English Grammar

Lynn Gordon

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Verbs and Verb Phases Chapter 3: Noun Phrases Chapter 4: Modifiers and Complements Chapter 5: NPs and their Functions Chapter 6: Coordination and Ellipsis Chapter 7: Subordinate Clauses

(c) 2008 Lynn Gordon All rights reserved

Anyone may use this draft for self-study or in formal classes. Do not sell any version of it.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Grammar
Grammar is used to refer to a number of different things: it can be used to refer to books that contain descriptions of the structure of a language; it can be used to refer to the knowledge that a native speaker has of his or her language and to descriptions of that knowledge; it can be used to refer to a set of rules developed to control certain aspects of the usage of native speakers; and it can be use to refer to a set of rules typically taught in school about “appropriate usage” and about writing. We’re concerned with three of these kinds of grammars: descriptive grammar which has as its goal a description of the usage of native speakers of a language; prescriptive grammar which has as its goal to control the usage of native speakers of a language; and school grammar which is primarily the simplified subset of prescriptive grammar taught in school. Descriptive Grammar As described above, descriptive grammar attempts to describe the usage of native speakers. Descriptive grammar assumes that the only authority for what is exists in a language is what its native speakers accept and understand as part of their language. A speaker who says “I ain’t doing nothing,” intending to say just that, has produced a sentence which is grammatical in the dialect and register in which he or she is speaking. This utterance is “grammatical” (i.e., produced by the grammar of a native speaker) for speakers of several different dialects of English and appropriate in different registers for those dialects. A descriptive grammar therefore will specify many rules for structures in which no native speaker will ever produce anything except a single form, for example, rules like (1) – (3) below. 1. In English, the article precedes the noun and any adjectives modifying the noun. a. The short people moved. b. *Short the people moved.1 c. *Short people the move. 2. In English, demonstratives agree in number with the nouns they modify: that and this go with singulars; those and these go with plurals. a. That dog is surprisingly fond of these bones. b. *Those dog is surprisingly fond of this bones. 3. Use only one question word at the beginning of an English sentence. a. Who said what? b. *Who what said? c. *What who said? A descriptive grammar will also specify rules which allow variation in structures which speakers use variably. What does that mean? (4) and (5) are examples of a rule that varies in different contexts:

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4. Speakers of more or less standard dialects of American English typically use objective pronouns after copular verbs; a. That is me. b. It’s him. c. The guy in the front row with the red hat is him. 5. Speakers of more or less standard dialects of American English typically use subject case pronouns after copular verbs with very short subjects in formal contexts; a. %That is I. b. %It is he. c. ?That guy in the front row with the red hat is he. Prescriptive Grammar Prescriptive grammars, on the other hand, assume the existence of better authorities than the usage and judgment of native speakers. People who write prescriptive grammars adduce better language users (educated speakers, high-class speakers, great writers), better languages (usually Latin) and better information systems (mathematics or predicate calculus) as authorities for preferring one usage over another. Prescriptive rules exist only to express a preference for one structure or usage or linguistic item over another. A prescriptive grammar will not contain rules that tell you to put articles before nouns, rather than after, because no native speakers of English put articles after nouns. Prescriptive rules are reserved for places where speakers have choices and they exist to limit those choices. For example, consider this discussion from Fowler’s A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. 6. preposition at end. It was once a cherished superstition that prepositions must be kept true to their name and placed before the word they govern in spite of the incurable English instinct for putting them late (’They are the fittest timber to make great politics of,’ said Bacon; and ‘What are you hitting me for?’ says the modern schoolboy). ‘A sentence ending in a preposition is an inelegant sentence’ represents what used to be a very general belief, and it is not yet dead. One of its chief supports is the fact that Dryden, an acknowledged master of English prose, went through all his prefaces contriving away the final prepositions that he had been guilty of in his first editions. It is interesting to find Ruskin almost reversing this procedure. In the text of the Seven Lamps there is a solitary final preposition to be found and no more; but in the later footnotes they are not avoided (Any more wasted words...I never heard of./Men whose occupation for the next fifty years would be the knocking down every beautiful building they could lay their hands on). Dryden’s earlier practice shows him following the English instinct; his later shows him sophisticated with deliberate latinism: ‘I am often put to a stand in considering whether what I write be the idiom of the tongue, ... and have no other way to clear my doubts but by translating my English into Latin’. The natural inference from this would be: you cannot put a preposition (roughly speaking) later than its word in Latin, and therefore you must not do so in English. Gibbon improved upon the doctrine, and, observing that prepositions and adverbs are not always easily

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distinguished, kept on the safe side by not ending sentences with on, over, under, or the like, when they would have been adverbs. The fact is that the remarkable freedom enjoyed by English in putting its prepositions late and omitting its relatives is an important element in the flexibility of the language. The power of saying A state of dejection such as they are absolute strangers to instead of A state of dejection of an intensity to which they are absolute strangers, or People worth talking to instead of People with whom it is worthwhile to talk, is not one to be lightly surrendered. But the Dryden-Gibbon tradition has remained in being, and even now immense pains are sometimes expended in changing spontaneous into artificial English. That depends on what they are cut with is not improved by conversion into That depends on with what they are cut; and too often the lust for sophistication, once blooded, becomes uncontrollable, and ends with, That depends on the answer to the question as to with what they are cut. Those who lay down the universal principle that final prepositions are 'inelegant' are unconsciously trying to deprive the English language of a valuable idiomatic resource, which has been used freely by all our greatest writers except those whose instinct for English idiom has been overpowered by notions of correctness derived from Latin standards. The legitimacy of the prepositional ending in literary English must be uncompromisingly maintained; in respect of elegance or inelegance, every example must be judged not by any arbitrary rule, but on its own merits, according to the impression it makes on the feeling of educated English readers. (473-4) Notice that Fowler said that Dryden in revising himself did not ask “What sounds good in English?”, instead he very explicitly changed his writing so it existed as a pseudo-translation of Latin (an odd thing to do unless you really believe in the superiority of Latin). Fowler distinguishes between style and grammar much more effectively than most prescriptivists. He is arguing in favor of (or against) different usages because of what he perceives their stylistic effect to be – he is not claiming that ending a sentence with a preposition (or avoiding ending a sentence with a preposition) is “ungrammatical”. He is expressing a stylistic preference. There has been a long tradition in prescriptivism to claim that those things which the prescriptivists dislike are ungrammatical. (7) suggests that split infinitives or verb phrases are somehow wrong; the data suggests that not only do English speakers prefer to split infinitives sometimes, sometimes they actually must. 7. "Avoid separating the parts of a verb phrase or the parts of an infinitive." (H. Ramsay Fowler, The Little, Brown Handbook: 242) a. Our five-year mission is to boldly go where no one has gone before. b. Our five-year mission is to go boldly where no one has gone before. c. To only read the first chapter, and not answer the questions, would be a waste of time. d. ?*Only to read the first chapter, and not answer the questions, would be a waste of time. e. To read only the first chapter, and not answer the questions, would be a waste of time. ((e) means something different from (c))

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One of the most important things about prescriptive grammarians or various stylists is that their rules must sit on top of an adequate descriptive grammar. Why? Descriptive grammar tells us what a preposition or an infinitive is. If you don’t know what an infinitive is, how can you interpret (7) above? Nothing in prescriptive grammar defines infinitives. It is descriptive grammar that notes that speakers have choices in certain constructions about where the preposition can appear. The prescriptivist comes in and asserts that only one of the choices is “correct”, but the existence of the choices and the structure that sits beside them can only be found by competent observation and description of native speaker usage. Prescriptive rules are a set of social and sometimes more narrowly aesthetic rules about linguistic structure – they are not, contrary to way they are often presented – rules of language. The degree to which a speaker or writer abides by these rules may affect how his or her audience judges the work or the author of it. A failure to abide by the rules may suggest to an audience that the speaker/writer is unfamiliar with these rules (which can be associated with intellectual, scholastic or social success), while abiding by them may suggest to an audience that the speaker/writer is pompous and overly formal. School Grammar Within prescriptive and descriptive grammar is a subset of (usually highly oversimplified) rules which are explicitly taught in school. These will include things like definitions of word categories (nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc.) and the very explicit prescriptive rules like the “don’t end a sentence in a preposition” rule discussed above. These rules are found in textbooks and other materials used in schools from elementary school to college. They include statements like “A verb is an action word” (a definition which we will find woefully inadequate when we start actually working with verbs), and rules like 8. "Use the subjective case for all parts of compound subjects and for subject complements." (H. Ramsay Fowler, The Little, Brown Handbook:162) a. That's her. b. That's she. c. The best person for the job would be me. d. *The best person for the job would be I. Compare this with the rule (4) above and the data listed with (4) and (8), it should be clear that there is a substantial problem with it. It appears unfortunately to press English speakers and writers to produce things which sound absolutely horrible to the English ear. What does all this mean? Now that we’ve distinguished between descriptive, prescriptive and school grammars, what should we do about it? We can see that prescriptive grammars can assert things that simply aren’t true and that school grammars oversimplify. Does this mean schools shouldn’t teach students any prescriptive rules? Probably not. There are still many people who believe fervently that the degree to which a writer plays by the prescriptive rules (especially in technical or formal writing) is a direct reflection of the writer’s intelligence or education. Students will, in all probability,

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have to deal with such people. If schools do nothing else in teaching about prescriptive rules, they should teach students strategies to avoid producing sentences which obey prescriptive rules while violating descriptive ones (like 6d above). Moreover, certain rules must be inherently prescriptive – the rules that are specific to writing. Since nobody is a native speaker of writing, those aspects of writing which are not present in speech (in particular punctuation and spelling) have no independent authority other than the prescriptive conventions we as a society have developed. In other words, nobody can call upon his or her native intuitions about spelling or punctuation and nobody’s intuitions about them reflect the social groups to which they belong. Spelling and punctuation are consciously constructed conventions that run off the structure of the language, but are not part of the that structure. What it means is that schools should teach the facts about English fairly carefully. It means teaching should distinguish carefully among features of all dialects of English and features of only certain dialects and the social rules of prescriptive grammar and the rules specific to writing. Suggestions for further reading There is obviously a lot more to be said on this subject. If you want to learn more about it, try Finegan, Edward. Attitudes Toward English Usage: The History of War of Words Bolinger, D.L. Language, the Loaded Weapon: The Use and Abuse of Language Today
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* before a sentence means the sentence is ungrammatical in the sense that the sentence is not produced by the grammar of a native speaker of English; ? before a sentence means the sentences is questionable – it sounds weird, but not as bad as a *’d sentence; % before a sentences means that some speakers would accept a sentence while others would not.

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and 1 • has a subject which must be in the subject case if it is a pronoun . A complex sentence consists of a main clause which contains at least one subordinate clause. We’ll start by considering the structure of finite verb phrases. In the sentence Mary likes cheese. 7 . aspect. Table 1: Forms of English Verbs Base Form Regular play Irregular write cut write cut writes cuts writing cutting wrote cut written cut play plays playing played played -s form -ing Participle. -en Participle. main verb. English verbs all function inside verb phrases (VPs). likes is the lexical verb. where appropriate. Therefore all complete declarative or interrogative sentences contain a finite clause. and voice. acting as the main verb of the VP. Verbs have a range of forms from the base (or uninflected) forms through a number of inflected forms. In the sentence The children played. Past Participle The main clause of a declarative sentence2 (a statement) or interrogative sentence (a question) is always finite. Present Participle Simple Past Form -ed Participle. Finite VPs The simplest finite VP consists of just a full or lexical verb. Compound VPs will be discussed in Chapter 6 which deals with coordination. • has a subject which can never be in the subject case if it is a pronoun. then it is marked with tense and. as illustrated in figure 1. A simple sentence consists of only one clause – the main clause.Chapter 2 Verbs and Verb Phrases Introduction Verbs in English can be distinguished by the kinds of marking they can take and by what they can co-occur with. it is also the complete VP on its own. Notice that when the lexical verb is the only verb in the VP. A non-finite verb phrase • never marks tense or agreement. played is the lexical verb. (A compound VP consists of the conjunction of two or more simple VPs. A finite verb phrase • marks tense and agreement where appropriate. A compound sentence consists of the coordination of two or more finite clauses. and complete VP.) VPs can be finite or non-finite. A simple VP consists of a lexical verb acting as the main verb of the VP and anywhere from zero to four auxiliary verbs which are used to mark modality. agreement.

Tense is a system of marking on the first verb of a finite VP to indicate whether the event or state held in the past or it holds in the present or future (what might be called the non-past). 3. b. worked. had. sang. a. I am here. a. The forms of be are laid out in Table 2. In the past tense. The past tense forms of these verbs are played. tries. The class members tried something new. Mary liked cheese. 4. a. The student plays chess. it means that you can look at the form of the verbs played and likes and tell that the events or states conveyed in the sentences took place at different times – that the children’s playing took place in the past and that Mary’s affection for cheese is still going on. etc. which are traditionally called past and present. b. The children worked hard. The child is happy.Tense What does tense mean? In this case. works. 2. In the present. 10. The only exception to this rule is the verb be which is irregular and has more agreement forms than any other English verb. 8. I play chess. b. b. b. c. b. We play chess. sing. a. tried. or try or irregular like have. Table 2: Forms of be Base Form Non-finite Present Tense Past Tense be am was is was are were 1st P Singular 3rd P Singular 2nd P and Plural -ing/ Present Participle being -ed/-en / Past Participle been No other verbs shows agreement in the past tense. a. You are a fine person. You all play chess. We played chess. be has special forms for first person singular am. 1. a. The class tried something new. 7. regardless of whether the verb is regular like play. You are fine people. likes. The child worked hard. The children are happy. 9. like. a. Mary and Louis liked cheese.3 Agreement If the verb is in the present tense. 5. You play chess. b. or cut. We are here b. The students play chess. work. and cut no matter what the subjects are. I had a bad day. a. 6. c. for any other subject the unmarked or base form of the verb is used. and second person and all plural7 forms are. third person singular is. 8 . I played chess a. then it will agree4 with its subject in person5 and number6: -s is suffixed (attached to the end of) to a verb which has a third person singular subject (so plays. b. We had a bad day. sings. are third person singular present tense forms of the verb. b. liked. there is no agreement except again with be: The past tense form of be with a first or third person singular subject is was and with a second person or plural subject is were. a. English has two tenses.

Brown sang badly. 9 . b. a. would. how would you make them negative? 13. in general. might. (be is the only main verb which can function as an operator in American English. I have not played chess. I haven’t played chess.) Auxiliaries Simple VPs which consist of more than one verb contain a main verb and one or more auxiliaries. a. a direct question. I played chess. the sentence would be She has played chess). if the first verb is a main verb other than be. but 19. 14. *I playn’t chess. We cut the cards for the magician. Ms. the first auxiliary will be the only available carrier of tense and agreement. I didn’t play chess. is not 18. and (3) they are a closed class: can. 16. *I played not chess. be.11. carrying negatives and emphatic stress and marking questions. and do. b. 12. You add not or n’t after the first verb: 15. will. must. auxiliaries are also required when the clause is negative. I wasn’t playing chess. shall. or emphatic—that is. aspects and passive voice require the use of auxiliaries. a. b. b. I have played chess. More complicated verb phrases which mark more modalities. (2) they primarily carry grammatical information. should. I was playing chess. a. So the negative of 17. may. I was not playing chess. when the clause requires the presence of an operator. But a simple rule that says put the negative after the first verb won’t work. b. a. Tense and agreement are marked on the first verb of a VP. Auxiliaries are distinct from main verbs in a couple of ways: (1) they can function as operators. so if a VP contains any auxiliary. b. Ms. have and be are the only main verbs which can function as operators in British English. Operators If you consider the declarative sentences (13-14) below. I cut the cards for the magician. have. could. We can see that was and have are the first verbs in (13) and (14) since was and have are the words in the sentence which mark tense (was is past and have is present) and agreement (since if the subject in (13) was We the sentence would be We were playing chess and if the subject in (14) was She. I did not play chess. a. Brown and the entire faculty sang badly.

He is not a chess player. The only exception to this rule is that you can also add not or n’t after a lexical main verb which is a form of be.” So to make (20) negative. 26. the lexical verb is talking. Similarly the structure of questions is sensitive to the same categories: It treats auxiliaries and forms of the verb be in one way and all other lexical verbs another way. So instead we must say that you add not or n’t after the first auxiliary to negate a clause. Negation is therefore sensitive to whether or not a verb is an auxiliary and works differently with lexical verbs and auxiliaries. Practice Sentences Identify all the lexical and auxiliary verbs in the sentences below. 20. so it must be a main verb. 27. Has can function as an operator: Has everyone been talking all night? Only auxiliaries and forms of be can be operators – has is not a form of be.Maybe the rule should be “Put not or n’t immediately before the lexical verb. For example. b. a. Similarly. Only lexical verbs function as main verbs. a. (Try to keep the tense the same – has is present tense so talk should be as well. Was I playing chess? Have I played chess? Have I been playing chess? Is he a chess player? (compare to 13) (compare to 14) (compare to 20) (compare to 22) These (and other properties) distinguish auxiliaries from other verbs and distinguish auxiliaries from any other category. you get Everyone talks all night. as in (22) 22. 10 . the negative of (17) I played chess must be (19a) or (19b). not *I not/n’t played chess. 25. He isn’t a chess player. EXAMPLE: Everyone has talked all night. which are clearly ungrammatical (in the simple negative sense). *I have been not playing chess b. to make a yes-no question8. He is a chess player is negated as 23. *I have beenn’t playing chess. I have been playing chess.) Talks marks agreement and tense. Only auxiliaries and forms of be can be operators. but it cannot be an operator and it does not belong to the closed class of auxiliaries. you move the first auxiliary or form of be before the subject as in 24. The auxiliaries is has. as a rule that inserted the negative before the lexical verb would give. If you remove has. you would get 21.

11 .) Steals marks agreement and tense. was. The auxiliaries are might. Oswald has stolen the money. might can also be a noun (as in. The question is whether this form of be would be an auxiliary or a main verb. have. Evidence for some of the identifications are given below the sentences.) The answer here comes from deciding what the voice of this sentence is. here. Only lexical verbs function as main verbs. (Try to keep the tense the same – has is present tense so steal should be as well.S. Mariel might have been given an A by that professor. Has can function as an operator: Has Oswald stolen the money? Only auxiliaries and forms of be can be operators – has is not a form of be. 4. remember). Some people think that Boise should be the capitol of the U. Has the light been blinking on and off? Could that cat have been being fed by someone in this house? The identifications of all the lexical and auxiliary verbs in the sentences are given below. Have is a primary verb which might be either an auxiliary or a main verb so the question is can it be an operator. We have a form of be. we should be able to find the appropriate active paraphrase for the clause. If we remove might (the past tense form of may. 5. 2. The answer is yes: Had Mariel been given an A by that professor is fine. mean the same thing as (2). the auxiliaries are underlined and the lexical verbs are italicized. We can't just remove the auxiliary and get something good (Mariel gave an A by the professor is ungrammatical. you get Mariel was given an A by that professor. Might is on the closed list of modal auxiliaries -however. Since might is not a form of be it must be an auxiliary. adapting the verb form to that appropriate to follow the auxiliary have and making the object of by the subject and making the subject of the passive into the object of the active. However.1. but it cannot be an operator and it does not belong to the closed class of auxiliaries. If you remove has. Their might was overwhelming). and been. if this be is the passive auxiliary. we can tell it is an auxiliary here. followed by the past or -en participle of give with a by-phrase. Since this active clause does. If you removed had. Now what about been? Forms of be are the trickiest to work out. So That professor might have given Mariel an A should be the active paraphrase of (2). You can make a passive clause active by removing the form of be. you get Oswald steals the money. Mariel might have been given an A by that professor.  The auxiliary is has. Oswald has stolen the money. been must be a passive auxiliary. the lexical verb is stolen. This looks suspiciously like a passive. so it must be a main verb. we get Mariel had been given an A by that professor. 2. but. Do your identifications agree with these? 1. is transparently a verb --it is an operator if the sentence is made into a question as in Was Mariel given an A by that professor. in fact. 3. because it can function as an operator as in Mariel might not have been given an A by that professor which means it must be an auxiliary or a form of be.

39. I might be playing chess/*I was might(ing) play chess. would. is the only available main verb. *He cans play chess. shall. 41. 31. 40. He can play chess. Some people think that Boise should be the capitol of the U. could. will. She must be admired by everyone. I can’t play chess.S. I can play chess. A passive VP must end in a past participle of the main verb. 3. they are mutually exclusive – you can only have one per verb phrase. should. 29. b. 37. Has the light been blinking on and off? 5. Consider the following sentences: 28. 12 . 36. How do we know they belong to the same category? (1) In standard English (both British and American). might. a. (2) They occur in the same position in the verb phrase – always first. may. She should be playing chess. *I might could play chess/*I could might play chess/*I can may play chess etc. so given must the main verb. It never has any suffixes or other inflections. She might play chess. Shall we play chess? Should you play chess? I won’t play chess. the past participle of give. 30. The next verb is always an uninflected form. Could you play chess? May I play chess? You might not have played chess. 32. (3) They condition the next verb in the same way. c. Could that cat have been being fed by someone in this house? Modal Auxiliaries What words can act as operators? can. 42. and must all can be operators. 38. 35. She could have played chess. Must you play chess? These auxiliaries are presented together because they belong to the same category – modal auxiliaries. I wouldn’t play chess. 34. so 43. 4. 33. (4) They all fail to show agreement with third person singular subjects.given. therefore it must be the lexical verb.

since they serve as operators and since they control the shape of the following verb. the pronouns and the tense of the verbs switch from being appropriate to the context in which they were originally uttered to being appropriate to the time of the new complete utterance. may/ might. and would are all formally past tense verbs is that their history shows it. Another way in which modal auxiliaries are special is that unlike all other verbs. three of them marked by the presence of primary auxiliaries and specific forms of the following verbs. in a hypothetical state. It is not that could can refer only to past time events or states since something like I could go tomorrow clearly refers to some non-past event. But when we switch the sentence to integrate the proposition into the sentence. 47. That doctor said that he was a great doctor. 46. When we switch a direct quotation with present tense modals (as in 46a-47a) to an indirect quote. The doctor said that she could do anything. in an inferred state or as possibility or probability or necessity. (Check out these words in the Oxford English Dictionary to see their etymology. we know they must be verbs—in particular auxiliary verbs. The doctor said “I can do anything!” b.” This sentence gives the doctor’s exact words. a. Moriarty said that he would defeat Holmes. they never show agreement in finite forms– the present tense forms do not change if the subject is third person singular. the modal switches to past tense modals (as in 46b-47b). have. The doctor said. shall/should. Primary Auxiliaries The primary auxiliaries are fully productive verbs of English which can (with different senses) all be used as full lexical verbs. and do and are used to indicate aspect and voice and to function as operators when one is needed. as in 45. Aspect There are four aspects in English. Modal auxiliaries are therefore special since no other past tense form can be used to refer to future or present events. one way we can tell that could.” b. In (44) we see ordinary direct discourse. a. However. However. might. Moriarty announced “I will defeat Holmes. They are be. 44. should. “I am a great doctor. 13 .) Another way that is more current is to see what happens when we switch from direct to indirect discourse.All these auxiliaries set the event or state expressed outside of ordinary reality – they set it in the future. We can tell that some of them form present/past pairs: can/could. will/ would.

The progressive is formed with a be auxiliary and the -ing form of the following verb. as long as they have been known to play hide-and-seek repeatedly already and they haven’t played their last game yet. Simple aspect forms with modal auxiliaries don’t have the habitual sense in the present tense either. as in 53. Oliver left last Thursday. The children are playing hide-and-seek. he reaches out and pushes open the door and before him stands everything he fears and his heart stops. 49. The children might like balloons. as in 58. (54) is true even if my husband is fast asleep now. The simple past does not require this same habitual sense with non-stative verbs. The children will play hide-and-seek. 57. 14 . 59. (48-50) are simple aspect. Progressive So how do English speakers usually talk about a presently on-going event? We use the present progressive.Simple The first aspect is simple. When the main verb is stative9. Simple aspect in non-modal VPs in the present tense have two readings. My husband is teaching linguistics. Finally. Tense is marked on the first verb of the VP. 50. but that it is habitual or repeated and that the last occurrence hasn’t happened yet. Mary likes you. then the simple present usually means the event or state is not necessarily true now. as long as he has taught linguistics and will again. so in (56) and (57) there is no requirement that events be interpreted as 56. the simple present just means present: the state holds now. The children played hide-and-seek. (53) is true even if the children aren’t playing anything right now. as in 51. 54. I may run around the block habitual or repeated. I play chess. 48. The children play hide-and-seek. as in He stands at the front door hesitating. I know French. which has no primary auxiliary of its own. My husband teaches linguistics. (55) can hold even if the children only played hide-and-seek once in their whole lives. When the main verb is not stative. 52. There is a special narrative use of the simple present to give the impression that the events being narrated are happening at the time of the narration. It is intended make the events more vivid. 55.

