Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Education University Kabul Afghanistan

Subjects to be thought at English Department
Home
About Me
English Department
Teachers of English Department
Subjects to be thought at English Department
Other English Subjects
Being a Project Officer

ff.jpg

First Subject: Lexicology

UNIT ONE
What is lexicology?

 

-Lexicology; is of Greek origin (lexis) mean word and (logy) means learning.

 

What is a word?

-A word; is a basic unit of a language and it has the following properties.

 

  1. Phonic structure a certain distribution of phonemes.
  2. Morphological structure a certain distribution of morphemes (the root, the

Suffix, the prefix, the end).

  1. It expresses a nation or a concept.
  2. Grammatical paradigm the system of all grammatical forms of a given word.
  3. The semantic based on semantics association.
  4. It has its violence. It has the combining power.
  5. History
  6. Function, it has its nominative function.

 

 
Morphemes

 

Before analyzing those types of word building it is necessary to describe the morpheme structure. Every word consists of a certain morpheme structure. Morpheme is the smallest sense unites of a system. It is related with some lexical meaning or with some grammatical meaning. There are the following morphemes, roots, affixes and inflection. The root expresses the lexical meaning and it is related with objects and phenomenal of reality. The other type of bound morphemes is called bound roots. These are morphemes (and not affixes) that must be attached to another morpheme and do not have a meaning of their own. Some examples are ceive in perceive and mit in submit.

 

 

Stem:

 

When analyzing the structure of words it is necessary to mention the stem. Stem is the part of the word to which the latest affix is added. A stem is the root or roots of a word, together with any derivational affixes, to which inflectional affixes are added

 

Affix:

An affix is a bound morpheme that is joined before, after, or within a root or stem.

 

Root Creation:

 

Many words have come into being during the historical period, without association with any existing word or words, which made its first appearance in print in the U.S. Patent Office Gazette in 888 and was, according to George Eastman, who invented the word “ a purely” combination of letters, not derived in whole or in part any existing word, though according to his biographer a very slight association was in fact involved in his use of the letter k, for his mother’s family name began with that letter. Nylon, Dacron, and Orlon are similarly words.

Definition of root: A root is the portion of a word that

  • is common to a set of derived or inflected forms, if any, when all affixes are removed
  • is not further analyzable into meaningful elements, being morphologically simple, and
  • carries the principle portion of meaning of the words in which it functions.

 

Inflection

Inflection is variation in the form of a word, typically by means of an affix that expresses a grammatical contrast, which is obligatory for the stem’s word class in some given grammatical context.

 

 

Trade Names:

 

Most trade names, however, are clearly suggested by already existing words. Vaseline, for instance, was made from German Wasser “ water” plus Greek elaion     “ oil”

 

Echoic Words:

 

Sound alone is the basis of a limited number of words, called echoic or onomatopoeic, like bang, burp, splash, tinkle, ping, bobwhite, and cuckoo, which are actually imitative of sound, like meow, moo, and bow- wow- though as we have seen these differ from language to language and those which he appropriately calls symbolic.

 

Ejaculations:

 

Sounds supposedly imitative of more vocal responses to emotional situations have frequently become words in their own right. One of these, ouch, is something of a mystery: it does not appear in British writing except as an Americanism. The OED derives it from German autsch. Other such written representations, all of them highly conventionalized, of what are thought to be “ natural utterances” have also become actual words, for instance ha- ha, with the variant ho- ho, for fat men, Pugh is imitative of many persons react to a bad smell, pooh may be used as a verb, as in “ He pooh- poohed my suggestion.   

 

Main types of word building:

 

  1. Derivation.
  2. Composition.
  3. Conversion.
  4. Shortening.

 

Secondary types of word building:

     

  1. Sound interchange
  2. Stress inters change.

      3.   Reduplication.

      4.   Sound imitation.

  1. Blends.
  2. Back-formations:

 

Types of Word:

 

  1. Simple words: consisting of one root, morpheme and the infliction.

E.g.: table, coat.

  1. Derivation words: consist of one root, morpheme and one or more affixes:

      E.g.: Speaker, wonderful.

  1. Compound words: consist of two or more morphemes.

E.g.: forget, tablecloth.

  1. Compound derivation words: consist of two or more roots and one or more affixes.

 E.g.: old-fashioned, absentminded.

 

 

 

UNIT TWO

 

Derivation

Definition

Derivation is the formation of a new word or inflect able stem from another word or stem. It typically occurs by the addition of an affix.

The derived word is often of a different word class from the original. It may thus take the inflectional affixes of the new word class.

 

Affixes are divided in to two groups Prefixes and suffixes, the affix, which precede the root is called the (root) prefixes, the affix, which follow the root is called suffix.

Affixes modify lexical meaning.

 

The uses of prefix and suffix:

 New words are, however, much more commonly acquired by other processes, the most common of these being the use of prefixes and suffixes. Many of these affixes were at one time independent words, like ly, of many adjectives; such as manly, homely, which has developed from Old English lic “body” and the a- of aside, alive, aboard, which was earlier on with the usual old loss of n-, dom (OE – earlier an independent word which has developed into doom, in Old English meaning                 “ judgment” what is set, and related to do), as in freedom, filmdom, gangster Dom.

Many of these affixes are still living, in that they may be used for the creation of new words.

Those languages with which English has had the closest cultural contacts- Latin, Greek, and French, - have a number of freely used affixes for English words. The assimilation of native and foreign began quite early in earlier times it was the English suffix, which was joined to the borrowed word as in Old English grammar, since English has a lexicon from many sources, it is not surprising that one finds a good many creations, like Greek- French autocade (the auto- of auto mobile). It should be noted that the auto of automobile, taken from French, in which it was also a creation, has itself become a new combining element, as in auto car, auto truck, autobus, auto camp.

    

 

Infliction:

The infliction serves to from grammatical forms depending on the morpheme of structure.

Affixes are often the bound morpheme. This group includes prefixes, suffixes, infixes, and circumfixes. Prefixes are added to the beginning of another morpheme, suffixes are added to the end, infixes are inserted into other morphemes, and circumfixes are attached to another morpheme at the beginning and end. Following are examples of each of these:

An infix is an affix that is inserted within a root or stem. The focus marker -um- is a infix which is added after the first consonant of the root.

·   bili: root ‘buy’

·  -um-: infix ‘AGT’

·        bumili: word ‘bought’

 

 

Prefix: re- added to do produces redo
Suffix: -or added to edit produces editor
Infix: -um- added to fikas (strong) produces fumikas (to be strong) in Bontoc
Circumfix: ge- and -t to lieb (love) produces geliebt (loved) in German

 

There are two categories of affixes: derivational and inflectional. The main difference between the two is that derivational affixes are added to morphemes to form new words that may or may not be the same part of speech and inflectional affixes are added to the end of an existing word for purely grammatical reasons. In English there are only eight total inflectional affixes:

 

-s

3rd person singular present

She waits

-ed

Past tense

She waited

-ing

Progressive

She’s eating

-en

Past participle

She has eaten

-s

Plural

Three apples

-'s

Possessive

Lori's son

-er

Comparative

You are taller

-est

Superlative

You are the shortest

 

 

 

Morphological Structure of the English words

(Affixation)

 

Every language changes in the course of time under the influence of extra linguistics factory. The English language under went great change in all levels and especially in the system of word. Many words disappeared, new words come into the system and the task of lexicology is to study the main and the most characteristic ways of riching the vocabulary to point the historical periods, which called, interlace important changes. The English language is very rich in vocabulary the amount of words constitutes 5000000 vocabulary unites. Word building by means of changing the meaning of words, and by means of borrowing enriched English language.

 

                          

Classification of Affixes

 

According to the parts of speech they are classified as follows.

 

Suffixes

 

Noun Suffixes

_ ness: a suffix of Germanic origin forms a noun form an adjective stem denotes some quality.

A derivational morpheme that contributes importantly to vocabulary growth is        (ness), as in goodness, kindness, sweetness, friendliness.

If you know the meaning of the underlying adjective, you also know the meaning of the related noun with the morpheme (ness). If you know what righteous means, you know what righteousness means.

The noun made by the addition of (ness) to an adjective is of the particular sort called an abstract noun. An abstract noun is one that refers to something that can thought of apart from a particular person or object. For instance, we can think of sadness apart from a particular person, who is sad, of pleasantness apart from a particular thing that is pleasant. The opposite of abstract is concrete. Friend is concrete; friendliness is abstract.

Most abstract nouns ending in (ness) are non count nouns, but non-count doesn’t mean the same thing as abstract. Sugar, blood, grass, are non-count nouns, but they are not abstract, they are concrete.

Some adjectives are made from abstract nouns. For instance, (angry) is made from           (anger). What abstract nouns are the adjectives dangerous, beautiful, innocent made from? If an adjective is made from an abstract noun, we are very likely to add (ness) to it to make another abstract noun. We say anger, not angriness; innocence, not innocentness.

Add (ness) only to those of the following adjectives that are not made from abstract nouns, and use the (ness) word in a sentence. If the adjective is made from an abstract noun, use that abstract noun in a sentence.

 

 Ex: darkness, softness, hardness …

 

_ er, or, or: a suffixed of Germanic origin forms a noun of agency form a verb stem denotes a doer of the action expressed by a verb stem.

Ex: Speaker, instructor.

New affixes and new uses of old ones as have doubtless always been true, linguistically misunderstanding have created new suffixes in our day. In German Hamburger associated with, Hamburg, for instance the -er is affixed to the name of the city. This adjectival suffix may be joined to any place name in German, for example Kassler Rippenspeer, Munchner,  

 

_ ing: a suffix of Germanic origin forms a noun form a verb stem denotes some process expressed by a verb stem.

 Ex: bleeding, wedding.

 

_ ist: a suffix of the Germanic origin forms a noun form a noun stem denotes the idea (capable of doing something profession function belonging trend in polities) art etc … Ex: chemist, communist, capitalist.

 

_ ism: a suffix of Greek origin forms a noun from an adjective stem denoted teaching trends impolitic art) system (sphere of social life)

 Ex: feudalism, socialism …

 

_ ess: a suffix of Romanic origin forms a noun from a noun stem denotes female gender.

Waitress, lioness, actress,    

 

_ ment: a suffix of Romanic origin forms a noun from a verb stem denotes some action and some process. The nouns made by the use of (ment) are mostly abstract, in some sense, but they are also mostly count nouns. However, some may also be used as non count nouns.

 

Ex.: Movement, agreement …

Ex: His goal is achievement.

Ex: His six greatest achievements are well known.

                                                                                               

Adjective Suffixes

 

_ Full: a suffix of Germanic origin forms an adjective from a noun stem with the meaning of full quality.

There are two morphemes spelled ful. One is the (ful) of (beautiful), the other the (ful) of (cupful). Both derivational morphemes come from the adjective (full), as in “ The world is full of beauty,” and “ The cup was full to the brim.”

We will call the ful of beautiful (ful- Adj), because it is added to nouns to make adjectives: (beauty + ful – Adj =  beautiful.

Ex: mirthful, pitiful, healthful, fanciful, lawful.

 

The (ful) of (cupful) is called (ful- N) here because it makes nouns of measurement from certain other nouns. Thus cupful means “ the amount that will fill a cup.”

Ex: armful, spoonful, mouthful, bagful, handful.

 

Ex: fruit full, harmful, beautiful.

 

Less: The morpheme that we will name (less) makes adjectives out of nouns, and has the general meaning (without). Thus (less) added to the noun (home) gives the adjective (homeless), meaning without a home, as in “ The children were homeless.”

The (less) that represents the adjective- making morpheme is an affix, added at the end of words.

 

_ ish: a suffix of Germanic origin forms an adjective from an adjective stem with the meaning of approaching the quality …

Ex: greenish, blackish …

It can be added to the noun stem and means (to look like)

Ex: girlish, boyish, womanish …

Besides it can form the name of some nationality.

 Ex: British, Spanish.

 

_ ed: a suffix of Germanic origin forms an adjective from a noun or verb stem with the meaning of possession.

 Ex: bearded…

 

_ able _ ible: a suffix of Romanic origin forms an adjective from a verb stem with the meaning able to do something.

Ex: movable, advisable, Lockable, corrigible, sensible 

It can be added to the noun stem as well,

 Ex: probable.

 

_ic - ical: ic makes adjectives from nouns. Some nouns already end in (ic). These are made into adjectives by adding (al).

Ex: music- musical, magic- magical, ethic- ethical, logic- logical, topic- topical, critic- critical,

Some adjectives that end in (ical), like the following, are not made from underlying nouns, or at least not from ones ending in (ic).

Ex: vertical, identical, chemical, mythical, radical, grammatical, nautical, botanical.

 

But except for the word (publicly), adjectives ending in (ic) do not form adverbs of manner in this simple way. (Publicly) is an exception; it is formed by simply adding (ly) to public. Nearly all other adjectives in (ic) add not (ly) but (ally):

Ex: basic- basically, magic- magically, scientific- scientifically, logic- logically.

 

-ly: a suffix of Old English is added with nouns to make adjectives.

Ex: bony, stormy, funny, filmy, milky, steamy, rocky      

 

Verb Suffixes

_ ize: the suffix -ize from Greek origin –izein, it has had a centuries- old life as a mean of making verbs from nouns and adjectives- not only in English, but in other languages as well, for instance French – iser, Italian – izare, Spanish – izar, and German – isieren. Many English words with this suffix are borrowings from french.

Ex: generalize, summarize, authorize, moralize, naturalize …

 

_ate: a suffix of Romanic origin forms a verb from an adjective or a noun stem.

Ex: abbreviate, accommodate.

 

_ fy: a suffix of Latin origin forms a verb from an adjective or a noun stem. The morpheme (fy) borrowed from Latin. It comes from the Latin verb facere, which means, “ to make,” and it has this meaning in its use in English.

 

Ex: beautify, simplify.

 

_ en: a suffix of Germanic origin forms a verb from an verb stem.

Ex: Written, broken, frighten

 

Adverb Suffixes

 

_ ly: A suffix of Germanic origin forms an adverb from an adjective stem with the meaning of some action.

 Ex: loudly, hardly, and quickly …

 

_ ward: a suffix of Germanic of origin forms an adverb from a noun or preposition stem with the meaning of direction.

 Ex: home word, eastward, in word …

 

_Wise: certain affixes have been particularly popular during certain periods. For instance, wise affixed to nouns and adjectives to form adverbs was practically archaic until, approximately, the 1940’s, occurring only in a comparatively few well- established words, such as likewise, lengthwise, otherwise, crosswise, budget wise, sales wise, health wise,   

                            

Numeral Suffixes

 

_ Teen: a suffix of belongs to the oldest Indo –European layer, it forms a numeral word from stem.

 Ex: fourteen.

 

_ ty: a suffix belongs to the Indo – European layer. It forms a numeral word from stem

 Ex: forty, sixty, ninety

 

                                  

Prefixes

 

     Prefixes are continued or relate parts of a word. A prefix comes before the stem middy; prefixes are used to modify the lexical meaning of the stem. They are used to form one part of speech from another parts of speech. Unlike suffixes, prefixes are so completely used with the stem. They present a new word and preserve a certain semantic independent. Prefixes can be classified according to the parts of speech, according to their meaning and according to their origin.

 

Verb Prefixes

 

_  out: is a prefix of Germanic origin adds the meaning of (to surpass).

Ex: out go, outlive …

_Over: is a prefix of Germanic origin adds the meaning of (to do more than enough). Ex: over eat, over drink.

 

_under: a prefix of Germanic origin adds the meaning of (to do less than enough)

Ex: under eat, under drink …

 

_mis: a prefix of Germanic origin adds the meaning of (to do something in a wrong way)

 Ex: mistake, misinform …

_Un: a prefix of Germanic origin adds the negative meaning.

A morpheme meaning (not), however, is represented by a prefix, added at the beginning of words and spelled (un). We add the morpheme (un-not) at the beginning of adjectives and adverbs of manner.

Ex: unlock, undress….

 

The one we have studied, (un- not), adds the meaning (not) to adjectives and adverbs of manner. The other one reverses the meaning of verbs, so we will call it (un- reverse).

Ex: untie, unfold, unseat, unveil.

 

_dis: a prefix of Romanic origin adds the negative meaning.

 Ex: discontinue, discover …

 

_re: a prefix of Latin origin adds the meaning of repeating an action.

Ex: remove, represent, and return …

(re) in Latin words usually has the meaning “back” as in (recede), which means “go back.”

Sometimes, however, the prefix (re) develops the meaning “ again.” For instance, the word (relent) is made of (re) plus (lentus). Lentus means “soft,” and (relent) means,             “ become soft again.”

Ex: Noticing her disappointment, David relented.

As an active morpheme in English, (re) has the meaning “again”, (redo) means “ do again.” 

 

_be: is a prefix of Germanic origin (be) as in (bedevil). This morpheme makes transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, or other verbs. It has such meaning as             “ completely” or “ thoroughly” or “ covered with” or “ affected by.” When added to adjectives, it has the meaning “ make” or “ cause to appear.” Thus belittle means “ cause to appear little.”       

 

_en: a prefix of Germanic origin and it is used to form verbs from noun or adjective stem with the meaning of to put an object in to on something or to bring some body some –thing in to some state .

 Ex: enema – embodies – encircle.

 

Adjective Prefixes

 

-il, ir, im: prefixes of Romanic origin adds the negative meaning to the stem .

Ex: illiterate, irresponsible, and impossible …

 

- in: Another very common morpheme from Latin is usually spelled (in), as in (incomplete) or (informal). The prefix that represents the morpheme (in) is added mostly to adjectives to give the meaning “not.” (Incomplete) means not complete. So (in) has about the same meaning as our native English un-not. We sometimes add (in) to nouns to give the meaning “not.” We do this particularly with nouns that end in (ity).

Ex: instability, inhumanity, informality, insanity, insecurity,          

 

_ Dis: is a prefix of Romanic origin adds the negative meaning.

E.g.: disobedience, dishonest.

 

 

-Non: is a prefix of Romanic origin adds the negative meaning.

Ex: nonstop, nonparty.

 

_Extra: is a prefix of Romanic origin adds the meaning of to be beyond limited.

Ex: extra ordinary, extra change.

 

_Un: a prefix of Germanic origin adds the negative meaning.

Ex: unkind, unhappy.

 

_ Pre, Post: are prefixes of Romanic and Greek origin they are rather productive in modern English. They form adjectives from noun stem.

Ex: pre war,          

        Post war         

        Past meridian

Anti: It is rather productive in modern English. It forms adjectives from noun stem. One of the most commonly used prefixes of non- native origin is Greek anti “ against”, which in addition to its occurrence in long- established learned words like antipathy, antidote, anti boutiques, anti meridian, anticlimax, gas been rather freely used since the seventeenth century for new mostly American, creations, for instance anti- federalist, anti- Catholic, anti tobacco, antislavery, ant saloon, anti allergen, and antiaircraft,  

 

Noun Prefixes

 

_ ex: a prefix of Romanic origin adds the meaning of farmer .

Ex: exchampion, exking, ex-wife. .

 

_dis : a prefix of Romanic origin adds the negative meaning .

Ex: disagreement, discontinuation …

 

There are some important cases in the English language where a prefix serves to form one part of speech from another.

 

As we have seen, many affixes can be shown to have been at one time independent words. Such words become affixes when they can no longer stand alone, that is, when they are no longer regarded as independent words.

Ex: after in afternoon.

 

_Ac, as, af, ad: are prefixes of Romanic origin they are used to form verbs and nouns with words of lateen and French origin. These prefixes were never productive and they are not used to form new words they are considered to be prefixes on the analogy.

Ex: assure, adverb, affirm, accompany, and assimilate.

 

Some scientists express a strong protest against this viewpoint, as these prefixes are not productive and do not form words they above-mentioned words cannot be derived, they are simple words.

 

Prefixes can be classified according to there meaning in to two groups.

                 

1_ Negative Reverse Opposite:

 

dis- in – non – un -im-ir-il

 

dis: is used with adjective, nouns , verbs.

Ex: dislike, disregard, disloyal, discontinuation, disagreement.

 

_ In-im-ir-il: are used with nouns, adjectjyes.

Ex: incorrect, irresponsible, illiterate, immortal, and immoral.

 

_Non: is used with adjective and noun.

 Ex: non-sense, nonparty, nonessential, non-acceptance, non-union

 

_Un: is used to form adjective and verb.

Ex: unjust, unlock, unpack, undress, unhappy.

 

2. Relationship in degree, in time, in place.

 

In degree – over, under, out.

Ex: overstrain, over anxious, over busy, over sleep, under develop, under feed, out weight, outran, out balance.

 

In time_ ex- pre- post-

 Ex: extruding, ex king, prehistoric, premature, postmeridian.

 

In place_ inter-ocean, inter-province, in country, out country.

 

                            

 

 
UNIT THREE

Composition

 

Composition is one of the main and productive way of riching the vocabulary, we build new words by means of joining two or more stems the components of a new word are understood as the whole. It obtains all unity it becomes divisible and indivisible, which means we cannot insert a combination or word combinations between its compounds but we can insert some words between the article and the compound word.

 

Compounds:

Putting two or more words together to make a new word with a meaning in some way different. The compounding process has gone on continuously. In the early 1960, for instance the American people heard over their radio and television sets of a man shoot that is an astronaut into outer space.

 Ex:  Along, blackboard, armchair, 

   

     The all on unity of a compound word depend on the unity of stress solid or hyphenated spelling semantic. The unity of morphological and syntactical function unity. This characteristic features of a compound or valid for any language system, but for the English language they are not very realizable.

The components of a compound are united together by means of the uniting stress, as rule it follows on the first component.

Ex: armchair, black smith.

 

But as a matter of fact there are compound words in English, which have two-primary or principle stress.

 Ex: black- chalk, drag- on - fly.

 

English compound as rule have solid or hyphenated spelling there are cases when one and the same word may have solid, hyphenated, or separate spelling in different content.

Ex: quick- silver                    -quick silver.

 

Sometime unity in many compounds is very strong. We have idiomatic compounds that mean the meaning of the whole is not a sum of the meaning of its component.

Ex:

chatter- box: Means a lady talks too much but meaningless.

Slow- coach: means a person who thinks, acts and speaks slowly.

