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ID782

June 2004

Defense Language Institute


English Language Center
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE

782

GRAMMAR FOR
THE
AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Preface

ID782, Grammar for the American Language Course, supplements DLIELC’s Introduction to the
American Language Course, which is designed to familiarize experienced instructors with
techniques and methodology useful in teaching the General English materials of the American
Language Course (ALC). The explanations and illustrations of American usage herein are intended
as references to aid instructors of the ALC.

Inquiries concerning these materials, including requests for copies, should be addressed to
DLIELC/LESL
2235 Andrews Ave.
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas 78236-5259
E-mail: LESL@lackland.af.mil

Copyright© 2003 by Defense Language Institute English Language Center and its licensors. Notice
of Rights: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of the publisher.

This supersedes ID782, December 2001.

PREFACE i
– USER NOTES –

ii GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Table of Contents

PREFACE ............................................................................................................................................................... i

TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................................................ iii

INTRODUCTION
THE WHAT AND WHY OF GRAMMAR ...............................................................................................................................v
HOW WORDS MAKE SENTENCES ................................................................................................................................... vi
1 NOUNS
Types of Nouns .......................................................................................................................................................... 1
Noun Inflections Showing Number............................................................................................................................ 4
Noun Inflections Showing Possession ....................................................................................................................... 8
Noun Derivations .................................................................................................................................................... 11
Noun Phrases .......................................................................................................................................................... 14
Noun Equivalents .................................................................................................................................................... 14
Noun Functions ....................................................................................................................................................... 15
2 PRONOUNS
Types Of Pronouns.................................................................................................................................................. 19
Personal Pronouns.................................................................................................................................................. 19
Demonstrative Pronouns......................................................................................................................................... 26
Interrogative Pronouns ........................................................................................................................................... 28
Reciprocal Pronouns............................................................................................................................................... 30
Indefinite Pronouns................................................................................................................................................. 30
Pronoun Modification ............................................................................................................................................. 33
Other Pronoun Forms............................................................................................................................................. 34
3 VERBS – PART I
Functions of Finite Verbs........................................................................................................................................ 35
Verb Tenses............................................................................................................................................................. 42
The Simple Tenses................................................................................................................................................... 43
The Progressive Tenses........................................................................................................................................... 50
The Perfect Tenses .................................................................................................................................................. 54
The Perfect Progressive Tenses .............................................................................................................................. 59
4 VERBS – PART II
Voice ....................................................................................................................................................................... 63
Mood ....................................................................................................................................................................... 67
Auxiliaries (Helping Verbs) .................................................................................................................................... 70
5 ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS
Adjectives ................................................................................................................................................................ 75
Adverbs ................................................................................................................................................................... 87
6 DETERMINERS AND CONJUNCTIONS
Determiners............................................................................................................................................................. 99
Conjunctions ......................................................................................................................................................... 102
7 PREPOSITIONS
Types of Prepositions ............................................................................................................................................ 105

PREFACE iii
8 SENTENCE PARTS AND PATTERNS
The Sentence ..........................................................................................................................................................111
Parts of the Sentence..............................................................................................................................................113
Sentence Patterns...................................................................................................................................................115
9 PHRASES AND CLAUSES ....................................................................................................................................119
Clauses...................................................................................................................................................................120
Phrases ..................................................................................................................................................................137
APPENDIX A
PUNCTUATION
End Punctuation ....................................................................................................................................................160
The Comma............................................................................................................................................................161
The Semicolon........................................................................................................................................................164
The Colon ..............................................................................................................................................................165
The Apostrophe......................................................................................................................................................166
Quotation Marks....................................................................................................................................................168
Other Punctuation Marks ......................................................................................................................................169
APPENDIX B
IRREGULAR VERBS ......................................................................................................................................................172
APPENDIX C
PREPOSITION COMBINATIONS
Adjective/Preposition Combinations......................................................................................................................180
Verb/Preposition Combinations (2-Word Verbs)...................................................................................................181
APPENDIX D
MORE SENTENCE PATTERNS
Pattern One............................................................................................................................................................198
Pattern Two ...........................................................................................................................................................200
Pattern Three .........................................................................................................................................................201
Pattern Four ..........................................................................................................................................................203
Pattern Five ...........................................................................................................................................................205
Additional Patterns with There and It....................................................................................................................207
APPENDIX E
MORE ON INDIRECT SPEECH
Tense Harmony......................................................................................................................................................211
Modals in Indirect Speech .....................................................................................................................................212
Questions in Indirect Speech .................................................................................................................................213
General Truths in Indirect Speech.........................................................................................................................214
Commands (Imperatives) in Indirect Speech .........................................................................................................214
GLOSSARY ..........................................................................................................................................................215

INDEX ..........................................................................................................................................................221

iv GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Introduction

The What and Why of Grammar


Historically, English grammar explanations and rules were patterned after Latin grammar. Because
Latin scholars had already developed a comprehensive terminology to explain how Latin worked,
scholars of English borrowed much of this terminology and applied it to English language patterns.
English, however, grew and developed differently from Latin. And, as the language spread across
North America, American English developed, deviating somewhat from “the Queen’s English.” The
American language continues to grow and change as the United States becomes a truly “universal”
nation influenced by many ethnic and language groups. Today, English is no longer strictly British or
American as it evolves into a common world language, continually changing to meet the needs of its
users.

The grammar of a language is the system of elements and rules needed to form and interpret the
sentences of that language. Prescriptive grammar creates rules for how sentences should be put
together. These rules tell us that subjects and verbs
should agree or that pronouns must match their
antecedents in number and gender. Descriptive
grammar analyzes sentences as they actually are put
together by language users. A descriptive grammarian
would discuss the use of ain’t or the decline in the use
of the subjunctive mood. Over time, descriptive
grammar patterns sometimes become a part of the
prescriptive grammar. Change in the use of can and
may in American English is an example of this
evolution.

As rules for English grammar have become more descriptive, the accepted register has also undergone
changes. Register, in language, refers to different levels of formality and usage. Even though many
registers of English have been used throughout history, there has always been one register, that used
by the leaders in a culture, considered to be “proper” or “good.” In the past, any variants of “proper”
register were considered “incorrect” or “bad.” Over time, however, as people from many different
groups have assumed leadership positions, this has become less and less true. The diversification of
power has led to changes in the standard language and to wider acceptance of language variations.

Most native speakers use several registers, depending on occasion, content, and purpose. In spite of
this democratic ideal, in American English there remains a register that is desirable for those who
wish to succeed and to be seen as knowledgeable. Today, the desirable register for most use is
relatively informal, but grammatically “standard.” As the language has become less formal, so too
has the terminology used to describe it. It is important for the instructor of English as a foreign or
second language to teach the language as the student will encounter it and will be expected to use it.
To that end, this text attempts to be both descriptive and prescriptive and to use current simplified
terminology as well as traditional terminology with which the experienced instructor may be familiar.

PREFACE v
How Words Make Sentences
Words, or parts of speech, combine with each other to form larger units, which then combine to
form sentences. Sentences always contain a noun or noun phrase and a verb or verb phrase, and
they may also contain prepositional phrases, adjectival phrases, and/or adverbial phrases.
Sometimes the noun phrase with all of its modifiers is called the subject, and the verb phrase with
all of its modifiers is called the predicate. This text attempts to explain these parts of speech and
parts of the sentence and the relationships between them for instructors of the American Language
Course (ALC).

The parts of speech are illustrated in the chart below as lexical categories. Sometimes the major
categories are called content words, while the minor categories are called structure or function
words. Note that the major categories are open, meaning new words are continually added to them.
The minor categories are closed; they are restricted to a fixed set of elements already in the
language.

Parts of Speech (Lexical Categories)


MAJOR LEXICAL CATEGORIES EXAMPLES

Noun (N) apple, John, fish, idea

Verb (V) drive, think, believe, hammer

Adjective (Adj) blue, young, silent, lush

Adverb (Adv) silently, quickly, happily

Minor lexical categories Examples

Determiner (Det) the, a, this, these

Auxiliary verb (Aux) will, can, may, must, be, have

Preposition (P) to, in, on, near, at, by

Pronoun (Pro) he, she, him, his, her

Conjunction (C) and, or, but


(

vi GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Word groups
Words fit together in predictable patterns to form ideas. A very simple explanation of the order of
these patterns follows. This diagram sets out only the minimum requirements for each word group.

Phrase – a group of words


Clause – a group of words with
a subject and a verb
Sentence – a group of words with a subject and a verb,
expressing a complete idea
Paragraph – a group of sentences about one idea

These simple definitions help students identify the word groups they may be asked to work with.
More complete explanations must necessarily follow.

There are, for example, many kinds of phrases, but all that is required to make up a phrase is a
group of words. Usually, a phrase is missing either a subject or a verb. If one of these is missing,
the word group cannot be a clause or a sentence, so it must, therefore, be a phrase.
a pizza delivery person
about the visitor
without the quotes
waiting patiently
A clause must contain both a subject and a verb. If the clause is independent, it also contains a
complete idea. If it is dependent, it does not contain a complete idea.
contact the guard (independent)
people call them (independent)
you have (dependent)
they had been (dependent)
A sentence, in its simplest form, contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete idea. A
simple sentence and an independent clause are identical except that the clause is attached to one or
more additional word groups, while a simple sentence stands alone. Phrases and clauses combine to
form complex sentences. Sentences about the same idea are grouped together to form paragraphs.
Related paragraphs are further grouped together to develop larger ideas into, for example, essays or
stories.