*Mary is liking you. I studied. *I have studied yesterday. as in (64) and (65) (because (64) seems to include the reading of (65)). When the bell rang. so (60) and (61) are ungrammatical in standard American and British English (though they are fine in Indian English—the English of the Indian subcontinent). I was studying all day yesterday. I have studied today. Many times you can use either the simple past or a past progressive interchangeably. 61. I was studying. By 5:00 a. a present perfect produces a form meaning that the event or state will be complete by some point in the future. They differ logically when there is a point in time expressed: In the past progressive. while in the simple past it is interpreted as just starting at the point in time. yesterday I had finished that book.m. 66. like last week or yesterday: 70. the event is interpreted as being on-going on at the point in time. as in (66) and (67). 65. In general. the present progressive can be used to talk about non-stative events which are not completed – so to talk about events happening now or which will end in the future. as in (66) (at least as having started). Past progressives are used to talk about events that took place across time in the past. When the bell rang. 68. 60. (as opposed to I studied yesterday) Used with a modal will or shall. the point of view and time setting of the present perfect is clearly the present as we can see by noting that it cannot occur with adverbials that would set the event in the past. (as opposed to I finished that book last week) 71. as in (67). 63. 64. Other times they mean different things.It can’t be used with stative verbs in standard American and British English. 67. Perfect We use the perfect to look an event or state from or after its endpoint. The children are playing hide-and-seek tomorrow. since they both are used typically to talk about events and states which are completed as of the present. 69. Students often have difficulty distinguishing the uses of the present perfect and the simple past. I studied all day yesterday. *I have finished that book last week. 62. The perfect is expressed with a have auxiliary and a following -en participle. The present progressive can be used to talk about the future as well. My husband is teaching linguistics next year in France. *I am knowing French. as in 15 . However.

A past perfect means the event or state is complete with respect to some point of time in the past. On the other hand.9 Perfect Progressive The perfect progressive is formed by combining the perfect and the progressive. Consider (75-77) below: 75. so (74) would be better as The children performed their first number. The students had performed their first number by dinner time. the children were leaving. but I could have gone yesterday is just fine. I will have left by tomorrow night. When the bell rang. and in (77) the leaving was completed at the time of the ringing. followed by the past or–en participle of be. Die can be viewed as an instantaneous event 16 . A simple past can be interchangeable with a past perfect in many cases.72. as in 78. Notice that casting (79) in the perfect (as in (80) produces something really strange. However. ?The students had performed their first number. a simple past tense form is usually preferable to a past perfect. *?Oscar has finished that book for a year. Oscar has been finishing that book for a year. past progressives and past perfects all mean quite different things. A past perfect modal construction forces a past time reading (which past tense modals don’t normally have) so *I could go yesterday is impossible. a have auxiliary. the children had left. So (73) sounds fine. but (74) sounds odd (at least out of context without an implied point in the past under discussion). in (76) some leaving occurred before the ringing (and the leaving could go on after the ringing). a durative reading can be forced by making the VP progressive (as with finish in (79)). I have been working all day. 74. so The students performed their first number by dinner time is also fine with much the same meaning. In (75) the ringing preceded the leaving. When the bell rang. If you don’t specify that point in time or it isn’t very clear from context. 76. when a neutral point in time is given (one which does not force a particular order of events. when or at unlike before or after). 77. that is. 73. with a following –ing participle. been. when no point in time is given (and no modal is used). the children left. When the lexical verb is normally viewed as nondurative. The perfect progressive suggests that some (usually not all) of the event has been completed. 80. past perfects tend to sound rather odd. simple past. and completed over time. When the bell rang. 79.

The lamb was killed by a lion. becomes the subject of the passive in (87). Voice English has two voices. and a be auxiliary is inserted (and the lexical verb. *My brother should be working yesterday. not (85). the lamb. ?*Cousin Evelyn had died for weeks when the doctor arrived. That. Passive clauses don’t have to include the by phrase (often called the passive agent) so (88) is also grammatical. which is the next verb in the VP. the clause will typically be converted into a passive. it must be a perfect progressive. 82. must be an –en participle). you use the perfect progressive. Often if the subject of the active would be indefinite (and never discussed again) and the object would be definite. active and passive. 88. as in 81. you must use (84). 87. In (87) the lamb is typically the focus of the sentence and in (88) a lion is entirely removed from the event. My brother should have been working yesterday. the subject in (86) becomes the object of the preposition by. Only some verbs are used in the passive voice. The passive is more common in certain kinds of texts – so technical and other impersonal texts are more likely contain passives. Cousin Evelyn had been dying for weeks when the doctor arrived. since voice requires us to rearrange the structure of the whole clause. To make an active sentence like (86) passive. Most transitive verbs (verbs which have a direct object or a direct object and indirect object) can be used in the passive voice.10 Essentially all verbs can be used in the active voice. ?*Cousin Evelyn died for weeks when the doctor arrived. but the process reading is really only possible in the progressive. has lead grammarians to treat the active voice as basic and the passive voice as derived from it. among other things. So if you want to suggest that some completed event took place over time.or a durative process. you must rearrange the structure so that the direct object in (86). 17 . 85. So to refer to time past. 86. If a speaker wants to reduce the importance of the subject of the active or increase the importance of the object of the active. 84. a speaker is more likely to employ the passive. If you want to have a past-time referring modal progressive. The lamb was killed. 83. A lion killed the lamb. Voice is somewhat more involved to talk about than aspect.

96. 100. since the auxiliary or form of be must precede the subject). Did Mary become a good doctor? 18 . English has several different kinds of tag questions. Mary is a good doctor. The doctor will be here on time. There are several more ways in which auxiliaries and forms of be can serve as operators – when a speaker wants to insist on the truth of a sentence. as in 106. 95. The students did the exercise. a. The lamb had been killed by the lion. *Mary became not/n’t a good doctor. then the tag copy is negative. 94. 103. *Did the student the exercise? b. 91.Operators Revisited: the Do Auxiliary As noted above. haven’t they? The lamb had been killed by the lion. a. the operator is stresssed. isn’t she? The doctor will be here on time. If the statement is positive. Mary became a good doctor. 105. a. My brother works in California. *The students did not/n’t the exercise. need an operator to work. a. a. then the primary auxiliary do must be used. therefore. 89. 92. then the tag copy is positive.*The children left not/n’t. the operator gets stress. like (98)-(101)? 98. But how do they work if they are based on clauses which don’t contain an operator. *Left the children? b. If the statement is negative. *My brother works not/n’t in California b. English requires auxiliaries or forms of be to negate a clause (since not follows the auxiliary or be and possibly contracts with it) and to make some kinds of questions (including yes-no questions. The children left. 101. can they? A number of constructions. hadn’t it? The students can’t do that exercise. 90. So (93)-(97) are all tag questions. Mary didn’t become a good doctor. Consider 102. b. 97. 93. 99. One fairly neutral kind. The children have left. *Became Mary a good doctor? b. 104. which just seems to ask the addressee(s) to confirm the first part of the question consists of a statement followed by a copy of the first auxiliary or form of be in the statement and a pronoun that refers back to the subject of the statement. Lexical verbs other than be as an operator cannot function as operators. Mary is a good doctor. *Works my brother in California? When an operator is needed in a clause without an auxiliary or form of be. won’t she? The children have left. as indicated by underlining and implies a kind of defensive insistence on the truth of the utterance. So the negatives and question forms of (98)-(101) have to have an extra do. So in (89)-(92).

That’s not the kind of meaning that tends to grammaticize into an 19 . The can in (111) changes if you change the aspect of the verb phrase. as in 111. My aunts are canning tomatoes every year 116. 109. Did the children leave? b. Digression 1: Distinguishing auxiliary and lexical verbs: Can Now that we’ve established what properties distinguish auxiliaries from main verbs. a. in emphatics) and the VP doesn’t contain a candidate. as in (115-116). as in 112. we can use those properties to identify hem. a. it is the only verb in the verb phrase in a complete sentence – it must be a lexical verb. My aunts canned tomatoes every year. in fact. Notice that if you are asked what category can belongs to. My aunts can tomatoes every year. a modal auxiliary? We can demonstrate that the can in (111) is a verb and not an auxiliary. If we change the number of the subject of (111) from plural to singular. First. Does my brother work in California? If do is inserted as an auxiliary whenever we need an operator (in negatives. The students didn’t do the exercise. It has lexical content – it means “put into cans”. 114. My brother doesn’t work in California b. How can we demonstrate that it is a verb? By showing that it marks tense and agreement. you have a problem. It might be a noun. So we can change (111) to the past tense. in questions.107. 113. My aunt cans tomatoes every year. that implies that the do auxiliary will never co-occur with any other auxiliary or form of be and that appears to be true. we can demonstrate that the can in (111) is a verb since only verbs mark tense and agreement with their subjects. a. the form of can also changes. It might be a modal auxiliary. The can is full of water. In (111) can is obviously a verb. My aunts have canned tomatoes every year. I can help you. Did the students do the exercise? b. It might be a lexical verb. then how can we tell that the can in (111) is a lexical verb and that the can in (112) is an auxiliary verb. The children didn’t leave. as in (114). 108. You really can’t tell what category it belongs to in the abstract – you have many choices. It is moreover clearly a lexical verb. If we just consider the verb uses. 115. as in (113). as in 110.

Can I help you? 122. we get 118. Let’s try. I can’t help you. unlike all other verbs. *I will can help you. do not mark agreement when they are present tense and the first verb in a VP. it ought to be able to function as an operator. while (124b) is perfectly grammatical. Notice that do as an auxiliary cannot co-occur with any other auxiliary. 120. Do my aunts can tomatoes every year? If we emphasize the truth of (111). My aunts do can tomatoes every year. If we turn it into a yes-no question. My aunts don’t can tomatoes every year. If the subject of (3) shifts from I to She. That form of do must. as in (120-122). How can we tell it is a modal auxiliary? There are a couple of ways: (1) Modal auxiliaries. (2) Modal auxiliaries in standard American and British English cannot co-occur with each other. If can in (111) is an auxiliary verb. 121. nothing else changes. be an auxiliary. the verb does not change. If we negate (111). So if we make (112) into a negative. Even though in (123) there is a third person singular subject. In (112) can can be an operator – which means (1) it is a verb and (2) it is an auxiliary verb. it is not an auxiliary verb so it must be a lexical verb. So it is clear that. therefore. 20 .auxiliary. She can/*cans help you. (compare to (112)) (compare to (111)) Therefore. the can functions as a operator. I can help you. My aunts will can tomatoes every year. (124a) is ungrammatical. while can in (111) is a verb. we get 119. b. More importantly we can demonstrate that it can’t be auxiliary. 124a. suddenly out of nowhere appears a form of do. we get 117. a question or emphatic. we can see clearly that in (111) can is a lexical verb and in (112) can is a modal auxiliary. Every time we make the sentence into one which needs an operator. serving as the operator. 123.

In (125) you would have to add another instance of do to have an operator. The children can do homework every day. The children have done homework every day. *The children are not doing like homework 140. 126. *The children can not do like homework 136. it marks both tense (contrast it with the past tense version in (127) and (128)) and agreement (contrast it with the examples in which the subject is singular rather than plural in (129) and (130)). The children do homework every day. *The children do not be liking homework So we note that (135-140) are all ungrammatical. The children did homework every day. 135. Only the auxiliary do is barred from co-occurring with other auxiliaries. 130. as in (131). In (125). or a primary auxiliary. *The children have not done like homework 138. as in 133. The children are doing homework every day. The children do not like homework. How can we tell? We can use very similar arguments to those we used above. The children did not like homework 129. How do they differ? Well. They share those verb properties. do is a lexical verb and. The child does homework every day. *The children don’t homework every day/The children don’t do homework everyday. in (126). 127. 134. In (125) and (126) both. do is a primary auxiliary. The child does not like homework. we can add a modal auxiliary to (125). Moreover. 125. The auxiliary do cannot co-occur with any other auxiliaries. do is clearly a verb.Digression 2: Distinguishing auxiliary and lexical verbs: Do What about do? Consider the forms of do in (125) and (126) below. *The children do not can like homework 137. They are ungrammatical because we are trying to force this auxiliary do to co-occur with other auxiliaries in the same VP and that is impossible. *The children do not have liked homework 139. only the do in (126) is an operator. 131. 21 . 128. as in 132.

It was a mildly overcast day. In my daydream my clothes shifted at will regardless of the appropriateness of the attire. These are harder because both lexical be and auxiliary be can be operators. aspect (simple. v. progressive. but you’re a captive audience and I find this story quite gripping. Underline all the VPs in the text below. vi. primary auxiliary or modal auxiliary) 3. So there I was. Consider a slightly harder case: have as in i. but my particular brand of cleverness and beauty apparently left them vulnerable to misdirection.For you to try 1. But in only a few minutes my clothes had mysteriously changed into a white silk evening gown of the sort you often see in the films of the 30’s. How can you determine which forms of be are lexical verbs and which are auxiliary verbs? What evidence do you need? PRACTICE ANALYSIS: Identifying Verb Phrases 1. The students have a real problem ii. drama is everything in this life. after all. Identify the tense (past or present). Now consider a much harder case: be as in iii. They were written by a complete hack. As we all know. A Visit It was a dark and stormy night. It seemed that they were shocked by my general gorgeousness so that they were taken in by my clever tale of 22 . They were reading books yesterday. slinky. How can you determine which is a lexical verb and which is an auxiliary verb? What evidence do you need? 2. At the beginning of the dream. Identify the type of each verb (lexical verb. The students have spoken to me about the problem. My imagination was quite vivid and completely unconstrained by the necessities of reality. 2. enigmatic beauty who had outwitted the Gestapo. I was walking down the narrow street in front of the house. iv. without a spot on my white silk dress or a hair out of place. going anywhere. The Gestapo of my imagination. I realize that the only thing more annoying than the recitation of dreams is the recitation of daydreams. perfect. I had been wearing black pants and a black sweater. They were books. were very frightening. it wasn’t. They were very interesting books. I was entertaining myself with fantasies in which I was a tall. clearly a member of the Resistance on a midnight raid. while I dreamed I walked on the boulevards of Paris. actually. and you aren’t. or perfect progressive) and voice (active or passive) of each VP you identify. Well. Nobody else will listen to me. of course. but that’s not nearly as dramatic.

It’s time. Unconscious. unconscious.” On top of that piece of idiocy. after all. A stupid lamp hits you on the head. If I’d wanted a brainless brother. That would be really nasty even if you were an onion. I didn’t put in any brave Resistance members in white gowns. I admit the way they looked scared me. the kind of shoes appropriate for an evening gown would hardly work for an assault on an ammo dump.” Do you realize what a nasty sentence that is? Then I knew it must be you. I couldn’t picture what could have upset them so much. The doctors say that somewhere inside of you there’s a working brain. 23 . Only you could get in such a stupid accident. though. I’d give it up. It took them a minute. But what if your brain is really working. if not now. You should just wake up. You should wake up now. in the hospital. That’s good. and I like onions. if you’d just wake up. though. Jackson told me that the essay I wrote for civics (about police states. I love you. I like that essay. By the time I reached the house. “There’s been an accident. Mom and Dad were just standing by the phone. Ms. but they finally choked it out. I know I shouldn’t really care. and now here you are. But you are a jerk. white evening gown? Unfortunately. the real drama was waiting for me. but now you really are. Something bad had happened to you. the one we talked about before the accident. Both of them were pale and trembling and tears were streaming down their faces. Besides. I was all right and they were both in front of me apparently okay. but they’re having some kind of meeting with the doctors now. which was making that angry noise it makes when you don’t hang up. You know you always were kind of unconscious. Other guys fall out of dorm windows in a drunken stupor when they go away to college. You’re hit by something some drunken nitwit throws out of a dorm window. at least as much as there has ever been. I didn’t tell Mom or Dad. But I’d trade it away. They don’t usually leave me alone with you. but you don’t get a white evening gown? What if you never escape? You should just wake up now. I know they’ve been spending a lot of time here. The dress would be like a neon sign that was flashing “I’m here. Mom and Dad look so sad all the time. I should be arrested. I had realized that this drama wasn’t going anywhere. You know I’ve often said that I wish you would drop dead? It turns out I didn’t mean it. I don’t think they can hear anything now that isn’t about you. You’re not like that woman down in Florida. You shouldn’t be a vegetable. I guess. but I’m afraid I really do. You don’t even drink. I mean. Anyway the essay came out pretty well. won the school contest and it’s being sent in to the state essay competition as the only entry for the whole school. then soon. I used the Gestapo as an illustration of an overwhelming arm of a totalitarian state. another part of my brain mentioned to me that the reason no one would imagine that someone in white formal clothes would be attacking an ammo dump is that it would be moronic. I’d have kept you the way you were. When I went in. and you just can’t connect ot the outside world? What if the stuff in your head is horrible. just like we talked about. you know. who would think that anyone would go out on a midnight raid on an ammo dump in a low-cut. I’ll see you tomorrow.misfortune and confusion. like the Gestapo. the Gestapo and all that). Have I told you what happened at school yesterday? I don’t think I told anyone so I guess I didn’t tell you.

subjects are not said to agree with verbs. as in The moon is made of green cheese. as in “Mary has a little lamb” or “I have two eyes”) and resemble are never used in the passive. Traditional grammar treats one form as changing to adjust to the presence of another form as agreement or concord: The notion here is that the verb changes to agree or be in concord with its subject. while me is used for objects of various kinds. and they. some pronouns in English mark what is called case. as in I like pickled beets and It is I. which. an interrogative sentence asks a question. 24 . should. as in Is the moon made of green cheese?. and that the form of the verb changes to agree with it in person and number. or by using semi-modal constructions like be going to. for example. understand or resemble. A declarative sentence makes a statement. where. second person refers to the addressee or addressees. We assume that the person and number of the subject in a clause is fixed--already decided by the speaker/writer. 2 3 4 5 In English there are three persons: first person refers to the speaker or the speaker and the group that includes the speaker. the second person pronoun is you. the third person subject pronouns are he. (See (70) and (71) above. and an exclamatory sentence expresses an exclamation. In particular. What great cheese the moon is made out of! We’ll see however that the present is used to mark a range of times including the future. Tense-marking in English is accomplished by marking the first verb in the VP. and would are formally past tense since present perfects cannot co-occur with past-time adverbials like yesterday. as in Pickled beets tickly my fancy. 6 There is a clear historical reason why second person and plural forms trigger the same agreement: As we will discuss when we talk about pronouns. she. Unambiguous futures are indicated by using a modal auxiliary. what. an imperative sentence gives an order. when.1 As will be discussed in detail in Chapter 3. So for example. will or shall. the first person subject pronouns are I and we.) 11 I say most because some transitive verbs like have (in the sense of “own” or “have as a part”. Among them are yes-no questions (which anticipate an answer yes or no) and wh-questions (which use a wh-pronoun or other proform. historically you is a plural form (and it has absorbed the singular function as well as the plural). how). 8 9 The verb expresses an unchanging state – like know. English has two numbers: singular referring to one and plural referring to more than one. So verbs are said to agree with their subjects. 7 There are several different kinds of interrogative sentences. might. as in Make it out of green cheese!. 10 Notice that this strengthens the claim that could. Notice that there is no way in English to mark a single verb to indicate an unambiguous future. third person refers to anyone or anything else. who. why. the personal pronoun I is used for subject and subject complements of finite verbs. it. The form of many pronouns is sensitive to the role of the pronoun in the clause and if it is the subject sensitive to what kind of verb phrase (finite or non-finite and if non-finite the kind of non-finite VP) it is the subject of. as in Plckled beets please me and Pickled beets are pleasing to me and my is used for possessors.

in general. she feminine. In English. After the war. you choose the gender of the pronoun you are using based on the actual gender of the referent of the pronoun -. number. If you have studied other languages like French or Spanish or German. The difference between we and they is a difference in person: we is first person and they is third person. • plural. Some nouns require the presence of a determiner as a modifier. to his way of thinking. and case. Gender is the system of marking nominal categories. what non-human) or sex (he masculine. which refers to more than one individual. English. regardless of whether the pronoun referring to Washington was the subject. So if you were referring to George Washington. The difference between I and we is a difference in number: I is singular and we is plural. • third person. The Continental Congress made him the commanding general of the army. which is the addressee or the group of addressees. Pronouns in English can contrast in person. 25 . uses a natural gender system that reflects either animacy or humanness (who human vs. which is anybody or anything else 2. Pronouns English has several categories of pronouns.Chapter 3 Noun Phrases Now that we have established something about the structure of verb phrases. We've already discussed person and number.regardless of how you are using the pronoun in the sentence. which refers to a singular individual or undifferentiated group or mass. He was the first president of the United States. 3. a system in which nouns and pronouns are separated in categories which do not have to reflect their natural gender (so in French. 1. but to review: 1. English has two numbers • singular. then you have met languages with grammatical gender. Most pronouns are typically not modified at all and no pronoun requires the presence of a determiner. the word for table is feminine -. and it neuter). 5. indirect object. Pronouns differ in the contexts they appear in and in the grammatical information they contain. • second person. direct object. gender. 4. We'll start with pronouns because they are a relatively simple closed class. A noun phrase is a noun or pronoun head and all of its modifiers (or the coordination of more than one NP--to be discussed in Chapter 6).but that does not imply that the French think tables are female). some people wanted to give him a crown. The new nation. The other two categories which pronouns mark are gender and case. The idea of becoming king was not attractive to him. had to be a republic. you would always use a masculine form (if there was one). object of a preposition or possessor in the clause in which the pronoun occurred. English has three persons • first person. 2. which is the speaker or the group that includes the speaker. let's move on to noun phrases (NPs).

in some persons. For a very long time. etc. there is a tradition of referring to boats. Moreover. In English. they do differ in form: he. The result has been generally confusing. cars. storms (etc. It is difficult to advocate the use of a form which will often mislead the audience. It is difficult to imagine anyone announcing “A nursing mother should not be allowed to feed his child in public”. This contrast is the contrast of case -. often leading readers and listeners to assume that writers and speakers are referring exclusively to men. number. This is a relict usage – many of us use it for all these things and it is always acceptable to use the form that reflects the actual gender of the referent. him. However.(5) are all masculine and singular. For example. Check out textbooks about nursing or teaching and you’ll find that “A nurse is expected to be immaculate in her appearance”. the case used for possessors is called possessive or genitive. his.) as she. In the table below is the complete set of forms of personal pronouns.The gender of the pronouns referring to Washington in (1) .case refers to the aspect of form of NPs which is conditioned by the function of the NP in the sentence. objects of prepositions. As you can see. indirect objects.the case used for subjects (and sometimes subject complements) is called subject or subjective or nominative. English has a tradition of using the masculine pronoun he as a “gender neutral” pronoun alongside its use as a sex-specific pronoun. P e r s o n 1st 2nd MASCULINE 3rd FEMININE NEUTER Subjective Gender singular plural I you he she it we you they they they singular me you him her it plural us you them them them Objective Determiner singular my your his her its plural our your their their their Possessive Independent singular mine yours his hers its plural ours yours theirs theirs theirs Gender in present day English is typically natural gender – we choose our third person pronoun based on the actual sex of the referent. English speakers have used they side- 26 . personal pronouns have three cases -. gender is only a problem when referring to humans whose gender you don’t know or which isn’t specified. when in fact they are referring to both men and women. there are more distinct case (and number) forms than others: the subject and object forms of it do not contrast. the case used for everything else (direct objects. the subject and object forms of you and the singular and plural forms of you do not contrast. object complements) is called object or objective or accusative. it is clear that he is not in fact completely “gender neutral” since speakers and writers do not use it to refer to indefinites whose referents are exclusively or overwhelmingly female. sometimes subject complements. We maintain a few forms in which we use a pronoun for something which doesn’t match the refers actual sex. In general. Personal pronouns in English contrast in person. not “his appearance”. gender and case. the object and possessive forms of she do not contrast.

which shows no difference in form for singular or plural referents. The plural form was simply extended into all uses and replaced the singular form. in general. thy) have died in present day English1. Act III Scene 4] In fact. the singular forms (thee. Apparently the contrast between the second person singular and plural was used to convey more than just a difference in number. This raised a problem for prescriptivists who believed that it was problematic to have a mismatch in form (singular antecedent referred to with a plural pronoun) (though not a problem to run the risk of misleading the reader/listener as to the nature of the referent). this you form is only a plural form. Third person plurals have been used to refer to indefinite singular antecedents throughout modern English (and before). plural forms all have uses in which their referents are not plural. (This also accounts for why the verb agreement for the second person looks just like the verb agreement for all the plural forms: So are is found with subjects which must be interpreted as referring to single individuals in the second person in You are a fine person. so Queen Victoria of England is often quoted as announcing “We are not amused”. The editorial we is often used by writers to avoid using I. Plural forms were used to indicate that one was addressing a person of power or a person from whom one felt socially distant. just as it is otherwise only found with plural subjects elsewhere as in We are fine people. Monarchs use the royal we. Forms of they clearly have been used in both speech and writing to refer to indefinite noun phrases. many prescriptivists will run quite mad if they see this in writing within a clause.by-side with he to refer to indefinite antecedents. First person plural forms are used to refer to single individuals under some fairly constrained circumstances. The most obvious case is the second person forms. which has been heavily prescribed against in formal writing. a plural pronoun must be used to refer back to everyone (or every + noun).2 both sentence types that can be documented throughout the modern English period (and before). Prescriptivists as noted above have long claimed that it is ungrammatical to write Somebody left their notebook behind and Everybody believes in their own rectitude. you/your. so Every runner finished the race within the allotted time and we announced them as they crossed the finish line. You are fine people. across coordinated clauses. The singular forms became associated with specific religious and political groups which were mostly viewed as fringe groups (much the way comrade has been stigmatized by its association with communist and socialist groups in the English speaking world). 27 . They are fine people. (Notice that him or him or her is quite impossible in the structure – there is no way to make it mean the right thing. of course. meaning that she was not amused. Historically. but for many years prescriptivists have cited this usage as wrong (and illogical and illiterate and all the other bad things you can call particular structures you don’t like).) However. as in God send every one their heart's desire! [Much Ado About Nothing. Special uses of plural number In general. thou. singular forms of personal pronouns refer to single individuals or undifferentiated masses.) Similarly first and third person plural forms are used to refer to single entities under certain conditions. However.

