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Understanding English Grammar An Introduction to Diagramming Sentences.

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1 Understanding English Grammar An Introduction to Diagramming Sentences

2 Works Cited Funk, Robert & Martha Kolln. Understanding English Grammar. 5 th Ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Funk, Robert & Martha Kolln. Understanding English Grammar. 5 th Ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1998.

3 Underlying Structure Ten sentence patterns account for the underlying structure of almost all possible grammatical sentences in English. Ten sentence patterns account for the underlying structure of almost all possible grammatical sentences in English. All sentences have a subject and a predicate. All sentences have a subject and a predicate. Sentence SubjectPredicate

4 Subject Predicate Test: To figure out where the subject ends and the predicate begins, substitute a pronoun for the subject. Test: To figure out where the subject ends and the predicate begins, substitute a pronoun for the subject. Example: The council has passed the ordinance It has passed the ordinance. It has passed the ordinance. This subject-predicate relationship underlies every sentence, even those is which the subject is unstated but clearly understood: This subject-predicate relationship underlies every sentence, even those is which the subject is unstated but clearly understood: Example: (you) Help! (you) Sit down!

5 New Terminology The two basic constituents of every sentence are (1) the NP, or noun phrase, which is the same as the subject and (2) the VP, or verb phrase, which is the same as the predicate. Sentence NPVP Sentence I (NP) am upstairs (VP)

6 Additional Terminology Phraseany group of two or more words that function as a unit within a sentence. Always includes a head, or headword, along with its modifiers and/or complements. (The head of a noun phrase is a noun, the head of a verb phrase, a verb). Phraseany group of two or more words that function as a unit within a sentence. Always includes a head, or headword, along with its modifiers and/or complements. (The head of a noun phrase is a noun, the head of a verb phrase, a verb). Clausealso a group of words, but it must have a subject and predicate. There is a difference between a sentence and a clause. Not all clauses are sentences and often a single sentence will include more than one clause. Clausealso a group of words, but it must have a subject and predicate. There is a difference between a sentence and a clause. Not all clauses are sentences and often a single sentence will include more than one clause.

7 The Sentence Slots Because the variations among the sentence patterns are in the predicates, we group the ten patterns according to their verb types: Because the variations among the sentence patterns are in the predicates, we group the ten patterns according to their verb types: 1. the be patterns 2. the linking verb patterns 3. the intransitive verb pattern 4. the transitive verb patterns

8 About the patterns… The number of slots in the predicate varies: Most patterns have two, but Pattern VI has only one slot, and three of the transitive patterns, VIII to X, each have three. The number of slots in the predicate varies: Most patterns have two, but Pattern VI has only one slot, and three of the transitive patterns, VIII to X, each have three. The label in parentheses names the function, the role, that the slot performs in the sentence. The label in parentheses names the function, the role, that the slot performs in the sentence. The subscript numbers you see in some of the patterns show the relationship between noun phrases: Identical numbers mean that the two noun phrases have the same referent; different numbers denote different referents. (A referent is the thing (or person, event, concept, and so on ) that the noun or noun phrase stands for). The subscript numbers you see in some of the patterns show the relationship between noun phrases: Identical numbers mean that the two noun phrases have the same referent; different numbers denote different referents. (A referent is the thing (or person, event, concept, and so on ) that the noun or noun phrase stands for).

9 The be Patterns INPbeADV/TP (subject) (predicating verb) (Adverbial of time or place) The students areupstairs IINPbeADJ (subj) (pred vb) (subj complement) The students arediligent III NP 1 be (subj) (pred vb) (subj comp) The students arescholars

10 The be Patterns Explained The first three formulas state that when a form of be serves as the predicating verb, an adverbial of time or place (Pattern I), or an adjectival (Pattern II), or a noun phrase (Pattern III) will follow it. The first three formulas state that when a form of be serves as the predicating verb, an adverbial of time or place (Pattern I), or an adjectival (Pattern II), or a noun phrase (Pattern III) will follow it. The one exception to this rule is a statement simply affirming existence, such as I am. The one exception to this rule is a statement simply affirming existence, such as I am. Other one-word forms of be are: am, is, are, was, were, being, and been; the expanded forms include: have been, was being, might be, and will be. Other one-word forms of be are: am, is, are, was, were, being, and been; the expanded forms include: have been, was being, might be, and will be.