PREFACE vii
– USER NOTES –

viii GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


1

Nouns
Meaning determines a word’s part of speech, or lexical category. Words which indicate people,
animals, places, things, concepts, emotions, or processes are categorized as nouns.

People: man, child, teacher

Animals: cow, sheep, duck, fish

Things: desk, car, house, dress

Ideas, concepts, emotions: truth, honor, envy, love, surprise

Processes: combustion, radiation, evolution, assimilation

Types of Nouns
Nouns are grouped into several categories. Use determines category, so some nouns occur in more
than one.

Categories of Nouns Examples


Concrete: objects that can be seen, a car, a desk, a rose, a cookie, a cow, a
touched, and usually counted mouse, a radio, furniture, wheat

peace, democracy, learning, anger,


Abstract: ideas, processes, feelings
happiness

a minute, an hour, a bird, a dollar, a


Count: items that can be counted
man, a woman

Noncount:
mass nouns water, oil, gas, metal, cheese, bread,

abstract nouns (see above) peace, democracy, learning, anger

non-specific groups furniture, clothing, equipment, fruit

UNIT 1 1
NOTE: Some nouns change category according to context.

Coffee is all I have for breakfast.


(Coffee is a noncount noun.)
How about another coffee?
(Coffee is a noncount noun used as a count noun;
actual meaning: a cup of coffee)

Categories of Nouns Examples


PROPER NOUNS: particular
people, places, or things

Personal names Dorothy, Charles, the Joneses, Mr.


Baker, Col. Evans, Dr. White

Geographic locations England, Salt Lake City, the Mississippi


River, the Grand Canyon, the Gobi
Desert, Lake Superior, California

Units of time Monday, August, the 20th Century

Titles of works such as books, The Last of the Mohicans, Star Trek II,
movies, publications The New York Times

Holidays, special events, and Christmas, Ramadan, Halloween, Labor


special time periods Day

National and religious groups Americans, Buddhists

Religions Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism,


Islam, Judaism, Shinto

Names of organizations and The United Nations, the Red Crescent,


institutions the Defense Language Institute, Harvard
University

Titles of companies The Ford Motor Company, General


Electric, Exxon, Coca Cola

2 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Categories of Nouns Examples
COMMON NOUNS: any member of a man, river, officer
class of similar items

Compound nouns: two nouns joined bedroom, toothpick, bookcase,


to form one airport

Collective nouns: nouns naming family, class, government, team,


groups considered a single unit crowd, herd, flock, kit, set, pack

NOTE: Collective nouns take a third person singular verb except when individuals or items within
the group act separately.

The committee is meeting tomorrow. (the committee as a unit)


The police are patrolling the streets. (individual police officers)

Our basketball team is playing tonight.

UNIT 1 3
✦ Change of Form
Nouns change form in two ways, by inflection and by derivation.
♦ An inflection shows a different grammatical subclass or relationship.
♦ A derivation changes a word to another part of speech or expands its meaning.
This text discusses two types of noun inflections—those showing number and those showing
possession. Nouns derived from other parts of speech are illustrated in charts.

Noun Inflections Showing Number


✦ Count and Noncount Nouns
Singular and noncount nouns are without inflection. They refer to single items or to items that
cannot be precisely numbered.

Noncount Nouns
knowledge meat money

He can recite hundreds of facts, but he doesn’t demonstrate much


knowledge.

Doctors say eating too much meat is not healthy.

He has a little money.

Count nouns are made plural by adding the inflections -s or -es to the base form of the word.

Count Nouns
1 fact/17 facts
1 hamburger/3 hamburgers
1 dollar/ 100 dollars

There are thousands of facts in the book that Joe bought last night.

Ted ate 4 hamburgers last night.

I found twenty dollars last night.

4 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Nouns usually considered noncount are sometimes pluralized into count nouns.

Noncount Plural
Would you like some coffee? Our grocery store sells coffees from
around the world.

Fruit is very good for you. Doctors recommend eating different


fruits.

Cake is a traditional part of most If you’re looking for a wide selection of


American birthday celebrations. cakes, try the bakery on the corner.

✦ Pluralization of Nouns
Regular Plurals
Add -s inflection to singular nouns ending in a single boy → boys
consonant preceded by a vowel.
pet → pets
stair → stairs
key → keys
Add -es inflection to nouns ending in sibilant sounds branch → branches
spelled s, z, x, ch, sh.
bush → bushes
base → bases
tax → taxes
Add only -s to nouns ending in silent e preceded by a nose → noses
sibilant sound (/s/,/z/). This causes the plural word to
face → faces
be pronounced as though the plural inflection were -es.
lease → leases
slice → slices
choice → choices

NOTE: Verbs also use an -s or -es inflection for the third person singular present tense. Such words
as runs, marches, and dances can be either plural nouns or present tense verbs depending on
context.

UNIT 1 5
leaf—leaves

Regular Plurals (continued)


For singular nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant, story → stories
change the y to i and add -es.
duty → duties

baby → babies

If the final y is preceded by a vowel, add only -s. day → days

toy → toys

play → plays

For most nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant, add -es potato → potatoes
to form the plural.
echo → echoes

cargo → cargoes

If the final o is preceded by a vowel, or if the noun names a piano → pianos


musical instrument, add only -s.
zoo → zoos

For one syllable words ending in f or fe, change the f or fe to v loaf → loaves
and add -es to form the plural.
wife → wives

leaf → leaves

For some singular words ending in f, simply add -s. chief → chiefs

cuff → cuffs

belief → beliefs

6 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Irregular Plurals
Irregular plural nouns have the following characteristics:
(1) they are changed internally;
(2) they are changed with an ending other than -s or -es;
(3) the singular and plural forms are the same (no inflection);
(4) their plurals are derived from a language other than English.

Internal change woman → women

man → men

mouse → mice

Ending change other than -s or -es ox → oxen

child → children

Absence of any inflection one fish → two fish

one sheep → several sheep

one deer → two deer

Plural endings derived from other stimulus → stimuli


languages, especially Latin
alumnus → alumni

alumna → alumnae

vertebra → vertebrae

bacterium → bacteria

criterion → criteria

parenthesis → parentheses

analysis → analyses

Nouns with plural forms only pants, trousers, scissors, pliers

UNIT 1 7
Irregular Singular
A few nouns that end in -s are singular in meaning.

news What is the latest news?

Measles is a disease that usually afflicts


measles
children.

Some academic disciplines:

economics Economics is John’s college major.

physics Physics was my most difficult subject.

mathematics Mathematics is her favorite subject.

Mr. Fields produces the television news.

Noun Inflections Showing Possession


Nouns can be inflected to show possession or ownership. In American usage, an “of phrase” to
indicate ownership, as in “the car of Tom” or “the books of the students,” is unusual. “Tom’s car”
and “the students’ books” are common. The possessive form is almost always used with animate
nouns, which indicate living things (the dog’s leg). The “of phrase” is occasionally used with
inanimate nouns, which indicate non-living things (“the leg of the chair”). However, an adjective-
noun combination (noun adjunct) is more common (“the chair leg”).

8 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Formation of the Possessive

For singular nouns (usually The child’s toys, the cat’s bowl, the
representing a person or animal), add teacher’s book, Bob’s car, Charles’s
’s. jacket, Mr. Martinez’s hat
This is also true for singular nouns
ending in /s/ or /z/.

NOTE: The possessive of a singular Charles’ jacket, Mr. Martinez’ jacket


noun ending in /s/ or /z/ is often shown
with only the apostrophe.

For plural nouns ending in /s/ or /z/, The prisoners’ complaints (more than
add only the apostrophe. one prisoner)
The teachers’ salaries (more than one
teacher)

For plural nouns not ending in /s/ or women’s jobs


/z/, add ’s.
children’s games

For phrases or compound words, add ’s the Chief Executive Officer’s desk
to the last word.
Burly and Smith’s furniture store
somebody else’s exam paper

We watched the news on Thomas’s television.

UNIT 1 9
✦ Other Uses of Possessive Form Nouns

Expressions of time a day’s work, a month’s salary, today’s lesson


periods
The hospital stay cost him a month's salary.

Expressions of natural the sun’s light, the earth’s rotation, the tree’s branches
phenomena
The sun’s light is also a source of heat.

Expressions of value a dollar’s worth, five cents’ worth


Can you let me have a dollar’s worth of apples?

Expressions of a hand’s breadth, a stone’s throw


measurement
We live only a stone’s throw from the mall. (i.e., a short
distance)

Expressions of a baby’s smile, a teenager’s impatience, a bull’s strength


characteristics
Our 16-year-old often shows a teenager’s impatience
with older people.

Expressions of origin Shakespeare’s sonnets, Mozart’s first symphony


I reread Shakespeare’s sonnets every year or two.

Expressions of location the town’s parks, our country’s railroads


Our country’s railroads are in excellent condition.

10 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Noun Derivations
Some nouns are derived from verbs, adjectives, or other nouns. These are created by adding a
derivational suffix (ending) to the stem or base form of the original verb, adjective, or noun.