Another way is in their function: In simple sentences. det (modifier of books) direct object 10. yours differs from your. however. Notice that the subject-verb agreement with an independent possessive pronoun is always third person (as in (10) and (12). Possessive personal pronouns act just like all other possessive NPs (and as we’ll see later on. Archie’s older brother left in a huff. other structures modify nouns as well – articles. while mine gets 32. various quantifiers. Reflexive pronouns match their antecedents in these features: person. Annie put her books in the corner and I put mine on the table. 28 . 8. but mine is obscure and wordy det (modifier of writing) subject 11. number and gender). and gender. number. 7. His older brother left in a huff. distinct from him and he except in that it differs in case? I think that this arose from an analogy to languages like Latin in which there were genitive personal pronouns (like his). One way is simply in form. side by side with forms which acted like adjectives (in that they agreed with what they modified in case. The doctor’s older brother left in a huff. number and gender. How do Archie’s (in 6). the determiner possessive pronouns are used only for modifying nouns. mine differs from my. the referent of the possessor and the referent of the possession (there is no possessed noun coming up).Status of Possessive Personal Pronouns: There is a school grammar tradition for treating possessive personal pronouns as adjectives. 9. and his (in 8) differ in how they act? 6. but I gave a lot of thought to mine. They gave no thought to their presentation. This tradition is hard to justify since possessive personal pronouns acting as determiners act exactly like all other possessive NPs acting as determiners. while independent possessive pronouns have two referents. Possessive pronouns do indeed modify the nouns. demonstratives. The independent possessive pronouns are different from the determiner possessive pronouns in several ways. the doctor’s (in 7). possessive NPs including personal pronouns act more like articles than like adjectives). Her writing is clear and concise. Harold’s car gets 20 miles to the gallon. 12. among a range of other structures modify nouns and must be distinguished from adjectives (or adjective phrases). Why should we treat his as a special case. the independent possessive pronouns are used for everything except modifying a noun. Reflexive pronouns contrast only in person. just as adjective phrases do. det (modifier of presentation) object of preposition The independent possessive pronouns differ from the determiner possessive pronouns in their reference: a determiner possessive pronoun only refers to the possessor (so my only tells you that it refers to the speaker who possesses some other noun which is about ready to come up).

Himself. Some school grammars claim that reflexive pronouns must have the subject of the clause as their antecedent. a possessor cannot serve as an antecedent for a reflexive even it precedes the reflexive. *Matilda saw yourself in the mirror. the object of asked. are ungrammatical. Demonstratives distinguish nearer to the speaker (this. 14.) Demonstrative pronouns contrast only in number and distance. However. *I asked himself about Bill. This is obviously false since in (14) the antecedent for himself is Bill. Reflexive pronouns never appear as subjects of finite clauses or as possessors. so 13. are fine. 16. Bill always thinks of first. In some marked constructions. 29 . these) from farther from the speaker (that. 18. not its subject. but 15. a more ordinary way of saying the same thing is Bill always thinks of himself first in which the reflexive pronoun would predictably follow its antecedent.Person 1st 2nd 3rd Gender MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER Singular myself yourself himself herself itself Plural ourselves yourselves themselves They do not distinguish different cases. It is clearly linear order that matters in most cases. Reflexive pronouns have a far more limited distribution than personal pronouns. For example. the reflexive pronoun can precede its antecedent. those). I asked Bill about himself. reflexive pronouns in simple sentences are usually grammatical only if their antecedent precedes them in the clause. (Clearly. linear order is not enough by itself. in which a NP comes in an odd preposed position. Moreover. so 17. *Bill’s mother loves himself is ungrammatical even though Bill’s precedes himself. presumably because they only appear in objective case functions in a clause. Matilda saw herself in the mirror.

In fact. these proforms do not inflect for case) Place where Time when Adverbial Reason why Manner/Instrument how General what Determiner Closed Set which Interrogative proforms function as kinds of placeholders in the sentence to mark what information the speaker wants: So in (22) the speaker wants to know the subject of the “is helping you”. This is a confusing war.pronouns: interrogative and relative pronouns. there a range of wh.proforms which include the pronouns. but in time. In (20) this must refer to a closer war than the one in (21). but closer how? Not in space. as adverbials and as determiners. while the pen ten feet away would be that. but also include proadverbials and determiners as well. 30 . This/that doesn’t work. so the pen in my hand would be this.Proximal (Nearer) Distal (Farther) Singular this that Plural these those When we talk about distance. These proforms function as NPs. (20) refers to the current war. (21) to some previous war. stuff the speaker wishes to be distant from is that. Interrogative proforms are used in direct and indirect questions. we can be referring to distance in space. Distance can be social: stuff the speaker associates with himself or herself is more likely to be this. There are two kinds of wh. 21. Wh. Distance can be temporal – 20. 19. That was a confusing war. Interrogative Pronouns Subjective Objective who who(m) what what which which Human Nonhuman Closed Set Possessor whose whose whose Other Interrogative Proforms (unlike pronouns.pronouns contrast only in case and gender.

The place where I live is on top of a hill. 23. The children to whom I gave the toys are playing over there.3 Similarly in indirect questions the interrogative proform must come at the beginning of the indirect question. 30. 29. even if the usual position for the NP or adverbial or determiner in the sentences would be later. 32. 25. 22. a. I loaned Barbara the book which I had brought along. 27. the interrogative proforms must appear in the first phrase in the sentence. in (29) the object of a preposition. 24. We’re only interested at this point in the relative clauses which contain relative proforms: 28. 31 . these proforms do not inflect for case) Place where Adverbial Time when Reason why Relative proforms are restricted to occurring inside relative clauses. 31. Relative Pronouns Subjective Objective Possessor Human who who(m) whose Nonhuman what what whose Other Relative Proforms (unlike pronouns. Who is helping you? (who as the subject) What are you talking about? (what as the object of a preposition) Which can you see best? (which as the direct object) Where are you going? (where as an adverbial) Which book did you read? (which as a determiner) I asked the teacher what great scientist I should write about. The woman who told me about the problem works at the bank. The children who(m) I gave the toys to are playing over there. I remember the exact moment when the truth became clear to me.4 Relative clauses modify nouns (and occasionally pronouns) by taking a proposition which includes the noun or pronoun as a participant and putting the clause right after the head it modifies with either a relative proform with the head as its antecedent inside the relative clause or a gap where the NP referring to the head would be. b. 26. in (31-32) adverbials). (what as a determiner) Relative proforms also distinguish between humans and non-humans and include adverbial proforms as well as pronouns. as in (27). As with interrogative proforms. So notice that in (22) What comes at the beginning of the sentence even though the preposition it is the object of comes at the end of the sentence.In direct questions. relative proforms are restricted to occurring in the first phrase within their clause (in this case the relative clause) regardless of their syntactic role in the clause (so in (28) the relative proform is the subject of the relative clause. in (30) the direct object.

Everyone smart did well in that class. But in the sense of some unspecified individual. *All smart did well in that class/*Smart all did well in that class. The compound indefinite pronouns can be modified with following adjective phrases. nobody nothing neither none Assertive Partitive someone. (Different people treat animals of various kinds either as humans or not. anyone is better in questions and negatives. Something really strange happened. I didn’t see anyone. everybody. so we say 39. 43. 36. 34. 42. Indefinite pronouns of both kinds are often modified by prepositional phrases. anybody anything any Like wh. Human Nonhuman Dual Mass/Plural Universal everyone. except in the sense of “every” so 41.pronouns. I saw someone.) Indefinite pronouns maintain the remnants of an older number marking system that distinguished duals (forms which mark twos. somebody something some Non-assertive Partitive anyone. All of the students did really well on the test. each everything. 32 . 38. while the simple ones cannot be modified by any adjective phrases. 35. The any forms do not usually appear in positive sentences. as in 37. We also distributed any and some forms differently based on whether the sentence is negative or a question as opposed to anything positive or non-questions. 33. Everybody in the class did really well on the test. I will give a job to anyone who wants one. *I saw anyone. but not 40.Indefinite pronouns contrast only in gender and number (in form since they have non-specific reference). depending on their world view. each both all Negative Partitive no one. *Some really strange happened/*Really strange some happened. as opposed to singulars and plurals (which indicates more than two when in a system with duals)). Anyone can do it. indefinite pronouns use different forms to refer to humans and nonhumans – we distinguish between people and things. There are two classes of indefinite pronouns: simple (monomorphemic) and compound (containing more than one root).

and I bought this one. someone is possible in questions and negatives.) This form has a parallel reflexive form oneself. Let’s get some hotdogs. as in 51. 55. called by Quirk and Greenbaum (1973)5 replacive one. I want one. Oscar planted six trees. this kind of sentence uses you as in You should always do your best. 49. One is a special case. Did you see someone? 33 . *Mary bought a dress and I bought a one too. but I liked a blue one better. I want two. Let’s get some hotdogs. as in 47. (one can mean dress or red frilly dress or dress with blue buttons or red frilly dress with blue buttons or frilly dress with blue buttons or frilly dress) If the indefinite article a would fall right before the one it is omitted. Mary bought that large red frilly dress with blue buttons. 54. There is the one pronoun. 53. 46.44. which acts like a personal pronoun with indefinite reference. (In more casual style. Another one proform is the number one. Mary bought a red dress. but only one actually came up. as in 50. exactly parallel to other numbers as in 52. 48. 56. as in 58a. I didn’t see someone. but only three actually came up. Mary bought a dress and I bought one too. with a slightly different sense. (one can mean dress or it can mean red dress. One of those boys was hanging out on the corner last night. The last proform one. Did you see anyone? On the other hand. Mary bought that red dress. Numbers can be used pronominally. One should always do one’s best. Six of those boys were hanging out on the corner last night.) 57. Oscar planted six trees. as in 45. One must look after oneself and one’s own interests. b. There are several one proforms. and I bought this small one. is a substitute for a noun (either singular one or plural ones) and any adjacent modifiers of that noun except determiners and predeterminers.

but. reflexive. Some pronouns cannot be modified at all. 59. The children were talking about something important. while others can only be modified in certain ways. though. Instead. of course. and possessive NPs) and nouns can be. but whole noun phrases. (c) He made a real fool of himself yesterday. demonstrative. 65. interrogative. 66. *Wonderful your intelligence is awe-inspiring. so 64. relative. they never asked us. *The children were talking to playful themselves. we can note that both nouns and pronouns can function as the heads of noun phrases. it really doesn’t seem appropriate to suggest that nouns and pronouns are interchangeable. Nouns can typically include a wide range of modifiers in the NP with them. 63. that. while pronouns have a far more limited range of modifiers possible. For example. Instead it looks like personal pronouns and reflexives can replace not nouns. 61. Occasionally you find something like poor me or wonderful you. a demonstrative this. every. *The children were talking about important something. reflexive pronouns cannot be modified with adjective phrases at all (as exemplified in (59-61). We can see that such a description is not appropriate since. (Roll the cursor over a word to see if it is pronoun and if so what kind. is fine – with orphans in the slot where they is in (64). (d) 34 . but notice that it is nearly impossible to put those into sentences and indeed you can’t use them with subject case or possessive pronouns at all. then identify each as personal. Poor orphans need help. *The children were talking to themselves playful Compound indefinite pronouns can be modified with adjective phrases which follow the pronoun (as exemplified in (62)). a. of course. 60. words like some. Since no pronoun can be modified by a determiner (an article the. some pronouns typically occur without any modifiers so usually function as complete noun phrases. Personal pronouns are typically not modified by adjective phrases. The children were talking to themselves. Some pronouns allow NO modifiers so only function as complete noun phrases. or indefinite. Practice with Pronouns Find each of the pronouns in the paragraph below.Modification of Pronouns Pronouns are typically limited in the ways in which they can be modified.) (a) Who would have believed it? (b) Any of us could have warned the bosses about Henry. *Poor they need help. This strongly suggests that one school grammar definition of pronouns is quite wrong: Traditionally pronouns are said to be words that take the place of nouns. 62. It really seems like personal and reflexive pronouns (among others) don’t really like to modified with adjective phrases at all.

He thought that nobody would ever call him on his misbehaviour. A change in the form of a noun from girl to girls does reflect something about the referent of the noun itself – girl is used to refer to only one girl. (o) That would have been something to see. However. But no. it must be a noun or a pronoun since only nouns and pronouns inflect to mark the number of their own referents. so words that inflect to mark the number of their own referents which are not on the list of pronouns. and. demonstratives like this and that. as in Only the brave deserve the fair. How do they behave? Certain properties distinguish nouns. (n) I guess I'm glad that I wasn't there when they arrived. but trigger different agreements depending on whether they are viewed as singular or plural: That sheep was sick vs. usually. but I certainly would like to know how everybody on that committee reacted to the sight of their fair-haired boy. (h) She shifted herself over as far as she could and he slipped off her shoulder and fell to the ground. (k) He was a complete dead weight and even with all of us trying. must be nouns. Pronouns belong to a closed class. since nouns are open class words. Also unlike pronouns. or they may always be singular. nouns are typically modified by a number of different kinds of structures. etc. Some nouns do not show the change in form to mark number. when we tried to move him. his deafening snoring was hard for us to ignore. while girls refers to more than one. drunk and snoring on the floor. Another way to distinguish nouns is to note that they can be modified by articles like the and a. serve as heads of noun phrases. Adjectives as well can appear with determiners and no head noun. Not all nouns show this kind of change. Unlike pronouns. It would be really swell if that meant all we had to do was see if a noun inflected or otherwise showed number marking that reflected the number of their own referents. we cannot just provide a list of them – instead they must be recognized like verbs by the way they behave. (g) Still we would have averted our eyes and paid no attention if we could have pretended he wasn't even in the room. (e) He's been in charge in our office so there wasn't anyone in our group who could raise the issue of his horrible behaviour with him. Those sheep were sick. we gave up and put the tablecloth over him and left the meeting room. like many noncount nouns like wheat or amazement. That change in the form of the verb does not reflect anything about the meaning of the verb – it reflects something about the meaning/structure of something else in the sentence. every. wouldn't it? Nouns Nouns are major open class words. (m) We forgot to lock the door to the conference room and the visiting executive committee had booked the room later that afternoon. Some nouns are fixed for number: they may always be plural. whose chair was next to his. (i) Even at that point he went on sleeping. but then he flopped over onto Mary. each. life or rather English is not that simple. (f) At yesterday’s meeting. including determiners and predeterminers. we can distinguish adjectives from nouns because not all determiners can be used 35 . If a word changes its form to reflect a change in the number of its own referent. Typically nouns inflect to mark the number of their own referents. we couldn't move him more than an inch. (l) After a while. it became obvious that he was as drunk as a skunk. What does this mean? Remember we said that verbs inflected to mark agreement with their subjects in person and number. (j) Everybody rushed over to him. like pants or scissors. which like pronouns. and other determiners like some.

For example. Everybody talked about those pants. but we can talk about a beauty. determiners. but not adjectives: so you can talk about the amazing height. Properties of Nouns Nouns typically inflect mark the number of their Only nouns and adjectives can be modified by own referents. Noun Classes The first break is between nouns which have unique reference (and are therefore always specific and definite) and those which do not (which name classes and which might be either specific or 36 . Wheat may be hard to find. Everybody talked about those cats. Nouns have been traditionally split into several categories or classes. Suzette may be hard to find. but not about *the amazingly height. the good is fine. A house fell down. Adjectives can be modified by adverb phrases like very or amazingly. Moreover. but not *the amazingly millionaire. It turns out that as we consider these slots. but nouns cannot. so all non-pronominal heads of NPs must be nouns. So we can set up slots that can be filled by words which are unambiguously nouns since they mark number or can be modified by determiners and we can see what other words can fit in those slots. You can talk about the amazingly tall. that there are regular patterns as to what kinds of nouns can occur in particular structures. Nouns share this property with some pronouns. 72.with adjectives. 71. 69. nouns and pronouns function as the heads of noun phrases and pronouns are a closed class. We can see that even nouns which are fixed for number like pants or wheat or Suzette can fit in some of these slots: 70. 68. you can talk about *the terribly poor. Lets consider sentences like 67. amazingly. adjectives can be modified by adverb phrases like very. but not about *the amazing tall. or really. Facts may be hard to find. so we can’t took about a beautiful. scissors is always plural). personal pronouns mark the number of their referents Some nouns are fixed for number (for example. Adjectives can only be modified by a limited set of determiners. For example. Ultimately though we must come back to feature we started with. but not *the terribly paupers or *the terribly poverty. and nouns cannot--so the amazingly rich. Adjective phrases can modify nouns. but *a good is not.

you have ordered only one pizza. it is free with respect to modifiers and the plural form can be modified with quantifiers like many or few. cannot be modified with an indefinite article a or an: You can’t *harvest a wheat or *feel a gratitude. so you can like cakes or like cake. Those with unique reference are called proper nouns (though they might better be called proper NPs) and those without are called common nouns. while noncount nouns. they are fixed with respect to modification – some proper nouns require the presence of a definite article (the Hague. Common nouns come in three types: count. If you order pizza (mass/noncount). Some common nouns can be either count or mass (usually with slightly different meanings). if you order pizzas (count). but the first names that specific individual because that name is expected to have the hearer pick out the referent without considering a whole set or class of people. Plural count nouns occur without an article if they are indefinite: You can suggest nouns. Singular count nouns require the presence of a determiner of some kind: You can suggest a noun. like wheat or gratitude. Common Nouns Count Nouns Mass/Noncount Nouns can be modified by an indefinite cannot be modified by an article indefinite article are free with respect to modification are free with respect to modification can be modified by quantifiers like can be modified by quantifiers many like much Proper nouns can never be modified by an indefinite article (a or an) because they must be definite. you use no article at all: You harvest wheat or feel gratitude. Both of these NPs refer to the same individual. three people. you have ordered more than one pizza. So you can say a noun or many nouns or few nouns. noncount or mass. In the first version. you like individual cakes. You can’t use quantifiers with proper nouns so you can’t visit many Bahamas.not. A count noun. In fact. 37 . you have ordered at least one pizza but you haven’t specified how many. in the second. three beans. can be modified by an indefinite article. an) are fixed with respect to modification are fixed with respect to number and cannot be modified by quantifiers like many or much. etc. two beans. Simply. but you cannot *suggest noun. Noncount or mass nouns do not have plurals – so you can’t harvest wheats or feel gratitudes. Hawaii). George Washington is a proper noun (in most uses). *two wheat(s). however. if you order a pizza (count)... and both. like noun. Noun Classes Proper Nouns (actually proper NPs) cannot be modified by an indefinite article (a. Proper nouns are fixed with respect to number – some are fixed singular (the Hague) and some are fixed plural (the Bahamas). even those which are fixed in number two people. mass/noncount nouns cannot be counted: *one wheat. President is a common noun. etc. the Seychelles) and some preclude the presence of a definite article (Paris. count nouns can be counted: one bean. The difference between a proper noun and a common noun might be illustrated with George Washington and the first president of the United States. To express an indefinite mass/noncount noun. You can’t talk about the Hagues or the Bahama. In the second NP. president – even president of the United States names a class of people. etc. the NP expects us to select the correct individual from the entire class of presidents. definite or not). you like undifferentiated cake.

Common Count Noncount/Mass Mary *Bahama *White House *tree music *the Mary *the Bahama the White House the tree the music *a Mary *a Bahama *a White House a tree *a music *some Mary *some Bahama *some White House *some tree some music *Marys *Bahamas *White Houses trees *musics *much Mary *much Bahama *much White House *much tree much music *the Marys the Bahamas *the White Houses the trees *the musics *much Marys *much Bahamas *much White Houses *much trees *much musics *many Marys *many Bahamas *many White Houses many trees *many musics some in these data is used to mean some amount of. (a) The Christian descendants of Germanic raiders who had looted. ruled by Ethelred with the able assistance of his brother Alfred. rather than a certain individual. and finally taken the land of Britain were themselves to undergo harassment from other Germanic invaders. (f) After years of 38 . (b) During the first half of the following century other more or less disorganized but disastrous raids occurred in the south. f. Did Charley buy that furniture at a Goodwill? Could I have some water? Those people need six waters. who was to succeed him in the following year. b. (c) Then in 865 a great and expertly organized army landed in East Anglia. (d) During the next fifteen years the Vikings gained possession of practically the whole eastern part of England. pillaged. e. you can see the co-occurrence possibilities. I really need help. when Viking raiders sacked various churches and monasteries. Practice Identifying Nouns and Pronouns 1. beginning in the later years of the eighth century. Susan might help that little old man. (e) In 870 the Vikings attacked Wessex. g. Pick out each noun in the sentences below and identify the class to which it belongs. including Lindisfarne and Bede's own beloved Jarrow. That child wants an ice cream. led by Ivar the Boneless and his brother Halfdan. 2. We must look after the water. The kind of noun it is limits the kind of determiner and quantifiers it can be modified by and what numbers it can be found in. d. Pick out all the nouns and pronouns in the sentences below and identify the classes to which they belong. sons of Ragnar Lothbroke. Proper Both cake the cake a cake some cake cakes much cake the cakes *much cakes many cakes In these examples. c. a.

meaning lions as opposed to other animals. This restriction doubtless arises from the fact that the indefinite article a(n) is a descendant of the number one. which does not refer to a specific lion. The definite article is the. The indefinite article is limited to occurring with singular count nouns. we’re going to start by discussing determiners and then predeterminers. but it’s a part of something you can pick out the referent for) • When the referent is non-specific. clauses.discouragement. as in The lion typically lives in a pride. who promised not only to depart from Wessex but also to be baptized. 39 . the indefinite article is a. restricting its role to modifying nouns which can co-occur with numbers (count nouns) and to nouns which one would be an appropriate modifier of (singular nouns). determiners and predeterminers). Alfred in 878 won a signal victory at Edington over Guthrum. but generically to all lions) So. so if the speaker says 73. the Danish king of East Anglia. He or she may just be expressing a generalized desire to replace his or her present vehicle or he or she may be thinking "I want a new car — that Jag I saw on the showroom yesterday is what I really want!". Sometimes a speaker may have a particular referent in mind and sometimes he or she may not. Determiners The prototypical determiners are articles. for example. The Origins and Development of the English Language: 99) Nouns can be modified by a range of different structures (adjective phrases. I want a new car. we use an indefinite noun phrase when the speaker does not expect the addressees to be able to pick out a referent. but represents the entire class (so we can discuss the lion. (adapted from Pyles and Algeo. and many crushing defeats. When does a speaker have such an expectation? • When the referent has already been mentioned in the conversation or piece of writing (so we can discuss the speaker because we just mentioned the speaker) • When the referent is in plain sight of the conversation participants (so we can discuss the table below because we can both see it) • When the referent is attached to an already established referent (so we can discuss the video card in your computer. very few victories. since you know your computer— you may not have the video card in your consciousness. The difference between the animal and an animal is a difference in definiteness. The next section is on modifiers and complements of other types in simple sentences and later sections will deal with clausal modifiers. A definite noun phrase is used when a speaker expects addressees to be able to pick out the referent for the noun phrase. prepositional phrases.

