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Sentence Structure

1 - Correct or Incorrect

Read these sentences. What do they mean? Say whether they are correct or incorrect or whether they not have the intended meaning. If they are correct, write capital 'C' into the gap, otherwise, write I
Example: The last thing you will want to do is enable Apache to start on boot.

This sentence may be confusing. What does "The last thing you will want to do .." mean? Usually "The last thing you want to do " means "You Don't want to ever do it!"

  1. No! I don't want another broken furniture. ____________
  2. I just added she to my contact list and she has not yet responded. ____________
  3. I'm sure our team can win the other team if they really try ____________
  4. I feel myself rather unwell ____________
  5. She asked me to call her when i was in Rome but i forgot it ____________
  6. He paid me a ticket to Madrid ____________
  7. I know she's got a very irritating voice, but she can't help it ____________
  8. he promised he'd write but i am still expecting ____________
  9. Before you close check that you've got your keys with you ____________
  10. Thank you so much for the prefoum. I love! ____________
  11. My grandfather tells wonderful stories about life when he was a boy ____________
  12. He pulled a funny face and we all burst into laugh. ____________
  13. They rowed their eyes in amazement . ____________
  14. We couldn't even hardly move ____________

2 - Review Exercise

Complete the gaps in these sentences with a word from this list. You can change the form of the word.

glory, decathlon, setback, put, competitor, bronze, comeback, set, pull

  1. It was amazing. They ____________ out a winner by scoring in the last minute.
  2. After being 3-0 down they made an amazing ____________ and finally drew 3-3.
  3. Don Reed has ____________ a new world record for the second time this year.
  4. I will ____________ training as soon as my ankle injury has healed up.
  5. After many ____________ she will be entering her first major competition for some time in the summer.
  6. I'm afraid he was not very happy about being the ____________ medallist. He could only think of gold.
  7. Do you know all ten different events that make up the ____________ ?
  8. It's the never ending pursuit of ____________ which keeps these athletes training month after month.
  9. Don't you have to be pretty big to be good at shot ____________
  10. Two of the ____________ failed to turn up for the race.

3 - Missing Word Exercise

There is one missing word in each of these sentences. Write that word after the sentence. We will know where the word goes in the sentence.

  1. You won't seen the notice saying that all tomorrow's matches have been cancelled. ____________
  2. She's about buy a new house and move out of her parent's. ____________
  3. Will you taking the binoculars with you to the match. ____________
  4. What time is the match due kick off ? ____________
  5. It's impossible to know how fast people be running in a hundred years time. ____________
  6. They're no point of buying that empty land and turning it into tennis courts. ____________
  7. All students are assemble in front of the school for the awards ceremony ____________

4 - Incorrect Word Endings

The underlined words have incorrect endings. Can you fix them? Write the full correct word
  1. The flightperson ____________ came back and asked if we would like some more coffee.
  2. Policepeople ____________ seem to be getting younger and younger these days.
  3. David would make a very good chairofficer ____________ for the meeting, I think.
  4. I could never be a fire attendant. ____________ It's much too dangerous.
  5. The spokesofficer ____________ for the company denied that there would be any further redundancies.
  6. She's a great headman ____________ for the school. All the teachers are happy and moral is great these days.

5 - Complete these Sentences

Complete each of these sentences in a logical way, depending on whether we are adding supporting information or contradictory information.
  1. I thought Tim's parents were very hard on him. First they said he couldn't go out with his friends for a whole week and on top of that ____________
  2. It's true that, on the whole, Kate is a lovely girl. Having said that though ____________
  3. This government has reduced both inflation and unemployment. At the same time, we should remember that ____________
  4. You know Derek broke the record in spite of the appalling weather conditions. What's more... ____________
  5. Did you know that Mr Deacon said he would come and give us all extra help with our preparation? Not only that but.... ____________

6 - Exceptions to Grammar Rules in English

There are many rules in English grammar but most have their exceptions. Discuss these sentences.

Common mistakes

One of these sentences may be correct, but the meaning may be mistaken.

  1. What does it mean 'pause'?
  2. Do you know what is the time?
  3. It hurts my arm!

7 - Ambiguous Sentences.

Some of these are not ambiguous in speech.

