, will and would in the following sentences?
If the auxiliary is used in a subclause (bisats), explain why.

a) Its odd that you should say that.


Should is used here in a subclause (that you should say that), after a subjective and/or
emotional expression (odd). (Comp., Unit 3.)

b) You shouldnt say things like that.


Should is used here to express a recommendation or obligation. (Comp., Unit 3.)

c) Wholl help me in the garden?


In this example, will (ll) is used to express volition (willingness). (Comp., Unit 3.)

d) He said he would be back by Wednesday.


In (d), would expresses the future in the past. (Comp., Unit 3.)

e) If you would only listen, I could help you.


Would is used here in a conditional subclause (If you would only listen), to express
volition. (Comp., Unit 3.)

Note: in conditional sequences, would is typically used in the main clause, NOT in the subclause it
only occurs in the subclause when it expresses volition as in example (e), (Comp., Unit 3)

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5 Verbs (1 x 5)
a) What tense is used here and why?
Ive known Muriel since 1965.

The present perfect is used here to indicate an unspecified past time with current
relevance.
(IEG 3.4; Comp., Unit 4)
b) Why is the progressive form used here?
Hes always talking about his problems.
The progressive form is typically used to indicate an action in progress here it is used
together with always to show the speakers attitude (irritation) about the action (talking
about his problems). (Comp., Unit 4)
c) Why must the simple form be used here?
The economy remains fragile.
Remains is a stative verb stative verbs typically do not occur in the progressive aspect.
(IEG 1.14; Comp., Unit 4)
d) Explain what is meant by a transitive verb and write a sentence with such a verb.
Transitive verbs require objects in order to be complete, eg: kiss in Bill kissed Monica.
(IEG 1.7; Comp., Unit 4)

e) Explain what is meant by a linking verb and write a sentence with such a verb.
A linking verb (or copular verb) is a verb that requires a subject complement to be
complete, ie it links a subject with a subject complement, eg John is angry. (IEG 1.8;
Comp., Unit 4)

6 Verbs (0.5 x 10)


Explain the choice of verb form (the underlined parts) to express future time in the sentences
below. What is the form called? (will + inf, etc.)
a. Joannes coming back tomorrow.
The form is the present progressive, which is used here to an action in the near future.
b. When I give the signal, turn off the light.
The simple present tense is used here because the verb give occurs in a temporal
subclause (ie when I give the signal...). (IEG 3.16; Comp., Unit 4)
c. I dont know if shell come.
The will + infinitive form is used - the verb come occurs in an interrogative subclause (ie
...if shell come.). (IEG 3.16; Comp., Unit 4)
d. Its going to rain.
In this example, the BE + going to + infinitive form is used to indicate an event in the near
(immediate) future. (IEG 3.16; Comp., Unit 4)
e. The train leaves in 2 hours.
Here it is used in a main clause meaning an activity that is scheduled or according to plan.
(Comp., Unit 4)

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7 Pronouns (1 x 5)
What functions of it and there are illustrated below?

a) It was Jane who paid for the meal yesterday.


This is an example of cleft it (ie used for emphasis) (IEG 4.18; Comp., Unit 5)

b) Apparently, its cheaper to fly than go by train.


In the above example, it is the Anticipatory subject because the postponed subject is a
(non-finite) clause (i.e. to fly than go by train). (IEG 4.19; Comp., Unit 5)

c) It is over 200 miles from London to Manchester.


This is an example of the empty (or non-referential) it. (IEG 1.14; Comp., Unit 5)

d) You should come to Rome its a wonderful city.


Here, it is referential (anaphoric), it refers back to Rome (IEG 2.25; Comp., Unit 5)

e) There must be some explanation for his strange behaviour.