So when people say something like 78. either singular or plural. You can only have one determiner per noun modified. The near demonstrative determiner has. Demonstrative determiners have the same pointing effects that demonstrative pronouns have. 75. 77. whichever). A lion lives in a pride.other words and phrases come in the same slot in a noun phrase and are mutually exclusive. every. The other word-level determiners include a range of quantifying determiners (each. Lions live in prides/a pride. Demonstrative determiners agree with the nouns they modify in number.) Articles are not the only determiners -. (furniture = noncount/mass noun) I want new chairs. as in 76. as in 74. the only form of NP that can’t be use generically is a definite plural -The lions live in (the) prides cannot be interpreted as generic. as you can see. (chairs = plural count noun) It is possible to use indefinite NPs. This and these are used in casual speech as markers of specific indefinites. however. some. Beyond these there are phrase-level determiners: possessive 40 . what. I want new furniture. generically. I met this guy in Victorian Lit last term they do not typically mean a definite guy nearby -. neither.Kinds of Determiners Articles the (definite) a/an (indefinite) Universal every each Whwhich what whichever Demonstratives this/these that/those Negative: no Universal dual: either Negative dual: neither General assertive: some General nonassertive: any Possessive Noun Phrases A plural indefinite noun phrase or an indefinite noncount/mass noun typically occurs without any article at all. acquired another use recently.determiners (which occur in questions and relative clauses: which. (In fact.they mean a specific guy that they don't expect the addressees to have an established referent for. either. any) and wh. no.

Determiner . any) cannot co-occur with each other or with any other determiner. both. very ferocious dogs Half the stolen money Both the small children Demonstratives (which you recall can function as pronouns) can also function as determiners. 86. but also cannot co-occur with the predeterminers (which are also quantifying-. a predeterminer is a noun modifier that precedes the determiner. you can also only have one predeterminer per noun modified. School grammars tend to treat possessive pronouns as adjectives. All that man's friends came to the party. 83. *Every child likes half some ice cream. 85. act more like articles than like adjective phrases. as in 82. half. The FBI found half that stolen money. Every child likes some ice cream. multipliers (including fractions) Like determiners.as you can see by looking at the list of predeterminers in Table 2). As you might guess from the name. 87. among others. The order of constituents in a noun phrase before the noun head is Predeterminer . Both their ferocious dogs are barking at all Mary's children. 41 . We'll discuss these determiners after we've looked at predeterminers.Adjective Phrases . *Every the child likes some ice cream.N: 79. School grammars sometimes try to treat predeterminers as adjectives. 84. 80. *All the those dogs. Predeterminers: all. neither. *The that money. All the large. however. no. 81. It is impossible to use both an article and another determiner -. 89. We can see that predeterminers do not belong to the same category as determiners. some. that possessive pronouns and demonstratives. We can see that predeterminers are quite a small closed class that is not interchangeable with adjectives: so *those all dogs and *ferocious the dogs are quite impossible. All those ferocious dogs are barking. That reflects the slot they come in in the NP: 88. every. It is clear. either. Back to Determiners The determiners which are quantificational (each. *The every child likes some ice cream.*All those the dogs. *That the money.noun phrases (whether they are just pronouns or longer noun phrases with noun heads) typically serve as determiners. Possessive NPs come in the same slot and are clearly determiners. as part of a general simplification that treats a number of noun modifiers as adjectives.

The children's teacher likes them. 4. determiners. Therefore the determiner of friends must be that man's and all is a predeterminer modifying friends (since you can't talk about all the man). Those children's mother's doctor's car broke down. since that must modify a singular noun and man is singular and friends is plural. The child's teacher's mother's dog bit the principal. More about Nouns Now that we've established some facts about nouns and some noun modifiers. 90. those children's mother's (for doctor). 5. Half those books lack a third page. nouns and pronouns. Practice: Pick out the noun phrases and identify all the predeterminers. 6. not friends. All adjective phrases used to modify friends must come after man's. 2. Once set of possible questions can be seen in Figure 1: Noun Decision Tree 42 .In (88) we can see that the determiner for dogs is their and for children is Mary's. those children's (for mother) and those (for children). No other person should touch that picture. 3. So in (90) the determiners are those children's mother's doctor's (for dog). In (89). The slot between the predeterminer and adjective phrases is otherwise only filled by determiners. that must modify man's. All the children are in the other room. we can see that there are a number of ways to identify nouns. 1. The first three students should pass out the books.

So can poor mark the plurality of its referent? No: *Charley donated a lot of money to the poors.? No. It is not a noun. So money is a noun. *a rolling it. donated is not a pronoun. So can it inflect to mark the plurality of its referent? Yes: Charley donated lots of money to the poor. Can it be replaced by a personal pronoun? No. So can poor be modified by quite? Yes: Charley donated a lot of money to the quite poor. Can it modified by an adverb phrase? No. 2. Can lot by itself by replaced by personal pronoun? No: *Charley donated a(n) it of money to the poor. Does it mark the number of its own referent? Yes. Can Charley by itself be replaced by a personal pronoun? Yes: He donated a lot of money to the poor. Can it be replaced by a personal pronoun? No. 1. 2. 3. Is the word modified by a determiner? Yes. 3. Is lot a pronoun. article. article. 5. Are they modified by determiners? No. Example: They say that a rolling stone gathers no moss. 6. 5. 6. They are definitely not nouns. etc.? No. of and to are not pronouns. Is money a pronoun. So poor is not a noun. It is definitely not a noun. Do their mark the number of their own referent? No. 4. Does it mark the number of its own referent? No. etc. etc. Can the words be modified by definite determiners? No. Can poor by itself be replaced by a personal pronoun? No: *Charley donated a lot of money to the them. Can they be replaced by a personal pronoun? No. 43 . So Charley is a noun. *no it. etc. Is Charley a pronoun. etc.they cannot be nouns. etc. 7. say and gathers are not pronouns. It does not mark the number of its own referent. etc. Does it mark the number of its own referent? No. article. so they cannot be nouns. etc. article. a and the are articles. that is not a pronoun.Example: Charley donated a lot of money to the poor. article. article. articles. It is not and cannot be modified by a determiner.? No. Is stone a pronoun. 4. a and no are an article and a negative determiner -. Is moss a pronoun. article. Can the word be modified by the definite determiner? No. It cannot be replaced by a personal pronoun. 1. Do their mark the number of their own referent? No. Can money by itself be replaced by a personal pronoun? Yes: Charley donated a lot of it to the poor. Are they modified by determiners? No. etc. Is it modified by a determiner? No.? No. so it is not a noun. articles.? No. Can they be replaced by a personal pronoun? No. So lot is a noun. They is a pronoun. This word is a noun. This word is a noun. Can it be replaced by a personal pronoun? No.

PRACTICE ANALYSIS: Identifying Nouns. Identify each underlined noun as common count. James asked Mr. James and the head office). Anderson’s needs must be met immediately and without further discussion. On receipt of these demands. James wrote Mr. Circle each of the pronouns in the text below. she moved into an administrative office down the hall. relative. interrogative or number. article. Pronouns a. Anderson for a meeting. (See attachment 1 (copies of the e-mail interaction between Ms. Report of the 1/26/2005 Incident I have been asked by members of the board and the president of the company to provide a complete account of yesterday’s unfortunate events at the branch office in Springfield. sent a query up the line about them. James. Anderson her office and her administrative staff. all further communications from the branch office should come from Mr. the exclusive services of the branch manager’s administrative assistants and direct reports from all the supervisors. but if so it could be modified by an adverb phrase (the slowly rolling never gather moss) so it is not a noun. Anderson and received from him. Ms.Can the words be modified by definite determiners? No. Background: Oscar Anderson was appointed by the main office to serve as the “formal liason” between the branch office and the main office on 10 January 2005. 7. They are definitely not nouns. Anderson then called a meeting of all the supervisors and ordered them to send their reports directly to him. common mass or proper. Ms. etc. interrogative. she instructed each of the supervisors to copy Mr. Anderson on all memos and reports. the branch manager. stating that all of Mr. It could be modified by a definite determiner (the rolling never gather moss). 3. Anderson’s instructions to the letter. Double underline each determiner in the text below 4. b. Underline each of the nouns in the text below. Angela James. Surprised. Ms.) Therefore. which he refused. The home office responded with an e-mail apparently from the president of the company. Anderson 44 . James not to send anything more about Mr. rolling is not a pronoun. Mr. demonstrative. Determiners and Predeterminers 1. Pronouns. with no copies to Ms. James. Put a box around each predeterminer in the text below. The e-mail directed Ms. James gave Mr. Anderson. Ms. Mr. b. the supervisors met with Ms. Nouns a. who told them to follow Mr. 2. Anderson to anyone in the main office. He started in Springfield the next day with a complex set of requirements including the largest office in the branch. It does not mark the number of its own referent. reflexive. It cannot be replaced by a personal pronoun. Identify each circled pronoun as personal. John Clareton. Predeterminers a. but to keep copies of all documents they sent to Mr. It is not be modified by a determiner. Determiners a.

James. the next day. James send out messages to all the supervisors notifying them of the meeting and requesting that they bring their documentation of the all the events of the last 10 days. the office manager went to Ms.” This was very confusing since the branch office had been running smoothly and with many commendations from the head office for the entire three years Ms. “Ms. On the morning of January 25th. It speaks well for the professionalism of the employees in the branch office that the office continued to work relatively smoothly. She instructed the administrative staff to make every effort to contact Mr. Anderson to set up a video conference in the main meeting room with all the supervisors.m. leaving messages on his voicemail and several text messages. Mr. Anderson responded by saying . when they needed instruction or assistance. Ms. On reading the memo. Since it arrived in the morning. Anderson. James). James. It speaks well for the good sense of the supervisors that. including 45 . Anderson had not returned their calls by 9 a. Anderson and their teammates generally attempting to protect the lower-level employees from the ill-feeling created by Mr. Anderson’s system had wrought. the administrative staff made every effort to contact him. and Mr. not Mr. (See attachment 2 (copies of the memo interaction between Ms. Anderson began arriving to work later each day until by January 23rd. Since they were not sufficiently directed to carry out his duties. Anderson and stating that the board would be holding a special video conference with the branch office the next day so the board members could observe for themselves the improvements Mr. he had insulted every employee in the office and three of the lower level employees had resigned. it was put in the pile of Mr. James for advice. (See attachment 4 (the office call log and telephone records). Anderson and that they intervened between Mr. (See attachment 3 ( the supervisors’ reports) and attachment 4 (the joint report of the lower level employees). The only work he did was to dictate reports to the head office detailing changes he had made to system in the branch office and claiming that these changes (if they were not undercut by the “incompetents working in the branch office”) would result in immediate increases in revenue to the main ofice. Anderson had not arrived by 3 p. Anderson a second memo asking for clarification. James interpreted this statement as meaning that he would arrange for her employment to be terminated. Ms. Ms. ” He further stated that if she sent him one more word on this subject.a memo asking him to outline her new responsibilities since she no longer had any staff reporting to her. They instructed Mr. James should never have been appointed to such a senior position.) Starting on the sixth day of his tenure.. a memo arrived at the office. Ms. they went to Ms. Thus the office continued to run mostly as it had in the past. Anderson’s tenure in the branch office. Anderson and of the contemporaneous summary memo by Ms. She contacted the technical administrator to set up the video equipment for the conference in the main meeting room. He delegated all his other work to his administrative staff. he would arrange never to hear from her again. they went to Ms. Anderson told her to “be grateful she still had a job. When Mr. Anderson’s offensive behavior. He often came in apparently smelling of alcohol and making even less sense than he usually did. it is inappropriate for a person like her to have authority over supervisors. addressed Mr. Anderson’s correspondence.m. Mr.) By the fifth day of Mr. Mr. he was arriving after lunch. James sent Mr. James and Mr. James with the memo. Anderson himself. James had been in charge.) The events of 1/26/2005: When Mr.

Anderson. he announces that he had been poisoned and insisted that the medical report of his accident be sent to the main office. since the president denies having sent it (and would have no reason to send it)? (2) How was Mr. James asked for a emergency services to help the unconscious Mr. (See attachment 5 (the video footage of 1/26/2005).) (3) Who in the main office is ultimately responsible for cutting off all communication between the two offices thus enabling Mr. The receptionist told him that there was a staff meeting going on in the main office. By 12:45 the video conference was set up. Anderson and signalled to the technician to turn off the video camera. He insisted that this branch was his branch and that only he and nobody else. Moving toward Ms. Ms. At 1:02 Mr. James and demanded to know who she thought she was calling a meeting at this branch. Anderson turned his head toward the camera and promptly vomited on the desk in front of the entire board. Ms. his only other observable symptom was a blood alcohol level of . he slipped in his own vomit and fell to the floor hitting his head on a chair on the way down. At 1 p. James apologizing for Mr. James in a threatening way. besides the mild concussion he suffered. Anderson was clearly unwell and then began to dial 911.) When Mr. Ms. Anderson is currently in the hospital and will be sent to rehabilitation when he is discharged from the hospital. James gestured politely toward the video equipment. the supervisors were present in the main office with their documents. the conference call began with Ms. James has been returned to her office and the structure of the office has been returned to its previous form. when he vomited again on the floor. Anderson to change his position from liason (at which he was clearly not competent) to actual head of the branch office (at which he failed even more dramatically)? 46 . (See attachment 6 (the medical report of 1/26/2005). and Ms.23. Anderson reached consciousness again.) Conclusions: Mr. James attempted to explain to him that this was a meeting called by the board. Anderson ever hired with background of serious alcoholic misconduct? (See attachment 7 (the transcripts of my discussions with Mr.m. Mr.sending out junior staff members to his apartment and to all the restaurants near his apartment and near the office. James apologized to the members of the board. James. Unfortunately for Mr. James was going through her own documents at the head of the table. Mr. Ms. The only open questions in this sorry affair are (1) Who sent the e-mail to Ms. Ms. Anderson’s prior employers). demanding to know who other than himself could call a staff meeting and claiming that people were plotting against him behind his back. saying that Mr. not even “those dopes on the board” could call a meeting at his branch. Anderson’s absence. Anderson walked through the front door of the office. He flung open the door of the main office and staggered over to Ms. Anderson began to shout furiously.

early Modern English. and Sidney Greenbaum. 3 2 1 We’ll talk more about indirect questions when we talk about complex sentences. of course. 1973.Some religious groups still maintain these forms in everyday communications and others maintain them for specifically religious use. We’ll just consider them briefly here. which was. A concise grammar of contemporary English 47 . Randolph. (In the latter case. Again. the association presumably arises from the fact that they are used in the King James version of the Bible. These are cas where you may decide that in writing it is best to avoid the whole problem. 5 4 Quirk. using overtly plural forms. All people believe in their own rectitude or avoiding the pronoun Someone left a notebook behind. we’ll talk more about relative clauses later when we talk about complex sentences.

that is. 48 . These adjective phrases are postmodifying or postpositive. and since really is a modifier of big. So. 2. there is an adjective phrase really big. Some clever person could turn that thing into a quite useful thing. any adjective phrase that contains big must contain really. Function Adjectives are always the heads of adjective phrases (or conjuncts in the coordination of two or more adjectives -. Somebody clever could turn that thing into something quite useful. In this case. A modifier never includes the thing that it modifies -remember that modifying is a structural relationship between the modifier and something outside the modifier -. a postpositive or postmodifying adjective phrase comes after the head and inside the NP. as in 1. they are attributive. In (1) there are two NPs (in italics) with indefinite pronouns as heads and adjective phrases (underlined) modifying those indefinite pronouns. Adjective phrases function within a NP1 to modify a head noun or pronoun or directly in a predicate2 to predicate something about the subject or object. they appear before the noun and after the predeterminer and determiner (if they appear in the NP). Noun/Pronoun Modifying Adjective Phrases Adjective phrases that appear within the NP can either precede or follow the head.this will be discussed later when we talk about conjunction).Chapter 4 Modifiers and Complements Adjectives and Adjective Phrases Structure An adjective phrase consists of an adjective and all of its modifiers and complements. Usually when adjective phrases modify nouns. Since an adjective phrase is an adjective head and all its modifiers. then any adjective phrases that modify it must follow the head. compare (1) where the heads of the italicized NPs are indefinite pronouns with (2) where the heads of the italicized NPs are nouns. The head of really big is big and its modifier is really. but not an adjective phrase big. If the head is an indefinite pronoun.or pronoun-modifying adjective phrases do NOT include the nouns or pronouns they modify. Notice that in the sentence like Olive wants a really big car.the word or phrase being modified. so the noun phrase my older brother contains an adjective phrase older (NOT older brother). The smallest possible adjective phrase therefore consists of just an adjective. A postpositive modifier or a postmodifier is a one which follows the head it modifies within the same phrase. IMPORTANT NOTE: Noun.

49 . as in *Someone late liked toads and not as the head of either kind of predicate adjective phrase. 7.Nouns can have postmodifying adjective phrases if the adjective phrase is heavy enough -.so *any person clever is no good. The small children were afraid. elect as in the president elect. as in *The king of France is late or *I consider the king of France late. 3.(5) where the subject complement adjective phrase is italicized and the subject is underlined. but not as the head of a postmodifying adjective phrase. afraid and present. The late king of France liked toads. Some adjective can be the heads of postpositive or predicate adjective phrases. for example. but not of attributive adjective phrases. then that adjective phrase is a subject complement. as in (6)-(8) where the object complement adjective phrase is italicized and the direct object is underlined. then the adjective phrase is an object complement. The medicine tasted nasty. but any person really clever and talented is fine. Structural Constraints on Adjectives Adjective phrases with certain heads (in certain meanings) are typically or always postpositive: For example. Charley considers Sharon clever. I found the medicine nasty. 4.) 11. 9. (but not (10') *The present children watched the accident in horror which would mean something entirely different—with present meaning something like current as opposed to past or future. They called me stupid. as in (9). 5. 6. late in the sense of "dead" or "former holder the role" can occur as the head of an attributive adjective phrase. Sharon is clever. Some adjectives only appear as heads of attributive adjective phrases: For example. 8. Predicate Adjective Phrases Adjective phrases can also function directly in the predicate: predicate adjective phrases describe or qualify a NP in the clause. as in 10. If the adjective phrase qualifies or describes the direct object. If a predicate adjective phrase is about the subject. or proper as in Pullman proper are never used attributively in these senses. The children present watched the accident in horror. as in (3) . That person seems really talented.

) Adjective phrases which contain complements (which appear after the adjective head) or postmodifiers typically are not used attributively. dependent on our help children Some adjectives can only Some adjectives can only appear as the heads of AdjPs which are not attributive: head attributive adjective asleep. blue and red suitable colors for a lectern? (5) (5) Moreover. ("linking") verb and noun phrase preceded by a predeterminers and adjective phrases which provides information complex transitive verb determiners -. Their horrible experience left them frightened of bears. spotted top attached to the colorfully striped trunk made me dizzy. late.(but not (11') *The afraid children were small. Those children are dependent on our help. Compare *An afraid child ran away with A frightened child ran away Practice Identifying Adjective Phrases Identify the adjective phrases in the sentences below and to determine what the function of each adjective phrase each is. (1) The first time I saw the thing. The food left him asleep.within the modify indefinite pronouns about the subject. president was an only child. The bell about the direct object. the ugly thing was unstable. cannot contain adjective can contain adjective complements We must take care of those children dependent complements *We must on our help. I found its appearance quite surprising. *The president former was an only child. The former former. phrases that modify nouns tasted utterly horrible. Adverb and Adverb Phrases Structure An adverb phrase consists of an adverb head and all its modifiers. (4) Who could have considered purple. It made phrases: only. *I consider that child only. He called bit the frightened dog. the bell flat. (6) The designer blind to both form and function had created a hideous monstrosity. We considered must be "heavy" (except in the food utterly horrible. He and provides information NP before the head it most be postmodifying. (2) The strange.) Noun/Pronoun Modifier Predicate Adjective Phrase Attributive Postmodifying Subject Complement Object Complement occurs before the head it occurs immediately after occurs after a copular occurs after a direct object modifies and after any the head it modifies. *The president was former. That child is afraid. (3) It was incredibly badly designed. I modifies A very large cat postmodifying adjective sounded flat. frightened of bears is okay as a postpositive adjective phrase (as in People frightened of bears shouldn't visit Yellowstone) or as a predicate adjective phrase (as in Those people seem frightened of bears. only adverb phrases can 50 . afraid That man ridiculously afraid ran away. The doctor considered the take care of those children dependent on our help. the child afraid. was asleep. certain fixed constructions) Nobody wise would do that. So.

two well-defined and one a kind of grab-bag. only. there. and hard. so enough as in (17) and (18) typically follows the adjective head it modifies. are homonyms). I want a fast car. 51 . therefore. The very small children should stand in the front. here.modify adverbs. enormous. yet. and abundant. a. 12. It is worthwhile noticing that while an adjective-modifying adverb phrase typically precedes the adjective it modifies as in (15) and (16). so the adjective phrase amazingly tall contains an adverb phrase amazingly (NOT amazingly tall). so. 17. 14.the word or phrase being modified. Mary is remarkably bright. amazingly.this will be discussed later when we talk about conjunction). largely. Only rapid will fit in (13a) and only rapidly will fit in (13b). others are more internally complex. literally. A substantial number of adverbs are derived from adjectives by suffixing -ly to the adjective.e. Not all adverbs are derived from adjectives however. Those children aren't sleepy enough yet. just. for example. Function Adverbs are always the heads of adverb phrases (or conjuncts in the coordination of two or more adverbs -. enormously. My car should go fast. the adverbs frivolously. amazing. Harry is a good enough parent. Adverb phrases have three possible functions -. A modifier never includes the thing that it modifies -. This last function is the most complicated so it is typically easier to see if an adverb phrase is functioning as an adjective. IMPORTANT NOTE: Adjective-modifying adverb phrases do NOT include the adjectives they modify.. 18. Some are simply basic adverbs like then.or adverb. moreover. only the adjective will fit in (14a) and the adverb in (14b). 16. but not derived from adjectives. and again. A number of adjectives and adverbs have the same form (i. they can modify other adverbs and they can be adverbial. only one will fit in each case so suppose you replace fast with rapid or rapidly. 15. Adverb phrases can modify adjectives. The bird rose early to catch the worm. Notice that if you replace these forms with adjective/adverb pairs that aren't homonyms.modifier first. b. thus. before you consider whether it is an adverbial. large. The early bird catches the worm. like however. In the (a) versions of the examples below the underlined words are adjectives and in the (b) version they are adverbs.remember that modifying is a structural relationship between the modifier and something outside the modifier -. Mary finished the hard problem b. a. fast. still. literal. and hereafter. Adjective Modifier An adjective-modifying adverb phrase is inside the adjective phrase with the adjective head and modifying a head adjective (inside the adjective phrase with the head). b. ever. Mary worked hard on the problem. some adverb phrases regularly follow what they modify. and abundantly are derived from the adjectives frivolous. 13. like early. Similarly if you replace hard with intensive or intensively. a.

or another clause. Everybody left very early. a verb phrase. Adverbial Structures serving as adverbials do a range of things: they may modify a verb. as in 26. The same is not true of quite -. but not amazingly. He turned that way. 19. as in 52 . this is a more or less miscellaneous category. 20.remember that modifying is a structural relationship between the modifier and something outside the modifier -. The students left just before dinner. must) be an adverb phrase which contains quite. Everybody left the next day. The structure we're primarily concerned with here is the adverb phrase. a predicate.since amazingly does not modify quite. Since an adverb phrase is an adverb head and all its modifiers. 27. nothing modifies quite. so the adjective phrase quite amazingly contains an adverb-modifying adverb phrase quite. Those jockeys are quite amazingly tall.Adverb Modifier Just as adverb phrases can modify adjectives. and since quite is a modifier of amazingly. they may focus on some chunk of structure: a noun phrase. and noun phrases. there is an adverb phrase that consists of just quite. The children played very carefully. Everybody left before dawn. The adverbmodifying adverb phrase is quite and its head is quite. IMPORTANT NOTE: Adverb-modifying adverb phrases do NOT include the adverbs they modify. The similar roles can be filled by prepositional phrases. they can also modify adverbs (and therefore appear within another adverb phrase) as in (19) and (20). Notice that amazingly is NOT an adverb phrase here. a predicate. In other words. there can (in fact. and subordinate clauses. 23. a verb phrase. It may express a transition between one clause and another. Notice this means that in a sentence like (20) there are two adverb phrases: quite amazingly and quite. in fact. any adverb phrase that contains amazingly must contain quite. A modifier never includes the thing that it modifies -. He turned with great care. The head of quite amazingly is amazingly and its modifier is quite. 22. 25. Since. as in 24. He turned carefully. or the whole rest of the clause.the word or phrase being modified. as in 21. an adjective phrase. a prepositional phrase. The adverbial role can be filled by a range of structures.