  1. He gave her cat food.
  2. She hit the man with a hat.
    • She hit the man with her hat.
    • She hit the man wearing a hat.
  3. I will have ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.
  4. The man saw the boy with the binoculars.
  5. They are hunting dogs.
  6. police help dog bite victim.
  7. He saw that gas can explode.
  8. Calvin photographed the tiger in his pajamas.
  9. We saw her duck.

8 - Sentences with interesting grammar.

  1. To be rich is to be healthy. (Which is the cause and which the effect?)
  2. If he/she does, they deserve whatever fate befalls them
  3. If my opponent does not do something soon, they are sure to lose this game.
  4. What is the difference between:
    a) Have you been to London? and
    b) Have you ever been to London?
  5. Everyone is having a good time now, aren't they.
  6. I'm in need of a hair cut.
  7. I went to work three times last week, not so much!
  8. So/neither am I.
  9. How long does that take?

9 - Interesting Sentences

  1. I'm not at liberty to divulge the ingredients, Sir.
  2. It is young men like you that make people with the future of the race at heart despair.
  3. You may lull me into a false sense of security.
  4. I have come to recognise that I was not able to run like a professional should.
  5. "His expertise in business and financial management and strategic planning makes him an excellent choice."

10 - Sentences with Grammar Mistakes

  1. Some nematodes are very tiny that it is necessary to view them through a microscope.
  2. Natural adhesives are primarily of animals or vegetable origin.
  3. The sheep in Wallace and Gromit is
    Shorn
    .
  4. See how your groups page looks like.
  5. Not many start-ups are successful, nor sustainable.

11 - Correct or incorrect?

  1. While you're on the beach, I'll sit in the bar. (Do we have to use I will be sitting or is this fine?)
  2. Two is enough. (Should we say "two are enough" ?)
  3. Who is going to come with us today? (Should we say "Who are going to come with us?)
  4. Big bad John" or"Bad big John". - (Johnny Cash for example) - Check the rules of Adjective word order
  5. A series of memories that goes very deep.
  6. The number of people in this room are large.
  7. A number of people has been found to be sleeping in this room.

12 - More interesting sentences to discuss

If the swirling rumours indeed turn out to be true, a multimedia-rich Apple tablet computer could have the same mammoth effect on publishing and media as the ipod and iTunes had on digital music.

13 - Subject Verb Object - The cat sat on the mat

Sentences in English usually have the subject before the verb and the verb before the object.

14 - Put these sentences into correct word order

  1. Cat mat on the the sat.
  2. a coffee cup had have I just of.
  3. Are at correct good into order putting the very words you.
  4. Cause don't fire know of the thethey.
  5. Able being communicate grammar having I important is knowledge more of than that think to.
  6. Do Good exercise it is think you a?
  7. Sentence wrong order in

15 - Rules of word order

Compared to some other languages, word order in English is not so flexible and changes to the word order also change the meaning. One the one hand this is an advantage because it means that fewer syllables can convey greater meaning but on the other hand it means that we have to be careful with our word order when constructing sentences.

16 - Grammatical Options

however, an element could be considered grammatically optional:

  1. They are eating. (SV) They are eating lunch. (SVO)
  2. We elected her. (SVO) We elected her our delegate. (SVOC)
  3. He is teaching. (SV) He is teaching chemistry. (SVO) He is teaching her chemistry. (SVOO)

We regard verbs in these sentences as having multiple class membership, so that eat can be either transitive or intransitive.

17 - Syntactic functions of clause elements

Objects and complements

1.

There are two subcategories each of object and complement. The two types of object can co-occur.

Justin poured David some whiskey. [1]

In [1] David is the indirect object and some whiskey is the direct object. Whenever there are two objects (in type SVOO), the indirect object normally comes before the direct object. The indirect object often can be paraphrased by a prepositional phrase functioning as an adverbial (Justin poured some whiskey for David). This sentence can also be treated, as we have stated above, as the transformed variant of the SVOO type. The two types of complement occur in different clause patterns. The subject complement is found in the SVC pattern:

Robert is becoming quite mature. [2]

The object complement, on the other hand, is found in the SVOC pattern

Dorris considers Robert quite mature. [3]

In [2] the subject complement characterizes the subject Robert, whereas in [3] the object complement characterizes the direct object Robert. In [2] and [3] the complement is an adjective phrase, but complements can be realized by a noun phrase as well:

Benjamin is becoming a conscientious student (subject C ).
His parents consider Benjamin a conscientious student (object C).