Blue- stocking: refers to a lady who is busy in learning and dose not pays attention to herself-

Hill- joy: that means a dull person.

 

There are many non-idiomatic compounds, which can be transforming in the free word groups.

Ex: piano- player       peace- lover

 

The unity of syntactical and morphological function means that only one compound has its grammatical form as its grammatical paradigm.

Radio shop. Radio shops

 

A compound acts as one integral or essential and performs as syntactical function of subject, object, predicate, adverb, and mood.

 

English compound have two main characteristic features.

 

1. A compound consists of free stem as a rule; that every component can be used as a separate word with its distinctive. In English language bound stem occur very seldom.

Ex: Anglo- Saxon- Indo European- Afro- Asia.

The first components or bound stems.

 

2.They present two stems pattern the exception is made for the compound having the combining element.

Ex: Touch- and- goes    stick – in- the- mud-mother- in- law.

 

The specific feature of English compound adjectives is that they can be formed from phrases in the process of speech; such compound adjectives are not included in to the dictionary.

Ex: I have done the last- minute changes.

        She gives common- sense actives.

 

Such compound adjectives are as rule used in the attributive function. English compounds remained of free word groups in case the compound are written separately.

Ex:

(Top- dog) means a person occupying a foremost place.

(Under- dog) means a person having the worse of an action, job.

 

     In this case the text helps us to understand the meaning of these compounds, the meaning of these compounds are idiomatic. It’s not understood as a sum of its components.

English compounds can be classified according to their structure. There are the following structured types are compound natural morphological, syntactical, besides there are compound derived types the most productive structural type is the natural type, its formed by joining two stems with out any joining morphemes.

Ex: black board.

 

 

 

Compound Noun of natural Types

 

1-     Noun- noun pattern: [the first component characterize the second noun]

Ex: space man, hairpin, flight attendant, and travel agent.

2-     Gerund noun stem pattern: [the first component denotes the second one]

 Ex: Skating ring, wedding cake, bathing tap.

3-Noun Gerund pattern: [the first components denote place, manner, object, time of action.]

Ex: office managing, road building, night flying.

4 – Adjective noun pattern: [the first component denotes place, charucterize the second one.]

Ex: black bird, blue bill.

5 – Verb noun Patten: [The first component characterizes the second one.]

Ex: cut- water, cut- truth.

6 –Noun verb pattern: [The first component characterizes the second one.]

Ex: hairdo, haircut…

7 – Pronoun noun pattern: [The first component denotes the gender (animal).]

Ex: he- god, she- cat, he- wolf, she-bear.

 

8 – Adverb verb pattern: [The first component characterizes the second one.]

Ex: uphold, extra charge.

9 – Verb adverb pattern: This type is formed from.

Ex: make up, jump down, cut out, and give up.

 

 

 

 

Compound Adjective of natural type

 

 

1-      Adjective and adjective pattern:

      Ex: dark- brown, dark- blue, light- blue.

2-      Noun adjective pattern:

Ex: sea green, snow-white, and homesick

3 – Adverb participle pattern:

Ex: home- made, peace loving.

4 – Participle adverb pattern:

Ex: made up – grown up.

5 – Numeral noun pattern.

Ex: a three-minute talk, a two-mile road, and a five-year plan.

              

 

Compound Verb of Natural Type

 

 

1-     Noun verb types: They are idiomatic.

      Ex: to hen pick, to brow bet, baby- set.

2-      Adverb verb types:

      Ex: to cross-examine, to double charge, overdo, sidestep.

 

      

Compound Pronoun of Natural Type

 

 

1-      Pronoun noun type:

Ex: Some body, no body.

2-      Pronoun numeral type.

Ex:  Some one, any one.

 

 

 

UNIT FOUR

Conversion

 

1.The definition of conversion:

2. The historical development of conversion:

3. Semantic relations and conversion:

 

Conversion is one of the most characteristic features of word building system in English. Conversion is a productive way of riching the vocabulary. Some scientists called conversion the affix less way of word building as zero derivation. Conversion is the process of word building of a new part of speech without adding any derivative elements or the suffix.

Ex: He silenced every body else in the classroom.

 

 

Silence exists in the English vocabulary system as a noun, but as a verb can be formed from the same stem without adding a suffix without changing the stem both words are considered to be basic initial forms (silence) as a noun add (to silence) the infinitive. The different between them is morphological syntactical and semantic.

Morphological means that every word has its own grammatical paradigm.

Ex: The verb (to silence) as the grammatical paradigm.

The third person singular – (silences).

The past indefinite-            (silenced.)

The passive infinitive –(to be silenced.)

 

The syntactical different is the consequence of the morphological one (silence) as a noun can be formed. Such function in the sentence of the subject of the object of attributive of productive (to silence) performs the function are productive are the part of predicate.

Ex: They run in and out.

        He knows the ins and outs of our town.

        Two (no) make a yes.

        I like no, no to my answer.   The same like… I like yes to my answer.

 

As we regard the word- pairs.

Ex: Doctor- to doctor- Taxi- to taxi.

 

The question may a rise what serves as the word building means in these cases. It might be a pair that the main means is simply changing from one part of speech to another, but really there is a zero stem – forming suffix, which determines the part of speech, hence every part of speech has its own paradigm.

 

Countable Nouns: its paradigm includes.

1-     Zero_ inflection for the common case singular.

2-     ‘S _inflexion for the possessive case singular.

3-     S’_ inflexion for the possessive case plural.

4-     S_ inflexion for the plural case.

 

Ex: Student – students.

 

The paradigm of adjectives.

1-     Zero_ inflection for the positive degree.

2-     Er_ inflexion for the comparative degree.

3-     Est_ inflection for the superlative degree.

Ex: Old – older – oldest.

 

The paradigm depends on the parts of speech the word belongs to.

The paradigm is the system of grammatical forms, which is characteristic for every part of speech.

Conversion is the formation of a new word throughout the change is in the paradigm. The paradigm is a morphological category, that why conversion can be defined as the morphological way of word building.

Treatment of conversion has a morphological way of word – building was suggested by professor Smirnitsky in his course in lexicology. There are some other viewpoints on the problems of conversion for instance there is functional approach to conversion. Some linguists regard that incase of conversion we have a change from one part of speech to another in every word of the word pair can perform two functions at the same time if we accept it. The functional approach to conversion is that we might come to the conclusion that in modern English there is no longer distinction between parts of speech it is well known.

Conversion is the result of historical development. In modern English the root and the stem have no morphological characteristic and in old English there was a complicated system of declination and conjugation inflexions showed, gender, number, case, person.

Declination depended on the stem – forming suffix.

E.g.: New English – Stone              Old English - Stan

         Old English             Singular                   plural

   Nominative             Stan                          Stanes

   Genitive                  Stanes                       Stana

   Dative                     Stane                         Stanum

   Accusative              Stan                          Stanes  

Conjugation depended on the class the verb belongs to.

E.g.: New English  –help             Old English - helpan

                                  Singular                    plural

  St- person               helpe                         helpath

  2nt person               helpst                        helpath

  3nt person               helpth                        helpath

In middle English the system of inflexions got simplify after the Scandinavian conquest the stress shifted to the root the Scandinavian language and the Anglo Saxon language belonged to the same Germanic group of languages in middle English there was a process of leveling the inflexions, as a result of it many words having the same root become homonym.

Conversion is a very productive way of verb – building.

                                    Old English                                  New English

Verb                             lufion                                            love

Noun                           lufu                                                love

Verb                            corion                                            care

Noun                           caru                                               care

Verb                            drincan                                          drink

Noun                           drinca                                            drink

 

 

Conversion is a very productive way of verb building from noun. Nouns can denote the instrument, the agent, the time, the place, the result, the cause or etc…and the converted verbs have a correspond meaning too.

 

1. From nouns, which denotes the part of the body. Verbs with instrument meaning can be formed.

Ex: To elbow = to push with elbow

       To toe = to touch with toe

 

2. The same instrument meaning is characteristic of the verb formed from nouns denoting toes, weapons, and machines.

 Ex: To hummer, to pump, to machinegun.

 

3. Verbs denoting an agent can be formed from nouns denoting an agent.

Ex: To dog, to monkey, to flog.

 

4. Verbs denoting the place of action are formed from nouns denoting building, place container,      

Ex: To can, to house, to corner, to tin.

 

5. Verbs denoting the time of action can be formed from nouns denoting time.

Ex: To winter, to honeymoon.

 

6. Verbs can be formed from adjectives they denote the change of state. 

Ex: To tame, to blend, to empty.

 

Nouns can be formed from verbs and having the following meaning.

1. Of process, feeling, action.

Ex: Knock, whisper, sleep, and dream.

 

2. Of the result of the action expressed by the stem.

Ex: Cut, burn, and offer.

 

3. Of the place where the action expressed by the stem.

Ex: Occur, drive, and stand,

 

Care should be taken not to converted adjective and substantives adjectives, because some linguists consider that substantives adjectives can be regarded as converted adjectives, linguists say that substantiation is the process characteristic of all Indo- European languages including the Dari Language with a rich morphological system and English with poor morphological forms substantives is a slow process of changing functional and syntactical meaning or function. Primarily there were attributive free word combination, which considered of an attributive semantically strong and a noun expressing a general nation.

Ex:

Man; a captive man, a general man, a conservative man, an intelligent man.

In the course of time the noun dropped out of usage as semantically unnecessary and as a result of it we have such substantives adjectives.

Ex:

A captive, a general, a conservative.

 Such substantives as a paradigm of a noun the plural form by means of (s) the possessive case by means of (‘s) (s’)

Ex: Captives, a captive’s, captives’       

 

There is a group of substantives having the meaning of collective nouns.

Ex: Greens, sweets.

 There are substantives denoting a group, a class, and a nationality. They are preceded by the definite article.

Ex:

The poor, the rich, the dead, the alive, (They have no “s” inflection in the plural, but the word is used in plural form, but if we want to express a noun in singular we use some other words.

Ex: Afghan man, English man

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNIT FIVE
Shortening

 

New word can be formed by clipping words and word combinations with a few of creating short words convenient for oral speech. Shorting is recorded in English as far back as the fifteen centaury it has grown more development. One of the main reasons for the development of shortening is the demand of rhythm, which is more really satisfied when words are monosyllable. In most cases borrowed words are shortened while they are assimilated because most of native words are monosyllable.

Shortened borrowed word sound more like English words then their loan prototypes.

E.g.: frige – refrigerator – mic – microphone – vac – vacuum cleaner.

Shortening can be divided in to two large groups: lexical and spelling shortening.

In lexical shortenings we can clip a part of the word.

There are four types of clips in modern English.

 

 

 

 

Clipped Forms:

An abbreviation, or clipped form, must be regarded as a new word. Thus, mob can be said to have supplanted mobile, bus from omnibus, taxicab has supplied us with two new words, taxi and cab.  

1 – Aphorism (shorthand word): clipping of the first part of the word that is the shortening of a word by clipping the beginning. Sometimes the abbreviated form is a new word and in other in other cases it is a new word and in other it will be the same word but belongs to other style speech.

Ex: Telephone – phone – mine bus – bus motor car – car – between – tween, earth quake = quake.

 

2 – Syncope (cutting of syllabus): The middle of the word is clipped is shortening of a word by dropping a letter or unstressed syllable in the middle of the word.

Ex: market, mart,

Syncope is common, in proper names.

Katrina – Kate.

 

3 – Apocopate (to make shorthand): dropping of the last letter or syllable.

Ex: Zoological garden, Zoo, examination – exam. Mathematic – math 

 

4 – The combination of aphorizes with apocopate: The beginning and the end of the word are clipped.

Ex: Influenza – flu.

 

A among lexical shortening we can point out abbreviations. When a word combination is shortened on only initial letters of each word is taken. The rules of reading such initial shortenings are different. In some cases we have alphabetical pronunciation of each letter in the shortening.

Ex: BBC. British broadcast cooperation.

        P.M.  Priminister

 

In other cases we pronounce initial shortenings as if they where work.

Ex: NATD: North, Atlantic, Treaty, Organizations.

 

Sometimes we have compound shortened words when the first and the second word in a word combination are shortened and the last word is not shortened.

Ex: A. Bomb = atomic bomb, VJ = day victory over Japan day.

H- back = hand back

 

In initial shortening we can see the formation of the plural form and of the possessive case.

Ex: MP, S – members of parliament.

      PM’S – priminister’s.

 

In some cases suffixes and prefixes are added.

Ex. p. o.w = Exprisoner of war.

 

Spelling shortening exists in the language since old English. They came in to English from ancient Greek and Roman Empire. In such cases only the spelling of the word is shortened, but we pronounce the whole word.

There are two large groups of spelling shortenings in Modern English.

 

1 – Spelling shortenings, which were borrowed, from Lateen in English in such cases in the spelling we have initial letters of Lateen words, but we pronounce the full forms of the corresponding English words.

Ex: A.M= anti meridian, P.M= past meridian, C.F= compare. I.e.= that is.

 

2 – There are also some semantic groups of native spelling shortening.

 

A. Forms of address.

Ex: Mr. Mrs. Dr.

 

B. Units of weight, time. Distance. Electricity.

Ex: Min- minute, Sec. Second, M= Meter. V= Volt, Kg= kilogram.

 
C. Military rank. Scientific degree and etc---

Ex: Capt = Captain. C- in. c = commander in chief, M.A = master of art.

P-h-d= doctor of philosophic.

 

D. Name of offices.

Ex: Govt = government, Dept = department.

 

Spelling shortenings have different principles of their structure.

When initial letter spelled in the plural this letter is double.

The first syllable is taken in the spelling:

Ex: Min – minute – sec- second;

 

Only consonant are spelled:

Ex:

P.t= pint, ft = feet.

In compound words the initial letter of each component is taken in the spelling:

Ex.

M.S – manuscript.

For spelling shortening it is typical to have homonyms.

Ex:

 (p) Can denote: page, past, present, participle, perfect.

The rendering of these shortenings depends on the context when a shortened word appears in language the full form may disappear.

Ex: Fanuc. Fan.

Remain but have different meanings with a full form.

Ex: to espy = to spy

Remain belong to another part of speech.

Ex: colloquial           natural

         Dr                      doctor

         Prof                     professor

         Lab                     laboratory

         Phone                 telephone

         Mic                     microphone

In most cases the shortened word belongs to the colloquial style and the full form belongs to neutral style, but there are some cases when the shortening form belongs to the neutral style and the full form belongs to the bookish style.

Ex: Natural                     bookish

        Cinema                       cinematography

        Bus                             minibus

        Taxi                            taxi. Motor

 

 

Auxiliaries are shortened  

Ex:

Isn’t = is not

Aren’t = are not

Weren’t = were not

Wasn’t = was not

Can’t = can not

Wont = will not

Shouldn’t = should not

Mustn’t = must not

Don’t = do not

Doesn’t = does not

Didn’t = did not 

Wouldn’t = would not  

 

 

 

UNIT SIX

 

Minor Ways of Word – Building

 

Sound interchange:

May be defined as a phonetic phenomenon used to build different words and word forms through the changes of the sound form of roots it is one of the oldest ways of word building and is met in many languages.

/ I /  / I: / erne in Dari. This way of word – building is nonproductive in Modern English. Sound inter change may be regarded as a way of forming words only diachronically. Now a day it has turn into a means of distinguishing between words of different parts of speech.

 

Ex:

Sing “verb”                                    song “noun”

Breath “ verb”                                breathe “noun”

Clothe “verb”                                 clothe “noun”

 

Or between different words form.

Ex:

Man “singular”                              men “plural”

Leave “present”                            left “past”

 

Sound interchange is divided into three groups.

1. Change of root vowels.

Ex:

Food “noun”                                  feed “verb” 

Blood “noun”                                 bleed “verb”

2. Change of root consonant.

Ex:

Speak “ verb”                                   speech “noun”

Advise “verb”                                  Advice “noun”     

3. Change of root vowels and consonants.

Ex:

Live “verb”                                     life “noun”

4. Sound interchange may be combined with affixation.

Ex:

Strong “adjective”                           straight

Or with affixation and shift of stress.

Ex:

Democrat “noun”                             democracy “adjective”

 

 

Stress Interchange

 

In many cases we have stress interchange in different parts of speech in Modern English , it is sometimes called morphological stress. Nouns and verbs difference by the position of the stress are Romanic origin. The nouns have a stress of the first syllable and the verbs the second syllable.

Ex:

Export “noun”                                   export “verb”

Object “noun”                                   object “verb”

Stress interchange however is neither productive nor regular.    

 

Reduplication

 

Reduplication is the way of word- building when new words are formed by repeating one and the same syllable are the whole stem. In most cases words formed by means of reduplication belong to the colloquial style.

E.g.: bye – bye, mar- mar, (a slowly move) hotchpotch (for dogs).

Reduplication is not a productive way of word building. It is used in speech with children and in children’s stories.

 

Sound Imitation:

 

The meaning of an action or a think by more or less exact reproduction of a sound association with it. There are some semantic groups of word formed by means of sound imitation.

1 – Sound produced by human 

Ex: sneeze, whisper, whistle  

2. Sound produced by animals, birds and insects.

 Ex: buzz, row, roar.

3. Sound produced by nature.

Ex: splash, tinkle, clatter (of dishes), chatter, twinkle  

 

Blends:

Are formed by merging parts of word or blending is combining parts of words into one, the blending of two existing words to make a new word was an unconscious process in the oldest periods of our language. Recent years have seen a mighty of conscious blending. Perhaps the most successful of these – certainty the best established – are smog (smoke plus fog) and motel (motor plus hotel), cafetorium (cafeteria plus auditorium), broasted (broiled plus roasted), brunch (breakfast plus lunch), cinemactor (cinema plus actor).

Blends are easy to create, which is doubtless why there are so very many of them, and they are at the moment very popular.      

 

Ex: Blending: smog from smoke and fog

 

Back-formations:

Are created from removing what is mistakenly considered to be an affix, 

Ex: Back-formation: edit from editor

 

 

 

 

 

Second Subject:

UNIT ONE

Morphology

Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. Words are at the interface among phonology, syntax and semantics (Spencer / Zwicky).


There are many current approaches to morphology. For expository purposes, this article will describe the phenomena in a fairly traditional way: treating words as combinations of discrete meaningful units (morphemes) put together by concatenation. A contemporary morphologist would call this a "morpheme-based" theory; alternatives are lexeme-based morphology and word-based morphology.

The components of a word form are called morphemes. Word formation rules describe how to select morphemes from the lexicon and to combine them.

Important concepts:

  • Inflection
  • Derivation
  • Compounding (examples)

Morphemes make up words and are the smallest units of grammar: roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Native speakers recognize the morphemes as grammatically significant or meaningful. For example, "schoolyard" is made of "school" + "yard", "makes" is made of "make" + a grammatical suffix "-s", and "unhappiness" is made of "happy" with a prefix "un-" and a suffix "-ness".

Inflection occurs when a word has different forms but essentially the same meaning, and there is only a grammatical difference between them: for example, "make" and "makes". The "-s" is an inflectional morpheme.

In contrast, derivation makes a word with a clearly different meaning: such as "unhappy" or "happiness", both from "happy". The "un-" and "-ness" are derivational morphemes.

These examples also illustrate the other two kinds of morphemes, unbound (which are meaningful on their own) and bound (which have meaning when combined with another morpheme). Thus, the word "schoolyard" consists of two unbound morphemes ("school" and "yard"), while the word "makes" has one unbound ("make") and one bound, and "unhappiness" has one unbound and two bound.

A word may consist of two bound morphemes: the word "morpheme" itself illustrates this, since it consists, or traditionally consisted, of two bound morphemes ("morph" and "eme"). But as the example of "morpheme" reveals, bound morphemes may become unbound ones: "morph" has been adopted in linguistics for the phonological realization of a morpheme, and the verb "morph" was coined to describe a transition between morphological states (usually biological). A more familiar example is if we adopt the suffix "-ish" as a separate word, and use "ish" by itself to mean "somewhat, a bit, so-so". The suffix "-ism" is often applied in a similar way to mean "a system of beliefs or an ideology" (e.g. Darwinism).

A morpheme may have different realizations (morphs) in different contexts. For example, the verb morpheme "do" of English has three quite distinct pronunciations in the words "do", "does" (with suffix "-s"), and "don't" (with "-n't"). Such alternating morphs of a morpheme are called its allomorphs. Other examples are in past participles of verbs: "walked", "eaten", "drunk": one verb has a regular "-ed" allomorph, one has a less common "-en" allomorph, and one changes the vowel inside the verb. This last case is a problem for description, because you can't separate the morpheme "drink" from the morpheme for past participle. The two appear fused.

In some languages, of which Latin forms a prime example, several inflections are often fused into one phonetic form. These are called fusional languages. For example, dominus "master" has plural domini, while domina "mistress" has plural dominae. The ending -us contains the ideas of masculine and singular, and in addition is only used in the nominative case. In the accusative singular it is dominum, and in the genitive plural it is dominorum. It is impossible to isolate separate morphemes for case, or gender, or number. In contrast to fusional languages, agglutinative languages such as Turkish use multiple morphemes in the one word but they are all phonetically separable.

The Semitic languages show an extreme of fusion, in that word roots are often represented by fixed consonants, usually three, and their inflection and derivation is done with internal vowel patterns as well as affixes. For example, in Arabic we find kataba "he wrote", yaktubu "he writes", kaatib "writer", kitaab "book", maktab "office". All these forms use the consonant cluster KTB.

Suppletion is the replacement of a regular form by an unrelated word. In English "go" has the past tense "went", and "be" has various unrelated parts such as "am" and "was".

The term Gesamtbedeutung is used to describe the general semantic meaning of a particular morpheme, independent of grammatical function. The morphemes "-ing" and "-or" (as in "eliminating" and "eliminator") may be said to share a common Gesamtbedeutung, namely that of agency.

A cranberry morpheme is one that exists only in one bound form, such as the "cran-" of "cranberry". It is unrelated to the word "cran" meaning a case of herrings, and though it actually comes from "crane" the bird, it is not at all clear why. Phonetically, the first morphemes of "gooseberry" and "raspberry" also count as cranberry morphemes, as they don't occur by themselves, but the spelling gives an obscure clue to their origin. Compare these to "blackberry", which has two obvious unbound morphemes.