11 Pattern I: NP be ADV/TP The ADV in the formula stands for adverbial, a modifier of the verb. The ADV in the formula stands for adverbial, a modifier of the verb. The ADV that follows be is, with certain exceptions, limited to when and where information. The ADV that follows be is, with certain exceptions, limited to when and where information. This slot is labeled as adverbial rather than simply as adverb because the adverbial information is often expressed by a structure other than a simple adverb. Adverb is the name of a word class; adverbial names the function that adverbs carry out. This slot is labeled as adverbial rather than simply as adverb because the adverbial information is often expressed by a structure other than a simple adverb. Adverb is the name of a word class; adverbial names the function that adverbs carry out. One of the most common adverbial structures is the prepositional phrase, a two-part structure consisting of a prepositiona word such as in, out, up, down, under, between, for, fromand its object, most commonly a noun or noun phrase. One of the most common adverbial structures is the prepositional phrase, a two-part structure consisting of a prepositiona word such as in, out, up, down, under, between, for, fromand its object, most commonly a noun or noun phrase.

12 Pattern II: NP be ADJ In this pattern the complement that follows be is an adjectival. This slot is the subject complement, which both completes the verb and modifies or describes the subject. In this pattern the complement that follows be is an adjectival. This slot is the subject complement, which both completes the verb and modifies or describes the subject. Test: If youre not sure what an adjective is, answer this question: The________NOUN is very________. Only an adjective will fit. Test: If youre not sure what an adjective is, answer this question: The________NOUN is very________. Only an adjective will fit. Example: The diligent student is very diligent. Besides adjectives, we sometimes find prepositional phrases filling the subject complement slot in Pattern II sentences. These are set phrases, or idiomatic expressions, that name an attribute of the subject: Besides adjectives, we sometimes find prepositional phrases filling the subject complement slot in Pattern II sentences. These are set phrases, or idiomatic expressions, that name an attribute of the subject: You are out of your mind. She is in a bad mood. To figure out that such sentences do not belong to Pattern I, you can usually think of an adjective, a single descriptive word, that could substitute for the phrase: You are crazy. She is cranky. You can also rule out Pattern I because such phrases do not supply information of time or place.

13 Pattern III: NP 1 be NP 1 The NP, of course, fills the subject slot in all of the patterns; in Pattern III a noun phrase following be fills the subject complement slot as well. The NP, of course, fills the subject slot in all of the patterns; in Pattern III a noun phrase following be fills the subject complement slot as well. The subject complement renames the subject; be, the main verb, acts as an equal sign, connecting the subject with its complement. The subject complement renames the subject; be, the main verb, acts as an equal sign, connecting the subject with its complement.

14 The Sentence Patterns: Be Verbs I NP be ADV/TP II NP be ADJ III NP 1 be NP 1

15 Linking Verb Patterns IVNP Linking verb ADJ (subj) (pred vb) (subj comp) The students seemdiligent. V NP 1 Lnk verb NP 1 (subj) (pred vb) (subj comp) The students becamescholars.

16 The Linking Verb Patterns Linking verb applies to all verbs other than be complemented by a subject complementan adjectival or a noun phrase that describes, characterizes, or identifies the subject. Linking verb applies to all verbs other than be complemented by a subject complementan adjectival or a noun phrase that describes, characterizes, or identifies the subject.

17 Pattern IV: NP V-lnk ADJ In these sentences an adjectival fills the subject complement slot. In these sentences an adjectival fills the subject complement slot. The adjectival describes or names an attribute of the subject, just as in Pattern II. The adjectival describes or names an attribute of the subject, just as in Pattern II. Pattern IV is a common category for verbs of the senses (taste, smell, feel, sound, & look). Pattern IV is a common category for verbs of the senses (taste, smell, feel, sound, & look). Just as in Pattern II, an adjectival prepositional phrase (an idiom) can fill the subject complement slot. Just as in Pattern II, an adjectival prepositional phrase (an idiom) can fill the subject complement slot.

18 Pattern V: NP 1 V-lnk NP 1 In this pattern a noun phrase fills the subject complement slot following the linking verb. In this pattern a noun phrase fills the subject complement slot following the linking verb. Just as in Pattern III, both NPs have the same referent. Just as in Pattern III, both NPs have the same referent. Become and remain are among the most common verbs of Pattern V. Become and remain are among the most common verbs of Pattern V.

19 The Optional Slots Adverbials can appear in every sentence pattern. Adverbials can appear in every sentence pattern. Many of our sentences include information beyond the basic requirementswords or phrases that answer such questions as where, when, why, how, how often, and the like. Many of our sentences include information beyond the basic requirementswords or phrases that answer such questions as where, when, why, how, how often, and the like. Pattern I has the required ADV/TP, but it can also include optional adverbials. Pattern I has the required ADV/TP, but it can also include optional adverbials. No matter where they occur, all adverbials are diagrammed as modifiers of the verb. No matter where they occur, all adverbials are diagrammed as modifiers of the verb. Adverbs can be modified with words like very, known as qualifiers. Adverbs can be modified with words like very, known as qualifiers.