Therefore. demonstrative. or article. (3) at is not a noun. therefore. Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs Example: Oscar can work hard at the really efficient factory. work can all be demonstrated to be nouns or verbs. (2) hard is not a noun. at is neither an adverb nor an adjective. (4) the is an article. (5) really is not a noun. it is neither an adjective nor an adverb. It cannot be replaced by an unambiguous adverb: *Oscar worked hard merely/then/quite/clearly the factory. hard is an adverb.28. verb. can. He turned to see Mary. It can be replaced by an unambiguous adverb: Oscar can work hard at the merely/quite/clearly efficient factory. It can replaced by an unambiguous adverb: Oscar worked amazingly at the really efficient factory. Everybody left when I arrived. really. Therefore. demonstrative. pronoun. It cannot be modified by an unambiguous adverb (though the whole PP can be). pronoun. or article. verb. 53 . 29. or article. demonstrative. verb. (1) Oscar. pronoun.

) 33. it is possible to put the preposition before the wh. (6) efficient is not a noun. Under certain circumstances the preposition and its object might not be adjacent to each other. (1) Ferociously the amazingly strong child threw his teacher through a window. I built the stage which you are standing on. If the object of the preposition is a wh. The object of a preposition is typically a noun phrase or a gerund subordinate clause (we'll discuss these when we talk about complex sentences). What I rely on is the truth. is an adverb. or article. (4) A more sensible student would just have gone to the ombudsman with a complaint. To whom are you talking? 54 . Usually the object of the preposition (OP) immediately follows the preposition as in 30. 31. Prepositional Phrases Structure A prepositional phrase (PP) consists minimally of a preposition and its object. It can be and is. (7) He demanded that the insane child be more appropriately punished for his utterly outrageous conduct. Who are you talking to? (I am talking to Bill. (You are standing on the stage. demonstrative.proform or a phrase containing a wh-proform. It cannot be replaced by an adverb: *Oscar worked hard at the really merely/quite/clearly/then efficient factory. (2) He was angry at his teacher again and he found the entire school increasingly unbearable.therefore.word can appear at the beginning of the sentence (or of the appropriate clause) with the preposition appearing where you might expect to find the entire PP. as in 36. pronoun. however. verb. Practice Identifying Adverb Phrases Identify the adverb phrases in the sentences below and to determine what the function of each adverb phrase each is. (5) He would really not have thrown his hapless teacher out of the classroom. (6) Quite predictably.) 34. (8) Suspension was a completely insufficient penalty for this violent offence. What a jerk I ran into! In some of these sentences.word in the front. [AfterPREP [dinner]OP] the people [inPREP [the dining room]OP] rose [fromPREP [the tables]OP] and went [intoPREP [the garden]OP]. modified by an adverb (really) and is therefore an adjective. (3) The teacher's careful answer to his very difficult question left him quite furious. 32. 35. then the phrase with the wh. I talked [aboutPREP [the answers]OP]. the slightly injured teacher was furious at the child's violent treatment of him.

One way to tell that the PPs modify the noun or pronoun head is to replace that NP with a personal or demonstrative pronoun which typically are not modified by PPs. *I want this about Spain. The man in the blue dress is talking to someone in a bright pink hat. 48. *He in the orange dress with red hair at that table looks perfectly awful. 46. I built the stage on which you are standing. That bed was slept in by George Washington. as in 42. He looks perfectly awful. (= Active: GW slept in that bed) Function Prepositional phrases can serve as noun modifiers. You can stack PP modifiers just as you can stack adjective phrase modifiers -. 47. as adverbials. I want this. PPs as noun/pronoun modifiers are always postmodifying. The man is hard to talk to. 40. predeterminers.in which whom is the object of about and (41) can be paraphrases as It is hard to talk to the man -. 44. *On what I rely is the truth. I know the man you are talking about. so 45. as in 43. The man in the orange dress with red hair at that table looks perfectly awful.) If the sentence is a pseudo-passive (a passive in which the subject is the same as the OP in the active). 41. and adjective phrases. I want this book about Spain. 55 .37.in which the man is the object of to.unlike determiners and predeterminers which are limited to one per head modified. (Notice that (40) can be paraphrased as I know the man about whom you are talking -. but not others. and as complements to verbs or adjectives. then the preposition is let without an object. Now we see that prepositional phrases can modify nouns and pronouns in much the same way.determiners. as in 38. Noun Modifier We've seen other noun modifiers -. 39. 49. but it is always recoverable in context (that means you can always figure out what the OP would be if it were present). *Into what a jerk I ran! In some cases the OP is missing.

I will call on you. Sometimes the verb requires the presence of the PP. On Thursday I am going to Spain In fact however a substantial range of adverbial roles can be filled by Verb Complement Some verbs may be limited to certain prepositions to appear with. 50. *I will rely on top of your discretion. You can only rely or depend on or upon something or someone. (= Active: A yippy little dog bit that child. I will rely on your discretion Verbs like rely and depend and deprive require the presence of a PP -. as in 56. the NP that is the same as the subject of the active paraphrase of the clause appears as the object of the preposition by in the passive. as in 60. Time adverbials and place adverbials are very typically expressed as PPs. That child was bitten by a yippy little dog. as in 51.a PP with a particular set of prepositions. If you raise your hand. Similarly you can only deprive someone of something. Adverbial Just like adverb phrases. 56 . PPs can serve as adverbials. So call can take a prepositional phrase complement. Since Harry is at home now. Other verbs take optional complements. *I will rely from your discretion.Passive Agent As we discussed when we considered passive clauses. or 'choose'. Olive deprived us of our just reward.) The subject of an active clause can only be conveyed in a passive clause in a prepositional phrase with the preposition by. using the preposition on. 54. to mean 'visit' as in 59. we should call on him. as in 52. 53. 55. a good dictionary identifies the verbs that take verb complements by identifying the verb + preposition set and its meaning since typically the fact that they are fixed and what the meaning is is not necessarily transparent. Often. *I will rely.

a. 61. a. adverbials can come between a verb and a prepositional phrase (as in (68a)). I climbed slowly up the pole. Particle b. like prepositions. however. Particles can. even in the same semantic area. Are you happy for/with your family? Notice that while you can be glad for someone. 67. a. Preposition 64. for example. Are you happy? or with other prepositions. I climbed up the pole. a subset of the prepositions in English are also particles. as in 63. *I climbed the pole up 66. *I put up it b. if the NP is a personal pronoun. while glad and joyous (which mean approximately the same thing) do not. Particles As it happens. but in (65a) moving the up produces an ungrammatical string. I put the pole up. Each has a reading in which up or over is a preposition and one in which it is a 57 . I climbed up it. Prepositions vs. 68. adjectives also limit the prepositions that appear in their prepositional phrase complements. A particle differs from a preposition in that it does not (and cannot) take an object. In fact. go with different prepositions. Notice that while you can be happy with your grade. I am fond of them. 65. while the up's in (64a) and (b) look similar. b.Adjective Complement Like verbs. you can't be *glad or *joyous with your grade. come right after the verb and before a noun phrase. How so? Well. So happy selects a prepositional phrase with a preposition with. I put it up. These two sentences are ambiguous. a. Some adjectives like happy appear commonly without any prepositional phrase complements.but (68b) is ungrammatical because what intervenes between the verb and the particle is an adverbial).but (67a) is ungrammatical). b. *I put slowly up the pole. you cannot be joyous for someone. *I climbed it up. you must move the particle after it. Again different adjectives. consider that in (65b) you can move the up after the NP without changing the meaning. Consider I looked up the street and Mary looked over the rock. a. but you still can't move a preposition after its object (so (66a) is fine -. Similarly nothing can come between a verb and its particle except the object of the verb (as in (65b) -. b. but. Particles. as in 62. are distributed differently from prepositions. I put up the pole. as in (67b) (notice that (66b) is ungrammatical because the personal pronoun follows the particle).

English prepositions. for example. (Noun) b. we’ll either drive or fly. (Prep) 71a. excluding is also a verb (an –ing participle or gerund). Will you stand up? (Particle) b. Consider these sentences: 69a. He is staying inside the house. (Prep) 73a. I’ll just walk around the house. Notice that many of these words belong to other categories as well: so around. Mary is depending on our help. Depending on the cost. particles. (Prep) 70a. adverbs. includes a number of cases of prepositions derived from adjectives or verbs or nouns compounded with more basic prepositions. Will you climb up that tree? (Prep) 72a. (Prep) As should be evident. among others. So you must look at the use in a particular sentence to determine whether the word is a preposition. is also an adverb. This list. after is also a subordinating conjunction. but is also a coordinating conjunction.particle. I’ll just walk around. The following data must be fully analyzed. aboard about above according to across across from after against ahead of along alongside along with amidst among amongst anti beyond but by by means of by way of circa close to concerning considering contrary to depending on despite down during except except for in search of inside inside of in spite of instead of in support of in the light of into in touch with in view of irrespective of like minus near next to notwithstanding plus preparatory to prior to rather than regarding regardless of relative to round save save for since subject to than thanks to through till 58 . The inside of that building is awful. Since words which are preposition can be the same as words which belong to other categories— verbs. The list below is not complete—new prepositions are derived (not as commonly or easily as new open class words like nouns or lexical verbs or adjectives or adverbs). inside is also a noun. etc. for example. (LV+Prep) b. up is also a verbal particle. (Adverb) b. Following the first set of data is our first (Adjective) appoximation of an analysis. b. you can’t determine whether a word is a preposition just be checking a list. though not all. but more commonly than new articles or auxiliary verbs. like is also a verb. What are the two meanings for each sentence and which structure goes with which meaning? Many Prepositions The following list contains many.

apart from around as as for aside from as opposed to as to astride as well as at away from bar barring because of before behind below beneath beside besides between excepting excluding following for forward of from in in addition to in accordance with in between in charge of in conjunction with in connection with in contrast to including in favour of in front of in lieu of in line with in relation to in response to of off on on account of on behalf of on board on the part of onto on top of opposite opposite to other than out of outside outside of over owing to past pending per plus to together with toward towards under underneath unlike until up up against upon up to up until versus via vis-à-vis with with regard to within without More Practice with Adjective. adjective complement. (3) Label each phrase you have circled with its structure (adjective phrase. What’s your name? he asked with complete assurance and continued. (4) Label each phrase you have circled with its function (adjective phrase: attributive. “I’m waiting for someone. Anyone so obviously full of himself was actively ugly in her eyes. and prepositional phrase: noun modifier. “Hey baby. (1) Circle the entire phrase. Courtesy was called for in her refusal. adverbial. He was almost preening. call me Bill.” After all. or preposition. Adverb and Prepositional Phrases Identify all the adjective phrases. He practically glowed with his belief in his own attractiveness. His approach was utterly standard for this kind of establishment. adverb phrases and prepositional phrases in the texts below. subject complement. he was completely wrong about any effect he might have on her. adverb modifier. he was not merely overestimating the effects of his appearance.) Marianne was amused by the absolute presumption of the man in front of her. object complement. (2) Underline the adjective head. “What are you drinking?” “Sorry. His sense of entitlement was breathtaking. passive agent.” she replied politely. adverbial. but nothing in the relatively odd etiquette of these places required her to accept his invitation. he had done nothing unacceptable in a bar like this one. postmodifying. From Marianne’s point of view. adverb head. verb complement. adverb phrase: adjective modifier. 59 . adverb phrase or prepositional phrase).

By this point. “Even if I were not waiting for someone else. “Who do you think you are..” he snarled as he pulled back his hand in a fist as if to hit her. Her polite resistance made him even more overbearing. 1 Remember that a noun phrase is a noun or pronoun head and all of its modifiers. “I am waiting for someone else.”. saying “Forget her. 2 60 .” she continued. a number of the other customers could not pretend that they did not notice what was happening. A large man came up behind Bill and seized his arm. still courteously. “Please let go of me.” “No. she sighed quietly. He turned back toward where Marianne had been standing. Typically a predicate is everything in the clause except the subject. She had apparently underestimated his feelings of entitlement. instead of amusement.” He laughed and tightened his hold on her arm. “I choose my own company. She reached over.. “Please let go of me.” she said. but by the time he had turned. Marianne repeated. As Marianne walked down the street.” The polite lie should have been sufficient.” he insisted. seized the smallest finger on his offending hand and bent it back until he released her arm. However. She was simply grateful that she had not had to hurt anything except her would-be Romeo’s overweening pride. During the momentary interruption. Marianne’s primary feeling was annoyance.“Ah. she had slipped away. “I’m not shy.” “Who’ll make me?” he said and looked around the crowded room of strangers who were ignoring their byplay. he could walk away now without any loss of face. At this point. “Don’t be shy. complements and objects. A predicate is a verb phrase and all its modifiers. “Where is she?” he demanded of everyone close to him as he looked wildly around the room. Take your hand off me. He simply refused to believe that any woman would refuse his attentions.” she answered. Let’s get a drink. come on. she was gone. that kind of man would never have touched a stranger without invitation anyway.” he said and grabbed her arm.” he said as he shook off the other man’s hold. He knocked it out of the way and moved toward her. just otherwise occupied. saying “I don’t take . A man with any sense of appropriate behavior would have released her immediately. She stepped to one side and pulled a bar stool between them.

the goblins use broomsticks to attack witches. Notice also that the pronoun that replaces goblins is them. And the second paraphrase actually works if they refers to the some cute witches with black. The NPs in the two readings differ only in what the NP which has witches as its head is.Chapter 5 NPs and their Functions Review of NPs Definition of a noun phrase: A noun or pronoun head and all of its modifiers. suggesting that these two NPs fill different functions in the sentence. So there are probably two more NPs. Let's go over all the NPs in the sentence below: Gaggles of goblins attacked some cute witches with black. In both these analyses black. not just gaggles. What is the first NP in this sentence? Not gaggles--it is a noun. It marks number (a gaggle vs. This suggests that goblins is a separate NP that does not include gaggles (or of). There are two different analyses of this sentence! This is an ambiguous sentence: it has two readings. while the second suggests a NP some cute witches with black. Reading 1: [Gaggles of {goblins}] attacked [some cute witches] with [black. wellworn broomsticks]. of goblins. well-worn broomsticks. If we try the pronoun substitution test. (meaning "Gaggles of goblins used black. In one reading. What other nouns appear in the sentence? Witches and broomsticks. But. What evidence is there that gaggles is not a modifier of goblins? It could be a new predeterminer (notice that it can't be an adjective phrase). Stop and think. well-worn broomsticks. Is They of goblins attacked some cute witches with black. while the pronoun which replaces gaggles of goblins is they. well-worn broomsticks. well-worn broomsticks. suggesting that the entire NP is gaggles of goblins. well-worn broomsticks to attack some cute witches") 61 . well-worn broomsticks okay? No. [Gaggles of {goblins}] attacked some cute witches with black. well-worn broomsticks. That is grammatical. well-work broomsticks is an NP (replaceable with them). What's going on here? The first paraphrase suggest that we have a NP some cute witches. but it has a modifier. we discover something curious: Both Gaggles of goblins attacked them with black. in the other. goblins can be replaced with a personal pronoun: Gaggles of them. So there are two NPs: Gaggles of goblins (which has a head noun gaggles and a prepositional modifier of goblins) and goblins (which has only a head noun goblins and no modifiers). What is the evidence for this identification? Try replacing the NP which has gaggles as its head with they. notice something else. goblins attack witches who are equipped with broomsticks. well-worn broomsticks and Gaggles of goblins attacked them are okay. Try They attacked some cute witches with black. gaggles) which suggests that it's a noun.

while subjects cannot be. By the 1970s. except in the highest register. more typically are). would average around 1500 square feet. well-worn broomsticks") Now practice picking out the NPs in the following paragraph: In some houses. We're going to work on the properties of subject noun phrases of finite clauses (some of which are shared by different kinds of subordinate clauses and some of which are not -. So the subject of the passive Mary was hit by a car corresponds to the object in the active A car hit Mary. the subject is always a noun phrase. Some of the properties we already know about: we've been talking about subject-verb agreement since chapter two. as in This is her. We've also noted in chapter 3 that some pronouns mark case. The subject of the passive corresponds to the first object of the active paraphrase. but *They is/am helping me is not. as in This is she. (meaning "Gaggles of goblins attacked some cute witches who had black. in fact. in other houses. well-worn broomsticks}]. So the subject of the active A car hit Mary corresponds to the object of by in the passive Mary was hit by a car. while in 2003 the average square footage has increased to 2300. So They are helping me is grammatical.we'll talk more about this later in our discussion of subordination). if the subject of a finite verb is a personal pronoun. Similarly the number of bathrooms has been going up for the last thirty years. Form of Question: In many types of questions. So They are helping me is grammatical. storage in the form of attics has been replaced by closets. In a simple sentence. then it must be a subject case pronoun. etc.Reading 2: [Gaggles of {goblins}] attacked [some cute witches with {black. In newer houses. the subject is found in a specific place. The modern American house has changed most obviously in the amount of floorspace and number of bathrooms.S. can also be in the object case (and. the front door opens directly to the living room. but *Their/them are helping me is not. 62 . in a complex sentence the subjects may be noun phrases or clauses. Subject complements. the size of a new house in the U. Case of Pronoun: In standard English. Active/Passive: The subject of an active corresponds to the object of by in the passive. however. The subject case pronoun can also be used for subject complements. a past tense form of be or a present tense form of a non-modal verb agrees in person and number with the subject. Agreement: In standard English. The verb does not agree with any object or possessor or adverbial. Subjects Subject is a grammatical function typically filled by a noun phrase. the front door is in an entryway.

but an adverbial. do they? are fine. then the phrase containing the whword at the beginning of the sentence must be the subject. you is the subject and in Don't the children like candy?. the tag must be negative. Can you find a test that demonstrates this? A Digression: Definitions of the Subject These properties alone work to distinguish subjects of finite clauses. or The resistance worker suffered torture at the hands of the Gestapo. usually something like "The subject is what the sentence is about. It is raining. so in Who is that guy in the funny hat? that guy in the funny hat is the subject. in Who is home? home is not the subject. so in Who can you help?. it will be first in the sentence and no NP will immediately follow the first verb in the VP if the VP is more than one word long. can't I and *The children don't like candy. Subject as Agent: It is relatively easy to find sentences in which the subject is not the agent.Questions: If the subject contains or is what is being questioned (contains or is the wh. In these sentences. Any NP which immediately follows the first verb in a multiword VP in a wh. that pronoun must be in the subject case. can't you? and The children don't like candy. so Who is he? not *Who is him? which you would expect would be possible if that guy in the funny hat was the subject complement and not the subject. since no other potential subject follows the first verb in the VP. plus a pronoun which refers to the subject of that clause. If the clause to which the tag is attached is positive. So. On the other hand. who is the subject and in Whose dog barked?. you is the subject. So in Can you help me?. If the VP is only one word-long and not a form of be. whose dog is the subject. So in Whose book is lying on the table?. if the clause is negative. whose book is the subject.” The semantic definition therefore defines the subject as the agent. Many textbooks however like to give another kind of definition for subjects. Yes-No Question: The NP immediately following the operator in a yes-no question must be the subject. the verb do. the children is the subject. usually something like "The subject 'does the action' expressed by the verb" or discourse definitions. If the VP is a form of be and an NP follows it and that NP is not part of another clause or an adverbial. So the pronoun in the tag must share the referent of the subject of the clause to which it is attached. and in Who can help me?.Tag Question: One kind of tag question has a tag which consists of a copy of the first verb of the verb phrase of the clause to which is is tagged (if it is an auxiliary or a form of be) or if there is no eligible verb. who is the subject. but *You can help me. the tag must be positive. does it? are not. Consider Olive is brilliant.is the subject. so in Who helped you?. while the discourse definition defines the subject as the topic. You can help me. since no other potential subject follows the first verb in a multiword VP. They provide either semantic definitions. I was seriously injured in a car accident.word). that NP will be the subject. Wh. either there is 63 . Notice that if it is replaced by a personal pronoun.

they have hardly any or Speaking of music. Replacing the subject with a pronoun and checking the case won't help. Testing using wh. the original sentences would not be possible if the subject had to be the topic. How can we tell which one? Some tests are difficult to use with this sentence. English teachers often encourage students to recast sentences to make the topic the subject -. they and you are. but in this clause only one of them actually is. for stylistic reasons. the front door opens directly to the living room. A verb like see in an active clause may only have a subject which is a perceiver. *I saw (in which I is who is seen).however. an instrument. the front door is in an entryway What is the subject of the first clause. the front door is in an entryway? We've found three NPs in the first clause: some houses. Part of the definition of a verb in a competent dictionary will include the range of semantic roles the subject may fill. the front door is in an entryway. but not *The blowtorch melted the ice with Mary. in the first sentence he is the subject and in the second I is. as in The blowtorch melted the ice. the subject is what is sometimes called a dummy as in It's raining outside.questions is difficult to use when the operator is the lexical verb 64 . or a patient. In many sentences. because the pronoun would be it and it is used for both subjects and objects. but not an instrument.) This definition doesn't seem to work. the front door. We can say Mary melted the ice with a blowtorch. or the patient. Any of them might be the subject of some clause. do you want to go to the concert tonight? In these two sentences. In some houses. it must be the subject. like As for education. It is clear that different verbs restrict the range of semantics roles their subjects can fill: A verb like melt in an active clause may have a subject which is an agent. Do they describe different events? Different people doing different things? No. Subject as Topic: It is also relatively easy to find sentences in which this definition will not work. as in Mary melted the ice (with a blowtorch). the overt topics (education and music) are not the subjects. in other houses. if the agent is present in an active clause. Practice with Subjects Now let's try picking out the subjects of each of the finite clauses in the sentences we worked through in the NP section above Look at the first sentence: • Sentence 1: In some houses. as in The ice melted. Consider the actions in these two sentences: He is giving me money and I am getting money from him. not the subject. We can also note something else: though melt allows three different kinds of subject. In the end we have to fall back on grammatical properties to determine the subject. Moreover. *The binoculars saw me. (Check both agreement and case-marking to confirm this claim. Is this sentence about it? What is it? How about cases where there is a overt topic which is not the subject. as in Mary saw me. and an entryway.no action or what action there is may not have an agent or the agent is something else in the sentences. o Clause 1: In some houses. However.