 

Morphemes

 

Morphemes are the minimal units of words that have a meaning and cannot be subdivided further. There are two main types: free and bound. Free morphemes can occur alone and bound morphemes must occur with another morpheme. An example of a free morpheme is "bad", and an example of a bound morpheme is "ly." It is bound because although it has meaning, it cannot stand-alone. It must be attached to another morpheme to produce a word.

 

Bound morphemes can only occur when attached to root morphemes.

Common English examples are:

  • -ing
  • -ed
  • -er
  • pre-
  • cran- as in cranberry

The Root Morphemes

The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. Content words in nearly all languages represent root morphemes.

Roots can be either free morphemes or bound morphemes. Root morphemes are essential for affixation and compounds.

The root of a word is a unit of meaning (morpheme) and, as such, it is an abstraction, though it can usually be represented in writing as a word would be. For example, it can be said that the root of the English verb form running is run, or the root of the Spanish superlative adjective amplísimo is ampli-, since those words are clearly derived from the root forms by simple suffixes that do not alter the roots in any way. In particular, English has very little inflection, and hence a tendency to have words that are identical to their roots. But more complicated inflection, as well as other processes, can obscure the root; for example, the root of mice is mouse (still a valid word), and the root of interrupt is, arguably, rupt, which is not a word in English and only appears in derivational forms (such as disrupt, corrupt, etc.). The root rupt is written as if it were a word, but it's not.

 

Free morpheme: bad
Bound morpheme: ly
Word: badly

Definition: A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in the grammar of a language.

Discussion

In Linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a given language.

English Example: The word "unbelievable" has three morphemes "un-", (negatory) a bound morpheme, "-believe-" a free morpheme, and "-able". "un-" is also a prefix, "-able" is a suffix. Both are affixes.

Types of morphemes:

  • Free morphemes like town, dog can appear with other lexemes (as in town-hall or dog-house) or they can stand alone, or "free". Allomorphs are variants of a morpheme, e.g. the plural marker in English is sometimes realized as /-z/, /-s/ or /-Iz/.
  • Bound morphemes like "un-" appear only together with other morphemes to form a lexeme. Bound morphemes in general tend to be prefixes and suffixes.
  • Inflectional morphemes modify a word's tense, number, aspect, and so on.
  • Derivational morphemes can be added to a word to create (derive) another word: the addition of "-ness" to "happy", for example, to give "happiness".

Current approaches to morphology conceive of morphemes as rules involving the linguistic context, rather than as isolated pieces of linguistic matter. They acknowledge that

Meaning may be directly linked to suprasegmental phonological units, such as tone or stress.

The meaning of a morpheme with a given form may vary, depending on its immediate environment.

Ex: Unladylike

    • The word unladylike consists of three morphemes and four syllables.

·         Morpheme breaks:

      • un- 'not'
      • lady '(well behaved) female adult human'
      • -like 'having the characteristics of'
    • None of these morphemes can be broken up any more without losing all sense of meaning. Lady cannot be broken up into "la" and "dy," even though "la" and "dy" are separate syllables. Note that each syllable has no meaning on its own.

·         Dogs

·         The word dogs consists of two morphemes and one syllable:

      • dog, and
      • -s, a plural marker on nouns
    • Note that a morpheme like "-s" can just be a single phoneme and does not have to be a whole syllable.

 

·         Technique

    • The word technique consists of only one morpheme having two syllables.

·         Even though the word has two syllables, it is a single morpheme because it cannot be broken down into smaller meaningful parts.   

 

 

Classification 

Morphemes may be classified, on the basis of word formation, characteristics into the following types:                                                                          

 

Morpheme type

Structure

Bound

Free

simple, made up of a single morpheme; a basis for compounding and affixation

·  yes/no

·  yes/no

may be complex, made up of one or more morphemes; a basis for affixation

·  yes/no

·  yes/no

·         affix

    • prefix
    • infix
    • suffix
    • suprafix
    • simulfix
    • circumfix

simple

·  yes

·  no

·         clitic

    • proclitic
    • enclitic

simple

·  yes (phonologically)

·  yes (syntactically)

 

Note: A clitic is a kind of morpheme that does not fit well in the above classification system because it is phonologically bound but syntactically free.

The other type of bound morphemes is called bound roots. These are morphemes (and not affixes) that must be attached to another morpheme and do not have a meaning of their own. Some examples are ceive in perceive and mit in submit.

 

 

 

UNIT TWO

Morpheme-morph-allomorph and phoneme-phone-allophone

The relationship between a morpheme and its morphs and allomorphs is parallel to the relationship between a phoneme and its phones and allophones.

What is morph?

Definition: A morph is the phonetic realization of a morpheme.

 

What is Allomorph?

 

 

Definition: An allomorph is one of two or more complementary morphs which manifest a morpheme in its different phonological or morphological environments.

Discussion: The allomorphs of a morpheme are derived from phonological rules and any morphophonemic rules that may apply to that morpheme.

Examples (English) The plural morpheme in English, usually written as '-s', has at least three allomorphs:

  • [-s] as in [hQts] 'hats'
  • [-z] as in [d&u0254;gz] 'dogs'

·         [«z] as in [bŒks«z] 'boxes'

What is a phoneme?

Definition: A phoneme is the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language.

Discussion: Phonologists have differing views of the phoneme. Following are the two major views considered here:

  • In the American structuralism tradition, a phoneme is defined according to its allophones and environments.

In the generative tradition, a phoneme is defined as a set of distinctive features.

A morpheme is manifested as one or more morphs (surface forms) in different environments. These morphs are called allomorphs.

A phoneme is manifested as one or more phones (phonetic sounds) in different environments. These phones are called allophones.

What is a phone?

Definition: A phone is an unanalyzed sound of a language. It is the smallest identifiable unit found in a stream of speech that can be transcribed with an IPA symbol.

 

What is an allophone?

Definition: An allophone is a phonetic variant of a phoneme in a particular language.

Examples (English)

  • [p] and [pH] are allophones of the phoneme /p/.

·         [t] and [tH] are allophones of the phoneme /t/.

English Morphemes

  1. Free
    1. Open Class
    2. Closed Class
  2. Bound
    1. Affix
      1. Derivational
      2. Inflectional
    2. Root

 

A morpheme is a unit of meaning. The meaning may be expressed by a word or by part of word. Think of the words talk and talker. The verb talk has a meaning. It means something like “ say something.” It is one word and contains one morpheme – one unit of meaning.

But the word talker has two meaning. It has the meaning of talk and also the meaning expressed by the ending er. This ending here means “ one who does,” and talker means   “ one who talks.”  So talker is a single word, but it expresses two units of meaning – it contains two morphemes.

How many morphemes are expressed by help? By helper? How many morphemes are there in thinker?

 

A morpheme is not the same as a syllable. Murder has two vowel sounds and therefore two syllables, but it expresses only one morpheme. We can’t break it down into murd + er because murd has no meaning by itself and murder doesn’t mean “ one who murds.Murder is a two syllable word that has just one meaning and, therefore, just one morpheme.

How many syllables does murderer have? How many morphemes?

 

Some two- syllable words express one morpheme and some express two. The word is made up of two morphemes if the first part has a meaning of its own. For instance, in walker, the syllable walk has a meaning, but in cover, the syllable cov has no meaning of its own.

 

Tell which of the following words express one morpheme and which express two:

 

                        Mother             player               farmer              father

                        Rover               lumber              climber watcher

                        Finger               singer               creeper             other

Sometimes more than one morpheme may be expressed by a single syllable. For instance, goats is a one-syllable word, but it contains two morphemes, one is the word goat and the other is the ending spelled s, which expresses the meaning “ more than one” or plural. Goats contains the two morphemes the goat + plural.

 

Morphemes are not always pronounced or spelled in the same way, for instance, in goats we write the plural morpheme with the letter s. But how do we write the plural morpheme in bunches?

When some morphemes are added to certain words, the result is quite special. Boy + plural is boys, but man + plural is men. In men the plural morpheme is shown not by an ending at all but by a change in the vowel sound and in the spelling.

We will identify morphemes by understanding them. We will show that two morphemes go together by using plus signs. We will use arrows to show the words that are formed by combining the morphemes.

 

            Boy + plural                 boys                 play + er                       player

     

Write words for these morphemes:

 

Man + plural                             run + er                                    tower + plural

 

 

 

 

 

UNIT THREE

 

Kinds of Morphemes:

 

We have already talked about the plural morpheme and about the “one who does” morpheme. The “ one who does” morpheme changes a verb like talk to a noun like talker.

Morphemes, which make base words like talk into other kinds of words like talker, talkative, are derivational morphemes.

The plural morpheme is a kind called an inflection morpheme. We will begin our study of the eight inflection morphemes of English at this point.

1. Plural

2. Possessive

3. Present tense

4. Past tense

5. ing

6. Participle

7. Comparative

8. Superlative

 

Plural

The morpheme plural is represented by whatever we do to a noun to make it plural. When the noun is regular, what we do is add a sound spelled s or es and pronounced as an extra syllable, / əz /, or as / s / or / z /. The particular sound we use depends on the sound the singular ends with.

We add a syllable spelled es and pronounced / əz / when the singular form ends in one of the sounds: / ch /, / sh /, / s /, / z /, / j /.

/ch / churches               / sh / dishes                   / s / kisses, gases                      / z / roses, phrases        / j / judges, wages

When the singular noun ends in e, we need only to add s to form the extra syllable. To form the plural of all other regular nouns, we add the sound / s / or the sound / z /, but just the letter s in writing:

            / s / clocks, hats                        / z / sleds, days

Irregular nouns form the plural by changes in sound and spelling, man / men, or by making no change at all, deer / deer. We say that the plural morpheme in a noun like deer is represented by null, which means no change in sound or spelling.

To add the morpheme possessive to a singular noun, we add the same sounds that we add the morpheme plural: / əz /, / s /, / z /. Notice how the possessive morpheme is shown in writing after singular nouns.

/ əz /: the church’s, a judge’s, the bus’s,

/ s /: the ship’s, the goat’s, a turk’s,

/ z /:   herb’s, a hog’s, the knave’s, Sue’s, a lady’s

 

A plural and a possessive morpheme may both be added to a base word, when this is done, plural is added first and then possessive is added to the plural noun:

 

man + plural                 men                  man + possessive                 man’s

                        man +  plural +  possessive               men’s

 

Regular plural nouns end in the sound / əz /, / s /, or  / z / and the letter s or es. To add the possessive morpheme to regular plurals, we do not add any sound at all. Do you hear any difference when you say boys, boy’s, boys’?

 

 

 

 

The Morpheme of Comparison:

 

We have learned that the morphemes plural and possessive apply to nouns. Two more of the eight inflectional morphemes apply to adjectives. These morphemes are comparative and superlative. In the poem “ Velvet Shoes” you found three different ways to express the comparative morpheme:

 

                        …er than: softer than

                        more…than: more beautiful than

                        as… as: (as) white as

Adjective is the comparative morpheme and is used to compare one thing with another. 

 

Ex: Bob is stronger than Jim is.

 

The comparative forms of good and bad are irregular: better and worse.

 

To apply comparative to most linger adjectives, like beautiful, we use ( more …. than )  

Instead of ( ….er than):

Ex: more beautiful than. 

We may use (…. er than), though, with two- syllable adjectives that end in y, like rainy, and a few other two- syllable adjectives like narrow and simple.

 

When two things are equally pretty, sad, expensive, wide, and so on, we use ( as……as) to represent comparison.

Ex: pretty + comparison              as pretty as

      a. Bill is sad + comparison.                                     b. Sam is sad.

                                                c. Bill is as sad as Sam is.

 

The morpheme superlative is used to compare one thing with two or more things. To make such a comparison, we may use ( the ..est of ) to replace comparative.

 

Ex: the strongest of

            a. Bob is strong + superlative.                           b. The three boys are strong.

                                                c. Bob is the strongest of the three boys.

With the superlative transformation we must omit the entire predicate of the b sentence.  

Apply the superlative transformation to the following. The superlative forms of good and bad are best and worst.

With adjectives that require (more….. than) for comparative, we use (the most…….of) for superlative.

Ex: beautiful + sup.                   The most beautiful of 

 

Inflectional Morpheme in the Verb Phrase

 

We have applied two of the eight inflectional morphemes to nouns: plural and possessive. Two more have been applied to adjectives through the comparative and superlative transformations. Four inflectional morphemes remain, and all of these apply to verbs or to be.

Two of these morphemes are tense morphemes, present and past. English verbs have two just two tenses: present and past.

The present tense morpheme has two different forms, depending on what the subject is. If the subject is a noun phrase with a plural count noun, or if it is one of the words (I, we, you, or they), the form of present tense is null; that is, the simple form of the verb is used without change.

Ex: the + boy + plural + present + talk              the boys talk.

       You + present + talk                                              you talk.

 

The inflectional morpheme present applies to what follows it in the line, or string, of morphemes. The other three inflectional morphemes apply to verbs are: past, ing, and participle.

When the subject dose not contain a plural count noun or is not  (I, we, you, or they), the tense morpheme present has a form spelled ( s or es) at the end:

Ex: the + boy + present + talk                           the boy talks.

       She + present  + talk                                 she talks. 

 

Although the tense morpheme present has two forms when it is added to verbs, the tense morpheme past has just one form:

Ex: past + talk                    walked, as in “ He walked home yesterday.”

 

 

Verbs that have the ending (ed) in the past tense are called regular verbs. But in many verbs the past tense morpheme is shown in other ways: and such verbs are called irregular.

Ex: past + teach                     taught,                 past + go                    went.    

 

The word (be), unlike verbs, has three present tense forms: (is, am, are). The form (am) is used only with the personal pronoun (I) as subject, (are) is used with (we, you, they). If the subject does not contain a plural count noun, or is not (we, you, they), or (I), the present tense form is (is).

The verb (be) has two past forms: were for plural subjects (we, you, they); for other subjects, was.

 

Morphemes have and participle in the Auxiliary

 

 We have studied two inflectional morphemes that apply to verbs: present and past. Another inflectional morpheme that applies to verbs is called participle. Participle is the form used in a verb phrase after (have or has, or had). The following sentences contain verbs used in participle form.

Ex:  Bob had watched it.                       Bob had carried it.                    Bob had tagged it. 

 

Verbs taking (ed) are regular verbs, and their participle forms end in (ed), and many verbs, of course, have irregular past tense and participle forms.

Ex: participle + build             built

 

The have of have + participle is just a morpheme that precedes the participle it is not the verb (have) that means “ possess.” Notice that may add have + participle, but we do not have to. If we add the morpheme have + participle, we must add morphemes, not one and the other.

 

Morphemes be and ing in the Auxiliary

 

 We have studied three inflectional morphemes that apply to verbs: present, past, and participle. There is one more of these is the morpheme ing. We have seen that every verb phrase must have an auxiliary, and that every auxiliary must contain a tense morpheme, either past or present. We have also seen that the auxiliary may contain two optional structures. One of these is a modal; the other is a pair of optional morphemes (have + participle). We now complete the rule for the auxiliary by including a final pair of optional morpheme (be + ing).

Ex: something + past + be + ing + happen.                        Something was happening.

 

How Vocabularies Grow

 

What we learn when we learn our language is not just, or even most importantly, words and sentences. What we learn are system for making words and sentences. Knowledge of the systems permits us to make countless sentences that are correct, and that others can understand, although we have never heard or seen them before.

For instance, knowledge of the items in the sentence “ He likes it” plus knowledge of the modal system permits us to construct nine other sentences. Two of them are “ He may like it” and “ He could like it.” What are the other seven? We don’t need to have seen or heard any of these nine sentences previously to be able to make them and to know they arte correct. All we need to know is the system.

There are also word- building systems. Knowledge of these permits us to add hundreds and thousands of words to our vocabularies without learning the words one by one. Suppose for example, we know five hundred verbs- write, teach, help, find, like, spend and so on. Then we get onto the meaning of the morpheme (er) the “ one who does” morpheme. Immediately we have command of five hundred new nouns: writer, teacher, helper, finder, liker, and spender. Some of these we may never find a use for. We may never have occasion to say (liker). However, the possibility of it is always there if we should discover a need for it.

In what expression are the morphemes (er, find, keep) and plural used together?

Certain morphemes, of course, have more possible application than others. The morpheme (ly-adv-m) can be added to nearly all adjectives to make adverbs of manner. If you know (ly-adv-m) you have practically as many adverbs of manner at your disposal as you have adjectives. The morpheme (ly-adj) on the other hand, makes adjectives of only a certain subset of nouns. Knowledge of such morphemes is important too, however, in vocabulary growth. If you know the noun cost and (ly-adj), you can grasp the meaning of costly without looking it up in the dictionary. If we had to use the dictionary to discover the meaning of each new word we encounter, our vocabularies would grow very slowly.

 

Another derivational morpheme that contributes importantly to vocabulary growth is        (ness), as in goodness, kindness, sweetness, friendliness.

If you know the meaning of the underlying adjective, you also know the meaning of the related noun with the morpheme (ness). If you know what righteous means, you know what righteousness means.

The noun made by the addition of (ness) to an adjective is of the particular sort called an abstract noun. An abstract noun is one that refers to something that can thought of apart from a particular person or object. For instance, we can think of sadness apart from a particular person, who is sad, of pleasantness apart from a particular thing that is pleasant. The opposite of abstract is concrete. Friend is concrete; friendliness is abstract.

Most abstract nouns ending in (ness) are non count nouns, but non-count doesn’t mean the same thing as abstract. Sugar, blood, grass, are non-count nouns, but they are not abstract, they are concrete.

Some adjectives are made from abstract nouns. For instance, (angry) is made from           (anger). What abstract nouns are the adjectives dangerous, beautiful, innocent made from? If an adjective is made from an abstract noun, we are very likely to add (ness) to it to make another abstract noun. We say anger, not angriness; innocence, not innocentness.

Add (ness) only to those of the following adjectives that are not made from abstract nouns, and use the (ness) word in a sentence. If the adjective is made from an abstract noun, use that abstract noun in a sentence.

 

Two (ful) Morphemes

 

There are two morphemes spelled ful. One is the (ful) of (beautiful), the other the (ful) of (cupful). Both derivational morphemes come from the adjective (full), as in “ The world is full of beauty,” and “ The cup was full to the brim.”

We will call the ful of beautiful (ful- Adj), because it is added to nouns to make adjectives: (beauty + ful – Adj              beautiful.

Ex: mirthful, pitiful, healthful, fanciful, lawful.

 

The (ful) of (cupful) is called (ful- N) here because it makes nouns of measurement from certain other nouns. Thus cupful means “ the amount that will fill a cup.”

Ex: armful, spoonful, mouthful, bagful, handful.

 

The usual way to write the plural of nouns with (ful-N) is to add (s) at the end: (cupfuls).

Many words consist of more than two morphemes. For example, the word (cupfuls) has three morphemes: the base word (cup), the derivational morpheme (ful- N), and the inflectional morpheme (plural). When a derivational morpheme and an inflectional morpheme are both added to a word, the derivational morpheme comes first and the inflectional morpheme second.

Ex: bag + ful- N + plural                        bagfuls

 

Many words contain two or more derivational morphemes. Thus (beautifully) is made up of the base (beauty) and the derivational morphemes (ful- Adj) and (ly- Adv-m).

Ex: pity + ful- Adj + ly- Adv-m             pitifully 

 

The Morpheme less and un

 

The morpheme that we will name (less) makes adjectives out of nouns, and has the general meaning (without). Thus (less) added to the noun (home) gives the adjective (homeless), meaning without a home, as in “ The children were homeless.”

(Less) that represents the adjective- making morpheme is an affix, added at the end of words.

A morpheme meaning (not), however, is represented by a prefix, added at the beginning of words and spelled (un). We add the morpheme (un-not) at the beginning of adjectives and adverbs of manner

Ex: un-not + tidy                       untidy

       un-not + skillfully                       un skillfully

There are two (ful) morphemes and two (ly) morphemes so there are two (un) morphemes. The one we have studied, (un- not), adds the meaning (not) to adjectives and adverbs of manner. The other one reverses the meaning of verbs, so we will call it (un- reverse).

Ex: unchain means to take a chain off instead of putting it on, untie, unfold, unseat, unveil.

 

 

The Affixes of Old English

 

Many of the words that we have in modern English were not in the language in the Old English period. However, most of the more common words were. For instance, the prepositions, the modals, the adverbs of place, the indefinite pronouns, and all of the personal pronouns but one come from Old English. The one personal pronoun that doesn’t is (they) (with its related them, their, theirs). Besides, many common nouns, verbs, and adjectives were already in the language in Old English time, examples of nouns from Old English are (man, mother, tree), of verbs (eat, sing, climb), of adjectives, (warm, white, bold). However, a word in one of these word classes may be very common and still may be a borrowing from another language. It is also true that some of our affixes – prefixes and suffixes – come to us from Old English, while others do not. All of the affixes that represent inflectional morphemes do. On the other hand, only a few of the derivational morphemes come to us from Old English. We have already studied most of those that do: the two (ly’s), two (ful’s), (ness), (less) and (er).

Another morpheme from Old English is represented by the suffix (y). We will name it (y) morpheme. To what kind of word is (y) added in (dirty).

Ex: bony, stormy, funny, filmy, milky, steamy, rocky

 

There are other derivational morphemes that we do not use nowadays on a great many words, though we still use some of them on very common words.

Ex:

Ship: friendship, kinship, partnership,

dom: kingdom, boredom, freedom.

Hood: brotherhood, manhood, likelihood.

Some: winsome, wholesome, irksome.

Such derivational morphemes are sometimes called dead morphemes. They still occur in many words in the language, but we don’t use them much to make new words. On the other hand, morphemes like (less, ness, er, ful) are very much alive.

 

Some Prefixes from Old English

 

Even in the time of Anglo- Saxons, English was more a suffixing than a prefixing language. That is all of its inflectional morphemes and most of the derivational ones attached to the ends of words rather than to the beginnings. However, Old English did have a number of prefixes, some of which we still use. The most common of these is the morpheme (un), which we have already studied.

Another such prefix is the morpheme (be) as in (bedevil). This morpheme makes transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, or other verbs. It has such meaning as                  “ completely” or “ thoroughly” or “ covered with” or “ affected by.” When added to adjectives, it has the meaning “ make” or “ cause to appear.” Thus belittle means “ cause to appear little.”       