Verb + Noun Suffix


BASE VERB SUFFIX DERIVED NOUN
arrive -al arrival
meet -ing meeting
marry -age marriage
persevere -ance perseverance
depend -ence dependence
brew -(e)ry brewery
attend -tion attention
provide -sion provision
act -or actor
please -ure pleasure
weigh -t weight
defend -ant defendant
auction -eer auctioneer
manage -r manager
govern -ment government
employ -ee employee

Adjective + Noun Suffix


BASE ADJECTIVE SUFFIX DERIVED NOUN
able -ity ability
bold -ness boldness
wide -th width
intimate -cy intimacy
young -ster youngster
independent -ence independence
distant -ance distance
brave -ry bravery
perfect -ion perfection
ideal -ism idealism
ideal -ist idealist

UNIT 1 11
Noun + Noun Suffix
BASE NOUN SUFFIX DERIVED NOUN
piano -ist pianist
friend -ship friendship
democrat -acy democracy
boy -hood boyhood
library -ian librarian
masochist -ism masochism
mob -ster mobster

Noun + Feminine Noun Suffix


Historically, suffixes were added to generic nouns, those previously considered masculine, to create
feminine forms. Few gender-specific nouns are used today because of legal and political
considerations. In many cases new gender-neutral nouns have been created to replace the gender-
specific forms of the past. Example: flight attendant has replaced steward and stewardess. The
forms listed below are found primarily in publications predating the women’s movement.

GENERIC NOUN FEMININE SUFFIX FEMININE NOUN


aviator -ix aviatrix
host -ess hostess
bachelor -ette bachelorette
hero -ine heroine
fiancé -e fiancée
comedian -enne comedienne
landlord -lady landlady
masseur -euse masseuse

A female pilot used to be called an aviatrix.


Now, like her male counterpart, she is referred to as an aviator.

12 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Spelling Patterns for Noun Formation by Suffix
Spelling in English is problematic, even for native speakers of the language. That’s because there
are so many “rules” to remember and just as many exceptions. The chart below shows the most
common spelling patterns for noun formation. Usual exceptions to the patterns are also listed, but
keep in mind that there are also rare exceptions to almost every pattern.

The final consonant of one-syllable run → runner


words is doubled when the suffix god → goddess
begins with a vowel. clap → clapper
plan → planner
The final consonant of a word of two propel → propellant
or more syllables is doubled when concur → concurrence
the syllable before the suffix is repel → repellent
stressed and contains only one
vowel. commit → committee

Silent e is retained before a suffix nice → niceness


beginning with a consonant. advertise → advertisement
crude → crudeness
safe → safety
Exceptions: true → truth
(where silent e is omitted) wise → wisdom
wide → width
argue → argument
acknowledge → acknowledgment
measure → measurement
Silent e is dropped before a suffix relate → relation
beginning with a vowel. please → pleasure
cooperate → cooperation
preserve → preservation
rare → rarity
move → moving
When a word ends in y, the y is multiply → multiplier
changed to i before adding a suffix. marry → marriage
try → trial
drowsy → drowsiness
ratify → ratification
hazy → haziness

UNIT 1 13
Noun Phrases
A noun phrase (NP) may substitute for an individual noun. A noun phrase is a group of words
containing a noun and its determiners and modifiers. The central noun of the phrase is called the
headword. Modifiers may occur either before or after the noun in a NP.

Noun Phrase (NP)


DETERMINER MODIFIER(S) NOUN (Headword) MODIFIER(S)

the old house near the river

the lake, serene and clear

the first young soldier killed

several men upstairs

Noun Phrase
the red barn in the pasture

Noun Equivalents
Noun phrases are only one of several substitutes for nouns. Clauses, adjectives, and adverbs can
also be used to perform noun functions. Their uses as nouns will be explained as each is presented.

14 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Noun Functions
Nouns function in two cases in sentences and clauses: the subjective case and the objective case.
 Subjective case nouns perform the action of a verb or rename the performer of the
action. They function as any of the following:
♦ subjects
♦ subject complements
♦ appositives

 Objective case nouns receive verb action. They function as any of the following:
♦ direct objects
♦ indirect objects
♦ objects of prepositions
♦ object complements

✦ Subject
These nouns in the subjective case function as subjects of sentences.
NOUN/NP as SUBJECT AUXILIARY VERB
Determiner Noun

Babies cry.

The ship has sailed.

Charles has left.

These boys can swim.

Many soldiers are marching.

UNIT 1 15
✦ Subject Complement
These nouns in the subjective case function as complements after linking verbs such as BE. They
are complements because they complete an idea and are subject complements because they tell
something about the subject, often by renaming, specifying, or describing.

NOUN/NP as SUBJECT VERB NOUN/NP as SUBJECT COMPLEMENT


Determiner Modifier Noun

Those men are soldiers.

My sons are fine men.

Her favorite food is fruit.

Mr. Rice became our favorite teacher.

✦ Appositive
These nouns in the subjective case function as appositives. They rename or identify another noun.
NOUN/NP as SUBJECT NOUN/NP as APPOSITIVE VERB DIRECT OBJECT

Our mechanic, John, fixes German cars.

My brother, the CPA, works on taxes.

Mr. Green, our supervisor, quit.

✦ Direct Object
These nouns in the objective case function as direct objects of verbs. They answer the question
what? or whom? after a verb.

NOUN/NP as SUBJECT VERB NP AS DIRECT OBJECT


Det Modifier Noun

Whom did the


The policeman caught the young thief. policeman catch?

What did the soldier


That soldier forgot the rations. forget?

Whom does the


The oldest son supports his parents. oldest son support?

16 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Indirect Object
These nouns in the objective case function as indirect objects of the verb. They answer the question
to whom/what? or for whom/what?
NOUN/NP DIRECT
VERB INDIRECT OBJECT
as SUBJECT OBJECT
Det Modifier Noun

For whom did


Margaret
gave their nephew a party. Margaret and Bill
and Bill
give a party?

For whom did our


Our friendly
brought the whole family a gift. friendly neighbor
neighbor
bring a gift?

To whom did John


a bedtime
John read the young children read a bedtime
story.
story?

✦ Object of a Preposition
These noun phrases in the objective case function as objects of prepositions.
NOUN/NP
VERB PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE (PP)
as SUBJECT
Preposition Noun/NP as Object Of Preposition
Det Modifier Noun
Joan talked with our new friends.

Jim swam in the cold water.

That man is from my country.

Bill is on the phone.

UNIT 1 17
✦ Object Complement
These nouns in the objective case function as complements after objects. They are complements
because they complete ideas about the objects. Complements often complete an idea by renaming,
or giving a role to, the original noun or pronoun.

NOUN/NP NOUN/NP as
VERB DIRECT OBJECT
as SUBJECT OBJECTIVE COMPLEMENT
Determiner Noun

The people made the hero their leader.

Some teachers consider David a genius.

The students elected him secretary.

✦ Direct Address (Vocative)


When nouns identify a person or group being addressed, they are called vocative. The vocative
usually, but not always, occurs at the beginning of a sentence.

VOCATIVE NOUN/NP SUBJECT NOUN/NP PREDICATE VERB PHRASE

Men, (you) be on the parade grounds early.

Ms. Smith, (you) come to my office, please.

Sharon, Alice is here!

Walter, the water is rising in the river.

Occasionally, the vocative occurs within the sentence:


Pay attention, everyone, to the following message.
Tell me, Tom, where you’re going.

18 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


2

Pronouns
A pronoun substitutes for a noun (Latin pro = for or in place of + noun). Pronouns do not have
complete meaning in themselves but derive their meaning from the context in which they are used.
When a pronoun refers to an identifiable noun, that referent noun is called the pronoun’s antecedent.
In some contexts pronouns do not have antecedents.

Types Of Pronouns
The most common categories of pronouns are as follows:
♦ personal
♦ demonstrative
♦ interrogative
♦ reciprocal
♦ indefinite

Personal Pronouns
Personal pronouns, such as I, you, he, she, and it, take the place of names of people or groups of
people. Personal pronouns are classified by number, person, and gender.

✦ Classification by Number
 Singular pronouns refer  Plural pronouns refer to two
to one person or thing. or more persons or things.

She is talking on the telephone. We were eating lunch.

The singular personal pronouns are he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, you, your, and yours.
The plural personal pronouns include we, us, our, you, your, yours, they, them, and theirs.

UNIT 2 19
✦ Classification by Person
 I and we are examples of first person pronouns, referring to the speaker or writer.
I spoke to the class.
We will pick Mike up at seven o’clock.

 You (singular) and you (plural) are second person pronouns, referring to the person or
persons addressed.
You can go to lunch now if you want to.
The President will meet with all of you tomorrow.

 He, she, it and they are third person pronouns, referring to the person, persons, or
things spoken or written about.
He was a war hero.
She wants to go out to dinner.
It is the last book that Dr. Suess wrote.
They were tired after class.

✦ Classification by Gender
 I, you, we and they do not identify  It refers to gender neutral animals
the gender of the antecedent. and things.

They are in the classroom. Look at the horse. What is it eating?


 He, him, and his refer to males.  She, her, and hers refer to females.

He looks happy. She is smiling.