20 The Sentence Patterns: Linking Verbs IV NP V-lnk ADJ V NP 1 V-lnk NP 1

21 Pattern VI: NP V-int An intransitive verb has no complementno noun phrase or adjectivalfollowing. An intransitive verb has no complementno noun phrase or adjectivalfollowing. Most Pattern VI sentences have other information, often adverbials. Most Pattern VI sentences have other information, often adverbials. Pattern VI looks a lot like Pattern I, but in Pattern I, the adverbial information is not optional. Pattern VI looks a lot like Pattern I, but in Pattern I, the adverbial information is not optional.

22 Exceptions to Pattern VI There are thousands of intransitive verbs. Among them are a few verbs that require an adverbial to make them complete: There are thousands of intransitive verbs. Among them are a few verbs that require an adverbial to make them complete: Reside: My best friend resides in Roswell. Reside: My best friend resides in Roswell. Sneak: The boys sneaked past the guard. Sneak: The boys sneaked past the guard. Glance: She glanced at her watch. Glance: She glanced at her watch. These are not given a new pattern since the number is so small. These are not given a new pattern since the number is so small.

23 Intransitive Phrasal Verbs A phrasal verb consists of a verb combined with a preposition-like word, known as a particle; together they form an idiom. A phrasal verb consists of a verb combined with a preposition-like word, known as a particle; together they form an idiom. An idiom is a set expression that acts as a unit (i.e. made up). An idiom is a set expression that acts as a unit (i.e. made up). Test: adverbs can be shifted without a change in meaning, whereas a particle cannot (i.e. up we jumped vs. up we made) Test: adverbs can be shifted without a change in meaning, whereas a particle cannot (i.e. up we jumped vs. up we made) Test: replace the phrasal with a one word synonym (i.e. gave in=capitulated, broke up=ended). Test: replace the phrasal with a one word synonym (i.e. gave in=capitulated, broke up=ended).

24 The Sentence Patterns: Intransitive Verbs VI NP V-int

25 Pattern VII: NP 1 V-tr NP 2 The one method of distinguishing transitive verbs that works almost every time is the recognition that the two noun phrases have different referents. The one method of distinguishing transitive verbs that works almost every time is the recognition that the two noun phrases have different referents. An exception occurs when the direct object is either a reflexive pronoun (John cut himself) or a reciprocal pronoun (John and Mary love each other). An exception occurs when the direct object is either a reflexive pronoun (John cut himself) or a reciprocal pronoun (John and Mary love each other). Dont forget about transitive phrasal verbs Dont forget about transitive phrasal verbs Ex. He came by his fortune in an unusual way.

26 Pattern VIII: NP 1 V-tr NP 2 NP 3 All three NPs have different referents. All three NPs have different referents. You have the option of shifting the indirect object to a position following the direct object, where it will be the object of a preposition. You have the option of shifting the indirect object to a position following the direct object, where it will be the object of a preposition. Ex. The students gave their professor their homework OR The students gave their homework to the professor. The same system of identity applies in Pattern VIII when reflexive or reciprocal pronouns fill the indirect object slot, as they sometimes do. The same system of identity applies in Pattern VIII when reflexive or reciprocal pronouns fill the indirect object slot, as they sometimes do. Ex. Jill gave herself a haircut OR We gave each other identical Christmas presents.

27 Pattern IX: NP 1 V-Tr NP 2 ADJ In this pattern the direct object is followed by a second complement, as adjective that modifies or describes the direct object; this is the object complement. In this pattern the direct object is followed by a second complement, as adjective that modifies or describes the direct object; this is the object complement. Pattern IX is a small class, with relatively few verbs, most of which appear equally often in Pattern VII, where they take the direct object only. Pattern IX is a small class, with relatively few verbs, most of which appear equally often in Pattern VII, where they take the direct object only.

28 Pattern X: NP 1 V-tr NP 2 NP 2 TEST: To discern between patterns IX and X, check whether you can insert the words to be between the direct object and the following slot. TEST: To discern between patterns IX and X, check whether you can insert the words to be between the direct object and the following slot.Ex. Taro finds his job easy. (X) Taro found his job easily. (IX) Pam found her job the hard way. (IX) Pam finds her job a challenge. (X)

29 Pattern X: NP 1 V-tr NP 2 NP 2 continued… Sometimes the object complement is signaled by as, which we call an expletive, or operator. Sometimes the object complement is signaled by as, which we call an expletive, or operator. Ex. We elected Tom as our secretary. We refer to him as Mr. Secretary. We refer to him as Mr. Secretary. I know him as a good friend. I know him as a good friend.

30 The Sentence Patterns: Transitive Verbs VII NP 1 V-tr NP 2 VIII NP 1 V-tr NP 2 NP 3 IX NP 1 V-tr NP 2 ADJ X NP 1 V-tr NP 2 NP 2


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