The Old English morpheme (be) occurs in many words that we use today, such as (below, before, become). However, it is no longer felt to have a separate meaning.

Two other verb- making prefixes from Old English are the morphemes (over and under), which have in part the same meanings as the prepositions or particles (over and under).

Ex: overdo, overdevelop, undercharge, underfeed.

 

In words such as (understand, and undertake), the prefix is no longer felt to have a separate meaning. However these verbs behave just as the verbs (stand and take) do.

 

We have dead prefixes from Old English, just as we have dead suffixes. One is (with), but this prefix now occurs in just three verbs (withstand, withdraw, and withhold.)

 

 

UNIT FOUR

 

Derivational Morphemes from Latin

 

We have borrowed so many words from Latin that the derivational morphemes that make up the Latin words have become very familiar to us. Many of them have come into active use in English. We use them to make new words, without caring much whether the base words to which they are attached come from Latin or not.

A familiar example is the Latin morpheme spelled (ex). The morpheme (ex) was first of all a preposition in Latin meaning “ out of.” But it was also used as a prefix to add the meaning  “ out of” to verbs.

Ex: expel is composed of (ex) plus (pellere), a verb that meant “ drive.” Expel means (drive out).

The meaning of a morpheme like (ex), whether preposition or prefix, is often a bit slippery. A meaning like “out” or “out of” will often edge into other meanings, similar but a trifle different.

Ex: exceed, the morpheme (ex) has the meaning “out” exceed means something like “ go beyond.” What special meaning has (ex) acquired in the verb (expire).

In its use as an active morpheme in Modern English, (ex) has developed the general meaning “ former.” Thus an (ex- president) is a former president.

 

Another active derivational morpheme from Latin is represented by the prefix (re). In Latin words, this usually has the meaning “back” as in (recede), which means “go back.”

Sometimes, however, the morpheme (re) develops the meaning “ again.” For instance, the word (relent) is made of (re) plus (lentus). Lentus means “soft,” and (relent) means             “ become soft again.”

Ex: Noticing her disappointment, David relented.

As an active morpheme in English, (re) has the meaning “again”, (redo) means “ do again.”

The Morpheme in

 

We have seen that we usually use a hyphen with (ex) but write (re) solid with the word to which it is attached: (ex- president), (rearrange). However, there are occasions when we use (re) with a hyphen too.

Ex: He recovered the chair.                               He re-covered the chair.

 

The first sentence means that, he got the chair back. The second means that, he put a new cover on it. Adding the morpheme (re) to a word to give the meaning “again” may confuse it with a common verb beginning with (re). In this case we often use a hyphen for the form in which (re) simply means again.

Repose / re-pose                                  remark / re-mark                      release / re-lease

Notice that in these pairs there is usually a difference in the pronunciation of the prefix. In (repose), the (re) has the vowel sound schwa. But in (re- pose) pose again, (re) has the vowel sound / é/. Also repose has weak stress on the first syllable and (re- pose) middle stress.

A hyphen is sometimes used after (re) when the word to which the morpheme is added begins with the letter e, even when there is no danger of confusion: (re- elect and re- enter).

 

Another very common morpheme from Latin is usually spelled (in), as in (incomplete) or (informal). The prefix that represents the morpheme (in) is added mostly to adjectives to give the meaning “not.” (Incomplete) means not complete. So (in) has about the same meaning as our native English un-not.

A different between (in) and (un) is that we mainly add (un) to simple words, such as those that come down to us from Old English: (untrue, not intrue). We add (in) mainly to the words that come from Latin: (incomplete, not uncomplete).

 

We sometimes add (in) to nouns to give the meaning “not.” We do this particularly with nouns that end in (ity).

Ex: instability, inhumanity, informality, insanity, insecurity,

 

Sometimes (in) has special forms that depend on the beginning sound of the word to which the morpheme is added. For instance, (in) added to (possible) gives not, (inpossible), but (impossible)

Ex: imbalance, immovable.

This is part of a general process that is very important in word formation. The process is called assimilation means simply the tendency to make a sound in a word like the sound that comes next to it. The word (possible, balance, and movable) begin with the sounds /p/, / b /, and /m/. These sounds are all alike in the fact that they are formed by closing the lips. When we try to pronounce (in + possible) we tend to close the lips before we get to the (possible), while we are still saying the (in) part. Doing this changes the sound /in/ into the sound /im/. We show this in our spelling system by writing (in + possible) as (impossible).

 

 

 

More Examples of Assimilation

 

We have seen that the morpheme (in) is spelled (im) and pronounced (im) when it is added to words like (possible, balance, and movable). This process is called assimilation. We say that the /n/ is assimilation to /m/ when it comes before any of these sounds.

 

If we add the morpheme (in) to words like movable or mobile, how many m’s must the resulting word have?

We can’t misspell a word like (immovable or immobile) by using only one m for the prefix and another for the word to which the prefix is added.

The consonant of the morpheme (in) undergoes assimilation before certain other sounds also. Before words beginning with /r/, (in) is pronounced /ir/ and spelled (ir). For example (in + responsible is irresponsible).

People sometimes add (in) to regardless to make irregardless. But regardless already has a negative meaning given to it by the less; it means “ without regard or consideration.” Consequently it doesn’t need the additional negative of (in).

Before words beginning with / l /, the (in) of the morpheme (in) is assimilated to / il /.

Ex: in + legal                        is illegal

 

Remember that we have also a negative morpheme from Old English, the morpheme (un). We have seen that this is more likely to be added to simple words from Old English, whereas (in) generally goes with words borrowed from Latin. But sometimes either (un or in) may be added to the same base word. Thus we might say (unmoral as well as immoral). There is usually, as here, a slight difference in meaning, however. In such pairs, un generally means “ without.” In means “ without.”

 

The Morpheme ment and cy

 

The morpheme (ment), in the form of suffix spelled (ment), is added to verbs to make nouns:

Ex: achieve + ment                              achievement

 

The nouns made by the use of (ment) are mostly abstract, in some sense, but they are also mostly count nouns. However, some may also be used as non count nouns.

Ex: His goal is achievement.                      Meaning that he wants to achieve something. Here achievement is a non count noun.

But, we can also say,  

Ex: His six greatest achievements are well known. (Here achievement is a count noun)                

 

The morpheme (cy) also makes abstract nouns, mostly non count nouns. This morpheme is added mostly to words that ends in the sound / t /, spelled either / t / or / te / letters drop when the (cy) which represents the morpheme is added.

The morpheme (cy) may be added to adjectives or nouns. When added to adjectives it makes nouns, which mean the quality or condition of the adjective.

Ex: secrecy means “ the quality of being secret.”

Delicate - delicacy, intimate- intimacy, obstinate- obstinacy, literate- literacy, urgent- urgency, hesitant- hesitancy, frequent- frequency, malignant- malignancy.

There is one common word in which the letter / t/ is not dropped before (cy). Bankruptcy.            

 

The morpheme (cy) may also be added to nouns to make nouns of different sort. These nouns indicate an office or state of some kind.

Ex: presidency              the state of a president

      Piracy                                 the state of pirate.

 

There are some pairs of words that differ only in that one member ends in (ence or ance) and the other in ( ency or ancy):

Ex: dominance / dominancy, coherence / coherency.

 

Sometimes, as in these examples, there is no difference in meaning. The (ence , ency) form is usually more common and the one to use when in doubt. Sometimes, however, the meaning is quite different.

Ex: dependence/ dependency                emergence/ emergency

 

A Morpheme That Changes Stress

 

 In the word (excavation), there are three degrees of stress, two of which are shown in the dictionary respelling of the word by a heavy accent mark , and a light accent mark ΄:

Ex:                   (ek΄ kə. vā΄ shən)

 

We say that the syllable pronounced the most loudly has first stress; the one next in loudness has middle stress; the two pronounced least loudly have weak stress. The heavy accent mark shows the syllable with first stress: vā.

Schwa, / ə/, occurs in syllables with weak stress, and schwa may be spelled with any of the vowel letters. So the sound of the vowel in a syllable with / ə/ is no clue to the spelling.

However, certain suffixes shift the stress of words to which they are added. First stress may then fall on a syllable that has schwa in the underlying word. The syllable will now be pronounced with a vowel sound that may suggest the spelling.

Ex: organ (the second syllable has weak stress and the vowel schwa.

When the word is pronounced, there is no way to tell that / ə / in this word is spelled /a/. But suppose we add to organ a morpheme spelled (ic) that makes adjectives. The (ic) morpheme regularly shifts the stress to the syllable just preceding it.

Ex: organ + ic                             organic

With the first stress on the syllable (gan), which rhymes with (man). When we spell (organ) we think of (organic), we can’t possibly spell the second vowel with any letter but (a).

To make adjectives ending in (ic) from nouns ending in (y), the (y) is dropped.

Ex: pacify- pacific, specify- specific, history- historic, strategy- strategic, melody- melodic, academy- academic, harmony- harmonic, symmetry- symmetric.

 

 

 

 

The Suffixes ic and ical    

 

We have studied the use of morpheme (ic) to make adjectives from nouns. Some nouns already end in (ic). These are made into adjectives by adding (al).

Ex: music- musical, magic- magical, ethic- ethical, logic- logical, topic- topical, critic- critical,

Some adjectives that end in (ical), like the following, are not made from underlying nouns, or at least not from ones ending in (ic).

Ex: vertical, identical, chemical, mythical, radical, grammatical, nautical, botanical.

This existence of adjectives ending in (ical and ic) produces, as one might expect, a certain amount of confusion and certainty. One is often in doubt whether the word should end in (ical or ic), or perhaps in either. There are some words indeed, in which it doesn’t matter. There are pairs for which there is no difference of meaning or in which the difference is so small as to be unnoticeable. Such a pair are (alphabetical and alphabetic). One might say either “ an alphabetical arrangement” or “ an alphabetic arrangement.”

 

However not all members of (ic and ical) pairs are interchangeable.

Ex: economic doesn’t mean the same thing as economical. Economic means having to do with economics, as in “ an economic theory.” Economical means thrifty or frugal, as in “ an economical housewife.”

 

Many words that end in (ical) have no corresponding word that ends in (ic).

Ex: vertical but not vertic,                      identical but not identic.

 

On the hand, there are many words end in (ic) that have no sisters in (ical).

Ex: syllabic not syllabical                       scientific not scietifical  

       Volcanic not Volcanical                 basic not basical

 

When we make adverbs of manner from adjectives in (ical), we do so by adding (ly) in the usual way.

Ex: typical- typically, ironical- ironically, critical- critically, radical- radically

 

But except for the word (publicly), adjectives ending in (ic) do not form adverbs of manner in this simple way. (Publicly) is an exception; it is formed by simply adding (ly) to public. Nearly all other adjectives in (ic) add not (ly) but (ally):

Ex: basic- basically, magic- magically, scientific- scientifically, logic- logically.

 

The Morpheme fy

 

Adjectives and nouns are made into verbs by the addition of the morpheme (fy). The letter (i) proceeds the (fy).

Ex: glory- glorify, false- falsify

 

The morpheme (fy) borrowed from Latin. It comes from the Latin verb facere, which means, “ to make,” and it has this meaning in its use in English.

Ex: purify “ means to make pure”

 

Like the morpheme (ic), the morpheme (fy) has an affect on the stress. Words with (fy) have the principal stress on the third syllable from the end. Sometimes it is not the syllable that has the principal stress in the underlying word:

Ex: hūmid + fy              humīdify 

 

Nouns Ending in cation

  

Most of the verbs that end in (fy) have corresponding nouns ending in cation.   

Ex: verb- modify          noun- modification

       Verb- glorify         noun- glorification

You may remember that the (fy) comes from the Latin verb facere, which mean, “ to make.” English verbs don’t keep the (c) of facere, but the corresponding nouns do.

 

Verbs ending in (ply) also form nouns with the ending cation.

 Ex: verb- multiply                    noun- multiplication

 

The verb publish also has a corresponding noun in cation.

 

 

Third Subject:

 

UNIT ONE

Syntax of the Sentences

 

1.     The Simple Sentence, Its Kinds and Parts

 

A sentence is an expression of a thought or feeling by means of a word or words used in such form and manner as to convey the meaning intended.

 

Kinds of Sentences

 

Classification: there are four kinds:

 

I. The exclamatory sentence

The exclamatory sentence, uttering an outcry, or giving expression to a command, wish, desire, in its written form often closing with an exclamation point. An exclamatory sentence shows strong feeling. An exclamatory sentence ends with an exclamation mark.

Ex: Oh! Ouch! What a noise the engine makes! Look! Don’t you touch that! Come in. write soon.

This is probably the oldest form of the sentence.

 

II. The Declarative Sentence:

The declarative Sentence, stating a fact, or asserting something as a fact. A declarative sentence makes a statement. A declarative sentence ends with a period.

Ex: A day has twenty- four hours. Kind words are the music of the world. The house will be built on a hill

III. Imperative - An imperative sentence gives a command.

Example: Cheryl, try the other door.

Sometimes the subject of an imperative sentence (you) is understood.

IV. The Interrogative Sentence:

The Interrogative Sentence, asking a question, in its written form closing with an interrogation point. In a question requiring (yes or no) for an answer the personal part of the verb usually stands in the first place.

Ex: Are you going?

However, the question is asked in a tone of surprise, the form is that of a declarative sentence, but it is spoken with rising tone:

Ex: You are going?

We may also employ the declarative form when we do not understand a statement and ask for the repetition of it:

Ex: He went where? = Where did you say he went?

Elsewhere the question is introduced by an interrogative pronoun, an interrogative adjective or an interrogative adverb.

Ex:       Pronoun                      who, (whose, whom), what, which (one)

            Adjective                    what, which

            Adverb                        when, where, why, how, whence

 

 

 

 

 

UNIT TWO

 

 

Essential Elements of a Sentence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject and Predicate

Every complete sentence contains two parts: a subject and a predicate. The subject is what (or whom) the sentence is about, while the predicate tells something about the subject. In the following sentences, the predicate is enclosed in braces ({}), while the subject is highlighted.

Ex:       Judy {runs}.

Judy and her dog {run on the beach every morning}.

 

In a normal sentence both subject and predicate are present, but sometimes the one or the other may be absent, and yet the sentence may be a complete expression of thought:

Ex: Yes, No, Oh! Ouch! Fred! (Calling out form him to come in)

 

To determine the subject of a sentence, first isolate the verb and then make a question by placing "who?" or "what?" before it -- the answer is the subject.

 

Ex: The audience littered the theatre floor with torn wrappings and spilled popcorn.

 

The verb in the above sentence is "littered." Who or what littered? The audience did. "The audience" is the subject of the sentence. The predicate (which always includes the verb) goes on to relate something about the subject: what about the audience? It "littered the theatre floor with torn wrappings and spilled popcorn."

 

Unusual Sentences

Imperative sentences (sentences that give a command or an order) differ from conventional sentences in that their subject, which is always "you," is understood rather than expressed.

Ex: Stand on your head. ("You" is understood before "stand.")

 

Be careful with sentences that begin with "there" plus a form of the verb "to be." In such sentences, "there" is not the subject; it merely signals that the true subject will soon follow.

There were three stray kittens cowering under our porch steps this morning.

If you ask who? or what? before the verb ("were cowering"), the answer is "three stray kittens," the correct subject.

Simple Subject and Simple Predicate

Every subject is built around one noun or pronoun (or more) that, when stripped of all the words that modify it, is known as the simple subject. Consider the following example:

 

Ex: A piece of pepperoni pizza would satisfy his hunger.

 

The subject is built around the noun "piece," with the other words of the subject -- "a" and "of pepperoni pizza" -- modifying the noun. "Piece" is the simple subject.

Likewise, a predicate has at its center a simple predicate, which is always the verb or verbs that link up with the subject. In the example we just considered, the simple predicate is "would satisfy" -- in other words, the verb of the sentence.

A sentence may have a compound subject -- a simple subject consisting of more than one noun or pronoun -- as in these examples:

Ex: Team pennants, rock posters and family photographs covered the boy's bedroom walls.

Her uncle and she walked slowly through the Inuit art gallery and admired the powerful sculptures exhibited there.

 

The second sentence above features a compound predicate, a predicate that includes more than one verb pertaining to the same subject (in this case, "walked" and "admired").

 

Forms of the Subject:

 

The complete subject often consists of a group of words:

Ex: The stately ship dropped her anchor.

 

The noun round which the other words are grouped is called the subject word, in this sentence ship. The subject word is always in the nominative case.

 

The pronominal subject is often used in questions in connection with a noun subject, so that there is a double expression of the subject:

Ex: Your friends, what will they say?

 

Ex:

a. A noun:                                            The sun is rising.

 

b. A pronoun:                          He is writing.

             

c. An Infinitive or Gerund:                To read good books improves the mind.

                                                            Reading good books improves the mind.

 

d. An Adjective:                                 No good will comes of it.

                                                            Rich and poor rejoiced.

 

e. Another Part of Speech:                The ups and downs of life.

 

f. A Group of Words:                         Early to bed, early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise.

 

g. A Whole Clause:                            Whoever knows him well respects him.

 

                                                                         

Use of the Pronominal Subjects:

 

Attention is here called to a few important points:

 

I. Situation “It” as Subject:

“It” is much used as subject to point to something definite which is more or less clearly defined by the situation.

Ex:       It is John. (Words spoken up on hearing foot steps in the hall).

            It (the distance) is ten miles to the nearest town.

 

II. Impersonal “It” and “ There”

We now say “It” rained yesterday,” but originally there was no “it” here, no subject at all, for reference was made to an activity without any desire to bring it into relation to a subject the force of such sentences has not changed, for the “it” here has no meaning. It has been inserted to conform the sentence in a mere formal way to the usual type of sentence to subject and predicate. In spite of the “it” the verb has no real subject, indeed we still as in earlier times desire in such sentences merely to call attention to an activity or state in and of itself.

Ex:       it is snowing.                 It is cold.                      It is winter.

The old type of sentence without “it” survives in archaic “ methinks” literally.

Ex: There is a thinking going on to me. (where me is a dative of reference)

 

Instead of a predicate verb here we often employ a predicate noun, as being more concrete, introducing the sentence with “there” instead of “it”

Ex: “ It frosted heavily last night,” or “ There was a heavy frost last night.”

 

 

III. Anticipatory “It” and “There”

When we desire to emphasize a subject, we often withhold it for a time, causing the feeling of suspense. Anticipatory (it), or in the case of a noun subject also (there), serves as a provisional subject, pointing forward to the real subject.

Ex: There is once lived an interesting old man.    It is to exert yourself.

 

Anticipatory (it) is also often employed when the subject leaves the first position so that a predicate noun, pronoun, adjective, or adverb may be brought near the beginning of the sentence for emphasis, and a subject denoting a lifeless thing.

Ex: It is needed beautiful, this view of the mountain.

 

IV. Pronouns Used as General or Indefinite Subject:

These are: one, you, they, and we.

Ex: One doesn’t like to be snubbed.

 

V. Editorial “ we,”

This form is sometimes used by a speaker or writer to avoid the egotism of “I”. In editorial (we) often has associative force, the writher speaking for the whole staff; hence it is here a real plural.

Ex: We would first speak of the Puritans.

 

VI. Plural of Majesty:

“We” is often used instead of (I) by kings, especially as a formal term in official decrees.

 

VII. “We” = “You”

We is often used with the force of you:

Ex: Are we down- hearted today? Often sarcastically:   How touchy we are?

 

 

Omission of Subject:

 The subject is omitted:

 

a. As a Rule in Imperative Sentences:

Ex: Hand me that book.

 

b. In the First Person in a few Set Expressions:

Ex: [I] Thank you.

 

c. When subject is suggested by the situation. Accustomed, as we are to feel that every sentence must have a subject, we might understand here a situation (it) or some other pronoun as subject, but in reality in natural speech we simply trust to the situation to make our thought clear.

Ex: He will do it as soon as possible.                

      He bought more than was necessary. (As regards wheat, prices are rising.)

 

 

 

UNIT THREE

 

Forms of the Predicate:

The predicate can be:

 

a. A Finite Verb of Complete Predication:

A finite verb that has full verbal meaning, predicating something, hence quite distinct from the copulas described in B bellow, which have little more than linking force.

Ex: simplicity attracts. Riches vanish.        He frequently tells us interesting stories.

 

In the last example the verb often has modifiers. The verb with all its modifiers constitutes the complete predicate.

The verb is not always a simple word as in the preceding examples but is often made of an auxiliary and another verb- form, both together usually called the verb- phrase.

Ex: I have just finished my work.

 

In our colloquial speech there is a marked tendency to clothe the chief idea of the predicate in the form of a noun instead of a verb of complete predication.

Ex:      

After dinner we had a quiet smoke.       “Instead of”       we smoked quietly.

I got a good shaking up.                        “Instead of”      I was shaking up thoroughly.

           

1. Suppression of the Verb.

The verb or some part of the verb phrase often becomes an unimportant element in a sentence and on account of the over towering importance of some other part of the complete predicate is so little felt that it may be suppressed.

Ex:

[Sit] Down in front!       Have you done it?         “Of course, I have” [done it].

            Let me [get] off at Jackson Street.                     Murder will [come] out.

 

2. Use of “Do” to Avoid the Repetition of the Verb:

This is a convenient device.

Ex: He has never acted, as he should have done.          He behaves better than you do.

 

A stressed “do” form is used in questions, declarative statements, and commands wherever there is a desire to emphasize the idea of actuality, the truthfulness of a claim, realization or a desire of realization.

Ex:

Does he believe it?        Did he see it?               I didn’t tell him?           Do finish your work.     

 

An unstressed “do” is used in commands, questions, and in declarative sentences with inverted word order.

Ex: Do finish your work.           Does he believe it?       

 

A “do” form is used in the negative form of questions, declarative statements, and commands when simple “not” is the negative.

Ex: Doesn’t he live here?

 

3. Position of the Verb

In declarative sentences, the verb of complete predication normally follows the subject.

 

An emphatic adverb or object may stand in the important first place, the personal part of the verb in the second place, and the subject in the third place

Ex: Seven times did this intrepid general repeat his attacks.

 

This word order has become fixed in all questions in which there is an interrogative adverb or object.