20 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Some nouns fit more than one classification. For example, common nouns such as teacher, parent,
student, and friend can be antecedents for he or she, depending on the specific referent.
My teacher is nice. I like her. She is Ms. Smith.
I like my teacher. He is nice. He is Mr. Smith.

The following chart shows some of the types of nouns that these pronouns can refer to:
PRONOUN NOUN REFERENT
he man, father, brother, uncle, son, actor, king
she woman, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, waitress, queen
it box, idea, organization, childhood, opportunity, liberty
he or she teacher, parent, student, friend, secretary
he or it stallion, bull, ram, rooster
she or it hen, cow, doe, ewe, mare, ship, aircraft, car
he, she, it baby, dog, cat, pet (Note that if the name of the baby or the animal is
known, the speaker is likely to use he or she; if unknown, it.)

The plural pronoun they is used to refer to all plural nouns, regardless of gender.

✦ Classification by Case
Personal pronouns have several forms, or cases. The case that is used depends on the function of
the pronoun in the sentence, the kind of noun it replaces, or the context object to which it refers.

Common cases in English are as follows:


♦ subjective
♦ objective
♦ possessive
♦ reflexive

Subject (Nominative) and Objective Cases


The grammatical terms subject and object label functions of nouns in sentences. Pronouns can
serve in place of nouns in both subjective and objective cases.
 Subjective (or nominative) case refers to the function of a word as subject.

 Objective case refers to the function of a word as an object.

UNIT 2 21
Pronouns as Subjects and/or Direct Objects
The following chart shows how pronouns can act as subjects and direct objects. (NP indicates
noun phrase.)
SUBJECT VERB DIRECT OBJECT
Noun/NP/ Pronoun Noun/NP/Pronoun
Mr. Smith trained the dog.
He trained it.
Mary respects her parents.
She respects them.
John and Sam like you.
They like you.

Pronouns as Indirect Objects


Pronouns in the objective case can also be used as indirect objects. The following chart shows a
subject, an indirect object, and a direct object.
SUBJECT VERB INDIRECT OBJECT DIRECT OBJECT
Noun/NP Noun/NP/Pronoun Noun/NP
Ms. Jones gave the cat some milk.
Ms. Jones gave it some milk.

Judy gave the dogs bones.


Judy gave them bones.

Mike wrote his father a letter.


Mike wrote him a letter.

John and Ed sent Betty and Mary photographs.


John and Ed sent them photographs.

22 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions
The next chart shows how objective pronouns can function as objects of prepositions. Notice that
the pronoun forms are objective—the same as those used for direct and indirect objects.

SUBJECT VERB PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE


Noun/NP Preposition Noun/NP/PN as Object of Prep
This letter is from Aunt Mary.
This letter is from her.
The letter is for Mr. Doe.
The letter is for him.
The invitation is for John and Jane.
The invitation is for them.

Possessive Pronouns
Possessive pronouns, pronouns which indicate ownership, can substitute for possessive nouns.

POSSESSIVE NOUNS POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

Is this Bob and Anne’s house? Is this house theirs?

Is that Jason’s car? Yes, it’s his.

That’s not your umbrella. It’s hers.

UNIT 2 23
Reflexive Pronouns as Objects
Reflexive pronouns can replace nouns in any objective function: direct object, indirect object, or
object of preposition. However, their function is different from object pronouns because they
indicate that the subject and the object are the same person or thing.

He shot himself by accident.

DIRECT OBJECT I cut myself this morning.

Watch out! You’ll hurt yourself!

He taught himself English.

She cut herself a piece of cheesecake.


INDIRECT OBJECT
Pour yourself a drink.

They didn’t allow themselves enough time for the trip.

I bought this for myself.


OBJECT OF
He did the job all by himself.
PREPOSITION
As for myself, I have no need of a second car.

Plural Pronoun / Emphatic Singular Pronoun / Reflexive Case


The dignitaries, themselves, took us sightseeing. Elizabeth can drive the car herself.

Emphatic (Intensive) Pronouns


When used in apposition to (immediately following) nouns or pronouns, the -self words are
reflexive in form but not in meaning. Their meaning is emphatic, or intensive. They emphasize
the subject or assure that the subject of the verb is the performer of the action.
He, himself, told me the story.
Do it yourself! (You, not anybody else, do it!)
Beth told me about the incident herself.

24 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Interrelationship of Person, Gender, Number and
Case
The following charts show how the categories of case, number, person, and gender interrelate.

Plural Personal Pronouns – Indefinite Gender


CASE 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person

Subjective we you they


We are teachers. You are all tardy. They are my parents.
Objective us you them
Don’t forget us. We saw you today. Can you tell them?
Possessive ours yours theirs
That’s ours. The books are yours. Those cars are theirs.
Reflexive ourselves yourselves themselves
We did it ourselves. Did you hurt yourselves? They introduced
themselves to us.

Singular Personal Pronouns


1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person
CASE INDEFINITE GENDER MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTRAL
Subjective I you he she it
I am a You are He is my She is my It’s a good
teacher. tardy. father. mother. movie.

Objective me you him her it


Don’t forget We saw Can you tell He told her. David bought it.
me. you today. him?

Possessive mine yours his hers –


That’s mine. The book is That car is This chair is (no possessive
yours. his. hers. case)

Reflexive myself yourself himself herself itself


I cut myself. At a buffet, He She did it by The dog hurt
you serve introduced herself. itself.
yourself. himself to
us.

UNIT 2 25
Demonstrative Pronouns
This, that, these, and those are demonstrative pronouns. This (singular) and these (plural) usually
substitute for things near the speaker in space or in time, while that and those refer to things at a
greater distance.

✦ this / that

This is my horse. That is my neighbor’s horse.

✦ these / those

These are my horses. Those are my neighbor’s horses.

26 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Demonstrative Pronouns as Subjects or Objects
When demonstrative pronouns substitute for people or things, they may be used as subjects or
objects.

SUBJECT This is my favorite food.

These are my children.

That is the capital building.

Those are books for students.

DIRECT OBJECT We’ll put this in the kitchen.

Did you find these in the garage?

INDIRECT OBJECT Give this your immediate attention.

Send that to the repair shop.

OBJECT OF PREPOSITION What can I understand from this?

We talked about that yesterday.

Hang those pictures above these.

✦ Demonstrative Pronouns Used to Express Time


Demonstrative pronouns may also be used to refer to periods of time.

PRESENT This is the most pleasant time of the year in the South.

PRESENT AND RECENT These are unusually warm days that we’ve been having.

PERIOD IN THE PAST Those were the good old days.

SPECIFIC PAST TIME That was the day Johnny got his first tooth.

NEAR FUTURE SPECIFIC This is the weekend we are planning to go to the coast.
(next Saturday and Sunday)

FUTURE SPECIFIC That is the weekend we are planning to go to the coast.


(a weekend in a future month)

NOTE: Demonstrative pronouns are also used as determiners before nouns.


(Example: This book is good.) See the unit on determiners (page 99).

UNIT 2 27
Interrogative Pronouns
Who, whom, whose, what, and which are interrogative pronouns. They are sometimes called
question words because they are most often used to ask questions. They can function as subjects
and objects. Interrogative pronouns can be combined with the suffix -ever.

✦ Interrogative Pronouns as Subjects and Objects


SUBJECT Who is outside?
Who and what are commonly used with
What made that noise?
singular verbs.
Who is calling?
Note: Statement word order is used when an
interrogative pronoun functions as a subject. What happened?

Which are you looking at?

DIRECT OBJECT What did you buy?

Which do you prefer?

Whose did you use?

Who(m) did you visit?

OBJECT OF PREPOSITION Who(m) did you talk to ? To whom did


you talk?

From whom did you buy your car?

Whose (house) did you go to?

Whom is an optional form in standard American English today. It is often used immediately
following a preposition but has been replaced by who in most other objective constructions. Whom
is still preferred for all uses in the objective case in formal English.

The words whose, what, and which also serve as modifiers of nouns. (Whose book is that?) In this
position, they function as determiners rather than pronouns. (See the unit on determiners, page
99.)

28 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Else and -ever
Else Used in Questions
When an interrogative pronoun is followed by else, the question is requesting additional or different
information.

SUBJECT Who else was at the meeting?

DIRECT OBJECT Whom else did you meet?

INDIRECT OBJECT You gave whom else this memo?

-ever Used in Questions


The suffix -ever adds a quality of surprise to the basic interrogative pronoun. It serves to intensify
the question, making it almost an exclamation.
QUESTION IMPLIED MEANING

Whoever told you that? That can’t possibly be true.

Whatever made him say such a thing? I know he didn’t mean that.

Who(m)ever did you give all that money to? You gave away a million dollars.

NOTE: In legal and formal situations, you may come across the somewhat archaic suffix -soever.
Like -ever, it can be used to intensify. Example: Whosoever comes under the jurisdiction of this
court will be required to abide by the laws hereby set forth.

-ever Used in Statements


In a statement, the use of the suffix -ever suggests choice or indifference.
QUESTION STATEMENT

What would you like to do after dinner? Whatever you like.

Who is going to teach that class? Whoever is available.

What should we do if we want to go? Whoever wants to go should call.

Which of the books can we use? Whichever you want will be fine.