Since the subject is singular. The passive/active test won't help. but it's comforting to see that all the tests indicate the same thing. We can't just read off the information as we could if this sentence was a question. the front door is in an entryway.be because both subjects and subject complements can immediately follow the lexical verb be. the front door must be the subject. but *In some houses the front doors are in an entryway. So if we change the front door to the front doors. Yes-No Question: Let's turn In some houses. o Clause 2: in other houses. In some houses the front doors are in an entryway. however. the front door is in an entryway. as the subject. Therefore. but to the front door. We copy the operator (in this case is) and make it negative (since the clause is positive) and then put in a pronoun that refers to the subject. which is plural. the clause must be In some houses. isn't it? Our problem here is that it might refer either to the front door or to an entryway (since they are both third person singular neuter noun phrases). Therefore. (it cannot refer to some houses since that NP is plural. • What tests are difficult to use with this clause? Replacing the subject with a pronoun and checking the case won't help. because the pronoun would be it and it is used for both subjects 65 . aren’t they? is okay. The NP immediately following the operator in a yes-no question is the subject. several tests remain: Verb Agreement Let's start by picking out the verb phrase of this clause. However. Forms of Questions Is this clause a question? No. the front door opens directly to the living room. the front door is in an entryway into a yesno question: In some houses. Sentence 1: In some houses. would be sufficient. Let's change the number of each of these NPs and see which forces the verb to change.) We can distinguish by changing one of them to plural and seeing if it forces the pronoun in the tag to change as well. but since all of the NPs in this clause are third person. Tag Question: Let's consider how we might turn In some houses. in other houses. the front doors are in an entryway.which indicates that the subject of the clause is singular (and third person. Note that all the three tests indicated the same NP. aren’t/isn’t it? is not. the NP immediately following the operator is the front door. Any one of these tests. because be doesn't have a passive version. but not ungrammatical. turn it into a question. by itself. In some houses the front door is in an entryways is semantically weird. But the front door and an entryway are singular. This suggests that it in the singular version must refer not to and entryway. the front door must be the subject. that eliminates some houses. is the front door in an entryway? In the yes-no question. the front door opens directly to the living room. the front door is in an entryway into tag question. that is not relevant to any argument about what is the subject of this clause). so In some houses the front doors is in an entryway is ungrammatical. We can. the front door. The verb phrase of this clause is is -. the front door must be the subject. in this case it: In some houses. Therefore.

in this case it: in other houses. Yes-No Question: Let's turn in other houses. We can. In other houses. so the front door must be the subject. to what does the front door open directly?) [the living room] 66 . unless we also change the verb from opens to open. no such issue arises. In what does the front door open directly to the living room? [other houses] 2. If we change the number of those two NPs independently. turn it into a question. Therefore. The passive/active test won't help. the NP immediately following the operator is the living room. doesn't it? it might refer either to the front door or to the living room (since they are both third person singular neuter noun phrases). does the front door open directly to the living room? In the yes-no question.which indicates that the subject of the clause is singular (and third person. because open in this intransitive sense doesn't have a passive version. We copy the operator if there is one. the sentence is ungrammatical. Since the subject is singular. which is plural. if we change the living room to the living rooms. what opens directly to the living room? [The front door] 3. But both the front door and the living room are singular. Tag Question: Let's consider how we might turn in most cases in other houses. the front door opens directly to the living room. but since all the NPs in this clause are third person. suggesting that it must refer not to the living room(s_. the front doors opens directly to the living room and in other houses and the front door opens directly to the living rooms. that is not relevant to any argument about what is the subject of this clause). doesn't it? is okay.) We can distinguish by changing one of them to plural and seeing if it forces the pronoun in the tag to change as well. Therefore. the front door opens directly to the living room into tag question. the front door opens directly to the living room into a yes-no question: in other houses. what does the front door open directly to? (or In other houses. the front door must be the subject.and objects. Wh. If we change the front door to the front doors. In other houses. the front door opens directly to the living rooms. that eliminates other houses. Forms of Questions Is this clause a question? No. The verb phrase of this clause is opens -. we get *in other houses. The NP immediately following the operator in a yes-no question is the subject. the cooking must be the subject. So if we change the living room to the living rooms. (it cannot refer to other houses since those NPs are plural. does) and make it negative (since the clause is positive) and then put in a pronoun that refers to the subject. but to the front door.Questions: Let's try replacing each of the in the sentence with interrogative pronouns: 1. in other houses. Therefore. however. We can't just read off the information as we could if this sentence was a question. Verb Agreement Let's start by picking out the verb phrase of this clause. we can see that the verb opens is agreeing with the front door. if not we must insert the appropriate form of do (in this case.

and as noted above. the front door must be the subject. The NP in a question which immediately follows the operator (unless the operator is the lexical verb be) must be the subject. no NP follows the operator--there is no operator. while two are singular.) The subject of the passive corresponds to the first object of the active paraphrase. storage in the form of attics has been replaced by closets. Active/Passive: This is a passive clause. so the form of attics cannot be a subject. The first object of the verb replace is storage in the form of attics which should corresponds to the subject in the passive. the subject of a clause must be directly in that clause -.pronoun is the subject. has storage in the form of attics been replaced by closets? 2. storage in the form of attics must be the subject. storage in the form of attics has been replaced by closets. In this case the case of the pronoun won’t work since the subject here is a third person singular neuter NP. In this sentence there is only one finite clause.question. In a wh. Therefore. the form of attics. Of the five NPs in this sentence. storage in the form of attics must be the subject. Tag Question: Turning this sentence into a tag question would give us In newer houses. In newer houses what has been replaced by closets? 67 . which is marked to indicate that it has a third person singular subject. Verb agreement: The first verb in the VP is has—a present tense non-modal auxilary. and closets. Yes-No Question: In newer houses. the form of attics is the object of the preposition in. the only time an NP does not follow the operator (and the only time there doesn't have to be an operator) is when the wh. Therefore. which would be it. which does not distinguish between subject and object case. and part of a larger NP storage in the form of attics. In (2). attics. is inside another NP.pronoun replaced the front door.In (1) and (3) the NP immediately following the operator is the front door. Wh. the cooking must be the subject. Therefore. The only other singular NP in the sentence. but it can be converted to a question. In what. three are plural. In this case the wh. closets have replaced storage in the form of attics. hasn’t it? The it in the tag must refer back to the storage in the form of attics in the main clause. newer houses. Therefore. Forms of Questions Again this sentence is not a question. so we'll work directly on that.Questions: 1. The active paraphrase of this sentence is In newer houses. storage in the form of attics and the form of attics. therefore the verb must be agreeing with storage in the form of attics. storage in the form of attics must be the subject. • Sentence 2: In newer houses. Therefore.it cannot be in another NP or another clause. (Notice the passive auxiliary be followed by the past participle of replace and the by-phrase. has storage in the form of attics been replaced by closets? The NP immediately after the operator has is storage in the form of attics.

In this case the wh. storage in the form of attics must be the subject. would average around 1500 square feet. that is. • Sentence 5: Similarly the number of bathrooms has been going up for the last thirty years.question.S. Instead. the size of a new house in the U. The subject of this clause is the average square footage. Giving evidence to support the identification of the average square footage as the subject of this clause requires a bit of ingenuity. it is a finite clause which serves a grammatical role in another clause. but not on the subordinate clause since they affect only main clauses.pronoun replaced storage in the form of attics. This is a sentence with one finite clause. You cannot turn a subordinate clause into a question. storage in the form of attics must be the subject. by what has storage in the form of attics been replaced?) In (1) and (3) the NP immediately following the operator is storage in the form of attics. what has storage in the form of attics been replaced by? (or In new houses.pronoun is the subject. In a wh. the size of a new house in the U. • Sentence 3: ..3. The main clause (clause 1) contains the finite subordinate clause (clause 2 below). o Clause 1 By the 1970s. How can you tell? • Sentence 4 In the 1970s. Its subject is The modern American house.S. In newer houses. The NP in a question which immediately follows the operator (unless the operator is the lexical verb be) must be the subject. The question tests can be used on the main clause. The subject of this clause is the size of a new house in the U. Therefore. The modern American house has changed most obviously in the amount of floorspace and number of bathrooms. while in 2003 the average square footage has increased to 2300. In (2). This is a finite subordinate clause. This is a sentence with one finite clause whose subject is the number of bathrooms. the only time an NP does not follow the operator is when the wh.S. so the forms of the questions would not make relevant arguments here. no NP follows the operator. while in 2003 the average square footage has increased to 2300.. Therefore. How can you tell that the number of bathrooms is the subject? 68 . would average around 1500 square feet. one of which contains the other. How can you tell? o Clause 2: while in 2003 the average square footage has increased to 2300. This sentence has two finite clauses. you should try the other tests.

which is obviously no good). This analysis is based on the fact that these sentences have paraphrases like That Charley should be awarded the prize is obvious. as we know. 2. It was clear to everyone that Marianne had come in first. since the there in these sentences can cooccur with here. It is clear however that the subject of the main clause must be there. isn't it? For all available tests. However. Where are there sixteen gray sloths? Was there a strange man standing right here? Had there been a witch writing spells at this desk earlier today? and in tag questions. But these structures are clearly special. as in 69 . and to understand what the children were saying. since in all these cases the pronoun it must precede the antecedent clause. it. there always follows the operator. as in the example above (and as it cannot in something like *A strange man was standing there here. in which it does not appear to have any referent. and It was hard to understand what the children were saying. for all testable properties. 3. The noun phrase which follows the existential verb is always indefinite. We also have sentences like It is obvious that Charley should be awarded the prize. it is clearly the subject. That Marianne had come in first was clear to everyone. In these sentences it is traditional to say that the it refers to the clause that comes later in the sentence: in these cases that Charley should be awarded the prize. However. no matter what it may mean.Special Subjects There are a couple of constructions in which more than one structure seems to act like the subject or in which no structure appears to have all the properties of a subject. These are often called dummies. We've already met it above in sentences like It's raining and It's sunny. Typically. These cases often seem to involve proforms which don't have antecedents: it and there. the pronoun in the tag must be there. The verb form must be a third singular form (is or was). it will follow the operator in a yes-no question -. as in 1. The verb phrase appears to agree with the noun phrase following the existential verb. serves as the subject of the main clause. It's sunny. that Marianne had come in first. because they seem to fill a grammatical function without having any semantic content at all. as in A strange man was standing there. and There had been a witch writing spells at this desk earlier today) or other existential verb (as in Suddenly there appeared a ghostly figure in the fog or There exists only one kind of ghoul at this party). personal pronouns like it follow the NPs which serve as their antecedents. in sentences like these.Is it raining? Is it sunny? The pronoun in a tag question is always it. If we use this construction in a yes-no or other question. we'd probably go along with the analysis which treats the NP which follows the existential verb as the subject of the clause. it is clearly the subject. and To understand what the children were saying was hard. There are sentences like There are sixteen gray sloths in my kitchen and There was a strange man standing right here. If we were going to rely on overt agreement alone. They all contain a form of be (as in the examples above. What are the subjects in these sentences? The structure of these sentences are fairly restricted: they all contain a there which is not an adverbial meaning a distant place.

She finished her homework last week. so *There stood the ghost of the minstrel’s tale here and *Here comes the bride there are both ungrammatical. John saw me/*I. 7. singular and plural. are ungrammatical. They built her a house. 10. as in 12. You is both subject case and object case. one singular and one plural. wasn't there? *wasn't he? A simple way to account for these data is to assume that there are two pronouns there. That cat ate the mouse. it must be in the object case. doesn’t she? are grammatical. which put there or here after the operator. indirect objects and objects of prepositions. He considers them fools. while *There stood the ghost of the ministrel’s tale. 5. is both subject case and object case. doesn't there? *doesn't he? There was a strange man standing right here. (The pronoun is a direct object. Why? Objects There are three different kinds of objects: direct objects. All objects share one property: If the object is a pronoun.but remember the English pronominal system has a lot of homophony. didn’t he? and Here comes the bride. This use of there contrasts with the adverbial use in several ways. notice *Did there stand the ghost of the minstrel’s tale and *Does here come the bride. (The pronoun is a prepositional object. 9. doesn’t here? are ungrammatical. 6. unlike the adverbial there. 8.) John gave me/*I a gift. you must put the NP which follows the verb: Did the ghost of the minstrels tale stand there? and Does the bride come here? Similarly consider the tag questions: There stood the ghost of the ministrel’s tale. If there is an indirect object. In yesno questions. We’ve already noted that it can cooccur with here. It may seem odd to have a form which covers both these meanings -. didn’t there and *Here comes the bride. (The pronoun is an indirect object. for example. If we try to make these sentences into questions there and here do not act like subjects. Locative adverbials can precede the verb as in There stood the ghost of the minstrel’s tale and Here comes the bride.) Direct Objects If a verb has only one object. Notice that these cannot cooccur with semantically contrastive adverbials. then it will be a direct object (DO). 11. There exists only one kind of ghoul at this party. it. V IO DO 70 .) John talked to me/*I. the order is typically V IO DO (and NEVER V DO IO). Instead to convert these sentences into yes-no questions. which must agree with the number of the NP which immediately follows the existential verb.4.

They provide a semantic definition. then it will be the same as the subject of the passive paraphrase: 14. 16. Will you play me a game of chess? Sentences with VP IO DO predicates have a paraphrase in which the NP which serves as the IO is instead an the object of a preposition. They build a house for her I gave the notes to them.13. as in 19. 20. 18. so 71 . the only one receiving anything is the resistance worker--which is. John found a useful book for those children. 21. but it's hard to see exactly what it receives. usually something like "The direct object 'receives the action' expressed by the verb". Indirect Objects Indirect objects (IOs) typically cooccur with and precede direct objects. 22. as in (19)-(21). there is no direct object.it undergoes the action. this definition doesn't work. Notice that in a sentence like Mary saw the Eiffel Tower. As you might expect from all prior experience in this book. How about Marvin knows French? Here French is the direct object. Direct objects in constructions with indirect objects cannot be unstressed pronouns. the preposition is to or for. V IO DO V V V IO IO DO DO IO DO They built her a house. V IO DO If the direct object is the only object. 17. The teacher gave the students a serious talking-to. The semantic definition therefore defines the direct object as the patient. John found those children a useful book. I gave them the notes. In a passive like The mouse was eaten by the cat. the Eiffel Tower is the direct object. Will you play a game of chess with me? Usually. 15. though occasionally it is another preposition as in (22). The mouse was eaten by the cat.) A Digression: Definitions of the Direct Object Many textbooks however like to give another kind of definition for direct object. of course the subject. what does it receive? In the sentence The resistance worker suffered torture at the hands of the gestapo. (The subject of (14) is the same as the direct object of (9). but the mouse is the patient -.

The passive paraphrase of a sentence with an indirect object will have the indirect object of the active. A house was built for her by them. To convey the same information. you must start with one of the versions without an indirect object (as in (19) . a. 26. We should go to the movies after the meeting. 29. During the winter I get sick of snow. She was built a house by them. Mary talked to me. 27. A useful book was found for those children by John. 35. I gave the problem a lot of thought. Typically if the preposition can be moved. 36. respectively. A little old man lives in the house on the corner. The only times they don't were discussed when we talked about PPs in Chapter 4. To make the direct object into the subject of the passive. b. the OP moves with it. is ungrammatical. The notes were given to her by me. Can you give this task your full attention? the indirect objects are the problem and this task. you must either use a stressed NP as the direct object as in (17) or you must use the prepositional phrase construction as in (24) 24. *John found those children it. John found it for those children. 32. So we can say 37. so in 31. Indirect objects don't have to be people. I get sick of snow during the winter. as its subject. 30. which gives 28. not the direct object of the active. They were given the notes by me. but not 72 . 34. 33.(21)). Those children were found a useful book by John.(17) are 25.23. so the passives of (15) . Objects of Prepositions Objects of prepositions (OPs) typically immediately follow the prepositions they are objects of. During the winter I get sick of snow.

50. but when they do. Those children are real geniuses. they can be noun phrases (as in (44) and (45)). I am she/her. (There is a difference in formality. if they are personal or wh. I am a doctor. they must be reflexive pronouns. These students will become doctors. 49. (Adjective Phrase quite brilliant = Subject Complement) (Adjective Phrase idiotic = Object Complement) (Noun Phrase real geniuses = Subject Complement) (Noun Phrase an idiot = Object Complement) Subject Complements Subject complement (SC) NPs. *During I get sick of snow the winter. 44. In the house on the corner lives a little old man. Compare 52. just like direct or indirect objects. A direct or indirect object can refer to the same referent as the subject.) Notice that if the subject is at all long.pronouns. SC NPs. can be either in subject or object case: 48. *In the house on lives a little old man the corner. Just as these complements can be adjective phrases (as in (42) and (43).38. by definition. I consider Evelyn an idiot. typically immediately follow the VP. I consider Evelyn idiotic. 47. then subject case pronominal SCs sound very odd. but not 40. 43. (DO is coreferential with the subject. any NP as a subject complement must be coreferential with the subject. The little girl in the front row in the blue dress is her/?she. I saw myself. (IO is coreferential with the subject. 41.) 51. refer to the subject. and 39.) However. 46. 73 . 42. 45. *In lives a little old man the house on the corner. I told myself a story. Complements We've already talked about subject complements and object complements in Chapter 4. I am the person in charge. Those children are quite brilliant. SCs must.

so in (54) the godsend must be Mary and in (55) the a useful supplement to the text must be those books. have a forced reference. I consider Mary a godsend. That strange man's fury scared me. it is difficult to think of a semantically appropriate sentence with a personal pronoun as an object complement -. Only a limited set of verbs can take a subject complement NP -. Since an object complement predicates something about the direct object.I called Mary her? I found the children them? OCs. a doctor and I cannot refer to the same individual. I need a doctor. Object Complements Object complements (OCs) (whether adjective phrases or noun phrases) typically immediately follow the DO. like SCs.) 55. 54.most typically be and become. 57. 56. Ben's dog ran away.with 53.) OCs typically are not personal pronouns at all. All the teacher's rowdy children came over at once. 58. In (52) a doctor and I must refer to the same individual. they immediately follow any predeterminers and precede the noun and any attributive adjective phrases. That man's dog bit my cat. (Compare (55) to John found those books useful in which the object complement is an adjective phrase. Like all determiners. John found those books a useful supplement to the textbook. (Compare (54) to I consider Mary wonderful in which the object complement is an adjective phrase. 59. 74 . OCs must refer to the direct object. Determiners NPs as determiners are always in the possessive (genitive) case. They are therefore distinct in form. there can only be one possessive NP modifying a head noun. in (53).

as in (61). the second or later appositive is needed to pick out the appropriate referent for the first -. a teacher. lives in a little town in Vermont. Notice that in (55). my sister does not necessarily identify a single unique individual or group .instead it is non-restrictive. 60. The current governor of Washington is an appositive. 75 . Adverbials Adverbial NPs cover a much more restricted semantic range than other adverbials. the second appositive is not needed to pick out a possible referent for the first -. but man (the head of the determiner NP. you need to be able find at least one other NP which it is in apposition to (also an appositive). My sister Kate lives in California. as in A threatening figure stood at the door. spoke at WSU last year. as is Christine Gregoire. a writer. Occasionally you find the second unit of the apposition postposed. (4) a writer. Notice that the subject of (60) is The current governor of Washington. a comma separates the two appositives. a writer. Typically. 63. The appositives in (62) are (1) My friend. such as among others. an armed policeman. The current governor of Washington. but in (20) no comma separates the two appositives. in other words.the addition of Kate. we don't need the name Christine Gregoire to know who the speaker/writer is talking about. as in (56). Christine Gregoire. It is possible to have more than two appositives within a single NP. makes the NP uniquely identifying.). Christine Gregoire. Since it is possible for the speaker to have more than one sister. my sister and Kate. the former president of Bluefish Lovers of America. there are two units in apposition (though there can be more) and they are right next to each other.Notice that the attributive adjective phrase in (59) does not modify fury. My friend Charley. Last week I worked every morning. There are overt markers of apposition: namely. the former president of Bluefish Lovers of America. 61.) Appositives Appositive NPs must be coreferential (that is. Sometimes. In (60). (3) a teacher.it may be restrictive. they must refer to the same individual or group). Any time you identify one NP as an appositive. They can express time and space measures and can be manner adverbials (but only when the head of the NP is way). stood at the door. a teacher. Since there is only one current governor of Washington. an armed policeman (=A threatening figure. 62. The subject of (62) is My friend Charley. and (5) the former president of Bluefish Lovers of America. however. (2) Charley.

69. Those guys finished that job the hard way. in (71) it would be His friends were them or His friends were they. 76 . Every morning last week I worked. V DO OC: Annie considered the boss a moron. Then I worked every morning/*It I worked every morning. Can you see other ways to distinguish the roles of these NPs? V NP NP Structures Four different grammatical structures can consist of the surface order V NP NP: 73. V SC: His friends were the audience. V DO: His friends replaced the audience. Adverbial NPs differ from other NPs in that they can never be pronouns. but not *His friends departed it. I worked every morning last week. 72. How the different structures be distinguished? (1) Only a transitive clause (a clause with a direct object) can have a passive paraphrase. but not *His friends replaced they. but they can be replaced by adverbial proforms (then. thus(ly)). V IO DO: Annie found the boss a replacement for his secretary. so we can see that (70) has a passive paraphrase The audience was replaced by his friends. I walk six miles every day. 68. (2) Any kind of an object will be in the object case if it is replaced by a personal pronoun.64. but (71) and (72) do not have passive paraphrases since *The audience was been by his friends and *The following week was departed by his friends are ungrammatical. in (72) it would be His friends left then. V Advbl: His friends departed the following week. The proform must be a proadverbial: 66. adverbial NPs can be moved around similarly as in 67. Last week I worked every morning. 74. 65. Subject complements can be either subject or object case if a personal pronoun. 71. So if you replace the NP after the verb in (70) it would be His friends replaced them. there. the NP following the verb must be a direct object. V NP Structures Three different grammatical structures can consist of the surface order V NP: 70. Adverbials can often be moved around in the clause without changing the meaning of the sentence. So in (70). Adverbial NPs cannot be replaced by personal pronouns at all.

Simba had an overwhelming sense of entitlement. and grabbed a broom. An older couple lived next door to us. he considered the entire block his territory. Most particularly. He made it into his house just ahead of Simba. Simba ran right through the dog door into the house without a second’s hesitation. When I was young. Joey carried the cat home.75. I can only suppose that Simba had realized that he was in trouble. Frenchie ran behind his mistress in hopes that she would intimidate the cat. When I say the entire block. Can you see parallel ways to distinguish the roles of these NPs? NP Practice Identify each of the NPs and their functions in the the sentences below. He would yip at every passing pedestrian. She walked over to our house and knocked on the door. Frenchie began to yip. His mistress followed them both up the stairs and scooped French in her arms. formerly feral cat. Frenchie had one advantage: he knew the layout of the house. I accompanied her to her house and she sent me up to the bedroom. I’m not limiting the term to the yards. She backed out of the bedroom and shut the door. because he was hiding under the bed. a very big cat. Frenchie was shaking in her arms. but Simba continued to chase him. Simba was a big cat. He should have been safe in his own territory. This knowledge gave him a split second lead as he headed toward the stairs. She slammed the door to the bedroom. but he kept edging away from me. Frenchie. V SC Advbl: Annie became the boss the very next day. We went back next door where I swept the broom under the bed and my brother seized Simba has he ran from his hiding place just ahead of the broom. I ran back to my house. Simba aimed right at Frenchie. it apparently inspired Simba. One day Simba noticed something: he was larger than Frenchie! While this was an unfortunate discovery from Frenchie’s point of view. but Frenchie hooked around and ran out the door. 76. Frenchie would leave their house through the small dog door every day and sit on the grass of their front lawn. I answered and she described what had happened to my mounting horror. but he wasn’t. just out of my reach. our family had a series of neurotic pets. 77 . Joey. while I went to apologize to Frenchie’s owner. Simba followed closely. complete unfazed by the presence of the woman. I called my younger brother. He skittered to the dog door as fast as his short legs could carry him. They had a miniature poodle. As Frenchie ran up the stairs. After a series of abject apologies. Simba. Taking off at top speed. I backed out of the house in embarrassment. Then she returned to her bedroom and looked briefly at Simba. V DO Advbl: Annie found a replacement for the boss's secretary the very next day. She carried Frenchie into the bathroom and closed him in it. I lay down and crept under the bed and tried to grab him. but rapidly realized that his high-pitched barking was not going to save him. he took a left into the first bedroom and slid under the bed. A memorable example was our grey.

