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Basic sentence types (2)

Maria Petrescu
University of Toronto Mississauga

Usage note: Adjective or adverb?

In formal usage in Standard English, Types I and III are distinct:
You sang well.
(Type I)
I really feel bad for him. (Type III)
However, in informal English, certain adjectives and adverbs
have merged: e.g., good/well good, quick/quickly quick,
quiet/quietly quiet, yielding sentences such as
You sing good.
She did it quick.
He said it quiet.

Also, you can hear hypercorrections such as

I really feel badly for him.

Type IV: Copula + Nominal

Those guys
The auction
Our office
The three survivors

are students.
was a success.
is becoming a jungle.
remained friends afterwards.
was that.

The subject complement is a nominal (it functions as a noun).

The subject complement can also be a noun clause:

can be what I want to be.
VPIV MVPbe/other copula + NP/Noun Clause
The subject complement has the same referent as the subject

Type IV: Copula + Nominal

Recognizing a Type IV sentence:
Is the main verb be or another copula (most often become or remain)?
Is the verb followed by a noun phrase or noun clause that refers to the
same entity as the subject?
Often, the sentence can be paraphrased with can be classified as/can be

We can number the NPs in a sentence to indicate whether they refer to the
same thing
Those guys1 are students1 .
Those guys1 saw a bear2.
TASK: Identify the Type IV sentences. Then draw a phrase marker for each.
1. Croatia is a favourite tourist destination in Europe.
2. It is a beautiful country with a long, jagged coastline.
3. Its tepid waters are remarkably clean.
4. Its beautifully preserved old cities are a real treasure.
5. Visitors can have an active vacation there.

Usage: It is I or It is me?
In many languages, such as Latin, the subject complement is
in the nominative (subject) case:
Is victor est . = He is the winner (not she).
Paulus victorem vdit. = Paul saw the winner.


Language purists have often argued that English should also

follow this model and that we should say It is I rather than It is
Historically, this was certainly the case: Old English Ic eom ic
(I am I), not *Ic eom m
However, French disjunctive pronouns behave the same way:
Cest moi, not *Cest je
Today, the subject case of pronouns is used as the subject
complement only in the most formal of contexts in English

Type V: Transitive verbs

The dog

hit Bill.
bit the man.
had brought a cake to the party.

An intransitive verb can stand on its own

Shes talking.
My heart stopped.
The roof collapsed.

A transitive verb requires a complement

I saw you.
Sally sold vegetables.
His father bought a new suit.

The complement is typically a NP and typically refers to something

other than the subject. We can indicate the latter with subscript
John1 hit Bill2.

Note that the following sentence is Type I, as fall is intransitive!

John fell on his head.

Identify the verb phrase in each of the following sentences. Is
the verb transitive or intransitive? How do you know?

The bell rings at 5:00 p.m. every day.

Those children play all afternoon.
Cats catch mice by instinct.
The cynic snickered.
His answers surprised us.
Keith caught a cold last week.

Type V: Transitive verbs

Monotransitive (one-transitive) verbs take a direct object
I lost the keys (direct object).
Ditransitive (two-transitive) verbs take an indirect object and a
direct object
I brought you (indirect object) the keys (direct object).
Often, the same verb can be used in different ways. Consider grow:
Tomatoes grew well there.
I grew restless.
I grew some tomatoes.
She grew me some gorgeous tomatoes. ???
Recognizing a Type V sentence:
The verb requires a nominal complement
The complement does not usually refer to the same entity as the
The verb is not a copula (i.e., it does not mean equals or

Identify the type of sentences and verb:
He goes to Paris in June.
He goes crazy in July.
He goes, I dont think so.

The ball rolled slowly away.

The child rolled the ball slowly.

Consider each of the underlined verbs and see if you can
create another sentence in which the verb is either transitive
or intransitive, not linking:

Mary feels tired.

The soup tastes funny.
The beer smells sour.
He became angry.
The paper looks messy.
The music sounds terrible.
The situation appears hopeless.


Usage note: Rise or raise? Lie or lay?

rise rose risen
raise raised raised

go up
cause to go up

lie lay lain

lay laid laid

rest in a horizontal position

cause to rest in a horizontal position

Theres also lie lied lied

not tell the truth

TASK: Choose the standard usage


He rises/rose/has risen.
He rises/rose/has risen his hand.
He lies/lay/has lain in his bed.
He lies/lay/has lain the books on the table.

He raises/raised/has raised.
He raises/raised/has raised his hand.
He lays/laid/has laid in his bed.
He lays/laid/has laid the books on the table.

Which of the verbs is encroaching on the territory of another one in colloquial (spoken)

Type V: Transitive verbs

Reflexive direct objects

I cut the apple with a plastic knife.
I cut myself with a plastic knife.

(S and DO are different entities)

(S and DO are the same entity)

Reflexive pronouns: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves,

yourselves, themselves

1) Keith likes him. /Keith likes himself.
2) My whole family is a Republican, but I myself am a Democrat.
3) The woman built the garage (by) themselves.


Type V: Transitive verbs

Reciprocal direct objects

The students respected each other.

We all call one another frequently.
Reciprocal pronouns: each other, one another
The lawyers respect themselves. (reflexive)
The lawyers respect each other (reciprocal)
Historically, different meaning but modern English no difference
The houses are close to each other.
The houses are close to one another.

(only two)
(more than two)


Type V: Transitive verbs

Object complements
They left the room messy. (Adjectival Object Complement)
The maple jam in the cronut burger made them violently sick.
They left the room a complete mess. (Nominal Object Complement)
They elected Peter president of the club.
Task: Draw a tree diagram for the first sentence in each set of


Usage: Comma Splice

Say the following out loud:
Yes is not a suitable answer.
Yes, the ground is dry.

1) Never insert a splice comma between the subject and
predicate or between the main verb and its
2) Use two commas to set off anything that interrupts the
subject and predicate or the verb and its complement(s).
Eg. Our whole class, with the possible exception of a few,
will do a stellar job on the midterm.

For Week 4 tutorial:

Exercise 8.8 (the first sentence starts with Homemade
Exercise 8.12 (the first sentence starts with A heavy rain)

Exercise 8.14 (the first sentence starts with The students)