NOTE: The suffix -ever has the same effect when added to interrogative adverbs, such as where
and when. Examples: Wherever did you buy that sweater? or Where would you like to go for
lunch? Wherever you like. or Whenever you’re ready, we’ll go. (See the unit on adverbs, page
87.)

UNIT 2 29
Reciprocal Pronouns
Each other and one another are used We always give each
to show a mutual or reciprocal other birthday presents.
relationship. They usually occur as
objects.

DIRECT OBJECT Martha and her aunt see each other every week.
INDIRECT OBJECT Anne and I wrote each other letters for years.
OBJECT OF PREPOSITION Did you see those two children running toward each
other?
POSSESSIVE The students read one another’s papers.

Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns designate nonspecific persons or things. They are commonly grouped
according to their referents—people or things which can or cannot be counted. Indefinite pronouns
form a very large category, but the list of those frequently used, like some, each, all, and everybody,
is relatively short. A great many words in this category also function as determiners.

✦ Commonly Used Indefinite Pronouns


COUNT NONCOUNT
Singular Plural
anybody any any
anyone all all
anything none none
everybody few, a few (of) little, a little (of)
everyone some some
everything several much
nobody enough enough
none (of) plenty (of) a lot, lots (of)
nothing both
somebody many
someone more
something a lot, lots (of)
each
either
neither
no one

30 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Use of Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns are used as
subjects and objects.

Tom won’t speak to anybody


until he finishes his report.

SUBJECT Some like cream with their coffee.


Either will be acceptable.
Anyone can do it.
DIRECT OBJECT Would you like a little?
I bought several.
He didn’t buy many.
INDIRECT OBJECT Please give everyone a pencil.
I gave each some money.
Mark told others your story.
OBJECT OF PREPOSITION Cream is distasteful to a few.
The movie was interesting to some.
Training is good for everybody.

UNIT 2 31
✦ Specific uses of Particular Indefinite Pronouns
Much Any No
Much (used by itself) generally requires a You don’t have much to complain about.
negative verb when it is used as an
Compare to:
object.
You have a lot to complain about.
Indefinite pronouns formed with any are Do you have anything with you?
usually used in questions and negative
Compare to:
statements.
Yes, I have something with me.

I don’t know anyone here.


Compare to:
I know everyone here.
Indefinite pronouns containing no create Nobody is allowed past this gate.
negatives and are commonly used with
Compare to:
affirmative verbs.
Visitors are not allowed past this gate.

Subject-Verb Agreement
Singular and noncount indefinite pronouns require third person singular verbs.

Everybody wants to go to the football game tonight.

I’m not sure what it is, but something seems wrong here.

None of the cake was eaten.

Sometimes a little is better than a lot.

Plural indefinite pronouns require third person plural verbs. Any, all, none, some, enough, a lot, and
lots may take third person singular or plural verbs, depending on whether their referents are count or
noncount nouns.
The boys are here. A lot are hungry.
(The plural verb are is used because the pronoun a lot refers to the count noun boys.)

Some fruit is on the table. A lot is too ripe too eat.


(The singular verb is is used because the pronoun a lot refers to the noncount noun
fruit.)

32 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Here are many types of vegetables.
All are delicious.

In sentences having indefinite pronouns of quantity (quantifiers) plus an of-phrase as subject, the
noun in the of-phrase determines whether the verb is singular or plural.

All of the furniture was painted.


All of the chairs were painted.

Some of the jewelry was stolen.


Some of the rings were stolen.

In sentences expressing mathematical functions, the verbs BE and equal may be either singular or plural.
Four and six is/are ten.
Four times five equal/equals twenty.

Either, neither, and any, when expressing a choice, traditionally use singular verbs.
Either of the offices is acceptable to the colonel.
Neither of the men was promoted.

Pronoun Modification
Pronouns ending in -one, -body, and -thing can be followed by adjectives.
Somebody new just joined the class.
Have you read anything interesting lately?
Everything important is mentioned in this chapter.
The indefinite pronoun one may be preceded by an adjective. Note that one may be pluralized by
adding -s.
Mary likes the blue one.
I'll take the small ones.

UNIT 2 33
Other Pronoun Forms
✦ Anticipatory It
Anticipatory it substitutes for the actual subject of a sentence, which occurs after the verb.

It is nice to see you.


(The phrase to see you is the actual subject of the sentence.)

It is believed that some day all diseases will be eradicated.


(The clause that some day all diseases will be eradicated is the actual subject of the
sentence.)

✦ Impersonal It
Impersonal it is used to refer to weather conditions, distance, time, temperature, or identification.
A linking verb, usually BE, is used with impersonal it.

It seems hot in here.

It’s humid today.

It’s 12:00.

It’s five miles to the nearest store.

✦ Relative Pronouns
The most common relative pronouns are who, whom, which, and that. They work as subjects or
objects in clauses and give information about noun phrases.
The man who just spoke to you is my Uncle Jim.

The sofa which we bought last night has leather upholstery.

Note that sometimes the relative pronoun can be omitted.


The ice cream that I like best is vanilla.

The ice cream I like best is vanilla.

The different functions of relative pronouns will be covered in Unit 9, Phrases and Clauses, page 119.

34 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


3

Verbs – Part I
Verbs are used constantly in spoken and written English. They are used to make statements and
requests, give commands, and ask questions. Sometimes called the heart of the sentence, the verb is
the most complicated part of speech.

Some grammarians classify verbs as either finite or nonfinite. Finite verbs are verbs which
function, alone or with auxiliaries, as complete verbs.
Mark swims ten miles every day.
The boys walked to the bus stop.
Bob will go to the bookstore today.
Meet me at the restaurant.

As shown in the examples above, finite verbs are limited by person, number, and mood—each of
which will be covered in detail in this chapter. A finite verb can also function as the predicate of a
sentence. In other words, it says something about the subject.

Nonfinite verbs are verb forms which function as other parts of speech in sentences. They include
infinitives, participles, and gerunds—each of which will be covered in detail in Unit 9. Nonfinite
verbs are also called verbals.
I like to swim.
(infinitive used as a direct object)
Feeling sleepy after her lunch, Martha took a nap.
(present participial phrase used as adverb)
Gerald, exhausted after his long trip, vowed never to fly again.
(past participial phrase used as an adjective)
Correcting pronunciation is one of an English teacher’s jobs.
(gerund phrase used as a subject)

Functions of Finite Verbs


Finite verbs function in sentences as one or more of the following:
♦ linking verbs
♦ transitive verbs
♦ intransitive verbs

UNIT 3 35
✦ Linking Verbs
Linking verbs do not describe an observable action, but simply link (or connect) the subject with a
word or words which tell something about the subject's nature, occupation, condition, or
appearance. In fact, linking verbs are much like an equal sign (=). It is even possible to substitute
the word “equal(s)” for the linking verb in some sentences.1
The BE verb is the most common linking verb. In statements, BE and other linking verbs link the
subject with a complement. A complement is a noun, adjective, or adverb2 which identifies,
modifies, or relates to the subject.

Linking Verb BE + Subject Complement


SUBJECT BE SUBJECT COMPLEMENT

I am hungry. (adjective complement)

The girls are tired of playing. (adjective complement)

You are a doctor. (noun complement)

Fort Sam Houston is an Army post. (noun complement)

We are overseas. (adverb complement)

Tom’s room is on the third floor. (adverbial complement)

See how many different types of complements you can find for the BE verbs in the following
paragraph:

My husband and I are newlyweds. We used to live in Detroit,


but now we are in New York. We like New York. It’s exciting
here. This is our apartment building. Our apartment is
upstairs.

Answers:
newlyweds (noun complement);
in New York (adverbial complement);
exciting here (adjective complement);
our apartment building (noun complement);
upstairs (adverbial complement)

1
The importance of the meaning of most linking verbs is limited. This is particularly true of BE, which some
grammarians do not categorize as a verb, but put in a category by itself, between function words and true verbs.
Because of this weak semantic content, linking verbs, like function words, seldom receive much voice stress.
2
Many grammarians include adverbs and adverbials as subject complements of the BE verb. Some traditional
grammarians, however, consider the BE verb an intransitive verb when followed by an adverb or adverbial. This text
treats the BE verb as a linking verb and adverbs and adverbials as complements of the BE verb.
36 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Other Linking Verbs + Complements
SUBJECT LINKING VERB SUBJECT COMPLEMENT

The captain got angry this morning. (adjective complement)

Smith’s son became a lawyer. (noun complement)

The food in the mess hall seems better today. (adjective complement)

✦ Transitive Verbs
Whereas linking verbs indicate a state of being, transitive verbs describe mental or physical
activity. And just as linking verbs always have subject complements, transitive verbs always have
direct objects.

Transitive Verb + Direct Object


SUBJECT VERB DIRECT OBJECT

The colonel invited several friends.

We watched a good movie.

The captain wants more volunteers.

Transitive verbs may also have indirect objects. Occasionally transitive verbs have a direct object
and an object complement—a noun or adjective that modifies or relates to the direct object. (Refer
to Unit 8, page 111, for more information on sentence patterns.)

Transitive Verb + Indirect Object + Direct Object


SUBJECT VERB INDIRECT OBJECT DIRECT OBJECT

The major will write you a letter of recommendation.

