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2 Tests for Phrases

There are three ways to know how the words arranged in a given phrase or how the
phrases in a given clause arranged:


a. Transposition
Many sequences of words can be moved together into different slots in
Example: Jeeves shimmered into the room
Into the room shimmered Jeeves.
Into the room is being transposed to the front of the clause.
The above example of transposition has to do with a sequence of words being
moved from one position in a clause to another position without any changes.
Theres also transposition that cause some changes in a clause. Like in this
active and passive clause:
The pupils in this math class gave cakes to Margaret every Friday (active)
Cakes were given to Margaret every Friday by the pupils in this math class.
In the first sentence contains verb gave while in the second sentence
contains verb were given. The second sentence also contains prepositional
phrase by the pupils in this math class whereas the first sentence has no
prepositional phrase.
The test of transposition applies to other sequence of word like:
1. This parcel is very heavy.
The phrase very heavy is the compliment of the verb is.
2. This very heavy parcel was delivered yesterday.
The phrase is the modifier of the noun parcel.
3. Very heavy, this parcel!
Spoken construction.
4. What this parcel is is very heavy.
The phrase is also the compliment of the verb is, but with special
emphatic construction.
b. Substitution
A single word can substitute for a number of words hanging together as a

Example: Barbara handed the intriguing results of the latest examination to

Alan on Tuesday.
Barbara handed them into Alan on Tuesday.
Substitution can be applied to sequences introduced by preposition.


Vera is crocheting in the lounge.

Vera is crocheting there.
Grandma is coming to Mr. Chalkys school tomorrow.
Grandma is coming here tomorrow.

c. Ellipsis
To understand the ellipsis, we have to consider these examples.
1. The terrier attacked the burglar. The terrier savaged the burglars ankles.
These are two separated clauses.
2. The terrier attacked the burglar and the terrier savage the burglars
These are two clauses joined by conjunction and and the second clause
started with the terrier.
3. The terrier attacked the burglar and [] savaged the burglars ankles.
The second terrier word is being disappeared which is being ellipted.
This action only could be applied to a complete phrase.

Declarative construction can be both active like in:

1a. Frank bought the piano for Jane.
And passive as in:
1b. The piano was bought for Jane by Frank.

Interrogative construction also can be both active and passive like in:
2a. Did Frank buy the piano for Jane? (active)
2b. Was the piano bought for Jane by Frank? (passive)

Both in declarative and interrogative construction, the verb can be followed by a

noun phrase and a prepositional phrase. This construction called OBLIQUE OBJECT.
Frank bought the piano for Jane. (Declarative)
Did Frank buy the piano for Jane? (Interrogative)
The verb also can be followed by two noun phrases. This construction called
DOUBLE OBJECT. For example in:
Frank bought Jane the piano. (Declarative)
Did Frank buy Jane the piano? (Interrogative)

Both Double Object and Oblique Object construction can be active or passive.

8.1 Introduction.
There are two concepts on the relationship between verb in the clause and its
complements: the first one is set of grammatical function that is subject, direct
object, indirect object/second object and oblique object. The second one is the set
of the roles such as Agent and Patient. These concepts are familiar to anyone who
studied foreign languages like French, German, Spanish, Latin, and Russian.
8.2 Subject
Subject is the most complex grammatical function. There are three types of subject:
grammatical subject, logical subject and psychological subject. Grammatical subject
is some criterion that made based on the construction of the clause. Logical subject
is the role of the subject doesnt change whether the construction is changed or not.
Psychological subject is starting point of the message; it denotes the entities about
which the speaker wishes to say something, as the traditional formula puts it,
roughly topic.
To understand more about this complex grammatical function, we could consider
these examples:
1. The tigers hunt prey at night
The tigers could be considered as grammatical subject. Because it has agreement in
number with the verb (when it is made singular, it became: The tiger hunts prey at
night), never being preceded by preposition, and occurring in the by phrase in the
passive. The tigers also refers as the Agent both in active or passive sentence, it
made the tigers become the logical subject because either syntactic construction
tigers denotes Agent.
2. a. Fiona hoped to meet Prime Minister.
b. Susan intends to reach Kashgar.
c. Arthur tried to bake a cake.
In these three sentences, contain infinitive phrases: to meet PM, to reach Kashgar,
and to bake a cake. This infinitive phrase has function to understand the subject.
The infinitive meet in (2a) is dependent on the main verb hoped, and the
grammatical subject of the main verb, Fiona, is said to control the understood
subject of the infinitive. The main verbs of these sentences have only one
complement which is infinitive.
3. a. Fiona persuaded Arthur to bake a cake.
b. Susan wanted Jane to study German.
The verbs of these sentences (persuaded and wanted) are followed by noun phrase
(Arthur and Jane) and infinitive phrase. It means that the verbs of these sentences
have two complement which are noun phrase and infinitive phrase. These infinitive
phrases too have understood subjects controlled by the noun phrases. To make the

sentence easier to understand we could divided into two separate sentence: Fiona
persuade Arthur; Arthur to bake a cake. Suppose we relate the infinitive to a finite
clause: Arthur baked a cake.The path from the finite clause to the infinitive involves
deleting a constituent; the affected constituent is always the grammatical subject of
the non-finite clause.
4. a. Ayala went to the ball. Ayala chatted to Jonathan Stubbs.
b. Ayala went to the ball and chatted to Jonathan Stubbs.
This two sentences show the example of ellipsis. The 4b is the ellipsis of the 4a. The
grammatical subject Ayala could be ellipted. Only grammatical subject could be
5. a. Ayala went to the ball. Jonathan Stubbs chatted to Ayala.
b. *Ayala went to the ball and Jonathan Stubbs chatted to.
This two sentences show that 5a could not be converted into 5b by the ellipsis of
non-subject Ayala in the second sentence.
6. a. Ayala went to the ball. Ayala was chatted to by Jonathan Stubbs.
b. Ayala went to the ball and was chatted to by Jonathan Stubbs.
These sentences show that it doesnt matter whether the grammatical subject
denotes an Agent. We could combine active and passive sentence and do some
ellipsis. Subject of the second clause (6b) is controlled by initial grammatical