There is used in (e) as an Anticipatory Subject the postponed subject is a noun phrase
(some explanation for his strange behaviour). (IEG 4.17; Comp., Unit 5)

8. Pronouns/Amount words (1 x 5)
a) Explain the use of any and some in these two sentences:
Arent there any letters for me?
Arent there some letters for me?
Any refers to an unspecified, unlimited quantity and is typically used in questions or
negative statements, as in the first example. Some refers to an unspecified but limited
quantity and is usually not used in questions unless the speaker expects a positive response,
as in the second example above. (IEG 2.32, Comp. Unit 5)
b) Rephrase the following sentence to show that any, not some, must be used.
I doubt there is any money left.
This sentence can be rewritten as I do not think there is any money left, which clearly shows
that doubt has a negative meaning and therefore the non-assertive form any is the
appropriate pronoun. (IEG 2.3.2, Comp., Unit 5.)
c) Explain the use of none of and neither of in these two sentences:
None of the students knew the answer.
Neither of my parents can help me..
None refers to more than two, neither refers to two. (Comp., Unit 5.)
d) Explain the use of a great deal of and a great many in these two sentences.
I have a great deal of work right now.
She has a great many friends.
A great deal of is used together with uncountable nouns (here work), a great many is
used with countable nouns (here friends). (Comp., Unit 5.)
e) Explain the use of a little of and little in these two sentences.
Fortunately, I had a little time to spare.
There is only little time left..
A little conveys a positive meaning; little conveys a negative meaning. (Comp., Unit 5.)

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9 Pronouns (1 x 5)
Answer the questions about relative pronouns below. Take the following into account in your
answer:
1) type of antecedent (personal, non-personal, whole clause),
2) type of clause (restrictive, non-restrictive),
3) (if relevant) syntactic function of the relative pronoun in the relative clause (S,
O, genitive, etc.),
4) any other relevant information.
a) The relative pronoun that can only be used in one of the following sentences. Which?
1. These are the keys ... open the front and back door.
2. I gave him an envelope, ... he put in his pocket at once.
Which and that can be used in (1) since the antecedent is non-personal and the clause is
restrictive; only which (and NOT that) can be used in (2) since the clause is NON-
restrictive. (IEG 2.31; Comp., Unit 5.)

b) In which sentence can the relative pronoun who be replaced by whom? Circle the correct
number (1, 2 or 3).
1. Peter, who is my eldest brother, is a carpenter.
2. The man who has robbed you has been arrested.
3. She was engaged to a sailor who she had met the year before.
Explain why whom can be used?
Whom is the object form of who (or, more correctly, the non-subject form of who). Since
who is the direct object in the relative clause, it is possible to use whom. (IEG 2.31; Comp.
Unit 5.)
c) Which relative pronoun must be used in the following sentence and why?
I saw a girl ... beauty took my breath away.

The only relative pronoun that can be used here is whose because whose is the only
genitive form of relative pronouns. (IEG 2.31; Comp., Unit 5.)
Note: there are two ways of expressing genitive relations in relative clauses, one with whose the
other with a re-written form containing of which there is, however, only one inflected form, namely
whose)

d) The relative pronoun in the following sentence cannot be replaced. Why?


Hes always really rude, which is why people tend to avoid him.
In the above clause, which does not refer to an NP antecedent but rather to the entire
previous clause (He is always really rude), in other words it has a sentential antecedent
the only relative pronoun that can be used with sentential antecedents is which. (IEG 2.31;
Comp., Unit 5.)
e) The relative pronoun in the following sentence cannot be replaced. Why?
This is the room in which I was born.

Only which can be used in the above sentence since the antecedent is non-personal and the
relative pronoun is immediately preceded by a preposition (a preposition cannot precede a
relative that or a zero relative in English). (IEG 2.31; Comp. Unit 5)

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10 Adjectives and conjunctions (1 x 5)

a) Explain why a nominalized adjective is used:


The unknown often frightens people.
Nominalized adjectives can be used to refer to abstractions (eg good, evil, the supernatural,
etc) the with generic reference. (IEG 3.22; Comp., Unit 6.)

b) Explain why a nominalized adjective is used:


We need to provide more shelters for the homeless..
Nominalized adjectives may refer to classes or categories of people with generic reference
ie ALL homeless people. (IEG 3.22; Comp., Unit 6.)
c) Explain why a nominalized adjective is used:
I still dont want him to go but maybe its for the best.
Adjectives in the superlative (eg the best, the worst, the latest, the greatest, etc) can be used
as nominalized adjectives. (Comp., Unit 6.)
d) Mention one coordinating conjunction.
And (IEG 2.39)

e) What is the function of subordinating conjunctions (subordinators)?