Obligatory adverbials

2

Obligatory adverbials typically refer to space. They can be divided into those occuring in the SVO pattern, in which location is attributed to the referent of the subject, and those occuring in the SVOA pattern, in which a location is attributed to the referent of the direct object. There is a parallel between obligatory adverbials and complements, which is demonstrated in the pairs of sentences below:

  1. Daniel stayed very quiet (subject complement).
  2. Daniel stayed in bed (subject adverbial).
  3. Linda kept Daniel very quiet (Object Compliment).
  4. Linda kept Daniel in bed (Object adverbial).

In [2] the adverbial is subject-related (like the subject complement in [1]), and in [4] it is object-related (like the object complement in [3]). The parallel is further evident in verb classes, and we therefore call the verb in both [1] and [2] copular, since it is equivalent to the copula (linking verb) BE, and call the verb in both [3] and [4] complex-transitive (see 2 f).

NOTE:

space adverbials include not only position (in bed [2]), but also direction (to bed, as in John and Linda went to bed). Other meanings conveyed by obligatory adverbials include metaphorical extension of space:

Still others have no connection with spatial meaning:

18 - Syntactic characterization of clause elements

7. As seen from the discussion above, we can identify five clause elements traditionally called parts of a sentence. They are the VERB (also called pREDICATE), the subject, the OBJECT, the complement, and the adverbial. Clause elements, in their turn, are normally realised by certain phrases, or often by some other clauses. phrases always consist of one or more words, which belong to different word classes traditionally called parts of speech: a noun, adjective, adverb, preposition, article, etc.

NOTE: In the linguistic hierarchy the sentence is treated as the highest unit, and as such is considered to be the best for starting a grammar analysis with. In this hierarchy it is the clause that comes next after the sentence. Then the phrase, the word, and the morpheme, strictly in this order. On the lowest level we have the phoneme. It means that sentences, as a rule, consist of clauses, clauses of phrases, phrases of words, words of morphemes, and morphemes of phonemes. All units, except the phoneme, can be further split into their constituents to be analysed. On the other hand, this does not mean that a sentence must necessarily contain more than one clause, a clause more than one phrase, and so on. A phoneme alone may make a morpheme, a morpheme a word, a word a phrase, a phrase a clause, and a clause a whole sentence. Consider 'Oh!' for example, which is one phoneme only, but can be a sentence as well in a wider context.

  1. The VERB is always realized by a verb phrase. (That is why there is no need to give it another name; like pREDICATE for instance). It is normally present in all clauses, including imperative clauses where the subject is typically absent. The verb determines what other elements (apart from the subject) may or must occur in the clause (cf 2 f).
  2. The subject:
    1. is typically a noun phrase;
    2. normally occurs before the verb in declarative sentences and after the operator in yes-no interrogative clauses;
    3. determines the number and person, where relevant, of the verb.
  3. The OBJECT:
    1. is typically a noun phrase;
    2. normally follows the subject and verb, and if both objects are present, the indirect object comes before the direct object;
    3. may generally become the subject of the corresponding passive clause.
  4. The complement:
    (a) is typically a noun phrase or an adjective phrase;
    (b) normally follows the subject and verb if subject complement, and the object if object complement;
    (c) relates to the subject if subject complement, or to the direct object if object complement;
    (d) does not have a corresponding passive subject
  5. 5. The adverbial:
    (a) is normally an adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, or clause, but can also be a noun phrase;
    (b) is typically capable of occuring in more than one position in the clause, though its mobility depends on the type and form of the adverbial;
    (c) is optional except in the SVA and SVOA clauses.

19 - Sentence Structure

The simple sentence

There are only seven clause types in English. Consequently if you are well acquainted with these seven basic clause types in English, you will be able to identify correct sentences in English. When you can do this you have some competence linguistically

Your next step is simply to imitate these types and produce "good" sentences of your own. Linguistically speaking, you are ready to pass from competence to performance. That's why it is of utmost importance for learners of English to get these "secrets". But first feel the spirit of it. Then, and only then, should you take a closer look at the details.