Ex: When did he come?

 

In question expecting yes or no for an answer and in imperative sentences, the personal part of the verb stands in the first place.

Ex: Did you see him?

 

A Verb of Incomplete Predication + Complement

 The predicate may be also a finite form of a verb of incomplete predication in connection with a predicate complement, that is a predicate noun, adjective, participle, etc., the verb assuming in a mere formal way the function of predication, the complement serving as the real predicate.

Ex: He is a coward.                 Shakespeare was a dramatist.             To err is human.

 

A verb of incomplete predication is called a copulas or a linking verb, a verb which of itself has little meaning, merely linking the real predicate to the subject. The following are the most common of these linking verbs:

Appear, become, come, fall, feel, get, go, grow, happen, keep, leave off, lie, look, loom, prove, rank, remain, rest, run, seem, sit, smell, sound, stand, stay, taste, turn, turn out,

Ex:       He fell (full verb) as a brave soldier at the front.

            He fell (linking verb = became) heir to a larger estate. 

 

a. Appositional Type of Sentence:

Originally there was no linking verb between the subject and the predicate adjective, noun, or adverb. In primitive expression it was considered sufficient to place the predicate adjective, noun, or adverb alongside of the subject, either before or after, the predicate word lying next the subject like an appositive explaining it, predicating something of it.

Ex:

            He called me a liar.                  He thought me crazy.                I found him upstairs.       

 

b. Position of Linking Verbs:

In declarative sentences linking verbs normally follow the subject, but for the sake of emphasis an emphatic predicate noun or adjective or an emphatic object takes the first place, followed usually by the subject and the linking verb.

Ex:

            Cantankerous chap Roger always was.           Lucky it is that we know her name.

 

However the subject is emphatic, it is often withheld for a time to call attention to it. It then stands after the verb.

Ex: “You have acted selfishly,” was her cold retort.

 

A Predicate Appositive:

The predicate may be also a verb of complete predication in connection with a predicate complement that is a predicate noun, adjective, participle, and prepositional phrase, here called a predicate appositive.

Ex:

He was born a (or as a) child of poor parents; he died the (or as the) richest man in the state. 

He came home sick.                 She asked him in tears to come again.

 

1. Abridged Adverbial Clause with form of Participle, Gerund, or infinitive:

The predicate appositive often not only adds a remark about the subject, but also has the force of an adverbial clause, thus sustaining relation to both the subject and the principle verb.

Ex:       Being sick (= as I was sick), I stayed at home.            

He was drowned while bathing in the river.

To have finished my work I went to bed.

 

2. A Predicate Appositive after a Predicate Noun or Pronoun or Adjective:

The predicate appositive is used not only after verb of complete predication but also after a predicate noun, pronoun, or adjective.

Ex:

He is a good neighbor, always ready to lend a helping hand and do a good turn.

            She was like a bird, full of joy and music.

 

3. As –Phrase or As- Clause with Adverbial Force:

The As –Phrase or As- Clause may often according to the context be construed as indicating cause, manner, extent, degree, or purpose.

Ex:       He settled in Boston as a place of culture. (Cause).

            They employed him as chauffeur (manner).

            It was (as) long as my arm (extent).

            He was (as) strong as a horse (degree).

I scattered salt hay over my strawberry plants as a protection against winter    (purpose).

 

 

Predicate Complement:

The predicate complement may be:

 

a. Predicate Noun:

In nominative after verbs of incomplete predication:

After the linking verbs:

Ex: Socrates was the son of sculptor.

After the passive forms of the transitive:

Ex: “They made him a general”: He was made a general.

 

The predicate nominative is often introduced by “as” now a very common form of the predicate complement and the regular form after the passive of the new prepositional compounds.

Ex: He was considered our, or as our, most trustworthy man. 

 

Instead of introducing the predicate complement by “as”

Ex: He was taken for his brother.

 

After a linking verbs containing the idea of growth, development, or change:

Ex: He became the president of the company.

 

Predicate Genitive: a predicate genitive is found after certain linking verbs to indicate characteristic, measurement, origin, possession, material- usually the of –genitive, but quite commonly the s- genitive to indicate possession.

Ex:       The matter is of considerable importance.

            I don’t want what is John’s or any body else’s.

 

b. Predicate Adjective and Participle:

The predicate complement may be an adjective or participle.

Ex: He is poor. (Adjective)                   he seems contented. (Participle)

 

Predicate noun with the force of adjective.

Ex: He was fool (= foolish) enough to marry her.

 

c. Predicate Pronoun and Adverb “So”:

The predicate complement may be a pronoun.

Ex: It was he.

      We all desire to be free, but in this world, constituted as it is, we shall never be that.

Where the reference is to the idea contained in some preceding statement or word, we often use as a predicate pronoun the demonstrative that, as in the last example, but the personal pronoun it and the verb so are often used with similar force.

Ex: “I don’t like my teacher,”- “ Why [is that] so?”

 

d. Predicate Infinitive:

There are three classes of infinitives here:

I. Normal prepositional form, which is used after a linking verb.

Ex: To be good is to be happy.             He seems to have ability.

 

After the passive form of many verbs:

Ex: He was found to be sleeping (fact), or He was found sleeping (with descriptive force)

 

II. Modal form:

After the linking verbs be, remain, fall, and seem, the infinitive often assumes a peculiar modal force in the predicate, expressing the possibility, fitness, or necessity of an action.

Ex:

An account of the event is to (= can) be found in the evening paper

Such women are to (= ought to) be admired.

I am to (= must) become a burden to you all

 

III. Predicate Infinitive to express purpose:

After the linking verb “be” the “to- infinitive” is sometimes used as a predicate appositive to express purpose.

Ex: I have been down town to buy a new hat.

 

E. Predicate Gerund:

The gerund is often used as a predicate complement, usually with the same force as the prepositional infinitive.

Ex: To build on any other foundation (than religion) is building upon sand (or to build upon sand).

 

F. Predicate Adverb and Prepositional Phrase:

An adverb or a prepositional phrase is often used as a predicate complement.

Ex: My day’s work is over.                  He is in good condition.

 

 

UNIT FOUR

 

Agreement Between Subject and Predicate

 

You have heard the basic rule that a verb agrees with its subject. That is a singular subject needs a singular verb and a plural subject needs a plural verb.

The predicate agrees with the subject in number and, where it is possible, in person, gender, and case.

 

Rules for agreement of verbs with subject.

 

 

 

A. Number:

Rule.1. Use a singular verb with a singular subject, like is, has, was, does and a main verb taking (s) or (es) at the end.

Ex:                                                                                                                                            

The tiniest hair casts a shadow.

Rule.2. Use a plural verb with a plural subject, like are, have, were, do and a main verb taking no (s) or (es) at the end.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                These cats are white.                                                                                                             Those men do well.                                                                                                                       They have green books.

Rule.3. Make the verb in a question agrees with its subject. To be sure turn the question in to a statement.

Ex: Has he a book?       Is she a telephone operator?

Rule.4. Use a plural verb with compound subjects joined by, and.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                    Egg and butter are selling here.                                                                                             The girls and their mother have gone for shopping.

 

 

Rule.5. For the subjects joined by either-or and neither-nor, not only- but also, partly—partly the verb is agree with the one next to it.                                                                        a. Use a plural verb if both subjects are plural.                                                                              Ex: Neither the tables nor the chairs are new.

b. Use a singular verb if both subjects are singular.                                                                         Ex: Tea or coffee is his usual drink.

Not only John but also Bob is criminal.             

Rule.6.A plural subject may tell the idea of oneness or make one thing a singular should accept and a singular verb is used even that they joined by (and).

Ex:                                                                                                                                                 Bread and cheese is my usual breakfast.                                                                              The orator and statement is dead.                                                                                            Bread and cream is his only food.                                                                                         Every boy and girl was ready.

Rule.7. Plural subjects are joined with (and) and preceded by article (the) takes a plural verb.

Ex: The black and the white cats are there.

 

Rule.8. Collective nouns denoting part or number takes a singular verb according as the idea of oneness.

Ex:       The senior class requests (as a unit) the pleasure of your company

            The senior class is unable to agree upon a president.

 

Rule. 9. Nouns that are plural in form but singular in meaning, such as gallows, news, mumps, usually take a verb in the singular.

Ex: this sad news was brought to him at once.

 

Rule. 10. If the subject of the sentence is the name of a book, drama, newspaper, country or in general any title or proper name, the verb is usually in the singular.

Ex: The times reports.

 

Rule. 11. Where there are an affirmative and a negative subject, the verb agrees with the affirmative.

Ex: Virtue, not rolling suns, the mind matures (Young, Night Thoughts).

 

B. Person:

 

Rule. 12. When two or more subjects of different persons are in apposition, the verb agrees with the first one.

Ex: I, your mater, command you.

 

C. Gender:

 

Rule.13. The predicate complement agrees with the subject in gender where it has special forms to denote sex.

Ex: She is a countess.

 

 

D. Case:

Rule.14. The predicate complement agrees with its subject in case.

Ex:       It (subject nominative) is he (predicate nominative).

They supposed us (subject accusative) to be them (predicate   accusative).

 

 

Subordinate Elements of a Sentence

The subordinate elements of a sentence are called modifiers. They are divided into the following general classes:

1.      Adjective modifiers, which modify a noun or a pronoun.

2.      Objective and adverbial modifiers, which modify a verb.

 

A. Attributive Adjectives and Participles:

 

Attributive adjectives and participles fall into two classes- the adherent adjective or participle, which stands before the governing noun, and the appositive adjective or participle, which stands after it.

Ex:       (adherent adjective) a kind man.

            A man kind to everybody. (Appositive adjective)

 

 I. Attributive Genitive:

The S- Genitive: The ending of this genitive is now always written “’s” and is pronounced as a simple “s” except after sibilants (s, ss, c, sh, tch, ch, g, dg, x, z), where it is pronounced “es”.

Ex: John’s (with simple s)                      Jones’s (with es)

 

The genitive “’s” is added only in the case of nouns whose plurals are not formed by adding –s.

Ex: men- men’s, mice’s

 

Wherever the noun ends in the plural in –s or – es, the genitive takes no additional ending, but in the written language an apostrophe is added to indicate the genitive relation.

Ex: The Browns’ cottage

 

The Of- Genitive:

This is the usual form with nouns representing lifeless things, but is also much used with names of living beings.

Ex: The leg of the table.           The author of the book.            The father of the boy.

 

The Double Genitive:

The simple “s” genitive cannot be used after the governing noun, for in talking it would be taken for a plural. As it is often desirable to employ after the governing noun the “s” genitive with its lively conception of personality, we place the genitive sign “of” before the simple “s” genitive, thus clearly marking it as a genitive.

Ex: that fine suggestion of father’s                      a picture of the king’s

 

 

The Uninflected Genitive:

Originally there was no inflected form to indicate the genitive relation. This was shown by the word –order, the genitive always preceding the governing noun this usage survives in the genitive compounds.

Ex: sun- rise (rising of the sun)               earth- quake the quaking of the earth.

 

II. An Appositive as Modifier of a Noun:

A noun, which explains or characterize another is placed alongside of it, and from its position is accordingly called an (i.e. placed alongside of).

Ex: Smith, the banker.                            

 

There are two groups:

 

1. Loose Appositive:

Where the appositive noun follows the governing noun in a rather loose connection with the force of an explanatory relative clause, it agrees, if possible, with the governing noun in number and gender, but not always in case.

Ex: The Smiths, the friends of my youth.           Mary, the belle of the village.

The appositive friends and belle may here be regarded as agreeing with their governing word in number, gender, and case.

 

2. Pronouns as Appositives:

An appositive pronoun in choice English usually agrees with its governing noun or pronoun in case.

Ex: Mother, who should go, John or I?    Mother, whom do you want, John or me?

 

3. Appositive to a Sentence or Clause:

An appositive in the form of an explanatory remark often belongs to a whole sentence or clause.

Ex: I, like many another, am apt to judge my fellow man in comparison with myself, a wrong and a foolish and a natural thing to do.    

At my friend Smith’s house, or at the house of my friend Smith.

 

 

III. A Prepositional Phrase as Modifier of a Noun:

A noun or pronoun may be modified by a prepositional phrase.

Ex: joy over the victory, skill in hand work, care for the needy.

 

IV. An Infinitive as Modifier of a Noun:

A noun may be modified by a prepositional infinitive.

Ex: He was the first man to come= who came    It is a strong impulse to do it.

 

V. An Adverb as Modifier of a Noun:

An adverb often modifies a Noun or pronoun.

Ex: (adherent adverb) the above remark           (appositive adverb) the tree yonder. 

 

 

 

A Clause as Modifier of a Noun:

A Clause may modify a Noun.

Ex: The thought that we shall help him gives him courage.

 

B. Objective Modifiers

 

I. Accusative Object:

As the accusative and dative have lost the correct forms, which they once had, we must now indicate the accusative and the dative relations by the word- order.

If there is only one object, it is in most cases an accusative and stands in the position after the verb.

Ex: John struck his dog.

If it becomes necessary to employ a dative object after the verb, we must usually employ the modern dative form of with “to”, otherwise it would be construed as an accusative.

Ex: Robin Hood robbed the rich to give to the poor.

 

II. Dative Object:

The dative, like the accusative, represents a person or thing as an object, but differs from the accusative in that it indicates that the activity results in some advantage or disadvantage to the person or thing affected.

Ex: He yielded, bowed, submitted, surrendered, cringed, god down on his knees,

       to me.

 

 

III. Genitive Object:

In older English, the simple genitive was much used with verbs and adjectives as an object to indicate the sphere in which the activity or quality played. The simple genitive is no longer employed here, but the modern of- genitive not infrequently occurs.

Ex: A man ever mindful of his duty. (i.e. in the sphere of his duty)

 

IV. Prepositional Object:

The prepositional object is the natural complement of many adjectives and intransitive verbs.

Ex:       He was angry at me, pleased with me, worried about me.  

            He is shooting at a mark.

            He is striving for the first place in his class.

 

V. Double Object or Object with its Objective Predicate:

An accusative, dative, or prepositional object may not only each be used singly after a verb, but two objects may be employed, one an accusative to denote the direct object of the verb and one a dative, accusative, objective predicate, or prepositional object to express some additional limitation.

Ex:       My uncle gave me a gold watch.          Suffering has taught me patience.  

            I was told that I should do it.                 I asked him his name.

 

 

 

VI. Form of the Positive:

The adverbial element itself may have the form of a word, prepositional phrase, or subordinate clause.

Ex: He did it easily.                  He did it with ease.  

 

VII. Comparison of Adverbs:

Adverbs are compared much as adjectives added “er” in the comparative and “est” in the superlative.

Ex: fast- faster – fastest ----He climbed higher.

 

A few irregularities occur, corresponding closely to those found in adjectives:

 

Well                             better                           best

Ill, badly                       worse                           worst

Much                           more                            most    

 

VIII. Sentence Adverbs:

An adverbial element, i.e. a simple adverb, adverbial phrase, or complete sentence, often modifies the statement as a whole rather than the verb or predicate complement alone.

Ex: He apparently thinks so.         I frankly confess it.           I undoubted believe it 

 

 

 

Independent Elements of a Sentence:

 

Independent elements are words, phrases, or clauses, which are not related grammatically to other parts of the sentence, or stand all alone without having any grammatical relation to another word expressed or understood. As we shall see bellow, however, these elements all play a useful part in the expression of our thought and feeling.

 

I. Interjections:

 

The simplest interjections, such as Oh! (usually O when not followed by a punctuation mark), Ouch!, Pooh!, belong to the oldest form of spoken language and represent the most primitive type of sentence. Although they often used alone as independent sentences, they are often embodied in modern sentences without any grammatical relations to the other words, but expressing here, as elsewhere, emotion of various kinds.

Ex: O for breathing – space!      Oh, what a fool I ‘v been!!

 

II. Direct Address:

 

The name of a person who is addressed is often inserted in a sentence without grammatical relations to the other words, but serving the useful purpose of attracting the attention of the person addressed.

Ex: John, I have brought something home for you.

 

III. Absolute Nominative:

There are two classes of nominatives, which go under this name:

a. Absolute Nominative in Adverbial Clauses:

Ex:       Off we started, he remaining behind (= while he remained behind).

             He being absent (= since he was absent), nothing could be done.

 

b. Absolute Nominative in Subject Clauses:

Ex: Three such rascals hanged in one day is good work for society.

 

IV. Absolute Participles:

Ex: In “ taking (= if one should take) all things into consideration, his lot is a happy one” taking is a dangling participle, having no word that can serve as its subject. In such sentence we feel no deficiency, for the reference is general and indefinite, so that we expect no definite mention of a subject. This is the only place where dangling participle is common in literary language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNIT FIVE

 

Classes of Sentences

 

Sentences are divided according to their structure in to three classes – simple, compound, and complex.

A simple sentence contains but one independent proposition.

A compound sentence contains two or more independent propositions.

A complex sentence contains one independent proposition and one or more subordinate clauses.

 

The Simple Sentences:

A simple sentence is formed in a rather uncomplicated way from the nucleus, noun phrase + verb phrase. A noun phrase that functions as subject and the verb phrase that functions as predicate. 

Ex: The mouse sleeps.

 

The Compound Sentence:

Structure and Connective:

Putting one sentence after another to form a single longer sentence, or putting together two structures of the same kind from two different sentences, is called conjoining. The compound sentence consists of different independent propositions or members. These members may be two or more simple sentences, or one member may be a simple sentence and the others complex sentences, or there may be any combination of simple and complex sentences.

These members are usually connected or arranged in the following ways:

 

A. Coordinating Conjunctions:

The members are connected by coordinating conjunctions. The commonest are; and, or, but, for.

Ex: john is in the garden working and Mary is sitting at the window reading. 

 

Coordinating Conjunctions also link together subordinate clauses of like rank.

Ex: The judge said that the case was a difficult one and that he would reconsider               

       his decision.

 

B. Copulative:

Connecting two members and their meaning, the second member indicating an addition of equal importance, or, on the other hand, an advance in time or space, or an intensification, often coming in pairs, then called correlatives: and; and; both- and; as well as; not- nor; not- not (or nor); neither- nor; either- or; not only- but (or but also or but).

Ex: He is not only a criminal but also convicted as a criminal by the court.

 

 

 

 

C. Pronoun and Adverbs as Conjunctions:

The conjunction between the members may be made by placing at the beginning of the sentence a stressed personal pronoun, possessive adjective, or demonstrative pronoun or adverb referring back to the preceding proposition.

Ex:       That was a good place to start out in life form.

            There life has always been an inspiration to me.

 

The Complex Sentence:

Classification by Form and Function. If a sentence is made up of a principle and subordinate statement, each statement is called a clause- the principle and subordinate clause. Subordinate clauses are of different fullness of form and are of different kinds, performing different functions.

Ex:

It is stupid of you that you should say it.  (full and abridged clause)

 

Subject and Predicate Clauses:

 

Subject Clause:

A conjunction that; after verbs of saying, telling, relating sometimes how instead of that; lest after nouns expressing fear, sometimes still as in older English used instead of that.

Ex: It is the best that he go or more commonly that he should go. 

 

Predicate Clause:

Connectives: this clause is introduced by the indefinite relative pronouns, who and what, sometimes by why, as, where, that.

Ex: He was not who (not more common the man) he seemed to be,”

 

Adjective Clause

There are two classes:

Attributive Substantive Clause:

This clause may be an appositive to a noun clause, with the force of an attributive appositive noun, or substantive.

Ex: The hope that he may recover is faint.

 

Attributive Adjective Clause:

This clause has the force of an attributive adjective.

Ex: Here is the book you lent me.

 

Objective Clauses

 

Dative Clause:

The dative clause performs the function of a noun, which is in the dative after a verb or adjective.

Ex:       He told the story to whoever would listen.

This is like what we saw yesterday.

Accusative Clause After Verbs:

Conjunctions; that, lest, sometimes still as in older English used after verbs.

Ex: I know that he has come.

 

Accusative Clause After prepositions:

Conjunction that, the indefinite relative pronouns, adjectives and adverbs are used after the prepositions.

Ex:       I insist upon it that he should go. 

            He is worrying about what we shall do next.

 

 

Adverbial Clauses

 

Adverbial clauses are divided into classes corresponding to those of adverbial elements- clauses of place, time, manner, degree, cause, condition and exception

 

Clause of Place:

Conjunctions, where, whereas.

Ex: We live where the road crosses the river.

 

Clause of Time:

Conjunctions: as (or so) soon as, as (or so) long as, as often as,

Ex:       He came as soon as I heard of it.

 

Clause of Manner:

Ex:       I interpret the telegram so, or in this way.

            He differed from his colleagues in that he spent his spare time in reading.

 

Clause of Degree:

There are different classes:

Degree classes of comparison:

Ex: Quick as thought he seized the oars.

 

Degree classes of modal result:

Ex: He is so badly injured that he must die.

 

Clause of Cause:

Conjunctions: that, as, because, not that- but because,

Ex:       I am sorry that he is going.

            As you are not ready, we must go without you.          

 

 

Clause of Condition or Exception:

Conjunctions of condition: if, on condition (that), if not, only that, unless, without.

Ex: I will not go if it rains.

 

Conjunctions in Clauses of exception: but or but that, except that,

Ex: I would go only that I am engaged.

Clause of Concession:

Conjunctions: if, although.

Ex:       I don’t care if I do lose.                        I don’t care though I lose.

 

Clause of Purpose:

Conjunction: that, old but still often used, more commonly, however, now replaced by more expressive forms, in order that (with the purpose that), so that, so.

Ex:

They are climbing higher that (or so that, or in order that) they may get a    better view. 

Let us be silent- so we may hear the whisper of the captain. 

 

Clause of Means:

In the principle preposition there is always a preposition.

Ex:

You can recognize him by the fact (a formal anticipatory word pointing to the following clause) that he limps badly, or in abridged form by his limping badly or by his bad limp.

 

Fourth Subject:

 

The Parts of Speech

Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next. The next few examples show how a word's part of speech can change from one sentence to the next, and following them is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech, followed by an exercise.

Books are made of ink, paper, and glue.

In this sentence, "books" is a noun, the subject of the sentence.

Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.

Here "books" is a verb, and its subject is "Bridget."

We walk down the street.