Subordinating conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses. Ie they link subordinate clauses to
superordinate clauses. (IEG 2.40)

11 Adjectives and adverbs (1 x 5)


Are the underlined words adjectives or adverbs? Explain by saying what clause elements
(satsdelar) they are and, if relevant, what they modify. (NB! No points awarded without
explanations.)
a) You should work harder
In this example, harder functions as a manner adverbial (ie it modifies the verb work) and
therefore must be an adverb. (IEG 3.24; Comp., Unit 6.)

b) It seems likely that interest rates will increase.


Here, likely is an adjective it functions as a Subject Complement and therefore must be an
adjective. (IEG 3.22; Comp., Unit 6.)

c) This is a likely scenario.


In this example, likely is an adjective it is a premodifier of the noun scenario. (IEG 3.22;
Comp., Unit 6.)

d) Id like to come here more often.


More is an adverb in (d) it is a premodifier of another adverb often and therefore must
be an adverb. (IEG 3.24; Comp., Unit 6.)

e) This is a most interesting theory.


most functions as an adverb it is a premodifier of the adjective interesting and therefore
must be an adverb . (IEG 3.24; Comp., Unit 6.)

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12 Word order (0.5 x 10)
What type of word order is illustrated in the underlined parts in the sentences below?
(Normal word order, partial inversion or full inversion.) Why is it used?
a) Ive met you before, said the woman.
The above example illustrates FULL INVERSION in a reporting clause (said the
woman);.there is no indirect object, there are no auxiliaries and the subject is a heavy NP.
(Comp., Unit 7.)

b) I wont confess, the accused had said.


NORMAL WORD ORDER in a reporting clauses; the difference between this example and
(a) above is that there is an auxiliary here (had). (Comp., Unit 7.)

c) Only recently have we discovered the truth.


This is PARTIAL INVERSION (aux-S-V), the sentence begins with an initial restrictive or
negative element (here, only recently). (Comp., Unit 7.)

d) Then came the turning point in the match.


The above example illustrates FULL INVERSION. There is an initial adverbial (of time), the
verb is intransitive, there are no auxiliaries and the subject is a heavy NP. (Comp., Unit 7.)

e) So hot did the road surface become that it melted.


This is PARTIAL INVERSION (aux-S-V), in a sentence beginning with SO + an adjective
(here, so hot). (Comp., Unit 7.)

13 Sentences and clauses (1 x 5)

a) Give an example of an imperative sentence.


Eat your vegetables! (IEG 4.7)

b) Give an example of an exclamative sentence.


What a silly thing to say at a wedding! (IEG 4.8)

c) What is a complex sentence?


A complex sentence contains at least one subordinate clause. (IEG 4.13)

d) Write a sentence that contains a tag question.


You really like grammar, dont you? (IEG 4.4)

e) Infinitive clauses are one type of non-finite clauses. What are the other two types called?
Past Participle (also called -ed clauses or ed participle clauses) and Present Participle (also
called ing clauses or ing participle clauses). (IEG 4.14; Comp., Unit 3)

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14 Subclauses (0.5 x 10)

Underline exactly those parts that are subclauses (bisatser) in the


sentences below. What is their grammatical function? (S, O, C, postmod., A)

a) Its a song that my mother taught me.


Grammatical function: Postmodifier.

b) I like going out to parties with my friends.


Grammatical function: Direct Object

c) The question is who did it.


Grammatical function: Subject Complement

d) When asked to comment, the minister refused to say anything.


Grammatical function: Adverbial (of time)

e) Its strange that she never mentioned the wedding.


Grammatical function: (anticipatory) Subject

Note: information about subclauses and grammatical functions can be found in IEG, Chapter 1 and
sections 4.15 & 4.16 along with the information in the Compendium, Unit 7.

END OF EXAM

90