20 - Clause structure

Clause types

3

A simple sentence consists of a single independent clause, which may be one of seven types. The types differ according to whether one or more clause elements are obligatory in addition to the subject (S) and verb (V). The V element in a simple sentence is always a finite verb phrase. The other elements that can be obligatory in addition to the S and the V are the object (O), complement (C) and the adverbial (A).

  1. SV The sun (S) is shining (V).
  2. SVO The lecture (S) bored (V) me (O)..
  3. SVC Your dinner (S) seems (V) ready(C).
  4. SVA My office (S) is (V) in the next building (A).
  5. SVOO I (S) must send (V) my parents (O) an anniversary card (O):
  6. SVOC Most students (S) have found (V) him (O) reasonably helpful (C ).
  7. SVOA You (S) can put (V) the dish (O) on the table (A).

It helps to learn the "secrets" of these seven clause types. Any other clause or sentence which seems not to belong to one of these basic types is generally derived from one of them.

Example

He was bored (by the lecture) is a transformation of 'The lecture bored him' SVO type clause into the passive.

Questions and negations can also be said to be transformations of the assertive form.

Optional adverbials can be added to sentences of any of these types.

21 Verb classes

There are three main verb classes, which are exemplified above in 1.

NOTE: The term transitive is applied to all verbs that require an object. transitive verbs can be further classified:

Multiple class membership of verbs

5

A given verb can belong, in its various senses, to more than one class, and hence can enter into more than one clause type. The verb get is particularly versatile and is excluded only from type SV (and even then not universally: see NOTE below).

SVO He'll get a surprise.
SVOC He's getting angry.
SVOA He got through the window.
SVOO He got her a splendid present.
SVOC He got his socks wet.
SVOA He got himself into trouble.

Through the multiple class membership of verbs, ambiguities can arise:

  1. She made a good model. - SVO or SVOC
  2. I found her an entertaining partner - SVOO or SVOC
  3. He is cooking his family dinner -- SVO or SVOO

NOTE: In informal (especially dialectal) AmE, get is used even as an intransitive verb (= leave at once) in type SV: She told him to get. Meaning: to leave at once.

Complementation

6

The elements O (Object), C (complement), and A (adverbial) in the patterns exemplified in 1 are obligatory elements of clause structure in that they are required for the complementation of the verb. By that we mean that if we use a particular verb in the relevant sense, the sentence is incomplete when one of these elements is omitted. Eg *Your dinner seems (type SVC) and *You can put the dish (type SVOA) are unacceptable. In some cases, however, an element could be considered grammatically optional:

  1. They are eating. (SV) They are eating lunch. (SVO)
  2. We elected her. (SVO) We elected her our delegate. (SVOC)
  3. He is teaching. (SV) He is teaching chemistry. (SVO) He is teaching her chemistry. (SVOO)

We regard verbs in these sentences as having multiple class membership, so that eat can be either transitive or intransitive.

Syntactic functions of clause elements

Objects and complements

7 There are two subcategories each of object and complement. The two types of object can co-occur.

Justin poured David some whiskey. [1]

In [1] David is the indirect object and some whiskey is the direct object. Whenever there are two objects (in type SVOO), the indirect object normally comes before the direct object. The indirect object often can be paraphrased by a prepositional phrase functioning as an adverbial (Justin poured some whiskey for David). This sentence can also be treated, as we have stated above, as the transformed variant of the SVOO type. The two types of complement occur in different clause patterns. The subject complement is found in the SVC pattern:

Robert is becoming quite mature. [2]

The object complement, on the other hand, is found in the SVOC pattern

Dorris considers Robert quite mature. [3]

In [2] the subject complement characterizes the subject Robert, whereas in [3] the object complement characterizes the direct object Robert. In [2] and [3] the complement is an adjective phrase, but complements can be realized by a noun phrase as well:

Benjamin is becoming a conscientious student (subject C ).
His parents consider Benjamin a conscientious student (object C).