. Correlatives consist of an endorsing item before the first conjunct and a coordinating conjunction between the two conjuncts. or.2 or between all the conjuncts. Vs o Auxiliaries: I can and will help you.3 If the coordination contains only two conjuncts. That kind of coordination we can call simple coordination. N heads: My father and mother live in California. 78 . you can use correlatives: a coordinating conjunction between the two conjuncts and an endorsing item before the first conjunct. PPs: Mary is fond of cats and of dogs.and.Chapter 6: Coordination and Ellipsis Coordination Conjunctions The coordinators or coordinating conjunctions are a closed class with four members: and. both. o After you arrive and when I get the signal... I'll introduce you. I'll see him. but afraid of dogs. In that kind of coordination we can coordinate just about any two (or more) constituents of the same kind. so we can coordinate..or. then the coordinator must appear between the last two conjuncts. Subordinating Conjunctions: When and if he comes.1 If there are more than two conjuncts in the coordination. but. among other things.nor What can be coordinated? First we need to separate two kinds of coordination. complete NPs: All the children and both the adults enjoyed the movie. nor. • • • • • • • • • • • • complete clauses: 4 o They sang and they danced.[1] complete VPs: Mary might read. There are three correlative sets: either. complete AdjPs o N-Modifiers: Old and very valuable stuff is sometimes fragile. Adjective heads: A very strange and confused person wandered in. o Predicate: Mary is fond of cats.. complete predicates: Mary has left and should be arriving soon. but won't enjoy that book. If two items are coordinated then the coordinator or coordinating conjunction must come between the two conjuncts.. o Lexical/main verbs: George can study and learn any language in the world. AdvPs: Bill worked long and very hard. Ps: I ran into and out of the house. neither. We can coordinate two or more complete constituents.

it doesn't appear as part of a correlative conjunction. Oscar and Mary want barbecued ribs. PPs work the same way -. but very carefully -. In all of these examples constituents of the same type are coordinated to make a bigger constituent of that same type. but not woman. Now let's consider some other sentences. should get the Nobel Peace Prize is not grammatical. Example: That guy wants a new car or a new truck. it is more limited in what it can conjoin. First. both the adults is a noun phrase functioning as a conjunct. and not carefully. Charley went into the house. but weak. you should identify that as well. But can't be used to coordinate nouns. As a coordinator of other kinds of constituents. so *The man. but into the garage is no good. But can be used to coordinate adverb phrases. So. but still looks wimpy or two adjective phrases. and All the children and both the adults5 is a noun phrase functioning as the subject of the whole clause. or two adverb phrases. you will realize that but acts differently from the other coordinators. It is easy to use but to conjoin two clauses. as in He is big. one (and only one) of the NPs must contain not. Second. Practice Analyzing Coordination: What are the coordinating conjunctions in the sentences below? What constituents are being conjoined? What kind of constituents are they? What is the role of each of the whole constituents containing the conjunction? 1. so Mary. but I didn't get one. for example. but not Bill. in this case the direct object of want.that is. but Bill. very only modifies fast. should get the Nobel Peace Prize. 79 . The first conjunct is a new car and the second conjunct is a new truck: That guy wants a new car or a new truck.This is not a complete list of all the possible kinds of simple conjunction. left early is ungrammatical. but Mary. as in That guy works out a lot. Each and every one of the children has done something horrendous or rather foolish. All the children is a noun phrase functioning as a conjunct. Charley went not into the house. but into the garage is okay. or two predicates. The coordinating conjunction is or: That guy wants a new car or a new truck. are okay. Third. Try to locate the coordinating conjunctions in the sentence below and to identify each of the conjuncts and the structure of the constituent that is made up of the conjoined material. If you think about it. but not into the garage is okay. so She works very fast. it can only be used to conjoin two constituents. The function of each underlined item is conjunct. If there is an endorsing item. but Bill should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Not Mary. but they should serve to give you the idea. as in I wanted a raise. as in She works fast. but carefully. but has a highly limited distribution. but can't be used to coordinate adverbs. in the NP example above. To coordinate NPs with but.Charley went into the house. 2. tacos or hamburgers for dinner tonight. but carefully does not include the meaning She works very fast. Each of the conjuncts is a noun phrase and the whole conjoined structure is also a noun phrase.

Mary wanted the red dress and I gave her the blue __. without the DO. but we also know what is should be -." So we can avoid repeating happy by saying I'm happy if you are. 4. instead of I'm happy if you are happy or by omitting the first come along by saying Those who want to can come along. ellipsis of clause: He can go if he wants __. Brace. we interpret them as though there is a VP in the each conjunct and that VP is showed. but he hates. and in this respect it is like substitution. This construction is odd because it appears that the gap is in the first conjunct. 80 . 1973: 261) note "Ellipsis is most commonly used to avoid repetition. She likes onion bagels. In some coordinations. However. but it's not there AND you could unambiguously tell what should fill that hole.which does not form any kind of a constituent (phrase). Note that the subject and the VP. Harcourt. 5. I can give you plenty __.3. If the VP appeared in the second conjunct.was reading. For example. does not form a constituent. one or more of the conjuncts is not a complete constituent -. such as The tallest girl in the class is as smart as the shortest __. Javanovich. Ellipsis Ellipsis is a technical term for a hole or omission. This looks like coordination with ellipsis. but can´t abide blueberry muffins. in each of these conjoined structures. Another kind of complex coordination can be found in I enjoy.not any kind of complete phrase. where in all the other cases we've looked at so far the gap has been in later conjuncts. and __ the children a new set of Legos. the verb phrase is missing from the otherwise complete clause that makes up the second conjunct.v. as in ellipsis of the lexical verb and its objects or complements: I'll finish the work when I can __.there is something missing. that's an ellipsis. You can also conjoin other material-. medial ellipsis: Charley will guard the children and Bill __ the animals. in Harvey was reading the book and Bill __ the magazine. He is neither tall nor very strong. syntactic analysis. Sixteen or seventeen deranged professors attacked the apathetic students. and elliptical clauses and predicates.so I showed Mary a book and __ John a t. Ellipsis as noted above is common in coordination. it would have to be called and the two conjuncts would both be predicates. Some other examples of ellipsis include elliptical NPs. you can identify what piece of structure is missing and what word or phrase would fill that empty slot. If you want some of that fruit. though the second conjunct is just a DO and an OC -. This kind of coordinations is called complex coordination. When the grammatical structure would seem to call for a particular structure. Similarly I called Sue a genius and __ Hal a hero is grammatical. In this sentence we not only know what that the VP is missing. Pubs. the last two conjuncts consist of just an indirect object and a direct object -. instead of Those who want to come along can come along or the second come along by saying Those who want to come along can. As Quirk and Greenbaum (A concise grammar of contemporary English. In this example.

3. 2. one or more of the conjuncts does not form a constituent because something is missing (ellipted) from that material which is required for the conjunct to be a constituent. 6. and up Main Avenue and then ducked into an open door. He looked up and down the street.Summary of Discussion Coordination allows two or more items to be joined to make a larger item of the same type. and whether the coordination is simple or complex: 1. I made off with his money and he chased me down the street. He stopped on the corner of First and Main. In complex coordination. Bill. In simple coordination the complete constituents (of almost any kind) are coordinated to constituents of the same type to make larger constituents of the same type. in I sang and danced. Suddenly a large man and tiny dog appeared behind me. I ran down First St. As in I like Mary and Bill and Susan and John 3 4 5 81 . but couldn't see me anywhere. 1 A conjunct is an item which is coordinated with another item. 7. 2 So there must be a coordinator between the last two conjuncts in something like I like Mary. Susan. not I like Mary. what is being coordinated. but his rage slowed him down. For example. sang is one conjunct and danced is another. 5. He was enraged and practically apoplectic. The man began shouting and the dog barking. Susan and John. Bill. John. 4. More Practice Analyzing Coordination: Identify the coordinating conjunction.

Chapter 7: Subordinate Clauses
Clauses, as we have seen, can be coordinated with each other, so that the sentence consists of a set of conjuncts. A clause can also serve other grammatical functions inside another clause: A clause which serves a grammatical function (other than conjunct) inside another clause is called a subordinate clause. Subordinate clauses have specific structural features that distinguish them from main clauses and serve a range of grammatical functions (most of which we have already discussed in considering the grammatical functions of noun phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases and prepositional phrases). Structures A clause is a predicate and its subject (if it has one) and any clausal modifiers and subordinating conjunctions which relate the clause to other clauses. A main clause as we have noted before is always finite -- it always has a verb which is marked for tense and agreement (where appropriate) and it can contain a modal auxiliary and its subject (if a pronoun) will be in the subject case. Many subordinate clauses are finite clauses as well. 1. I said that I might go. (that I might go is a finite clause acting as a direct object in a larger clause.) 2. When she leaves the house, you should call me. (When she leaves the house is a finite clause acting as an adverbial in a larger clause.) 3. Marvin likes the woman who is helping him with the project. (who is helping him with the project is a finite clause that modifies the noun woman in the larger clause.) Nonfinite Clauses Many subordinate clauses, however, are nonfinite clauses. A nonfinite clause in English is distinguished by the fact that the first verb in the VP does not mark tense or agreement; it cannot be a modal auxiliary, and its subject (if there is one) is never in the subject case. There are four general types of nonfinite subordinate clauses -- infinitives, participles, gerunds, and verbless clauses. (Non-finite constituents are often traditionally treated as phrases, but in most modern analyses treat them as clauses.)

Infinitives Infinitives are VPs whose first V must be unmarked. There are two kinds of infinitives:

Full Infinitives: In full infinitives, the first (obligatorily unmarked) verb of the VP is preceded by to, as in 4. 5. 6. 7. For John to win would be amazing. I expect them to leave on time. Mary is working hard to make money. To believe in magic requires a high level of gullibility.

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Full infinitives can appear with subjects as in (4) and (5) or without as in (6) and (7). Bare Infinitives: In bare infinitives, the first (obligatorily unmarked) verb of the VP is not preceded by to, as in 8. I made Sue leave. 9. The children are watching him dance. 10. They won't let me help him. In almost all cases bare infinitives have subjects; the verb help can occur with subjectless bare infinitives. In both kinds of infinitives, the subject (if there is one) is in the object case, so a finite version of the subordinate clause in (9) would be He dances, but the infinitive form has an object case subject him and the verb doesn't mark tense or agreement -- it is obligatorily unmarked. It is perfectly possible to say 11. They want him to be able to look after himself. but 12. *They want him to can look after himself is ungrammatical, because modal auxiliaries cannot appear in infinitive VPs. Infinitives can appear in different aspects and voices, so 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. I expect to be working tomorrow. (Progressive Active) Marge wanted to have left already. (Perfect Active) The teachers expected us to have been working for the last hour. (Perfect Progressive) I want to be honored by my peers for my brilliant discoveries. (Simple Passive) I want my peers to honor me for my brilliant discoveries. (Simple Active)

The subject of an infinitive is always in the object case if it appears all. Bare infinitives always have subject; full infinitives sometimes have overt subjects and sometimes don't, depending on the structure of the rest of the sentence. So 18. 19. 20. 21. I want him to leave. (him is the subject of to leave) I want to leave. (no subject for to leave) I made him leave. (him is the subject of leave) *I made leave.

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Participles

Participle clauses are clauses in which the first verb in the VP is a participle. As we already know, participles are of two kinds: present or -ing participles and past or en/ed participles. Present participle and past participle are, in fact, the traditional names, but they are quite misleading since neither participle provides any information about tense, so in The man covered with paint is decorating the living room, covered with paint is a past participle clause, but it isn't set in the past; in The general leading the rebel forces was George Washington, leading the rebel forces is a present participle, but it isn't set in the present. -en/ed participles are sometimes also called passive participles (presumably because the form is used in passive VPs, as well as in perfect VPs); this label is less misleading since -en/ed participle clauses are always passive in sense, while -ing participles can be active or passive. 22. The contestant knowing the most answers will win the game.. 23. The victim splattered with blood stood helpless. 24. While being treated for his injuries by the intern, Charley talked to me about his accident. -en participle clauses never show variation in aspect, but -ing clauses can be perfect or perfect progressive, as well as simple. 25. Having sat here all day, Evelyn was completely bored. 26. The performers were exhausted, having been singing for hours. As with other nonfinite clauses, participles do not mark tense or agreement and cannot contain modal auxiliaries. Participles are always used as modifiers or adverbials.

Gerunds

Gerund clauses are clauses in which the first verb in the VP is a gerund, an -ing form. The subject of a gerund may be omitted or may appear in either objective case or possessive, but it can never be in the subject case. 27. I was surprised at them/their losing the race. 28. I was surprised at losing the race. Like infinitives and -ing participles, gerunds can appear in various aspects and voices. 29. I was surprised at having lost the race. (Perfect) 30. They asked me about him/his having been meeting with known felons. (Perfect Progressive) 31. Omar is pleased at being given the "Student of the Year" award by his classmates. (Passive) 32. Having been attacked by bears left me afraid of all animals. (Perfect and Passive)

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For example. While he was lying in wait for his victim.(36) the underlined constituents act just like clauses. -ing can be suffixed to a verb to make a noun. in (33) . can't be trusted to do the right thing. Unhappy with the school. Though he was afraid of bears. verb + ing forms are used in progressives. Jack the Ripper played with his knife. as in a. Digression on -ing Forms As you probably noticed. While lying in wait for his victim. Picasso painted some amazing pictures. as in c. Mary solved amazing mathematical problems. 35. Adjectives: It is possible to confuse these superficially similar forms. f. Nobody interesting would attend that boring party. 39.so the participle clause in (38) bears a striking resemblance to the finite clause in (38). As we discussed in talking about VPs. They have been helping me with my homework. there are several different uses of verb + ing forms in English. The killing of the swans shocked us. -ing can be suffixed to a verb to make an adjective. d. So (33) could also be expressed as 37. These clauses are quite similar to adverbial participle clauses -. but have no verbs. I was drinking tea yesterday. Progressive Verbs vs. as in e. b. as you might expect. Those children. Notice that these clauses all act like have subject complements and a missing verb be and a subject the same as the subject of the clause which contains them. Jack the Ripper played with his knife. For example. -ing can be suffixed to a verb to make the first verb in the VP of a participle clause as in the participle examples above and -ing can be suffixed to a verb to make the first verb in the VP of a gerund clause as in the gerund examples above. The teacher was pleased with their competent reworking of the problem. Oliver was still willing to go to Yosemite. 34. while nice enough. 38. those parents threatened to withdraw their children. 36. clauses that appear to have no verbs. 33. Consider the progressive form 85 . Though afraid of bears. Oliver was still willing to go to Yosemite. while still a child.• Verbless clauses Verbless clauses are. but there are ways to distinguish them.

86 . if the -ing form is serving as an attributive adjective after a determiner. So once again. in (i) we can just change the aspect and get a grammatical sentence with a slightly different aspectual sense. as in His boring diatribes were unending. In a fit of madness. How can we tell the difference? In (i). boring in (g) is a lexical verb.boring must be a progressive lexical verb. if the adjective undergoes further derivation that the verb could not as in unending -. In (h) . In a fit of madness.was killing. boring in (h) is an adjective. but no verbs. it could not be confused with a progressive verb because it would not fall in the same place. boring here could not be a lexical verb. In (j). If the gerund functioned as anything other than a subject complement. the subject is constrained to being a abstract action or idea or event since the subject of a subject complement clause must be the same as the subject complement and gerunds can only refer to actions. Moreover. Another way to distinguish is that in (j). In (i) we have a progressive VP -. the subject is limited to an agent or an instrument. boring in (h) must be an adjective. but adjectives NEVER take objects. while in (j) we have a main verb was followed by a subject complement gerund clause killing swans. His diatribes were boring. However if we make the same change in (j) we get something that means something quite different. j. For example. he was killing swans.g. he killed swans (simple aspect). but *His diatribes were very boring us is ungrammatical. So since the (g) contains a direct object us -. Notice that His diatribes were very boring is fine. In many cases there is no possibility of confusing the two forms. Since bore is a monotransitive verb. since no lexical verb can appear in this role. His diatribes were boring us. Consider (i) and (j) below: i. he was his killing/slaughter of swans is quite ungrammatical. Similarly. if the verb is transitive. How can we tell the difference? One clear way is to notice that lexical verbs like bore can take DOs. killing swans can be replaced by a NP his killing of swans or his slaughter of swans as in The primary symptom of his madness was his killing/slaughter of swans. boring does not have an object. ideas. The primary symptom of his madness killed swans. or events. Progressive Verbs vs. we know that unending must be an adjective. and the subject complement adjective form h. because kill constrains its subjects that way. while in (i) it cannot since *In a fit of madness. Another argument that boring in (h) arises from the fact that you can modify many adjectives with very.since there is no verb *unend. The primary symptom of his madness was killing swans. Gerunds: Again it would be possible to confuse a progressive verb with the first verb of a gerund clause acting as a subject complement to a main verb be.

but if we make it a noun. So if we take Belle read the sonnets and make it a gerund. Compare (r) and (s). Flying planes are dangerous (the subject is a plural NP) m. Notice that the ambiguity goes away if the modal auxiliary is removed. Gerunds vs. 87 . Consider (k). we get Belle('s) reading the sonnets. The first will be (l) and the second (m). we get Belle's reading of the sonnets.it will precede an adjective phrase. leaving a verb which will show agreement. Notice that it is possible under other conditions. It is really not possible to distinguish whether this is a gerund clause with Belle as its subject and reading as its VP or it is a noun reading with a possessive NP Belle's as its determiner. q.). only nouns can be made plural.Adjectives vs. k.therefore third person singular). r. Belle's readings of the sonnets were wonderful. (1) Verbs can take direct objects (and indirect objects and subject complements etc. On the other reading. q. For example. Gerunds: NPs containing -ing adjectives and gerund clauses can also be confused. On one reading. but nouns can only have PP modifiers. Flying those planes can be dangerous. Nouns: Most of the other -ing forms are distinguishable because they mean different things. so the sentence will be o. *Belle's readings the sonnets were wonderful. Consider also what happens if you add a determiner -. Belle's reading was wonderful. l. flying planes is a gerund clause which has a VP flying and a DO planes. Flying planes is dangerous (the subject is a clause -. a head noun modified by flying. flying planes is a NP. Those flying planes can be dangerous but a determiner will immediately precede the noun (since the verb is not part of the NP). Belle's readings were wonderful. Flying planes can be dangerous. so the sentence will be n. But consider something like p. How can we tell that readings here is a noun? Several ways.

*The having read of the sonnets was wonderful. it must be modified by an adverb phrase. nouns can be modified by determiners. but nouns can't contrast in aspect or voice. If. *Belle's reading of the sonnets beautifully was wonderful. *The reading the sonnets was wonderful. it is modified by an adjective phrase. but (x) and (y) are ungrammatical because it attempts to mark perfect aspect on the noun reading and (z) is grammatical because The sonnets being read by Belle is a gerund clause. *Belle's having read of the sonnets was wonderful. s. Belle's reading the sonnets beautifully was wonderful. w. Similarly. *The readings the sonnets were wonderful. v. t. Finally. u. you put a determiner like the or demonstratives or other determiners. In all these cases. it is grammatical. if one wants to modify reading as a noun. while gerunds only appear to be -. as in cc. VPs can be found in perfect aspect and passive voice. on the other hand. not with a adverb phrase.(r) is ungrammatical because nouns cannot have direct objects and verbs cannot be marked as plural. but if one wants to modify the verb reading. as in ee. The reading of the sonnets was wonderful. we can see that the distinctions between -ing forms that are gerunds and 88 . aa. The ungrammaticality of (u) and (v) is because reading is forced to be both a noun (and so modifiable by the) and a verb (and so able to take direct object). The readings of the sonnets were wonderful. while (aa) is ungrammatical because The sonnets being read of by Belle would be a noun showing voice. y. So compare (s) with (u) and (t) with (v). so (w) is grammatical because Belle's having read the sonnets is a gerund.that is. Moreover. as in dd. *Belle's beautiful reading the sonnets was wonderful. *The sonnets being read of by Belle was wonderful. Belle's beautiful reading of the sonnets was wonderful. if you try to put anything in the subject slot of a gerund other than a possessive or object case NP. z. not with an adjective phrase. as in bb. the structure produced is ungrammatical. so readings can't be either a noun or the verb of a gerund clause. Belle's having read the sonnets was wonderful. x. The sonnets being read by Belle was wonderful.

he shook her hand. The bears attacking the innocent hiker were vicious. giving a clause the bears(') attacking the innocent hiker as the subject of was surprising. This demonstrates that in this case the bears' attacking the innocent hiker is not a NP with attacking the innocent hiker as a participial modifier. Consider (af) and (ag) below. Identify each nonfinite clause as an infinitive. the noun bears is modified by the participle clause attacking the innocent hiker. After a few embarrassing seconds. you would replace it with it. This was not the first time her beauty had left a man standing speechless before her. The president of the company led Miranda over to introduce her to Jake. 4. a participle. golden hair and innocent blue eyes. direct object. she looked like an angel.noun or pronoun modifiers or adverbials. stammering out an almost incoherent greeting. Miranda continued smiling at him in the courteous pretense that he had behaved perfectly normally.). As she entered the room.those that are nouns arises directly from the differences between NPs and clauses. She smiled glowingly and held out her hand. Practice Identifying the Structure of Subordinate Clauses 1. 3. as an -ing participle or an -en participle. ff. (Note: Not all the subordinate clauses have been underlined in the texts below. If you replace the bears attacking the innocent hiker with a pronoun. instead it is a clause serving a nominal role and so can only be replaced with it. They looked at 89 . She asked him pleasantly what he did at the company. gg. In (ab). Participles: NPs in which the head is modified by an -ing participle and gerund clauses can also be confused. and he could not find a word to say.) The first time Jake saw her. 2. with her white dress. Gerunds vs. Identify whether each of the underlined subordinate clauses below is finite or nonfinite. and between nouns and verbs. but Jack acted as if he had never seen a gesture like that before. while participles are always modifiers -. While standing with the sunlight all around her. it will be they -. a gerund or a verbless clause. Swept off his feet. In (ac) the bears(') is functioning as the subject of the predicate attacking the innocent hiker. object of a preposition. Notice that if you replace the bears' attacking the innocent hiker here with a pronoun. he could not take his eyes off her.clearly demonstrating that we have a plural NP. By that point he had pulled himself together and could tell her he worked in communications. he was stunned by Miranda’s appearance. as in It was surprising. Identify each participle. indirect object. etc. One distinction between gerunds and participles that was hinted at above is that they clearly differ in function: Gerunds always fill NP functions (subject. she seemed to be bathed in golden light. The bears(') attacking the innocent hiker was surprising. Identify each infinitive as bare or full.