Ned passed me the pepper.

Anthony is giving the baby some orange juice.

Note: Each of these sentences can be rewritten with a preposition. The direct object precedes
the prepositional phrase which functions as the indirect object. Example: The major will write
a letter of recommendation for you.

UNIT 3 37
Isabel told Marcus a joke.
(Trans verb +IO + DO)

Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Object Complement


SUBJECT VERB DIRECT OBJECT OBJECT COMPLEMENT

They considered him an intelligent person.

We thought the food delicious.

I want my coffee black.

Citizens elect a person President.

38 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Verbs Which May Be Linking or Transitive
Verbs of perception (feel, smell, taste, sound, look) function as either linking verbs or transitive
verbs. As linking verbs, they are followed by subject complements which describe the subjects. As
transitive verbs, they show physical action of the subjects and have direct objects.

Verbs of Perception as Linking Verbs


SUBJECT LINKING VERB SUBJECT COMPLEMENT

I feel uncomfortable with those people.

Your new perfume smells wonderful.

This ice cream tastes too sweet.

That music sounds awfully loud.

Your cake looks delicious.

Verbs of Perception as Transitive Verbs


SUBJECT TRANSITIVE VERB DIRECT OBJECT

The tailor felt the soft material.

I smell smoke.

Denise tasted the soup.

A police officer sounded the alarm.

Bird watchers look at birds.

UNIT 3 39
✦ Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verbs do not have objects. They show a complete action on their own. However, they
are often modified by adverbs or adverbials telling how, when, where, or why.

SUBJECT INTRANSITIVE VERB ADVERB/ADVERBIAL

The dogs are barking.

The prisoner escaped last night.

The girl smiled shyly.

(You) Stand at attention!

The troops landed at dawn.


(Sub + Intrans. Verb + Adverbial)

It is important to remember that whether a verb is transitive or intransitive does not depend on the
verb itself, but on its use in the sentence.
SUBJECT TRANSITIVE VERB INTRANSITIVE VERB OBJECT

Some dogs bite.

Some dogs bite letter carriers.

40 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


These verbs are usually transitive:

raise Please raise the window.


We need to raise some money.
lay Lay the book on John’s desk.
put Where did you put the car?
enjoy Mr. Williams enjoys opera music.

We enjoyed our tour of the White House.


(transitive verb enjoy)

These verbs are usually intransitive:

sit Why don’t you sit over here?


rise The sun will rise over the bay tomorrow.
lie Don’t lie in the sun too long.
come Are you coming to the movie with us?
go She wanted her guests to go home.

The sun rose at 6:30 a.m.


(intransitive verb rise)

UNIT 3 41
Verb Tenses
Tense indicates when an action takes place. The basic tenses are past, present, and future. In
English, only the past and present tenses are considered simple. The simple present is indicated by
the base form (infinitive form without to) of the verb, such as talk, need, ask. The regular past is
created by adding the suffix -ed, as in talked, needed, asked. However, there are also many
irregular past tense verbs, such as saw, found, kept. The future, the perfect, and the progressive
tenses require the addition of auxiliaries, sometimes called helping verbs, to the simple present form
of the verb. Person and number also affect the formation of verb tense.

✦ Person
The grammatical terms first person, second person, and third person refer to the relationship of
individual persons or groups to the action indicated by the verb.
 First person refers to
♦ the person who is speaking or writing (I),
or
♦ that person and one or more persons in the same group (we).

 Second person indicates


♦ the person or group spoken or written to (you).

 Third person indicates


♦ all people or entities spoken or written about (Mary, he, they).

✦ Number
The grammatical terms singular and plural designate the number of people or entities indicated in
a grammatical construction.
 Singular refers to one.

 Plural refers to more than one.

42 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


The Simple Tenses
✦ Simple Present Tense
In the present tense, all verbs, except BE and have, use the same form—the base form, or simple
present—for all persons except the third person singular. For the third person singular, an
inflectional ending of -s or -es is added, sometimes after a spelling change.

SUBJECT VERB
write fix try go be have

1st person I write fix try go am have

We write fix try go are have

2nd person You (singular)


write fix try go are have
You (plural)

3rd person He

singular She writes fixes tries goes is has

It

plural They
write fix try go are have
Bo & Jo

UNIT 3 43
Use of the Present Tense
In English, where time and tense do not always correlate exactly, the present tense has several uses.

The present tense is used to express a condition occurring at the time of speaking or writing that
may continue for a short time.
He is sick.
The coaches are angry.
We are here.
Mary seems delighted.

I’m on the phone.

The present tense is used to express a general truth.


The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
The earth revolves around the sun.
Dogs like bones.
Leaves fall in autumn.

The present tense is used to express the idea that an activity or capability existed before the moment
of speaking or writing, exists at that moment, and is expected to continue into the future.
He lives on Wilson Street.
Juanita speaks fluent English.
Richard bakes bread.
My children dislike romance movies.

The present tense is used to express a customary or habitual action. Adverbs of frequency (always,
seldom, usually, etc.) are often used to reinforce this concept.
He often goes to the movies on Saturday.
Peggy usually takes the bus to work.
I sometimes sleep late on Sunday.
Ahmed seldom makes a mistake in math.
Richard smokes a pack of cigarettes every day.

44 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


The present tense can be used to express future time. Adverbs of time often clarify the meaning in
this construction.
There is a meeting next week.
They leave for Slovenia Thursday.
John’s plane arrives this evening.
The movie starts at 8:00.

The present tense is used to refer to what an author has said, whether the author is living or dead.
The present tense is also used to refer to the content of any art form.
Shakespeare analyzes types of leadership in his histories.
Amy Tan writes about the experiences of Asian-American women.
At the end of the movie, the hero dies, but his message lives on.
In his Ninth Symphony, Beethoven appeals to a universal hope.

The present tense is sometimes used to create a sense of immediacy, as in the following:
♦ Newspaper Headlines
San Antonio Floods Again
Earthquakes Shake California
♦ Informal First Person Stories
“I call her, but her brother says she’s not home. The next day she tells me I
shouldn’t call again.”
♦ Stage directions in manuscripts of plays
Villain enters from left.
Shot is fired from offstage.
Villain falls.

UNIT 3 45
✦ Simple Past Tense
The past tense of regular verbs is formed by adding -ed or -d to the base form. The past tense of
most irregular verbs is formed by an internal vowel change. Except for BE, past tense verbs do not
change form to indicate person or number.

Regular and Irregular Past Tense Formation


Present Tense Past Tense
talk talked
Regular verb
agree agreed
speak spoke
Irregular Verb fly flew
come came

For a complete list of irregular verbs, see Appendix B, page 172.

Past Tense of BE
BE has two past tense forms, was and were, distributed as follows:
SUBJECT SINGULAR PLURAL

1st person I was

We were

2nd person You (singular) were

You (plural) were

3rd person He was

Jane was

They were

Maria and Juan were

46 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Use of the Past Tense
The past tense is used to express a completed activity that occurred at a definite time in the past
specified by time words such as yesterday, last night, a year ago.
It rained last week.
She took her sister to the airport at 3:00 p.m.
I watched the Olympics last night.

I met my new boss yesterday.

The past tense is used to express a completed activity that occurred at an unspecified time in the
past.
The class went on a field trip.
He came to see us about his schedule.
Joy waited for the children.

The past tense is used to express an activity that occurred in the past over a period of time but was
completed before the time of speaking or writing.
He studied French when he was in high school.
Margaret taught in Alaska last year.
I lived on the island for three years.

UNIT 3 47
✦ Simple Future Tense
The future tense is sometimes expressed by a phrase made up of will plus the simple form of the
main verb. It is used to talk about actions that have not yet occurred. Note that there is no change
in the future tense to indicate number or person.

SUBJECT WILL VERB

1st person I will see.

We will see.

2nd person You (singular) will hear.

You (plural) will hear.

3rd person He will learn.

It will grow.

They will listen.

John and Mary will know.

Use of the Future Tense


Will can be used to express an action that will take place in the future at a specified or unspecified
time. Will is often contracted with a subject pronoun, as in I’ll and we’ll.
The colonel will see you tomorrow at eight o’clock.
They will be late if they don’t hurry.
I’ll do my best to help you.
We’ll discuss that later.

Will can also be used to express willingness to act.


I’ll do that for you.
I’ll swim across the lake if you will.

48 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Occasionally shall replaces will in very formal constructions. It can also be used for emphasis.
I shall travel the world when I retire.
You shall be on time for class.
Someone who shall remain nameless told me some gossip about you.

In American English, however, shall is more commonly used in question form, with first person
only, to offer a suggestion or a choice.
Shall we leave now?
Shall we go to a movie or play golf on Saturday?

BE going to
In spoken American English, a form of BE followed by going to often expresses future time.3
Notice that going to and the base form of the verb do not change, but that the form of BE changes
to reflect person and number.

SUBJECT FUTURE TENSE


BE Singular BE Plural going to Verb

1st person I am going to walk.

We are going to walk.

2nd person You are going to answer.

You are going to answer.

3rd person He is going to finish.

She is going to finish.

It is going to finish.

They are going to finish.

John and Joe are going to finish.