In this sentence, "walk" is a verb, and its subject is the pronoun "we".

The mail carrier stood on the walk.

In this example, "walk" is a noun, which is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the mail carrier stood.

The town decided to build a new jail.

Here "jail" is a noun, which is the object of the infinitive phrase "to build."

The sheriff told us that if we did not leave town immediately he would jail us.

Here "jail" is part of the compound verb "would jail."

They heard high pitched cries in the middle of the night.

In this sentence, "cries" is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb "heard."

The baby cries all night long and all day long.

But here "cries" is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, the baby.

The next few sections explain each of the parts of speech in detail. When you have finished, you might want to test yourself by trying the exercise.

The details

  • What is a noun?
  • What is a pronoun?
  • What is an adjective/
  • What is a verb?
  • What is an adverb?
  • What is a preposition?
  • What is a conjunction/
  • What is an interjection?

What Is A Noun?

A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea. Nouns are usually the first words which small children learn. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all nouns:

1.      Late last year our neighbors bought a goat.  

2.      Portia White was an opera singer.

3.      The bus inspector looked at all the passengers' passes.

4.      According to Plutarch, the library at Alexandria was destroyed in 48 B.C.

5.      Philosophy is of little comfort to the starving.

A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb.

 

Types of Nouns

There are many different types of nouns. As you know, you capitalize some nouns, such as "Canada" or "Louise," and do not capitalize others, such as "badger" or "tree" (unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence). In fact, grammarians have developed a whole series of noun types, including the proper noun, the common noun, the concrete noun, the abstract noun, the countable noun (also called the count noun), the non-countable noun (also called the mass noun), and the collective noun. You should note that a noun will belong to more than one type: it will be proper or common, abstract or concrete, and countable or non-countable or collective.

If you are interested in the details of these different types, you can read about them in the following sections.

1. Proper Nouns

You always write a proper noun with a capital letter, since the noun represents the name of a specific person, place, or thing. The names of days of the week, months, historical documents, institutions, organizations, religions, their holy texts and their adherents are proper nouns. A proper noun is the opposite of a common noun

In each of the following sentences, the proper nouns are highlighted:

1.      The Maroons were transported from Jamaica and forced to build the fortifications in Halifax.

2.      Many people dread Monday mornings.

3.      Beltane is celebrated on the first of May.

4.      Abraham appears in the Talmud and in the Koran.

5.      Last year, I had a Baptist, a Buddhist, and a Gardnerian Witch as roommates.

2. Common Nouns

A common noun is a noun referring to a person, place, or thing in a general sense -- usually, you should write it with a capital letter only when it begins a sentence. A common noun is the opposite of a proper noun.

In each of the following sentences, the common nouns are highlighted:

1.   According to the sign, the nearest town is 60 miles away.

2.   All the gardens in the neighborhood were invaded by beetles this summer.

3.      I don't understand why some people insist on having six different kinds of mustard in their cupboards.

4.      The road crew was startled by the sight of three large moose crossing the road.

5.      Many child-care workers are underpaid.

Sometimes you will make proper nouns out of common nouns, as in the following examples:

1.      The tenants in the Garnet Apartments are appealing the large and sudden increase in their rent.

2.      The meals in the Bouncing Bean Restaurant are less expensive than meals in ordinary restaurants.

3.      Many witches refer to the Renaissance as the Burning Times.

4.      The Diary of Anne Frank is often a child's first introduction to the history of the Holocaust.

 

 

 

3. Concrete Nouns

A concrete noun is a noun which names anything (or anyone) that you can perceive through your physical senses: touch, sight, taste, hearing, or smell. A concrete noun is the opposite of an abstract noun.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are all concrete nouns:

1.      The judge handed the files to the clerk.

2.      Whenever they take the dog to the beach, it spends hours chasing waves.

3.      The real estate agent urged the couple to buy the second house because it had new shingles.

4.      As the car drove past the park, the thump of a disco tune overwhelmed the string quartet's rendition of a minuet.

5.      The book binder replaced the flimsy paper cover with a sturdy, cloth-covered board.

4. Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is a noun which names anything which you can not perceive through your five physical senses, and is the opposite of a concrete noun. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all abstract nouns:

  1. Buying the fire extinguisher was an afterthought.
  2. Tillie is amused by people who are nostalgic about childhood.
  3. Justice often seems to slip out of our grasp.
  4. Some scientists believe that schizophrenia is transmitted genetically.

 

5. Collective Nouns

 

A collective noun is a noun naming a group of things, animals, or persons. You could count the individual members of the group, but you usually think of the group as a whole is generally as one unit. You need to be able to recognize collective nouns in order to maintain subject-verb agreement. A collective noun is similar to a non-countable noun, and is roughly the opposite of a countable noun.

Ex: Navy, club, band, class, army, audience, people, family, crowd, cattle, flock.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a collective noun:

·        The flock of geese spends most of its time in the pasture.

The collective noun "geese" takes the singular verb "spends."

·        The jury is dining on take-out chicken tonight.

In this example the collective noun "jury" is the subject of the singular compound verb "is dining."

·        The steering committee meets every Wednesday afternoon.

Here the collective noun "committee" takes a singular verb, "meets."

·        The class was startled by the bursting light bulb.

In this sentence the word "class" is a collective noun and takes the singular compound verb "was startled".

 

6. Compound Nouns

 

A compound noun is made up of two or more words.

Ex: flight attendant, father-in-law, space man, travel agent.

 

  1. A flight attendant is listening to the passengers’ requests.
  2. The space man has been killed.

Noun Gender

Many common nouns, like "engineer" or "teacher," can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender -- for example, a man was called an "author" while a woman was called an "authoress" -- but this use of gender-specific nouns is very rare today. Those that are still used occasionally tend to refer to occupational categories, as in the following sentences.

1.      David Garrick was a very prominent eighteenth-century actor.

2.      Sarah Siddons was at the height of her career as an actress in the 1780s.

3.      The manager was trying to write a want ad, but he couldn't decide whether he was advertising for a "waiter" or a "waitress"

 

Living beings are either male or female sex, gender means kind or sort. Here we have four kinds of noun gender, they are as following.

 

A.  Masculine Gender

A noun that denotes a male animal is a masculine gender.

Ex: father, brother, doctor, uncle, sir, husband, son, cock, lion, sun, boy, man,

 

B.  Feminine Gender

 A noun that denotes a female animal is a feminine gender.

Ex: woman, girl, nature, cow, moon, cat, miss, hen, spring.

C. common Gender                                                                                                             

Is a term sometimes applied to nouns that may be either masculine or feminine.                  Ex: reader, worker, baby, cousin, child, person, friend, infant, guest, owner

D. Neuter Gender                                                                            

A noun denotes things without life.                                                                                   Ex: box, desk, book, pen, seat, chalk, house, fan, dish, car, wood, mirror, street  

 

Ways of forming the feminine of nouns.

 

1.      By using an entirely different words as:

Masculine                          Feminine                  Masculine                          Feminine            

Father                                mother                      brother                               sister           king                                    queen                        man                                   woman husband                              wife                          sun                                     moon        uncle                                   aunt                          lion                                     cat

2.      By adding a suffix (ess) as:

 

Masculine                          Feminine                  Masculine                          Feminine             

Poet                                    poetess                    author                                 authoress waiter                                 waitress                   prince                                  princess   hunter                                 huntress                  actor                                     actress   

3.      By placing a word before or after:

Masculine                          Feminine                  Masculine                          Feminine            

Bull calf                             cow calf                   grand father                       grandmother he bear                                     she bear                   man servant                       maid servant 

 

Noun Plurals

Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:

1.      When Matthew was small he rarely told the truth if he thought he was going to be punished.

2.      Many people do not believe that truths are self-evident.

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural            

Shop                                 shops                      spoon                                  spoons        teapot                               teapots                    desk                                     desks                    car                                     cars                         student                                students

Some of the nouns end in the singular form with the sounds s, sh, ss, x, and (o) to make them plural we add (es) to the end.

1 .As they walked through the silent house. They were startled by an unexpected echo.

2  . I like to shout into the quarry and listen to the echoes that returned.

3.      He tripped over a box left carelessly in the hallway.                                                                  4.  Since we are moving, we will need many boxes.  

 

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural             Class                                  classes                      potato                                potatoes       box                                     boxes                        match                                matches        brush                                 brushes                      bus                                    buses                                                  

There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding "s". Some words ending in "f" form the plural by deleting "f" and adding "ves," as in the following pairs of sentences:

1.      The harbor at Marble Mountain has one wharf.

2.      There are several wharves in Halifax Harbor.

 

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural            

Shelf                                shelves                      thief                                   thieves                  knife                                knives                        leaf                                     leaves                    life                                   lives                           wolf                                   wolves 

 

Other nouns form the plural irregularly. If English is your first language, you probably know most of these already: when in doubt, consult a good dictionary.                           The middle vowel is changing.    

1. The children circled around the headmaster and shouted, "Are you a mouse or a man?" 2. The audience was shocked when all five men admitted that they were afraid of mice.

                                                                                                                          

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural            

Foot                                 feet                          man                                     men                    goose                                geese                      woman                                 women             mouse                               mice                        tooth                                    teeth

Nouns ending in "y" form the plural by deleting the "y" and adding "ies,"

1.      Warsaw is their favorite city because it reminds them of their courtship.

2.      The vacation my grandparents won includes trips to twelve European cities.

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural            

Army                               armies                     lady                                     ladies            baby                                 babies                     party                                   parties                city                                   cities                       story                                   stories

If the singular form ends in (y) and preceded by a vowels we just add (s) at the end.

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural 

Key                                 keys                          boy                                     boys              way                                 ways                         toy                                       toys

There are few nouns plural forms are adding (en) to the end.

 

Singular                           plural                       Singular                              plural 

Ox                                   oxen                         child                                    children          

 

 

 

 

Cases of Noun

The form of a noun or pronoun that shows its relation to the rest of the sentences is called case. The cases are Nominative, Objective, Dative and Possessive. Nouns change their form only in one case, the possessive case. 

    A.  Nominative Case:                                                                               A noun is in the nominative case when it is the subject of a verb. That is also called the nominative or subjective case. The nominative generally comes before the verb. To find the subject of the verb, first find the verb. Then ask the question who or what.

Ex: Kate caught a large trout. (Who caught?) Kate. (The subject.)                                     Has Sam gone home? (Who has gone?) Sam. (The subject.)                                              One row of the tree has died. (What was?)(Row. The subject).

A verb may have a compound subject. That is more than one word.

Ex: Bob and Lisa collect stamps. (Who collect?)  (Bob and Lisa. The subject)

A noun is in the nominative case when it is used as a predicate nominative.

Ex: the girl is Liz. (Predicate noun)

A predicate nominative is so called because it completes the predicate verb and names the same person or thing as the subject, and completes linking verbs or may be compound.

Ex: The tennis players were Bob, Mike, Liz and John.

A noun is in the nominative case when it is in apposition with another noun in the nominative case.

Ex: That man is Carl, our agent. (Apposition with predicate noun)

A noun is in the nominative case when it is used in direct address. This construction is called a nominative of address, or vocative. They set off by commas.

Ex: Min, you must play harder tonight.

   B. Objective Case:                                                                                A noun is in the objective (accusative) case when it is the object of a verb (direct object).

Ex: father took Bob and Liz.                                                                                           Mike threw the ball to the first base.  

In the sentences above, the verb (threw and took) are transitive verbs. They show action passing from a doer to a receiver, a direct object answers the questions (whom or what was something done by the subject?

A noun is in the objective case when, it is the object of a preposition.

Ex: Mike is painting a cabinet for his boss.

   C. Dative Case:                                                                             A noun is in the objective case when it is the indirect object of a verb and we call the Dative case.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                Father bought my brother a bike.                                                                                                    Give Liz and Mike a chance.

In the first sentence bought is the verb. Who bought? Father the subject, father bought what? A bike the direct object, to or for whom did he buy a bike? For brother, the indirect object. (The preposition to, for, or of can always be inserted before an indirect object.)

In the second sentence the verb (give), the subject, you, the direct object, chance, the indirect object, Liz and Mike.

A noun is the objective case when it is the subject or object of an infinitive.

Ex: Don asked the girl to come. (Subject of to come)

A noun is the objective case when it is the objective complement. An object complement noun follows the direct object and renames it.

Ex: They called the boy to lock.

A noun is the objective case when it is in apposition with another noun in the objective case.

Ex: They made Tom, a new agent.      

D. Possessive Case of Nouns:

In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a combination of an apostrophe and the letter "s."

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that does not end in "s" by adding an apostrophe and "s," as in the following sentences:

1.      The red suitcase is Cassandra's.

2.      The only luggage that was lost was the prime minister's.

3.      The exhausted recruits were woken before dawn by the drill sergeant's screams.

4.      The miner's face was covered in coal dust.

You can form the possessive case of a singular noun that ends in "s" by adding an apostrophe alone or by adding an apostrophe and "s," as in the following examples:

1.      The bus's seats are very uncomfortable.

2.      The bus' seats are very uncomfortable.

3.      The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus's eggs.

4.      The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus' eggs.

5.      Felicia Hemans's poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron's.

6.      Felicia Hemans' poetry was once more popular than Lord Byron's.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in "s" by adding an apostrophe and a "s," as in the following examples:

1.      The children's mittens were scattered on the floor of the porch.

2.      The sheep's pen was mucked out every day.

3.      Since we have a complex appeal process, a jury's verdict is not always final.

4.      The men's hockey team will be play as soon as the women's team is finished.

5.      The hunter followed the moose's trail all morning but lost it in the afternoon.

You can form the possessive case of a plural noun that does end in "s" by adding an apostrophe:

1.      The concert was interrupted by the dogs' barking, the ducks' quacking, and the babies' squalling.

2.      The janitors' room is downstairs and to the left.

3.      My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels' nest.

4.      The archivist quickly finished repairing the diaries' bindings.

5.      Religion is usually the subject of the roommates' many late night debates.

Using Possessive Nouns

When you read the following sentences, you will notice that a noun in the possessive case frequently functions as an adjective modifying another noun:

Ex: The miner's face was covered in coal dust.

Here the possessive noun "miner's" is used to modify the noun "face" and together with the article "the," they make up the noun phrase that is the sentence's subject.

Ex: The concert was interrupted by the dogs' barking, the ducks' quacking, and the babies' squalling.

In this sentence, each possessive noun modifies a gerund. The possessive noun "dogs"' modifies "barking", "ducks"' modifies "quacking," and "babies"' modifies "squalling."

Ex: The film crew accidentally crushed the platypus's eggs.

In this example the possessive noun "platypus's" modifies the noun "eggs" and the noun phrase "the platypus's eggs" is the direct object of the verb "crushed."

Ex: My uncle spent many hours trying to locate the squirrels' nest.

In this sentence the possessive noun "squirrels"' is used to modify the noun "nest" and the noun phrase "the squirrels' nest" is the object of the infinitive phrase "to locate."

Making Noun Subject with Verbs Agree

You have heard the basic rule that a verb agrees with its subject. That is a singular subject needs a singular verb and a plural subject needs a plural verb.

Rules for agreement of verbs with noun subject.

Rule.1. use a singular verb with a singular subject, like is, has, was, does and a main verb taking (s) or (es) at the end.

Ex:                                                                                                                                            The boy is an operator at the telephone company.                                                                  Ted doesn’t like to cook.                                                                                                                 She speaks Spanish very well.

Rule.2. Use a plural verb with a plural subject, like are, have, were, do and a main verb taking no (s) or (es) at the end.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                These cats are white.                                                                                                             Those men do well.                                                                                                                       They have green books.

Rule.3. Make the verb in a question agree with its subject. To be sure turn the question in to a statement.

Ex: Has he a book?       Is she a telephone operator?

Rule.4. Use a plural verb with compound subjects joined by, and.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                    Egg and butter are selling here.                                                                                             The girls and their mother have gone for shopping.

Rule.5. For subjects joined by or and nor do this.                                                                        a. Use a plural verb if both subjects are plural.                                                                              Ex: Neither the tables nor the chairs are new.

b. Use a singular verb if both subjects are singular.                                                                         Ex: Tea or coffee is his usual drink.                                                      

Rule.6.A plural subject may tell one idea or make one thing a singular should accept and a singular verb is used even that they joined by (and).

Ex:                                                                                                                                                 Bread and cheese is my usual breakfast.                                                                              The orator and statement is dead.                                                                                            Bread and cream is his only food.                                                                                         Every boy and girl was ready.

Rule.7. Plural subjects are joined with (and) and preceded by article (the) takes a plural verb.

Ex: the black and white cats are there.

Noun of Address

Often in talking with a person, you show your friendly feeling toward him by using his name or some other identification, like wise you often use a person name or an identifying expression to make the person pay particular attention to what you to say. In both cases you use a noun on nominative of address.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                   Here are some stamps, Liz.                                                                                                     Sit and listen to my advice, John.                                                                         

A noun of address may give the modifiers.

Ex: Try this one, young man.

A noun of address is an independent element; that is not grammatically related to the rest of the sentence. In other word, if you move a noun of address a complete sentence will remain. A noun of address may come at the beginning of a sentence with in it or at the end.

Ex:                                                                                                                                                                                      Sir, may I see you alone?                                                                                                                     Here is your receipt, Mrs. Aziz.                                                                                                          Here is your coat, Sir

  A noun of address may set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma or commas. A noun of address may be compound.

Ex: John and Tom wait here.

 

Countable Nouns and Non-Countable Nouns

Countable Nouns

A countable noun (or count noun) is a noun with both a singular and a plural form, and it names anything (or anyone) that you can count. You can make a countable noun can be made plural and attach it to a plural verb in a sentence. Countable nouns are the opposite of non-countable nouns and collective nouns.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted words are countable nouns:

1.      We painted the table red and the chairs blue.

2.      Since he inherited his aunt's library, Jerome spends every weekend indexing his books.

3.      Miriam found six silver dollars in the toe of a sock.

4.      The oak tree lost three branches in the hurricane.

5.      Over the course of twenty-seven years, Martha Ballad delivered just over eight hundred babies.

Non-Countable Nouns

A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun, which does not have a plural form, and which refers to something that you could (or would) not usually count. A non-countable noun always takes a singular verb in a sentence. Non-countable nouns are similar to collective nouns, and are the opposite of countable nouns.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are non-countable nouns:

Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen.

The word "oxygen" cannot normally be made plural.

Oxygen is essential to human life.

Since "oxygen" is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb "is" rather than the plural verb "are."

We decided to sell the furniture rather than take it with use when we moved.

You cannot make the noun "furniture" plural.

The furniture is heaped in the middle of the room.

Since "furniture" is a non-countable noun, it takes a singular verb, "is heaped."

The crew spread the gravel over the roadbed.

You cannot make the non-countable noun "gravel" plural.

Gravel is more expensive than I thought.

Since "gravel" is a non-countable noun, it takes the singular verb form "is."

What Is A Pronoun?

A pronoun can replace a noun or another pronoun. You use pronouns like "he," "which," "none," and "you" to make your sentence less cumbersome and less repetitive.

Grammarians classify pronouns into several types, including the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun, the interrogative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun, the relative pronoun, the reflexive pronoun, and the intensive pronoun.

1. Personal Pronouns

A personal pronoun refers to a specific person or thing and changes its form to indicate person, number, gender and case.

Subjective Personal Pronouns                                                                                                   A subjective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as the subject of the sentence. The subjective personal pronouns are "I," "you," "she," "he," "it," "we," "you," "they."

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a subjective personal pronoun and acts as the subject of the sentence:

1.      I was glad to find the bus pass in the bottom of the green knapsack.

2.      You are surely the strangest child I have ever met.

3.      He stole the selkie's skin and forced her to live with him.

4.      When she was a young woman, she earned her living as a coal miner.

5.      After many years, they returned to their homeland.

6.      We will meet at the library at 3:30 p.m.

7.      It is on the counter.

8.      Are you the delegates from Malaga watch?

2. Objective Personal Pronouns

An objective personal pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as an object of a verb, compound verb, preposition, or infinitive phrase. The objective personal pronouns are: "me," "you," "her," "him," "it," "us," "you," and "them."

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is an objective personal pronoun:

Seamus stole the selkie's skin and forced her to live with him.

The objective personal pronoun "her" is the direct object of the verb "forced" and the objective personal pronoun "him" is the object of the preposition "with."

After reading the pamphlet, Judy threw it into the garbage can.

The pronoun "it" is the direct object of the verb "threw".

The agitated assistant stood up and faced the angry delegates and said, "Our leader will address you in five minutes."

In this sentence, the pronoun "you" is the direct object of the verb "address."

Deborah and Roberta will meet us at the newest café in the market.

Here the objective personal pronoun "us" is the direct object of the compound verb "will meet."

Give the list to me.

Here the objective personal pronoun "me" is the object of the preposition "to".

I'm not sure that my contact will talk to you.

Similarly in this example, the objective personal pronoun "you" is the object of the preposition "to".

Christopher was surprised to see her at the drag races.

Here the objective personal pronoun "her" is the object of the infinitive phrase "to see."

 

 

3. Possessive Personal Pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates that the pronoun is acting as a marker of possession and defines who owns a particular object or person. The possessive personal pronouns are "mine," "yours," "hers," "his," "its," "ours," and "theirs." Note that possessive personal pronouns are very similar to possessive adjectives like "my," "her," and "their."

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a possessive personal pronoun:

The smallest gift is mine.

Here the possessive pronoun "mine" functions as a subject complement.

This is yours.

Here too the possessive pronoun "yours" functions as a subject complement.

His is on the kitchen counter.

In this example, the possessive pronoun "his" acts as the subject of the sentence.

Theirs will be delivered tomorrow.

In this sentence, the possessive pronoun "theirs" is the subject of the sentence.

Ours is the green one on the corner.

Here too the possessive pronoun "ours" function as the subject of the sentence.

4. Demonstrative Pronouns

A demonstrative pronoun points to and identifies a noun or a pronoun. "This" and "these" refer to things that are nearby either in space or in time, while "that" and "those" refer to things that are farther away in space or time.

The demonstrative pronouns are "this," "that," "these," and "those." "This" and "that" are used to refer to singular nouns or noun phrase and "these" and "those" are used to refer to plural nouns and noun phrases. Note that the demonstrative pronouns are identical to demonstrative adjectives, though, obviously, you use them differently. It is also important to note that "that" can also be used as a relative pronoun.