22 - Obligatory adverbials

8

Obligatory adverbials typically refer to space. They can be divided into those occuring in the SVO pattern, in which location is attributed to the referent of the subject, and those occuring in the SVOA pattern, in which a location is attributed to the referent of the direct object. There is a parallel between obligatory adverbials and complements, which is demonstrated in the pairs of sentences below:

  1. Daniel stayed very quiet (subject complement).
  2. Daniel stayed in bed (subject adverbial).
  3. Linda kept Daniel very quiet (Object Compliment).
  4. Linda kept Daniel in bed (Object adverbial).

In [2] the adverbial is subject-related (like the subject complement in [1]), and in [4] it is object-related (like the object complement in [3]). The parallel is further evident in verb classes, and we therefore call the verb in both [1] and [2] copular, since it is equivalent to the copula (linking verb) BE, and call the verb in both [3] and [4] complex-transitive (see 2 f).

NOTE:

space adverbials include not only position (in bed [2]), but also direction (to bed, as in John and Linda went to bed). Other meanings conveyed by obligatory adverbials include metaphorical extension of space:

Still others have no connection with spatial meaning:

Syntactic characterization of clause elements

7. As seen from the discussion above, we can identify five clause elements traditionally called parts of a sentence. They are the VERB (also called pREDICATE), the subject, the OBJECT, the complement, and the adverbial. Clause elements, in their turn, are normally realised by certain phrases, or often by some other clauses. phrases always consist of one or more words, which belong to different word classes traditionally called parts of speech: a noun, adjective, adverb, preposition, article, etc.

NOTE: In the linguistic hierarchy the sentence is treated as the highest unit, and as such is considered to be the best for starting a grammar analysis with. In this hierarchy it is the clause that comes next after the sentence. Then the phrase, the word, and the morpheme, strictly in this order. On the lowest level we have the phoneme. It means that sentences, as a rule, consist of clauses, clauses of phrases, phrases of words, words of morphemes, and morphemes of phonemes. All units, except the phoneme, can be further split into their constituents to be analysed. On the other hand, this does not mean that a sentence must necessarily contain more than one clause, a clause more than one phrase, and so on. A phoneme alone may make a morpheme, a morpheme a word, a word a phrase, a phrase a clause, and a clause a whole sentence. Consider 'Oh!' for example, which is one phoneme only, but can be a sentence as well in a wider context.

  1. The VERB is always realized by a verb phrase. (That is why there is no need to give it another name; like pREDICATE for instance). It is normally present in all clauses, including imperative clauses where the subject is typically absent. The verb determines what other elements (apart from the subject) may or must occur in the clause (cf 2 f).
  2. The subject:
    1. is typically a noun phrase;
    2. normally occurs before the verb in declarative sentences and after the operator in yes-no interrogative clauses;
    3. determines the number and person, where relevant, of the verb.
  3. The OBJECT:
    1. is typically a noun phrase;
    2. normally follows the subject and verb, and if both objects are present, the indirect object comes before the direct object;
    3. may generally become the subject of the corresponding passive clause.
  4. The complement:
    1. ____________ is typically a noun phrase or an adjective phrase;
    2. ____________ normally follows the subject and verb if subject complement, and the object if object complement;
    3. ____________ relates to the subject if subject complement, or to the direct object if object complement;
    4. ____________ does not have a corresponding passive subject
  5. 5. The adverbial:
    (a) is normally an adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, or clause, but can also be a noun phrase;
    (b) is typically capable of occuring in more than one position in the clause, though its mobility depends on the type and form of the adverbial;
    (c) is optional except in the SVA and SVOA clauses.

Sentence formation in English.

Word order is very important. The way sentences are formed determines the meaning. Lets practice making sentences with certain structures and form. Make sentences matching the forms shown here.
  1. Gaps can be replaced with any number of words of any kind or even left empty.
  2. Gaps can be replaced with any single word (but only one word, not left empty or with more than one word.)
  3. [VERB] You can put a verb here in any form.
  4. [ADJECTIVE] You can put an adjective here.

Examples

Sentences to Discuss

  1. "A friend of yours met with an accident on this very road"
  2. Maffia boss from The Italian Job - starring Micheal Caine
  3. "What did you bring that book I didn't want to read to out of up for? "




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