3
In speech going to is often pronounced gonna. Second language learners sometimes incorrectly produce gonna to.
UNIT 3 49
The Progressive Tenses
✦ Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense, also called the present continuous, is created using a present tense
form of BE and the present participle form of the verb.

SUBJECT PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE


BE Singular BE Plural -ing Verb

1st person I am singing.

We are singing.

2nd person You (singular) are listening.

You (plural) are listening.

3rd person He is growing.

She is learning.

It is growing.

They are learning.

Sam and Ann are growing.

50 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Use of the Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense is used to express an activity that is in progress at the moment of
speaking or writing but that will probably finish in the near future. This near-future completion is
sometimes clarified by adding now or right now.
Dad is cooking dinner.
Cliff is practicing his violin.
John and Judy are working in the yard right now.
Are you doing your housework now?

The present progressive tense is used to express an activity that began in the past, continues into the
present, and probably will continue into the future for an unspecified length of time.
Mary is studying music in New York.
Fred’s son is working for an oil company in Kuwait.
The state highway department is repairing Military Drive.
The Garcias are living in Germany.

The present progressive tense is used to express an activity that will take place in the future. A time
word or phrase may be used to clarify this usage.
Margarita is going to college in Chicago next year.
The new commandant is arriving in April.
We are buying a new car as soon as the new models come out.

The present progressive tense is used in combination with always to emphasize a frequently
repeated action. Sometimes the emphasis expresses dissatisfaction.
Mr. Williams is always going to the opera.
The children are always complaining about their homework.
The state is always repairing the highways.

Andrew is always daydreaming.

UNIT 3 51
✦ Past Progressive Tense
The past progressive tense, also called the past continuous, is created using a past tense form of
BE and the present participle form of the verb.

SUBJECT PAST PROGRESSIVE TENSE


BE Singular BE Plural -ing Verb

1st person I was studying.

We were studying.

2nd person You (singular) were working.

You (plural) were working.

3rd person He was singing.

She was playing.

It was working.

They were learning.

John and Joe were studying.

Use of the Past Progressive Tense


The past progressive tense is used to indicate that one action in the past was in progress when
another occurred.
I was watching my favorite show when the pollster called.
John was washing his car when the storm hit.
They were working in the library when I saw them last.

The past progressive tense can be used to indicate a continuous action in the past. This construction
has a meaning very similar to the simple past.
It was raining this morning. (It rained this morning.)
I was singing to the baby before bedtime. (I sang to the baby before bedtime.)

The past progressive tense can be used to answer a question about past actions.
What were you doing?
I was singing to the baby.

52 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Future Progressive Tense
The future progressive tense is formed from
will + BE + the -ing verb form. The construction
does not change to accommodate person or
number.

John will be watching the baby next week.

SUBJECT FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE


will be -ing Verb

1st person I will be reading.

We will be speaking.

2nd person You will be writing.

You will be learning.

3rd person He will be reading.

She will be speaking.

It will be living.

They will be hearing.

John and Joe will be writing.

Use of the Future Progressive Tense


The future progressive tense is used to designate a single event that will be occurring anytime in the
future, or an occurrence that may become habitual in the future. Note that will is often contracted
with pronouns.
I’ll be seeing you.
When I retire, I’ll be playing golf more often.
He will be calling you sometime this week.

UNIT 3 53
The Perfect Tenses
The perfect tenses relate an action to two points in time: the time of the action itself and another
time in the past, present, or future.
Have you been to Spain? (at some point in the past)
I have finished my homework. (action started in the past and recently completed)
The movie had already started when I got to the theater.
(two actions in the past—one occurring before the other)
Jane will have been in the military for ten years next July. (two points in the future)

It is helpful to think of perfect as meaning complete and the perfect tenses as ways to talk about the
time an action is perfected, or completed. All of the perfect tenses use a form of the auxiliary
(helping verb) have and the past participle (third form) of a verb.4

✦ Present Perfect Tense


The present perfect tense is formed with have or has and a past participle. This tense says that, as
of now, something has been or is being done.
SUBJECT PRESENT PERFECT TENSE
Singular Plural Past Participle

1st person I have called.

We have written.

2nd person You (singular) have sung.

You (plural) have drunk.

3rd person He has jumped.

She has run.

It has grown.

They have eaten.

Mary and Joey have learned.

4
Other helpers (BE and will) are used with some perfect tenses.
54 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Use of the Present Perfect Tense
The present perfect is used to show that an action began at
a stated time in the past and continues in the present.
Since is used with this construction.
He has lived here since May.
Magda has spoken English since she was a child.
The Browns have vacationed in Europe every
summer since 1980.
They have taken the train to work for years.

The present perfect is used to show that an action has occurred over a period of time beginning in
the past and continuing in the present. The preposition for is used to clarify this meaning.
I have attended DLI for about three months.
Joan has worked at the UN for sixteen years.
He has been here for about half an hour.

The present perfect is used to show that an activity has occurred one or more times in the
unspecified past.
I’ve been to New York only once.
John has written his wife six times.
I have explored the jungle occasionally.

The present perfect is used to refer to an action completed shortly before the present.
Our visitors have just left.
The commandant has briefed the troops.
We have eaten breakfast.

UNIT 3 55
Simple Past or Present Perfect?
Second language learners are often confused by the simple past and the present perfect tenses.
When is the simple past sufficient, and when is the present perfect needed?

Compare: Simple past: He studied French for two years.


(Here the simple past is used because he no longer studies French.)

Present Perfect: He has studied French for two years.


(Here the present perfect is used because he began studying French two years ago,
and he is still studying French now.)

These rules generally apply:


 If the action began and ended at a definite time in the past, the simple past is used.

 If the action continues into the present or was just completed, the present perfect is used.

✦ Past Perfect Tense


The past perfect tense is formed with had and the past participle of the verb. It shows that one
action occurred before another action in the past.
SUBJECT PAST PERFECT TENSE
had Past Participle

1st person I had gone

We had gone

2nd person You (singular) had eaten

You (plural) had eaten

3rd person He had seen

She had seen

It had seen

They had seen

Jim and Joe had seen

56 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Use of the Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect tense is used to indicate one action in the past which occurred before another event
in the past.
I had finished my work before the captain arrived.
Jason had cooked dinner by the time I finished setting the table.
When she realized she needed it, her car had already run out of gas.

MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO    TODAY


Dinosaurs had disappeared long before cities were built.

Notice that the past perfect is used in the main clause, but the simple past or past progressive is used
in the subordinate (supporting) clause. In some cases there is no supporting clause.

He had never seen a cigarette before.


(until that time—the time in the past when he first saw a cigarette)

He had already heard that story.


(at the time in the past when he heard it again)

UNIT 3 57
✦ Future Perfect Tense
The future perfect tense is formed by will have and the past participle. It relates two events to the
future.
SUBJECT FUTURE PERFECT TENSE
will have Past Participle
1st person I will have worked
We will have studied
2nd person You (singular) will have played
You (plural) will have run
3rd person He will have learned
She will have written
It will have happened
They will have spoken
Sal and Sam will have lived

Use of the Future Perfect Tense


The future perfect is used to show that an event will be completed before a second event which will
occur in the future.
I will have finished my work before you arrive.
She will have left by the time the other guests arrive.
Julia will have lived in six countries when she returns to the States.

Notice that the event in the main clause may have started in the past or may start in the future. This
tense indicates the time the occurrence finishes, not the time it begins. The tense of the verb in the
supporting clause is simple present.

These students will have gotten to know each other well


by the time they finish their project.

58 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


The Perfect Progressive Tenses
The perfect progressive tenses combine characteristics of the perfect tenses and the progressive
tenses. They are perfect in that they relate one action to another in time. They are progressive in
that the earlier of the two actions is in progress. Because they are perfect, they use have, has, or
had and been. Because they are progressive, the -ing form of the verb is used.

✦ Present Perfect Progressive Tense


The present perfect progressive tense is formed with have or has plus been and the -ing form of
the main verb.
SUBJECT PRESENT PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSE
Singular Plural -ing Verb

1st person I have been studying.

We have been studying.

2nd person You (singular) have been writing.

You (plural) have been writing.

3rd person He has been working.

She has been working.

It has been working.

They have been working.

Juan and Ahmed have been working.

UNIT 3 59
Use of the Present Perfect Progressive Tense
The present perfect progressive is used to express an action that began in the past and is continuing
in the present.
I have been studying all night.
You have been working very hard.
Brian has been writing a thesis.
Notice that all of these actions are happening now but began in the past. In the first two examples,
the progressive verbs are intransitive and are followed by adverbial phrases. In the third example,
the progressive verb is transitive with a direct object.

✦ Past Perfect Progressive Tense


The past perfect progressive tense is formed with had
plus been and the-ing form of the main verb. When is often
used to introduce the clause containing the second action.

We had been driving for an hour


when it started to rain.

SUBJECT PAST PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSE

1st person I
had been studying
We

2nd person You (singular)


had been writing
You (plural)

3rd person He

She

It had been working

They

Maria and Elsa

60 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Use of the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
The past perfect progressive is used to express an action that had been in progress for some time
when another action in the past occurred. This tense does not indicate whether the first action
stopped when the second action took place.
Maria had been working on the project when I was assigned to it.
I had been studying English for three years before they sent me to DLI.