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a demonstrative pronoun:

This must not continue.

Here "this" is used as the subject of the compound verb "must not continue."

This is puny; that is the tree I want.

In this example "this" is used as subject and refers to something close to the speaker. The demonstrative pronoun "that" is also a subject but refers to something farther away from the speaker.

Three customers wanted these.

Here "these" is the direct object of the verb "wanted".

5. Interrogative Pronouns

An interrogative pronoun is used to ask questions. The interrogative pronouns are "who," "whom," "which," "what" and the compounds formed with the suffix "ever" ("whoever," "whomever," "whichever," and "whatever"). Note that either "which" or "what" can also be used as an interrogative adjective, and that "who," "whom," or "which" can also be used as a relative pronoun.

You will find "who," "whom," and occasionally "which" used to refer to people, and "which" and "what" used to refer to things and to animals.

"Who" acts as the subject of a verb, while "whom" acts as the object of a verb, preposition, or a verbal.

The highlighted word in each of the following sentences is an interrogative pronoun:

Which wants to see the dentist first?

"Which" is the subject of the sentence.

Who wrote the novel Rockbound?

Similarly "who" is the subject of the sentence?

Whom do you think we should invite?

In this sentence, "whom" is the object of the verb "invite."

To whom do you wish to speak?

Here the interrogative pronoun "whom” is the object of the preposition "to."

Who will meet the delegates at the train station?

In this sentence, the interrogative pronoun "who" is the subject of the compound verb "will meet".

To whom did you give the paper?

In this example the interrogative pronoun "whom" is the object of the preposition "to."

What did she say?

Here the interrogative pronoun "what" is the direct object of the verb "say."

6. Relative Pronouns

You can use a relative pronoun is used to link one phrase or clause to another phrase or clause. The relative pronouns are "who," "whom," "that," and "which." The compounds "whoever," "whomever," and "whichever" are also relative pronouns.

You can use the relative pronouns "who" and "whoever" to refer to the subject of a clause or sentence, and "whom" and "whomever" to refer to the objects of a verb, a verbal or a preposition.

In each of the following sentences, the highlighted word is a relative pronoun.

You may invite whomever you like to the party.

The relative pronoun "whoever" is the direct object of the compound verb "may invite".

The candidate who wins the greatest popular vote is not always elected.

In this sentence, the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb "wins" and introduces the subordinate clause "who wins the greatest popular vote". This subordinate clause acts as an adjective modifying "candidate."

In a time of crisis, the manager asks the workers whom she believes to be the most efficient to arrive an hour earlier than usual.

In this sentence "whom" is the direct object of the verb "believes" and introduces the subordinate clause "whom she believes to be the most efficient". This subordinate clause modifies the noun "workers."

Whoever broke the window will have to replace it.

Here "whoever" functions as the subject of the verb "broke".

The crate which was left in the corridor has now been moved into the storage closet.

In this example "which" acts as the subject of the compound verb "was left" and introduces the subordinate clause "which was left in the corridor." The subordinate clause acts as an adjective modifying the noun "crate."

I will read whichever manuscript arrives first.

Here "whichever" modifies the noun "manuscript" and introduces the subordinate clause "whichever manuscript arrives first." The subordinate clause functions as the direct object of the compound verb "will read."

7. Indefinite Pronouns

An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun referring to an identifiable but not specified person or thing. An indefinite pronoun conveys the idea of all, any, none, or some.

The most common indefinite pronouns are "all," "another," "any," "anybody," "anyone," "anything," "each," "everybody," "everyone," "everything," "few," "many," "nobody," "none," "one," "several," "some," "somebody," and "someone." Note that some indefinite pronouns can also be used as indefinite adjective.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are indefinite pronouns:

Many were invited to the lunch but only twelve showed up.

Here "many" acts as the subject of the compound verb "were invited".

The office had been searched and everything was thrown onto the floor.

In this example,” everything" acts as a subject of the compound verb "was thrown."

We donated everything we found in the attic to the woman's shelter garage sale.

In this sentence, "everything" is the direct object of the verb "donated."

Although they looked everywhere for extra copies of the magazine, they found none.

Here too the indefinite pronoun functions as a direct object: "none" is the direct object of "found."

Make sure you give everyone a copy of the amended bylaws.

In this example, "everyone" is the indirect object of the verb "give" -- the direct object is the noun phrase "a copy of the amended bylaws."

Give a registration package to each.

Here "each" is the object of the preposition "to."

8. Reflexive Pronouns

You can use a reflexive pronoun to refer back to the subject of the clause or sentence.

The reflexive pronouns are "myself," "yourself," "herself," "himself," "itself," "ourselves," "yourselves," and "themselves." Note each of these can also act as an intensive pronoun.

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a reflexive pronoun:

Diabetics give themselves insulin shots several times a day.

The Dean often does the photocopying herself so that the secretaries can do more important work.

After the party, I asked myself why I had faxed invitations to everyone in my office building.

Richard usually remembered to send a copy of his e-mail to himself.

Although the landlord promised to paint the apartment, we ended up doing it ourselves.

9. Intensive Pronouns

An intensive pronoun is a pronoun used to emphasize its antecedent. Intensive pronouns are identical in form to reflexive pronouns.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are intensive pronouns:

I myself believe that aliens should abduct my sister.

The Prime Minister himself said that he would lower taxes.

They themselves promised to come to the party even though they had a final exam at the same time.

 

9. Distributive Pronouns:

That refers to a person or thing once at a time, such as each, either, neither. Verbs in these kinds of sentences are singular.

Ex: Each of the boys gets a prize.

 

 

What Is An Adjective?

An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.

In the following examples, the highlighted words are adjectives:

1.      The truck-shaped balloon floated over the treetops.

2.      Mrs. Morrison papered her kitchen walls with hideous wall paper.

3.      The small boat foundered on the wine dark sea.

4.      The coal mines are dark and dank.

5.      Many stores have already begun to play irritating Christmas music.

6.      A battered music box sat on the mahogany sideboard.

7.      The back room was filed with large, yellow rain boots.

An adjective can be modified by an adverb, or by a phrase or clause functioning as an adverb. In the sentence.

My husband knits intricately patterned mittens.

For example, the adverb ``intricately'' modifies the adjective ``patterned.''

Some nouns, many pronouns, and many participle phrases can also act as adjectives. In the sentence

Eleanor listened to the muffled sounds of the radio hidden under her pillow.

For example, both highlighted adjectives are past participle.

Grammarians also consider articles (``the,'' ``a,'' ``an'') to be adjectives.

1. Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjective is used to describe a common or a proper noun. They are such as small, tall, long, intelligent, high, loud or etc......                                                                       Ex:                                                                                                                                               We saw an English woman. (English is proper and modifies the noun woman.)                 They bought an efficient car. (Efficient is common and modifies the noun car.)

2. Limiting Adjectives

Limiting adjective tells or point out how many definitely or indefinitely. They are such as the, an, a, the articles.

Ex: We need a car                           I would like eat an apple.          The boy is happy.

3. Possessive Adjectives

A possessive adjective (``my,'' ``your,'' ``his,'' ``her,'' ``its,'' ``our,'' ``their'') is similar or identical to a possessive pronoun; however, it is used as an adjective and modifies a noun or a noun phrase, as in the following sentences:

I can't complete my assignment because I don't have the textbook.

In this sentence, the possessive adjective ``my'' modifies ``assignment'' and the noun phrase ``my assignment'' functions as an object. Note that the possessive pronoun form ``mine'' is not used to modify a noun or noun phrase.

What is your phone number?

Here the possessive adjective ``your'' is used to modify the noun phrase ``phone number''; the entire noun phrase ``your phone number'' is a subject complement. Note that the possessive pronoun form ``yours'' is not used to modify a noun or a noun phrase.

The bakery sold his favorite type of bread.

In this example, the possessive adjective ``his'' modifies the noun phrase ``favorite type of bread'' and the entire noun phrase ``his favorite type of bread'' is the direct object of the verb ``sold.''

After many years, she returned to her homeland.

Here the possessive adjective ``her'' modifies the noun ``homeland'' and the noun phrase ``her homeland'' is the object of the preposition ``to.'' Note also that the form ``hers'' is not used to modify nouns or noun phrases.

We have lost our way in this wood.

In this sentence, the possessive adjective ``our'' modifies ``way'' and the noun phrase ``our way'' is the direct object of the compound verb ``have lost''. Note that the possessive pronoun form ``ours'' is not used to modify nouns or noun phrases.

In many fairy tales, children are neglected by their parents.

Here the possessive adjective ``their'' modifies ``parents'' and the noun phrase ``their parents'' is the object of the preposition ``by.'' Note that the possessive pronoun form ``theirs'' is not used to modify nouns or noun phrases.

The cat chased its ball down the stairs and into the backyard.

In this sentence, the possessive adjective ``its'' modifies ``ball'' and the noun phrase ``its ball'' is the object of the verb ``chased.'' Note that ``its'' is the possessive adjective and ``it's'' is a contraction for ``it is.''

4. Demonstrative Adjectives

The demonstrative adjectives ``this,'' ``these,'' ``that,'' ``those,'' and ``what'' are identical to the demonstrative pronouns, but are used as adjectives to modify nouns or noun phrases, as in the following sentences:

When the librarian tripped over that cord, she dropped a pile of books.

In this sentence, the demonstrative adjective ``that'' modifies the noun ``cord'' and the noun phrase ``that cord'' is the object of the preposition ``over.''

This apartment needs to be fumigated.

Here ``this'' modifies ``apartment'' and the noun phrase ``this apartment'' is the subject of the sentence.

Even though my friend preferred those plates, I bought these.

In the subordinate clause, ``those'' modifies ``plates'' and the noun phrase ``those plates'' is the object of the verb ``preferred.'' In the independent clause, ``these'' is the direct object of the verb ``bought.''

Note that the relationship between a demonstrative adjective and a demonstrative pronoun is similar to the relationship between a possessive adjective and a possessive pronoun, or to that between an interrogative adjective and an interrogative pronoun.

5. Numeral Adjectives

A numeral adjective may be cardinal or ordinal numbers.                                                           Cardinal numbers are (one, two, three, four or etc…). they are used before nouns:

Ex: two eggs, one car, three girls

Ordinal numbers are (first, second, third, forth or etc…)

Ex: sixth row, first name, second class.

 

 

6. Attributive Adjective

Attributive adjective precedes the word that they modify.

Ex: Three large trees grow on our lawn. (Three and large are attributive adjectives)

7. Predicative Adjective

A predicate adjective completes the meaning of linking verbs and describes its subject and is used as a complement of a verb

Ex: Your idea is excellent.             He seems happy.

8. Appositive Adjective

Appositive adjective follows the word that it modifies. And they are set off by commas

Ex: I saw a mother tired, upset and anxious.

9. Degrees of Adjective

Adjective has three degrees. Positive, comparative and superlative. There are some rules to comparative and superlative forms of adjective.

Adjectives         Positive Degree              Comparative Degree             Superlative Degree                             

One syllable       small                                small (er) (than)                (the) small (est)           More syllables   beautiful                          more (beautiful) (than)      (the) (most) beautiful

10. Regular and Irregular Adjective

A regular adjective in comparative takes (er) and in superlative it takes (est) but irregular adjectives in comparative and superlative degrees their form are changed as follows:

Positive Degree                           Comparative Degree                      Superlative Degree

Good                                            better   (than)                                           (the) best      bad                                               worse   (than)                                           (the) worst       much/ many                                 more    (than)                                           (the) most              little                                              less       (than)                                           (the) least 

 

 

11. Interrogative Adjectives

An interrogative adjective (``which'' or ``what'') is like an interrogative pronoun, except that it modifies a noun or noun phrase rather than standing on its own (see also demonstrative adjectives and possessive adjectives):

Which plants should be watered twice a week?

Like other adjectives, ``which'' can be used to modify a noun or a noun phrase. In this example, ``which'' modifies ``plants'' and the noun phrase ``which paints'' is the subject of the compound verb ``should be watered'':

What book are you reading?

In this sentence, ``what'' modifies ``book'' and the noun phrase ``what book'' is the direct object of the compound verb ``are reading.''

12. Indefinite Adjectives

An indefinite adjective is similar to an indefinite pronoun, except that it modifies a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase, as in the following sentences:

Many people believe that corporations are under-taxed.

The indefinite adjective ``many'' modifies the noun ``people'' and the noun phrase ``many people'' is the subject of the sentence.

I will send you any mail that arrives after you have moved to Sudbury.

The indefinite adjective ``any'' modifies the noun ``mail'' and the noun phrase ``any mail'' is the direct object of the compound verb ``will send.''

They found a few goldfish floating belly up in the swan pound.

In this example the indefinite adjective modifies the noun ``goldfish'' and the noun phrase is the direct object of the verb ``found'':

The title of Kelly's favorite game is ``All dogs go to heaven.''

Here the indefinite pronoun ``all'' modifies ``dogs'' and the full title is a subject complement.

An adjective is used as an object complement and follows the direct object that it modifies.

Ex: this promotion should make you happy. (you is the object)

Prepositional phrase may be used as an adjective.

Ex: The door behind me is opened.

Infinitives and participles may be used as adjectives.

Ex: The car to drive is comfortable. (To drive is an infinitive and modifies the noun car)          The walking man is my uncle. (Walking is a participle and modifies the noun man)

 

The Verb

The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being. The verb or compound verb is the critical element of the predicate of a sentence.

In each of the following sentences, the verb or compound verb is highlighted:

Dracula bites his victims on the neck.

The verb "bites" describes the action Dracula takes.

In early October, Giselle will plant twenty tulip bulbs.

Here the compound verb "will plant" describes an action that will take place in the future.

My first teacher was Miss Crawford, but I remember the janitor Mr. Weatherbee more vividly.

In this sentence, the verb "was" (the simple past tense of "is") identifies a particular person and the verb "remembered" describes a mental action.

 

Karl Creelman bicycled around in world in 1899, but his diaries and his bicycle were destroyed.

In this sentence, the compound verb "were destroyed" describes an action which took place in the past.

 

 

 

Transitive Verb

A verb that denotes an action has a direct object or a verb that carries its action from a subject to a direct object or passes over an action from a subject to an object is called transitive verb.

Ex: The boy kicks the ball.

In the above sentence the action denoted by verb (kick) passes over from the doer or subject (boy) to direct object (ball). The verb (kick) is therefore called a transitive verb (transitive means passing over).

Most transitive verbs take single object, but transitive verbs as; give, ask, offer, promise and tell take two objects after them, that one is an indirect object denotes the person to whom something is given, or for whom something is done and a  direct object which is usually the name of something.

Ex: He told me (indirect) a secrete (direct).         Father gave him a dollar.

Intransitive Verb

A verb that denotes an action, but doesn’t pass over to an object or even expresses state or being is called an intransitive verb.

Ex:                                                                                                                                               He runs a long distance. (Action)                                                                                                The baby seems happy. (State)                                                                                                       There is a flow in this diamond. (Being)

Most verbs can be used as both transitive and intransitive.

Ex: the ant fought wasp. (Transitive)         Some ants fight fluently.  (Intransitive)                                                                  He told me the truth.   (Transitive)             He told gently.           (Intransitive)  

Some verbs like come, go fall, die, sleep, lie, denotes action which can’t be done to anything. They can therefore never be used transitively.

Ex: He falls down.                 She goes home.                         He sleeps late.

Intransitive verbs are used as transitive when an intransitive verb is used as causative sense, it becomes transitive.

Ex:                                                                                                                                         The horse walks. (Intransitive)                      He walks the horse. (Transitive)                                                                       The girl runs down the street. (Intransitive)  The girl runs a needle on to her hand. (Transitive)                     Birds fly.  (Intransitive)                                 The boy flies his kite. (Transitive)

Some intransitive verbs may become transitive by adding or having a preposition.

Ex: All his friends laughed at him. (Transitive)                                                                            He will run through his fortune.  (Transitive)

Verb of Incomplete Predication

Read the following sentences:                                                                                          The baby sleeps.                                                                                                                   The baby seems happy.                                                                                                     The verbs in both sentences are intransitive, but the verb in first sentence has a complete sense and the verb in the second sentence does not have and require a word or a complement (happy) to make the sense complete. Such verb is called a verb of incomplete predication.  Verb of incomplete predication expresses the idea of being, becoming, seeing, appearing and the complement is usually consist of a noun or an adjective.

Ex: Tim is a cat.             You look happy.              The sky grew dark.

Some transitive verbs require besides an object a complement to complete their precision.

Ex: We made Kate a captain. 

Linking Verbs

A linking verb connects a subject to a subject complement which identifies or describes the subject, as in the following sentences:

The play is waiting for John.

In this sentence, the linking verb "is" links the noun phrase "the play" to the identifying phrase "Waiting for, John” which is called a subject complement.

Some of us thought that the play was very good.

In this sentence, the verb "was" links the subject complement "very good" to subject "the play".

Others thought it became tedious after the first fifteen minutes.

In this sentence, the linking verb "became" links the subject "it" to the subject complement "tedious." The phrase "after the first fifteen minutes" functions as an adverb modifying the clause "it became tedious".

The cast appears disorganized and confused; perhaps Beckett intended this.

Here "appears" is functioning as a linking verb that connects the subject "the cats" to its subject complement "disorganized and confused".

The play seems absurd to me.

The subject "the play" is joined to its subject complement "absurd" by the linking verb "seems".

Linking verbs are either verbs of sensation ("feel," "look," "smell," "sound," "taste") or verbs of existence ("act," "appear," "be," "become," "continue," "grow," "prove," "remain," "seem," "sit," "strand," "turn").

Many linking verbs (with the significant exception of "be") can also be used as transitive or intransitive verbs. In the following pairs of sentences, the first sentence uses the highlighted verb as a linking verb and the second uses the same verb as either a transitive or an intransitive verbs:

Linking

Griffin insists that the water in Winnipeg tastes terrible.

In this sentence, the adjective "terrible" is a subject complement that describes a quality of the water.

Transitive

I tasted the soup before adding more salt.

Here the noun phrase "the soup" identifies what "I tasted." "The soup" is the direct object of the verb "tasted."

Linking

My neighbor’s singing voice sounds very squeaky despite several hours of daily practice.

In this example, the phrase "very squeaky" is a subject complement that describes or identities the nature of the "singing voice."

Transitive

Upon the approach of the enemy troops, the gate-keeper sounded his horn.

Here the verb "sounded" takes a direct object, the noun phrase "his horn."

Linking

Cynthia feels queasy whenever she listens to banjo music.

In this sentence, the adjective "queasy" is a subject complement that describes Cynthia.

Transitive

The customer carefully feels the fabric of the coat.

Here the noun phrase "the fabric of the coat" is the direct object of the verb "feels" and identifies what the customer feels.

Agreement of the Verb with the Subject                           

The verb agrees with subject in number and person.

A. Two or more singular subjects connected by and usually take a plural verb.

 Ex: Liz and Tom are at the exhibit. Fire and water don’t agree.

B. If two singular subjects refer to the same person or thing the verb must be singular.   

Ex: My friend and teacher of English has come. The black and white cat is here.

C. Whenever the two subjects proceed with articles the verb should be plural.

Ex:  The black and the white cat are here.                     

D. If two singular subjects together express one idea the verb is singular.

Ex: Toast and butter is my favorite breakfast. The horse and the carriage is at the door. 

E. If the singular subjects are preceded by each or every the verb is usually singular.

Ex: Every boy and girl was ready.  Each of the boys gets a prize.

F.  Two or more singular subjects connected by or, nor, either, or neither take a singular verb.

Ex: Neither food nor water was to be found.               May be Kate or Powel is efficient.           .     Either he or I am mistaken.             But                 He and I are well.   

G. A collective noun takes a singular verb when the collective is thought as whole.

Ex: The counsel has chosen its president. (Singular idea)                                                  .  .      The police are trying to arrest the thieves. (Plural)                     

 

 

 

Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs

AUXILIARY VERBS are verbs that help to form the tenses of other verbs. In "I am working", "am" is an auxiliary because it helps to form the present tense in the sentence. In "I am busy" it is not an auxiliary. It is the main verb in the sentence and is followed by an adjective, "busy" as a complement.

Helping verbs or auxiliary verbs such as will, shall, may, might, can, could, must, ought to, should, would, used to, need are used in conjunction with main verbs to express shades of time and mood. The combination of helping verbs with main verbs creates what are called verb phrases or verb strings. In the following sentence, "will have been" are helping or auxiliary verbs and "studying" is the main verb; the whole verb string is underlined:

There are 25 auxiliaries (friend of not) such as is, am, are ,was, were, be, do, does, did, have, has, had, will, shall, may, might, can, could, must, ought to, should, would, used to, need, dare to  they are divided in to two parts (modal and semi)

Semi are used as main and helping ; is, am, are ,was, were, be, do, does, did, have, has, had,

Ex: I am a doctor. (Main)       I am waiting for the bus. (Auxiliary)         

Modals are used as helping and don’t have any other usage; will, shall, may, might, can, could, must, ought to, should, would, used to, need, dare to

Ex: He will never pay the money. (Auxiliary)  no main verb        

 

What is an Adverb?

An adverb can modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. An adverb indicates manner, time, place, cause, or degree and answers questions such as "how," "when," "where," "how much".

While some adverbs can be identified by their characteristic "ly" suffix, most of them must be identified by untangling the grammatical relationships within the sentence or clause as a whole. Unlike an adjective, an adverb can be found in various places within the sentence.

In the following examples, each of the highlighted words is an adverb:

The seamstress quickly made the mourning clothes.

In this sentence, the adverb "quickly" modifies the verb "made" and indicates in what manner (or how fast) the clothing was constructed.

The midwives waited patiently through a long labor.

Similarly in this sentence, the adverb "patiently" modifies the verb "waited" and describes the manner in which the midwives waited.

The boldly-spoken words would return to haunt the rebel.

In this sentence the adverb "boldly" modifies the adjective "spoken."

We urged him to dial the number more expeditiously.

Here the adverb "more" modifies the adverb "expeditiously."

Unfortunately, the bank closed at three today.

In this example, the adverb "unfortunately" modifies the entire sentence.