e. the term relative clause has been used to refer to finite clauses which modify a head noun and which contain a relative pronoun 40. (4) finite noun clauses. (2) participle clauses. If a relative clause contains a relative pronoun. indirect objects. direct objects. prepositional phrases and noun phrases can all be adverbial. instead there is a gap in the relative clause in the subject position and we interpret that gap as though it was filled by the kid. i.each other and the incongruity of his answer and his behavior clearly struck each of them simultaneously and made them burst out laughing. that in relative clauses operates as it does in other subordinate clauses—as a marker of subordination. prepositional phrases can be adjective complements. Instead of being a relative pronoun. The bike he stole wasn't worth ten cents. It is also clear from (4) that under some conditions we can find relative 90 . Comparative clauses are different in that the standard of comparison in a comparative clause has historically been a clause only. The kid that stole that bike needs help. It is also clear that a simple relative clause cannot contain both a relative pronoun and a subordinating conjunction since strings like *The kid that who stole the bike needs help and *The kid who that stole the bike needs help are ungrammatical. 43. Predeterminers. (Notice that. That. or which could contain a relative pronoun 42. a subordinating conjunction. Relative clauses: Traditionally. determiners. That was the beginning. (Again the parallel sentence containing a true relative pronoun is fine: The kid whose bicycle was stolen was angry). and (5) infinitive noun clauses. (3) infinitive clauses. since it is not a pronoun. while the preceding sentence is ungrammatical.. adverb phrases. How does that differ from who or which? That cannot be the object of a preposition in the position directly after the preposition: *The kid to that I talked was crazy. The kid who stole that bike needs help. adjective phrases and prepositional phrases can all modify nouns or pronouns. 41. objects of prepositions. Many traditional analyses would treat the that in (42) as a relative pronoun—but it is clear on examining the distribution of that in relative clauses that it is not the same as who or which. filled by other structures. Functions Most of these functions should look familiar – they’ve been discussed in earlier chapters. etc. does not fill a NP role in (3). then that relative pronoun is interpreted as having a syntactic role in the relative clause: in (1) who is the subject of the relative clause and in (2) which is the direct object of the relative clause. The bike which he stole wasn't worth ten cents. as subjects. Similarly it cannot be a possessor: *The kid that's bicycle was stolen was angry. noun phrases typically serve in nominal roles. the parallel sentence containing a true relative pronoun is fine: The kid to whom I talked was crazy). • Noun-Modifying Clauses Nouns and pronouns can be modified by a range of clauses: (1) relative clauses.

prepositional phrases. three kinds of noun-modifying relative clauses: those with relative pronouns. In the example above. As in other relative clauses without relative pronouns there must be a gap or apparently unfilled role in the relative clause. *The woman thats friend you helped wants to talk to you. *The woman friend you helped wants to talk to you. b. 48. *The woman's you helped friend wants to talk to you. the information that the uncle in question is the one living in Massachusetts is intended to help you pick out with uncle I am talking about. then there must be either a relative pronoun or the subordinator that. 47. The woman whose friend you helped wants to talk to you. My uncle who lives in Massachusetts is a baker. 50. but not in the reading that the woman wants to talk to you) 49. Elsewhere in restrictive relative clauses all three kinds of relative clauses are possible. therefore. 45. there must be an overt relative pronoun. If the role of the gap in the relative clause would be that of possessor. the gap cannot be the subject of the relative clause: *That kid stole that bike needs help or a possessor of another noun: *The kid('s) bike was stolen needs help. and relative clauses among other noun modifiers can be either restrictive or non-restrictive modifiers. *The woman you helped friend wants to talk to you. but not in the reading that the woman who has a friend whom you helped wants to talk to you) 51. 44. is a lawyer. These conditions are relatively easy to specify. *The woman's friend you helped wants to talk to you. If the role of the gap would be that of subject of the subordinate clause. (This is grammatical in the reading that the woman's friend wants to talk to you. If the relative clause has neither a relative pronoun nor a subordinator. I have one uncle in Massachusetts and one in California. who lives in California. *The woman whose you helped friend wants to talk to you. and those with neither.clauses which contain neither a relative pronoun nor an overt subordinator (that). *The woman thats you helped friend wants to talk to you. (This is grammatical in the reading that the friend who is a woman wants to talk to you. 91 . A Digression on Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Modification Adjective phrases. My mother. There are. those with that. Nonrestrictive modifiers occur in noun phrases which the speaker or writer thinks the hearer or reader can determine a referent for without using the material in the relative clause. 46. Restrictive modifiers contain information which the speaker or writer considers necessary for the hearer or reader to be able to pick out the referents of the noun phrase which contains the modifier: a.

) This semantic difference correlates with a structural difference and an orthographic difference. (The relative clause restricts or limits the referents of the NP to a subset of Pintos. In writing. as shown in h. g. but not information needed to pick out the referent for the NP as a whole. i. Notice the difference between (c) and (d): c. It isn't necessary for the NP to have a unique referent. *The president. Pintos. this way of discussing the distinction is misleading. Pintos which had a dangerous design were recalled. Further. as we have seen. as we have seen above. the information is just not pertinent to establishing the referent of the NP in which it 92 . which restrictive relative clauses are not. the non-restrictive relative clause is set off with commas (that is. The president. non-restrictive modifiers are more likely to provide new. than restrictive modifiers. Pintos. I talked to yesterday. decided not to take my advice. while the restrictive relative clause is not. were recalled. Nonrestrictive modifiers can offer new information. *The president. In (c) there is a class of cars which includes some which were badly designed. there is a comma before and a comma after the relative clause).You don't need the information about where she lived to pick out which of my many mothers I was talking about. In fact. That interpretation is clearly wrong: the nonrestrictive modifier typically carries as much information as the restrictive modifier does or more. restrictive relative clauses can occur without relative pronouns. In (d) there is a class of cars. The student that I talked to yesterday decided not to take my advice. It is possible for a nonrestrictive modifier in any NP in which the information provided is not necessary to pick out the referent for that NP. (This correlates with the typically intonation pattern found with these clauses: nonrestrictive relative clauses are usually preceded by a pause and followed by one. whom I talked to yesterday. Nonrestrictive relative clauses always require the presence of a relative pronoun. f. as shown in e. decided not to take my advice. (The relative clause does not restrict or limit the referents of the NPs. d. Restrictive modifiers to help you pick out the referent typically use already established information. decided not to take my advice. that is not the same as saying that the nonrestrictive modifier is unnecessary to the sentence or that it does not convey any information. rather than already established information. all of which are badly designed. Both restrictive and nonrestrictive modifiers are typically not needed in the sense that the sentence will be ungrammatical without them. The student I talked to yesterday decided not to take my advice. instead it merely tells you something more about the set.) A traditional distinction between restrictive and nonrestrictive modifiers has been to claim that the nonrestrictive modifiers are not necessary: however. that I talked to yesterday. many students interpret this as meaning that nonrestrictive relatives do not convey information. while. which had a dangerous design.

occurs. 54. 57. wept constantly. I sold John a house which had no roof. The lock which was hanging from the box was attacked with a hammer. The relative clauses italicized in (j) -(m) below are all restrictive modifiers. Infinitive Clauses: A somewhat less frequent form used to modify nouns is an infinitive clause. who was abandoned by his girlfriend. in (54) the -ed participle clause modifies Charley (nonrestrictively). It is however not quite that simple since if the verb of the participle clause is not one which could be used in the progressive. wept constantly. however. l. k. it is not enough to add a relative pronoun and form of be. Yesterday I called my father. Participle Clauses: Another way to modify nouns or pronouns is with participles. So in (52) the -ing participle clause modifies the noun lock. m. Anyone knowing about his problems would forgive him. j. Similarly. while in (53) the (finite) relative clause serves the same function and conveys the same meaning. My brother wants anything (that) he can get. o. which had burst into flames. Charley. 58. The person who left first missed important things. one can check out whether a form is a noun-modifying participle clause by seeing whether one can convert the participle clause into a finite relative clause without changing the meaning. Charley jumped out of his car. while in (55) the (finite) relative clause modifies Charley and provides the same information. The lock hanging from the box was attacked with a hammer. The food for the children to eat at the party is here. Notice that participial modifiers are typically interchangeable with relative clause. instead one has to change the verb to a different form to avoid progressive aspect. n. 53. Harriet left the book she had written on the table. Each of these participial noun modifiers can be changed into relative clauses by adding an appropriate relative pronoun and form of be. Anyone who knew about his problems would forgive him. who lives in Los Angeles. In general. 55. as in 56. 52. abandoned by his girlfriend. while those in (n) -(o) are nonrestrictive. 59. 93 . Participial noun modifiers never have overt subjects in the clause with the participle. Charley. *Anyone who was knowing about his problems would forgive him.

while that stole my bike is an attribute of the kid in the NP. it is always introduced by the subordinating conjunction for and the subject of the infinitive (as with all overt subjects of infinitives) is in the object case if the subject is pronominal. 64. they cannot replace the subordinator with a relative pronoun: *My fear which a plane will crash into my moving car is clearly silly and *Oscar can't accept the idea that he might lose the race. He might lose the race. The decision to drink heavily during classes is rarely a good one. it is not itself the kid.60. 61. the head of NP modified by a noun clause must refer to an idea. that a plane will crash into my moving car IS my fear. We entertained a suspicion that Mink had cheated. 94 . These clauses are sometimes called noun complements. The adults found it hard to accept the children's claim to be in charge.. the clause after the that is a complete clause—it contains no gaps or unfilled syntactic roles: A plane will crash into my moving car. Noun Complements--Finite and Infinitive: There is a class of noun-modifying clauses which look superficially like relative clauses without relative pronouns. Harold built this house for them to live in. These clauses are semantically and structurally distinct from relative clauses: First. The fact that Henry is lazy amazes everyone. The noun or pronoun modified by a participle clause is interpreted as the semantic subject of the participle clause. claim or other proposition since the noun clause is a proposition and the noun clause is the proposition referred to by the head. 72. I gave the students a new assignment to be working on for the next two weeks. Noun-modifying participle clauses do not refer to a time after the time of the main clause. 68. They modify nouns which name propositions by stating the proposition. Third. and sometimes called appositive clauses.. They were astonished by my desire for you to win a million dollars. 71. Her decision not to study resulted in failure. 70. Notice that noun-modifying infinitive clauses differ from noun-modifying participle clauses in several ways. When an infinitival noun modifier has an overt subject as in (59) and (63). The chapter to read for Friday is nineteen. the noun or pronoun modified by an infinitive clause is never interpreted as the semantic subject of the infinitive clause. that is. Noun-modifying participle clauses never contain overt subjects. Many people agree with his contention that war is evil. There are infinitive clauses which fill the same role as finite noun clauses. would give *Stole my bike. I gave the students a new assignment to have completed by the end of the week. Second. sometimes called noun clauses. 63. This contrasts with relative clauses containing that : The kid that stole my bike is . 69. 65. My fear that a plane will crash into my moving car is clearly silly. 66. 67. Oscar can't accept the idea that he might lose the race. 62.

81. subject complement or object complement. the archfiend was unaware of his vulnerability to arrest. still come in first. 79. a patient can come to the meeting room. Gerund clauses like other nominal clauses can serve as subjects as in (86) and direct objects as in (97) and subject complements as in (88). purpose. though. before. if the light is right. unless. if Bill is right about him. Participle clauses serving as adverbials can be in introduced by some of the subordinating conjunctions. When the doctor came. while. 80. while. If assisted by a nurse. • Nominal Clauses Nominal clauses are clauses which serve in roles typically filled by noun phrases: roles like subject. etc. as in (83-85). until. 85. conditions. might be very dangerous. 75. Gerund Clauses: Gerund clauses only fill nominal roles and fill the widest range of nominal roles. indirect object. Harriet might. even though. Finite clauses serving as adverbials are introduced by a subordinating conjunctions: when. as. Oscar could. Unlike other nominal clauses they can serve as objects of prepositions as in (89) and indirect objects as in (90). even if. because. after. 83. amazing their parents with their concentration. and even though as in (7779) or they can be used without any subordinating conjunctions at all as in (80-82). I bought a car to drive to school. though confused by the many misleading street signs. final as in (74) or medial after the subject as in (75) or after the first auxiliary as in (76). O'Brien dieted for three weeks to lose three pounds. whereas. even if.so they can be initial as in (73). since. if. That guy in the corner. 74. while living in France. although. She is going to France in order to study art. when. direct object. Harvey might.• Adverbial Clauses Clauses can serve essentially all the adverbial functions we have already discussed: time. Andreas made many friends in artistic circles. 77. 84. seeing Emily. Watched by the FBI during many nefarious acts. 73. concessions/contrasts. location. Adverbial infinitive clauses express purpose. hardly believe his luck. among others. 78. unless. we all felt great relief. Adverbial clauses can typically be put in the same places in the sentences as other adverbials -. so that. if. objects of a preposition. though. as if. take beautiful pictures. 76. in order that. although. Jennifer cried because someone stepped on her toes. 95 . reason. 82. The kids have played Monopoly all day.

96 . 88. a. Riding a roller coaster gives some people a thrill. The students considered writing an outline for their group project the first task. The students considered the first task writing an outline for their group project. a. Does your brother like writing hack novels? b. c. Do you believe that Oscar stole money from the bank? b. I found the most heinous act Harold('s) stealing the money from your desk. They expected you to accuse me of unkindness. That Clauses and Infinitive Clauses: That-clauses and infinitive clauses are really only good as subjects (as in 93). Juliette's favorite activity is winning blue ribbons. c. 92. 96. b. b. 87. Harriet gave Miriam('s) flying a plane to France no credence. 94. 99. The question is whether/if you know the answer. b. I was horrified at Harold('s) stealing the money from your desk. Oscar had me steal the money. What you did is the question. I like to write hack novels. a. For you to accuse me of unkindness is unjust. a. a. (98) and (100) have indirect questions as direct objects and (99) has an indirect question as a subject complement. and subject complements (as in 95). but decided against it. 95. b. b. The worst thing that could happen would be for you to accuse me of unkindness. Maria earns money by working at the school. a. a. a. I wonder what to do. 91. 89. direct objects (as in 94). b. but they almost always sound better flipped so that the gerund clause serves as the direct object instead (as in 92). The most shocking claim was that Oscar stole money from the bank. 100. The most ridiculous performance was Bill's telling jokes about the bishop to the priest. Gerund clauses can serve as object complements (as in 91). To write hack novels is a strange activity. b. They thought the worst possible misbehavior was to write hack novels. a. That man('s) winning the race surprised everyone. a. b. Indirect Questions: Indirect questions are questions embedded in nominal roles in another clause. That Oscar stole money from the bank shocked his parents. c.86. 97. 98. Bare infinitives are really only good as direct objects (as in (96). I saw Oscar steal the money. 90. b. You reported Harold('s) stealing the money from your desk. I found Harold('s) stealing the money from your desk the most heinous act. I asked Suzette where Oswald had left the car. 93. For example (97) has an indirect question as a subject. Harriet gave buying that overpriced dress a lot of thought. a.

one would say Bill asked me what I was doing. (subject of the main clause) 102. Do you know the answer? Instead a subordinating conjunction. The direct questions that parallel the indirect questions in (97) and (98) are What did you do? and Where had Oswald left the car? In both direct questions. (indirect object of the main clause) 104.Indirect questions can be either finite (as in (97-99)) or infinitive (as in (100)). an operator is required to precede the subject of the question. while in indirect discourse the structure of the question is changed to fit the sentence in which it appears. so *The question is whether/if do you know the answer. whether or if is required. one might say Bill asked me “What are you doing?” while using indirect discourse to convey the same information. Specifically.unlike other nominal clauses they are used to refer to entities. They serve as complete noun phrases (therefore as in the first label) without any head noun in the noun phrase (therefore headless as in the second label). (direct object of the main clause) 103. (subject of the main clause) 105. Similarly in (99) no operator can precede the subject of the indirect question as it would in the parallel direct question. Therefore. with an operator preceding its subject. So. *The question is do you know the answer1. What you saw was not a UFO. Indirect questions also differ from direct questions filling the same role. these clauses are not used to modify nouns. (object complement of the main clause) 97 . because direct discourse in general constitutes using the exact words of the person to whom the words are attributed. no operator can grammatically precede the subject. the pronoun in the indirect question is “I” because its subject is the same as the speaker of the entire sentence and the tense is past because the current sentence is talking about past time. Whichever book you choose from the list will meet our requirement. and *The question is you know the answer are ungrammatical. Unlike the noun-modifying relative clauses discussed above. They are sometimes called nominal relative clauses and sometimes called headless relative clauses. In the second example. so it is in the present tense. I will grab whoever creeps in the window after curfew. Headless Relative Clauses: These oddly named clauses are another kind of nominal clause . since that serve as 101. so *What did you do is the question and *I asked Suzette where had Oswald left the car are ungrammatical. pronouns and tense are changed to fit the current structure. I will call you what(ever) you want to be called. Charley gave what I told him serious thought. Finite indirect questions differ from main clause/direct questions in two major ways: (1) in all questions an operator is not required and (2) in yes-no questions a subordinating conjunction. in the indirect questions. The question serving as the direct object in the first example is presented as Bill’s exact words: the clause is in the form of a direct question. using direct discourse forms. a second person pronoun (because Bill was talking to me using a question with me referred to as the subject) and the question itself is asking about the time of the utterance. (object of a preposition in the main clause) 106. Mary will come with whoever has a car. questions or events. there is no operator before the subject. either whether or if is required. rather than propositions.

115. however. as in (112). like eager or reluctant. Jane was conscious that something unpleasant had happened 114. 112. whatever are used for inanimates. a. b. b. I will talk to whoever needs help. as in (115) and (116). what. b. or a thatclause complement. a. b. The only wh. Susan will buy whatever tools you designed that with. as in I am afraid of bears. whichever. a. or a full infinitive clause complement. Some adjectives can take infinitive clause complements. whichever and whatever are used as (non-possessive) determiners. afraid can have a prepositional phrase complement with the preposition of. I am afraid that they are lost. 113. The bear seemed aware that we were watching it.word in the set that can occur in these clause without -ever is what . 116. *I will talk to whomever I think needs help. 98 . 111. a. Whoever saw the thieves should come forward. the preposition in the subordinate clause which has the wh-word as its object cannot move to the front of the clause with the pronoun: 110. but not infinitive clause complements.These clauses are all interpreted as though they had a head. Adjective Complement Clauses • Just like prepositional phrases. Who(m)ever is used for humans. Unlike ordinary relative pronouns. 108. but not that-clause complements. As with other adjective complements. I will talk to whomever I can help. as in (111).so aware and conscious can both take that-clause complements as in (113) and (114). I'm reluctant to let him help me. Whomever the thieves robbed should come forward. *I will talk to whomever needs help. that-clauses and infinitive clauses can serve as adjective complements. not 109. In formal SAE the choice of whoever or whomever is determined by the role of the pronoun in the headless or nominal relative clause: so 107. Other adjectives can't take infinitive clause complements -. the adjective determiners whether it can have a complement and what kind of complement it may be. He's eager to help me. I am afraid to go. *Susan will buy with whatever tools you designed that. For example.

126. but they would be grammatical.(116). the as clause and the than clause contain complete subjects and predicates. On the other hand. 117. The standard of comparison is typically expressed in a clause after the subordinating conjunction as when the thing compared is being equated to the standard of comparison (equative). the thing being compared to is the standard of comparison. Charley is as tall as Mary is. an adjective like happy or sad which allows both kinds of clausal complements can be substituted in the appropriate place in (111) . it cannot be.(119). When the things being compared are on different dimensions. 124. The children like spaghetti more than (they do/like) ravioli. Charley sings as well as he dances. the subordinate clause must be a complete clause. Consider adjectives like tall or devout -none of them allow complements. the subject and verb phrase can often be reduced or omitted altogether. Sometimes.In all these cases.(116) and the resulting sentences would mean something different. as in (126-127). as is used in equative sentences and more or a comparative adjective or adverb (a form with the suffix -er) in comparative sentences. Mary sings more often than she dances. 121. Mary likes ravioli more than Charley does. 120. however. The children like spaghetti as much as (they do/like) ravioli. the predicate in the standard of comparison clause can be reduced or omitted altogether. You can note the equality between something and the standard and comparison or an inequality. so (128) is ungrammatical. as in (117). If the subject and verb phrase of the two clauses are the same. I did less than I should have. as in (121-125). 99 . 125. The main clause in both equative and comparative sentences contains a marker that indicates the kind of comparison is being drawn. 127. • Comparative Clauses When you draw a comparison of one thing to another. as in (118). If any of them were to be used in place of the adjective heads in the subject complement adjective phrases in (111) . 119. 123. or after the subordinating conjunction that when the something is greater or less than the standard of comparison (comparative). When the predicates of the two clauses would be the same. 118. Mary likes ravioli more than Charley hates spaghetti. So in (116) . Mary is as tall as Charley. Mary likes ravioli more than Charley. Charley is as wide as he is tall. the resulting sentences would be ungrammatical. 122. if the adjective were change the form of the complement or even the possibility of having a complement would change.

She smiled glowingly and held out her hand. It is easy to avoid. After a few embarrassing seconds. She asked him pleasantly what he did at the company. 129. but Jack acted as if he had never seen a gesture like that before. The president of the company led Miranda over to introduce her to Jake. One result of this kind of reduction is ambiguity. In less formal usage. 131. comparative) of each of the underlined subordinate clauses in Text 1 below (the same text as earlier in this chapter). golden hair and innocent blue eyes. adjective complement. Identify the function (noun/pronoun-modifying. he could not take his eyes off her. it is ambiguous between the reading in which Susan is the subject of the clause than Susan likes Mary and the reading in which Susan is the direct object of the clause than Charley likes Susan. Susan would be replaced with her in both readings. Charley likes Mary more than she. verb-ful clause like (122)-(126). than can be used as a preposition which takes an OP naming a nominal standard of comparison as well as a subordinating conjunction which must appear in a clause which contains an overt predicate. this is distinguished when Susan is replaced with a pronoun. (This is stigmatized in formal writing.) Practice Identifying the Structure and Function of Subordinate Clauses 1. as in (131). As she entered the room. he shook her hand. by simply using an overt. since the first reading will result in Susan being replaced by she. with her white dress. They looked at each other 100 . she seemed to be bathed in golden light. Charley likes Mary more than Susan. When you have a sentence like (129). While standing with the sunlight all around her. suggesting that in less formal usage. 130. Swept off his feet. however. and he could not find a word to say. In formal written English. Miranda continued smiling at him in the courteous pretense that he had behaved perfectly normally. adverbial. This was not the first time her beauty had left a man standing speechless before her. stammering out an almost incoherent greeting. By that point he had pulled himself together and could tell her he worked in communications. *Charley is as wide as tall. Text 1: The first time Jake saw her. as in (130). Charley likes Mary more than her. while in the second reading Susan would be replaced by her. she looked like an angel.128. nominal. he was stunned by Miranda’s appearance.

Underline each of the subordinate clauses in Text 2 below. Identify the structure (finite. is a “dirty business”? I don’t know the answer to these questions. how can we expect the people to want to participate in the creation and running of the government? We are in danger of losing our republic when we don’t engage in the easiest and yet greatest responsibility and privilege of citizenship. participle. adverbial. 3. Text 2: The sad truth is that many Americans do not vote. What can we do that is more important than choosing the men and women who serve us by running our government? If. 3. If government is the problem according to the people controlling the power in our government. infinitive. adjective complement.and the incongruity of his answer and his behavior clearly struck each of them simultaneously and made them burst out laughing. but I do know that part of the problem is the suggestion that government itself is the problem for a free people. but fights for honorable debate and the struggle to find our way toward a brighter future are 101 . Where is the excitement which people in a republic should feel about participating in the governing of their town. the overwhelming majority of Americans do not go to the polls. That was the beginning. Identify the function (noun/pronoun-modifying. state and nation? Why is it so difficult to vote? Why are people who care about their community and participate in local and national regular and primary elections viewed as extremists? Why do people believe that politics. In fact. gerund) of each of the clauses you underline in Text 2 below. the source of the people’s power. Fights for power may not be pretty. Ronald Reagan. as the founders of our nation believed. the only legitimacy a government has is the consent of the governed. A president of the United States. 2. comparative) of each of the clauses you underline in Text 2 below. when there is no presidential election. campaigned on the premise that the government is the problem. then how can we have that consent if the populace considers participation in the political process to be dirty or unimportant? I wonder how we can continue as a republic when the only elections we applaud are those of other nations. nominal.

Ultimately if we back away from politics. we hand our future and our children’s future over to those who would make all governance dirty. as in I asked Suzette “Where has Oswald left the car?” and The question is “Do you know the answer?”.crucial and noble. In direct questions the speaker is directly quoting the person to whom the question-asker 1 102 . Notice that a direct question can act to fill these grammatical roles in some of these questions.

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