Conjunctive Adverbs

You can use a conjunctive adverb to join two clauses together. Some of the most common conjunctive adverbs are "also," "consequently," "finally," "furthermore," "hence," "however," "incidentally," "indeed," "instead," "likewise," "meanwhile," "nevertheless," "next," "nonetheless," "otherwise," "still," "then," "therefore," and "thus." A conjunctive adverb is not strong enough to join two independent clauses without the aid of a semicolon.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are conjunctive adverbs:

·        The government has cut university budgets; consequently, class sizes have been increased.

·        He did not have all the ingredients the recipe called for; therefore, he decided to make something else.

·        The report recommended several changes to the ways the corporation accounted for donations; furthermore, it suggested that a new auditor be appointed immediately.

·        The crowd waited patiently for three hours; finally, the doors to the stadium were opened.

·        Batman and Robin fruitlessly searched the building; indeed, the Joker had escaped through a secret door in the basement.

 

Interrogative Adverb

Interrogative Adverb are used to ask a question, they are how, where, when and why used at the beginning of the sentences for time, place, reason and quality

 

Ex: When did you come?      Where is the pen?         Why did you do this action?

 

Relative Adverb

Relative Adverb is used to relate or connect two clauses (main and subordinate). They are when, while and where.

When is used to show the time and connects two clauses of simple past.

Ex: When I was in eighth class, he was our teacher.

 

While is used to show the time and connects two clauses of simple past and past continuous.

Ex: While she was waiting for the bus, a man stole her purse.  

 

Where is used to show the place and connects two clauses of simple past and present tense.

Ex: I went to a place where I am a teacher.

We have compound adverbs such as anywhere, wherever, nowhere, however, whatever, otherwise.

Ex: You can go wherever you want.

 

 

What is a Preposition?

A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.

A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence as in the following examples:

The book is on the table.

The book is beneath the table.

The book is leaning against the table.

The book is beside the table.

She held the book over the table.

She read the book during class.

In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun "book" in space or in time.

A prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition, its object and any associated adjectives or adverbs. A prepositional phrase can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The most common prepositions are "about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a preposition:

The children climbed the mountain without fear.

In this sentence, the preposition "without" introduces the noun "fear." The prepositional phrase "without fear" functions as an adverb describing how the children climbed.

There was rejoicing throughout the land when the government was defeated.

Here, the preposition "throughout" introduces the noun phrase "the land." The prepositional phrase acts as an adverb describing the location of the rejoicing.

The spider crawled slowly along the banister.

The preposition "along" introduces the noun phrase "the banister" and the prepositional phrase "along the banister" acts as an adverb, describing where the spider crawled.

The dog is hiding under the porch because it knows it will be punished for chewing up a new pair of shoes.

Here the preposition "under" introduces the prepositional phrase "under the porch," which acts as an adverb modifying the compound verb "is hiding."

The screenwriter searched for the manuscript he was certain was somewhere in his office.

Similarly in this sentence, the preposition "in" introduces a prepositional phrase "in his office," which acts as an adverb describing the location of the missing papers.

What is a Conjunction?

You can use a conjunction to link words, phrases, and clauses, as in the following example:

I ate the pizza and the pasta.

Call the movers when you are ready.

Co-ordinating Conjunctions

You use a co-ordinating conjunction ("and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so," or "yet") to join individual words, phrases, and independent clause. Note that you can also use the conjunctions "but" and "for" as prepositions.

In the following sentences, each of the highlighted words is a co-ordinating conjunction:

Lilacs and violets are usually purple.

In this example, the co-ordinating conjunction "and" links two nouns.

This movie is particularly interesting to feminist film theorists, for the screenplay was written by Mae West.

In this example, the co-ordinating conjunction "for" is used to link two independent clauses.

Daniel's uncle claimed that he spent most of his youth dancing on rooftops and swallowing goldfish.

Here the co-ordinating conjunction "and" links two participle phrases ("dancing on rooftops" and "swallowing goldfish") which act as adverbs describing the verb "spends."

Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause and indicates the nature of the relationship among the independent clause(s) and the dependent clause(s).

The most common subordinating conjunctions are "after," "although," "as," "because," "before," "how," "if," "once," "since," "than," "that," "though," "till," "until," "when," "where," "whether," and "while."

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a subordinating conjunction:

After she had learned to drive, Alice felt more independent.

The subordinating conjunction "after" introduces the dependent clause "After she had learned to drive."

If the paperwork arrives on time, your chick will be mailed on Tuesday.

Similarly, the subordinating conjunction "if" introduces the dependent clause "If the paperwork arrives on time."

Gerald had to begun his thesis over again when his computer crashed.

The subordinating conjunction "when" introduces the dependent clause "when his computer crashed."

Midwifery advocates argue that home births are safer because the mother and baby are exposed to fewer people and fewer germs.

In this sentence, the dependent clause "because the mother and baby are exposed to fewer people and fewer germs" is introduced by the subordinating conjunction "because."

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions always appear in pairs -- you use them to link equivalent sentence elements. The most common correlative conjunctions are "both...and," "either...or," "neither...nor,", "not only...but also," "so...as “and” whether...or." (Technically correlative conjunctions consist simply of a co-ordinating conjunction linked to an adjective or adverb.)

The highlighted words in the following sentences are correlative conjunctions:

Both my grandfather and my father worked in the steel plant.

In this sentence, the correlative conjunction "both...and" is used to link the two noun phrases that act as the compound subject of the sentence: "my grandfather" and "my father".

Bring either a Jello salad or a potato scallop.

Here the correlative conjunction "either...or" links two noun phrases: "a Jello salad" and "a potato scallop."

Corinne is trying to decide whether to go to medical school or to go to law school.

Similarly, the correlative conjunction "whether ... or" links the two infinitive phrase "to go to medical school" and "to go to law school."

The explosion destroyed not only the school but also the neighboring pub.

In this example the correlative conjunction "not only ... but also" links the two noun phrases ("the school" and "neighboring pub"), which act as direct objects.

Note: some words, which appear as conjunctions can also appear as prepositions or as adverbs.

 

What is an Interjection?

An interjection is a word added to a  sentence to convey emotion. It is not grammatically related to any other part of the sentence.                                                                         You usually follow an interjection with an exclamation mark. Interjections are uncommon in formal academic prose, except in direct quotations.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are interjections:

Ouch, that hurt!

Oh no, I forgot that the exam was today.

Hey! Put that down!

I heard one guy say to another guy, "He has a new car, eh?"

I don't know about you but, good lord, I think taxes are too high!

 

Phrases

A phrase is a group of related words that does not include a subject and verb. (If the group of related words does contain a subject and verb, it is considered a clause.) There are several different kinds of phrases. Understanding how they are constructed and how they function within a sentence can bolster a writer's confidence in writing sentences that are sound in structure and various in form.

NOUN PHRASE

A noun phrase comprises a noun (obviously) and any associated modifiers:

·         The long and winding road

·         A noun phrase

·         any associated modifiers

The modifiers that accompany a noun can take any number of forms and combination of forms: adjectives, of course ("the tall and brilliant professor"); a participial phrase ("the road following the edge of the frozen lake"); an infinitive phrase ("the first man to walk on the moon"); a modifying clause ("the presentation that he had made the day before"); and prepositional phrases ("the building next to the lodge, over by the highway"). [See below for definitions of participial, infinitive, and prepositional phrases.] Usually, a noun phrase will be all of a piece, all the words that compose it being contiguous with the noun itself. It is possible, however, for a noun phrase to be broken, to become what we call discontinuous. Sometimes part of the noun phrase is delayed until the end of the sentence so that that portion of the phrase (usually modifying phrases — participial or prepositional) can receive end weight or focus. In our first example, for instance (noun phrase in dark red),

·         Several accidents have been reported involving passengers falling from trains.

we could have put the entire noun phrase together: "Several accidents involving passengers falling from trains have been reported recently." Shifting the modifying phrases of the red-colored part of the phrase to the end puts additional emphasis on that part. Here are some other examples:

·         A rumor circulated among the staff that he was being promoted to Vice President. (Instead of "A rumor that he was being promoted to Vice President circulated among the staff.")

·         The time had come to stop spending money foolishly and to put something away for the future. (Instead of "The time to stop spending money foolishly and to put something away for the future had come.")

·         That hard drive was faulty that you sold me. (Instead of "That hard drive that you sold me was faulty.")

·         What business is it of yours? (Instead of "What business of yours is it? ")

Clearly, there is nothing inherently wrong with a discontinuous noun phrase. One very good reason for a discontinuous noun phrase is to achieve a balance between a subject and its predicate:

·         The story is told that he was once a soldier in French Foreign Legion .

Without the discontinuous noun phrase in the sentence above, we end up with a twelve-word subject, a linking verb, and a one-word predicate — sort of lop-sided.

Authority: A Grammar of Contemporary English by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. Longman Group: London. 1978.

One thing you want to watch out for with noun phrases is the long compound noun phrase.* This is sometimes called the "stacked noun phrase" or "packed noun phrase." It is common to find one noun modifying another: student body, book cover, water commission. But when we create a long string of such attributive nouns or modifiers, we create difficulties:

·         People who author web-pages have become aware of what is now known as the uniform resource locator protocol problem.

The difficulty we have here is knowing what is modifying what. Also, the reader keeps expecting the string to end, so the energy of the sentence (and our attention) dwindles into a series of false endings. Such phrases are a particular temptation in technical writing. Usually, the solution to an overly extended compound noun phrase is to take the last noun of the series and liberate it from the rest of the string (putting it at the beginning of the sentence) and then to turn at least one of the modifying nouns into a prepositional phrase:

·         The problem with the protocol of uniform resource locators is now recognized by people who author web-pages as. . . .

(This is one situation in which making a sentence longer is probably an advantage.)

A vocative — an addressed person's name or substitute name — is often a single word but sometimes takes the form of a noun phrase. A vocative is always treated as a parenthetical element and is thus set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma or a pair of commas (if it appears within the flow of a sentence). When vocatives are proper nouns (usually the case), they are also referred to as "nouns of address." Vocatives are like adverbs: they can pop up almost anywhere in the sentence. Do not, however, get into the habit of throwing commas at people's names; unless the name refers to someone who is actually being addressed, it is not a vocative and will not necessarily be parenthetical:

·         He told Jorge to turn the boat around.

·         Jorge, turn the boat around

Quirk and Greenbaum enumerate four different kinds of vocatives:

1.      Single names, with or without a title: Jorge, Mr. Valdez, Dr. Valdez, Uncle, Grandma. Dr. Valdez, will you please address the graduates?

2.      The personal pronoun you (not a polite form of address): You, put down that gun! The second person pronoun is sometimes combined with other words (but the result is often rather rude and is never used in formal prose ["You over there, hurry up!" "You with the purple hair and silver nose rings, get back in line!"]) The indefinite pronouns can also serve as a vocative: Call an ambulance, somebody! Quick, anybody! Give me a hand!

3.      Appellatives (what we call people) of endearment ("Darling," "Sweetheart," "My dear," "Love") Come sit next to me, my dear.; of respect ("Sir," "Madam," "Your Honor," "Ladies and gentlemen") I would ask you, Sir, never to do that again.; of profession or status ("Professor," "Mr. President," "Madam Chairman," "Coach") Please, Coach, let me play for a while.

4.      Nominal clause: Whoever is making that noise, stop it now.

Authority for this section: A University Grammar of English by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum. Longman Group: Essex, England. 1993. Used with permission; examples our own.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition; a noun or pronoun that serves as the object of the preposition, and, more often than not, an adjective or two that modifies the object. Ernest Hemingway apparently fell in love with the rhythms of his prepositional phrases at the beginning of his short story "Hills Like White Elephants":

The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went on to Madrid.

Prepositional phrases usually tell when or where: "in forty minutes," "in the sun, against the side, etc." Prepositional phrases can perform other functions, however: Except Jo, the children were remarkably like their father.

A prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence constitutes an introductory modifier, which is usually a signal for a comma. However, unless an introductory prepositional phrase is unusually long, we seldom need to follow it with a comma.

You may have learned that ending a sentence with a preposition is a serious breach of grammatical etiquette. It doesn't take a grammarian to spot a sentence-ending preposition, so this is an easy rule to get caught up on (!). Although it is often easy to remedy the offending preposition, sometimes it isn't, and repair efforts sometimes result in a clumsy sentence. Based on shaky historical precedent, the rule itself is a latecomer to the rules of writing. Those who dislike the rule are fond of recalling Churchill's rejoinder: <"That is nonsense up with which I shall not put." We should also remember the child's complaint (attributed to E.B. White): "What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?"

APPOSITIVE PHRASE

An appositive is a re-naming or amplification of a word that immediately precedes it. (An appositive, then is the opposite of an oppositive.) Frequently another kind of phrase will serve in apposition.

·         My favorite teacher, a fine chess player in her own right, has won several state-level tournaments. [Noun Phrase as appositive]

·         The best exercise, walking briskly, is also the least expensive. [Gerund phrase as appositive]

·         Tashonda's goal in life, to become an occupational therapist, is within her grasp this year, at last. [Infinitive phrase as appositive]

ABSOLUTE PHRASE

Usually (but not always, as we shall see), an absolute phrase (also called a nominative absolute) is a group of words consisting of a noun or pronoun and a participle as well as any related modifiers. Absolute phrases do not directly connect to or modify any specific word in the rest of the sentence; instead, they modify the entire sentence, adding information. They are always treated as parenthetical elements and are set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma or a pair of commas (sometimes by a dash or pair of dashes). Notice that absolute phrases contain a subject (which is often modified by a participle), but not a true finite verb.

·         Their reputation as winners secured by victory, the New York Liberty charged into the semifinals.

·         The season nearly finished, Rebecca Lobo and Sophie Witherspoon emerged as true leaders.

·         The two superstars signed autographs into the night, their faces beaming happily.

When the participle of an absolute phrase is a form of to be, such as being or having been, the participle is often left out but understood.

·         The season [being] over, they were mobbed by fans in Times Square.

·         [Having been] Stars all their adult lives, they seemed used to the attention.

Another kind of absolute phrase is found after a modified noun; it adds a focusing detail or point of focus to the idea of the main clause. This kind of absolute phrase can take the form of a prepositional phrase, an adjective phrase, or a noun phrase.

·         The old firefighter stood over the smoking ruins, his senses alert to any sign of another flare-up.

·         His subordinates, their faces sweat-streaked and smudged with ash, leaned heavily against the firetruck.

·         They knew all too well how all their hard work could be undone — in an instant.

It is not unusual for the information supplied in the absolute phrase to be the most important element in the sentence. In fact, in descriptive prose, the telling details will often be wrapped into a sentence in the form of an absolute phrase:

·         Coach Nykesha strolled onto the court, her arms akimbo and a large silver whistle clenched between her teeth.

·         The new recruits stood in one corner of the gym, their uniforms stiff and ill fitting, their faces betraying their anxiety.

A noun phrase can also exist as an absolute phrase:

·         Your best friends, where are they now, when you need them?

·         And then there was my best friend Sally — the dear girl — who has certainly fallen on hard times.

It might be useful to review the material on Misplaced Modifiers because it is important not to confuse an absolute phrase with a misplaced modifier.

INFINITIVE PHRASE

An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive — the root of the verb preceded by to — and any modifiers or complements associated with it. Infinitive phrases can act as adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.

·         Her plan to subsidize child care won wide acceptance among urban politicians. [modifies plan, functions as an adjective]

·         She wanted to raise taxes. [noun-object of the sentence]

·         To watch Uncle Billy tell this story is an eye-opening experience. [noun-subject of the sentence]

·         To know her is to love her. [noun, predicate nominative]

·         Juan went to college to study veterinary medicine. [tells us why he went, so it's an adverb]

GERUND PHRASE

Gerunds, verbals that end in -ing and that act as nouns, frequently are associated with modifiers and complements in a gerund phrase. These phrases function as units and can do anything that a noun can do. Notice that other phrases, especially prepositional phrases, are frequently part of the gerund phrase.

·         Cramming for tests is not a good study strategy. [gerund phrase as subject]

·         John enjoyed swimming in the lake after dark. [gerund phrase as object]

·         I'm really not interested in studying biochemistry for the rest of my life. [gerund phrase as object of the preposition in ]

PARTICIPIAL PHRASE

Present participles, verbals ending in -ing, and past participles, verbals that end in -ed (for regular verbs) or other forms (for irregular verbs), are combined with complements and modifiers and become part of important phrasal structures. Participial phrases always act as adjective. When they begin a sentence, they are often set off by a comma (as an introductory modifier); otherwise, participial phrases will be set off by commas if they are parenthetical elements.

·         The stone steps, having been worn down by generations of students, needed to be replaced. [modifies "steps"]

·         Working around the clock, the firefighters finally put out the last of the California brush fires. [modifies "firefighters"]

·         The pond, frozen over since early December, is now safe for ice-skating. [modifies "pond"]

 

 

Clauses:
the Essential
Building-Blocks

Definition

A clause is a group of related words containing a subject and a verb A clause can be usefully distinguished from a phrase, which is a group of related words that does not contain a subject-verb relationship, such as "in the morning" or "running down the street" or "having grown used to this harassment." A review of the different kinds of phrases might be helpful.

Words We Use to Talk about Clauses

Learning the various terms used to define and classify clauses can be a vocabulary lesson in itself. This digital handout categorizes clauses into independent and dependent clauses. This simply means that some clauses can stand by themselves, as separate sentences, and some can't. Another term for dependent clause is subordinate clause: this means that the clause is subordinate to another element (the independent clause) and depends on that other element for its meaning. The subordinate clause is created by a subordinating conjunction or dependent word.

An independent clause, "She is older than her brother" (which could be its own sentence), can be turned into a dependent or subordinate clause when the same group of words begins with a dependent word (or a subordinating conjunction in this case): "Because she is older than her brother, she tells him what to do."

Clauses are also classified as restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. (The words essential and nonessential are sometimes used and mean the same thing as restrictive and nonrestrictive, respectively. British grammarians will make this same distinction by referring to clauses with the terms defining and non-defining.) A nonrestrictive clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence; it can be removed from the sentence without changing its basic meaning. Nonrestrictive clauses are often set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma or a pair of commas (if it's in the middle of a sentence).

·         Professor Villa, who used to be a secretary for the President, can type 132 words a minute.

Review the Notorious Confusables section on the difference between That and Which for additional clarification on the distinction between restrictive and nonrestrictive.

Relative clauses are dependent clauses introduced by a relative pronoun (that, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, whose, and of which). Relative clauses can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. Review the section on Comma Usage for additional help in determining whether relative clauses are restrictive or nonrestrictive (parenthetical or not) and whether commas should be used to set them off from the rest of the sentence. In a relative clause, the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb (remember that all clauses contain a subject-verb relationship) and refers to (relates to) something preceding the clause.

·         Giuseppe said that the plantar wart, which had been bothering him for years, had to be removed.

(In this sentence, the clause in this color is a restrictive [essential] clause [a noun clause — see below] and will not be set off by a comma; the underlined relative clause [modifying "wart"] is nonrestrictive [nonessential — it can be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence] and is set off by commas.)

Some relative clauses will refer to more than a single word in the preceding text; they can modify an entire clause or even a series of clauses.

·         Charlie didn't get the job in administration, which really surprised his friends.
Charlie didn't get the job in administration, and he didn't even apply for the Dean's position, which really surprised his friends.

A relative clause that refers to or modifies entire clauses in this manner is called a sentential clause. Sometimes the "which" of a sentential clause will get tucked into the clause as the determiner of a noun:

·         Charlie might very well take a job as headmaster, in which case the school might as well close down.

Elliptical Clauses: see below.

Finally, everybody's favorite clause is the Santa Clause, which needs no further definition:

Independent Clauses

Independent Clauses could stand by themselves as discrete sentences, except that when they do stand by themselves, separated from other clauses, they're normally referred to simply as sentences, not clauses. The ability to recognize a clause and to know when a clause is capable of acting as an independent unit is essential to correct writing and is especially helpful in avoiding sentence fragments and run – on sentences.

Needless to say, it is important to learn how to combine independent clauses into larger units of thought. In the following sentence, for example,

·         Bob didn't mean to do it, but he did it anyway.

We have two independent clauses — "Bob didn't mean to do it" and "he did it anyway" — connected by a comma and a coordinating conjunction ("but"). If the word "but" is missing from this sentence, the sentence would be called a comma splice: two independent clauses would be incorrectly connected, smooshed together, with only a comma between them. Furthermore, a long series of clauses of similar structure and length begins to feel monotonous, leading to what is called "Dick and Jane" or primer language (after the kind of prose that we find in first grade textbooks or "primers"). (See the section on Avoiding Primer Language for advice and exercises on combining sentences.) It would also be helpful at this time to review the section on Punctuation Between Two Independent Clauses.

Clauses are combined in three different ways: coordination, subordination, and by means of a semicolon. Coordination involves joining independent clauses with one of the coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and sometimes* so. Clauses thus connected are usually nicely balanced in length and import.

·         Ramonita thought about joining the church choir, but she never talked to her friends about it.

Subordination involves turning one of the clauses into a subordinate element (one that cannot stand on its own) through the use of a Subordinating Conjunction (sometimes called a dependent word) or a Relative Pronoun. When the clause begins with a subordinating word, it is no longer an independent clause; it is called a dependent or subordinate clause because it depends on something else (the independent clause) for its meaning. There are other ways of combining ideas — by turning independent clauses into various kinds of modifying phrases. Again, see the section on.  Avoiding Primer Language

·         Although Ramonita often thought about joining the choir, she never talked to her friends about it.

·         Ramonita never talked to her friends about joining the choir, because she was afraid they would make fun of her.

·         Yasmin is Ramonita's sister. Yasmin told Ramonita to join the choir no matter what her friends said.
Joining these with the use of a relative clause:
Yasmin, [who is] Ramonita's sister, told Ramonita to join the choir. . . .

Semicolons can connect two independent clauses with or without the help of a Conjunctive adverb (transitional expression). Semicolons should be used sparingly and only when the two independent clauses involved are closely related and nicely balanced in terms of length and import.

·         Ramonita has such a beautiful voice; many couples have asked her to sing at their wedding.

·         Ramonita's voice has a clear, angelic quality; furthermore, she clearly enjoys using i