✦ Future Perfect Progressive Tense


The future perfect progressive tense is formed by adding will, to indicate the future, to the other
components of the perfect progressive.
SUBJECT FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSE

1st person I
will have been studying
We

2nd person You (singular)


will have been writing
You (plural)

3rd person He

She

It will have been working

They

Gerald and Judith

UNIT 3 61
Use of the Future Perfect Progressive
The future perfect progressive is used to express an action that will have been in progress when
another action occurs in the future.
On the first of October, I will have been living in my present home for exactly ten years.
When he gets to Jackson, he will have been flying for twenty hours.

By the time of the recital, she will have been playing


the violin for five years.

62 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


4

Verbs – Part II
Voice
Sentences occur in one of two voices, active or passive:
 Active voice indicates that the subject of the sentence is performing the action indicated
by the verb.
Stephen chose the navy blue jacket.
The boys ate all of the pies.

 Passive voice indicates that the subject of the sentence is receiving the action of the verb.
The navy blue jacket was chosen by Stephen.
All of the pies were eaten by the boys.

ACTIVE VOICE PASSIVE VOICE


Joseph caught the ball. The ball was caught by Joseph.

✦ Active Voice
Most sentences with transitive verbs indicate the subject acting on something outside of itself – the
object. The following is an example: The dog chased the cat. In this sentence, the dog (the
subject) is the agent (the performer of the action), and the cat (the object) is the receiver of the
action. This sentence is in the active voice. The active voice can occur in any tense.

UNIT 4 63
Use of the Active Voice
The active voice is used to indicate that the subject of the sentence is performing the action
indicated by the main verb.
SUBJECT VERB DIRECT OBJECT

Storms destroy trees.

The storm destroyed many trees. Notice that, even


though the verb
The storm will destroy the elm tree. changes form to
indicate tense, in
The storm is destroying all the trees. every case the
subject, storm or
The storm has destroyed the palms. storms, is
performing the
Storms will have destroyed all the trees. action.

The storm has been destroying trees all night.

✦ Passive Voice
Some sentences with transitive verbs indicate the subject as receiver of the action of the verb. In
this case there is no object. These sentences are in the passive voice. For example: The cat was
chased by the dog. Passive voice sentences use the past participle of the verb preceded by a BE
auxiliary. It is this BE auxiliary—not the past participle—which indicates tense.
SUBJECT VERB BE + participle PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

Trees are destroyed by storms.

Many trees were destroyed by the storm.

The elm tree will be destroyed by the storm.

All the trees are being destroyed by the storm.

The palms have been destroyed by the storm.

All the trees will have been destroyed by storms.

These trees have been being destroyed by storms ever since I can remember.

Notice that, in each example, something happens to the trees. They are acted upon – destroyed – by
the storm or storms. The past participle destroyed is used, and the BE verb changes to indicate
tense. The performer of the action, when specified, is indicated in a prepositional phrase. Note also
that, while an example has been provided, most grammarians do not approve of using perfect
progressive tenses in the passive.

64 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Passive Voice without Designated Agent
Often the prepositional phrase designating the agent, or performer of the action, is omitted.
Sometimes other information about the action is included.
COMPLETING SUBJECT VERB COMPLETING
INFORMATION INFORMATION
He was killed yesterday.
She was fired from her job.
During the storm several trees were destroyed.
Julio was promoted.

Use of the Passive Voice


Although many current writers try to avoid the passive voice in favor of the active voice, the
passive voice is widely used in textbooks, scientific, technical, and business reports, and newspaper
and magazine articles. In fact, use of the passive is appropriate, and even preferred, under the
following circumstances:
 the performer of the action is unknown, and/or the receiver is more important than the
performer
The pedestrian was injured.
 the subject is inanimate and cannot perform an action
The house was painted yesterday.
 the action itself is to be emphasized
John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
 the speaker wishes to avoid assigning blame
I’m sorry, but your flight has been canceled and your luggage has been lost.
 a situation is of social or historical significance
The peace treaty will be signed today.
 a statement is intended to be objective and impersonal
The decision was made yesterday.
 a question asks for time of an event
When was the last treaty signed?

UNIT 4 65
✦ The GET-Passive
Frequently, a get auxiliary is used to form passive constructions. This informal structure, called the
GET-passive, is created by combining get and the past participle of a verb. Although the GET-
passive is very common in spoken American English, the BE-passive appears more frequently in
writing. Compare the following examples:

GET-Passive (Informal) BE-Passive (Formal)


The mail gets delivered at eleven. The mail is delivered at eleven.

He’s going to get promoted to major. He will be promoted to major.

✦ Transformation of Direct and Indirect Objects to


Passive Subjects
The following is an example of a sentence written in the active voice with a transitive verb and both
direct objects and indirect objects.
transitive verb indirect object direct object
Mr. Jones sent Mr. Smith a letter.
When a sentence of this type is transformed to the passive, either the direct object or the indirect
object can become the subject, depending on the emphasis desired. Thus, in the passive voice, the
example sentence above would appear as follows:
Mr. Smith was sent a letter (by Mr. Jones).
A letter was sent to Mr. Smith (by Mr. Jones).
Even though the same sentence content can be expressed in three different ways, those ways are not
equally effective in every circumstance. Use of the passive requires careful consideration.
Consider the following examples:
 Active
Professor Lear gave the class a challenging assignment.
(This example sentence gives Professor Lear credit for challenging his students.)

 Passive – direct object becomes subject


A challenging assignment was given to the class by Professor Lear.
(This sentence is awkward and probably would not occur in standard American
English, even though it is grammatically correct.)

 Passive – indirect object becomes subject


The class was given a challenging assignment by Professor Lear.
(This sentence appropriately stresses the challenge received by the class.)

66 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Stative Verbs
Some transitive verbs cannot be transformed into the passive voice. These are called stative verbs
or mid verbs.
That car must have cost a lot of money.
They had a promotion party last night.
That new uniform doesn’t suit all of the soldiers.
The captain’s smile lacks warmth.
Julie can’t afford a new car yet.
Juan and Maria want a larger house.

Exceptions are occasional special expressions such as, “A good time was had by all.”

Mood
In grammar, the term mood refers to the forms that reflect attitudes, ideas, or feelings about a
subject. Verb forms are used to express how a subject is thought about at the time of writing or
speaking. In English there are three moods:
 indicative
 imperative
 subjunctive

✦ Indicative Mood
The most common mood in English is the indicative, which can occur in all tenses. The indicative
is used for facts, opinions, and questions.
Mark works downtown on Saturdays.
When will your new house be finished?
Has the new commanding officer arrived yet?
The commander wants everyone here early tomorrow.
Mario and Lisa move to Florida every winter.
We always have a good time at their parties.

UNIT 4 67
✦ Imperative Mood
The imperative mood utilizes the simple form of the verb for both singular and plural. Often the
understood subject, you, is omitted.
 The imperative is used for orders, advice, requests, and sometimes suggestions.
Take this note to the commander.
Don’t waste so much time.
Please give me a call tomorrow about noon.
Stay awhile longer.
You, listen! Never do that again.
John, finish your homework.
You go down to the corner and turn right.

 The inclusive, or first person imperative, is used for suggestions, pleas, and
occasionally polite commands. Speakers or writers include themselves in the proposed
action by using let’s, a contraction of let us.
Let’s have a big Thanksgiving dinner.
Let’s try to fix this.
Let’s not waste so much time

 The inclusive is easily confused with the command form of let, meaning permit. While
both are examples of the imperative mood, they are not the same.
Let the soldiers have weekend passes.
Let the staff take a break.
Let me find some dry clothes for you.

68 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Subjunctive Mood
The subjunctive is the least used of the moods. Because it is used to express unreal or conditional
sentences, the subjunctive is also considered the most challenging of the moods to construct. Two
basic rules always apply to the formation of sentences in the subjunctive mood:
 In the present tense the subjunctive always uses the base form of the verb. The verb
does not change to agree with the subject in number and person.
It is essential that you be (not are) at the meeting on time.
John asked that she work (not works) more quickly.

 Were is used as the past tense form of BE.


If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.
I wish I were going with them to Switzerland.

Use of the Subjunctive


The subjunctive is effectively used in only four contexts:
 Contrary-to-fact clauses beginning with if
(The conditions expressed by the verbs in these examples do not exist.5)
If I were overseas, I would vote absentee. (I am not overseas.)
We could go to the coast if the weather were better. (The weather is not better.)

 Contrary-to-fact clauses expressing a wish (formally)


(Wishes are expressed in the subjunctive in formal English, but not in informal English.
Although a past subjunctive verb is used in the formal example, the time implied by the
verb is present.)
FORMAL: I wish [that] summer vacation were longer.
INFORMAL: I wish [that] summer vacation was longer.

 THAT-clauses following verbs such as ask, insist, recommend, request, and suggest
(These verbs express ideas that have not yet become reality, so the clauses that follow
them require the subjunctive mood. Note that, in current usage, the conjunction that is
often omitted from that-clauses.)
The supervisor insists [that] her staff be (not are) on time.
Dr. Johnson recommends [that] Josie take (not takes) an aspirin a day.
The instructions suggest [that] the user test (not tests) the color on a small area first.

5
The subjunctive is not used in IF clauses which express conditions that exist or may exist.
Example: If Joy moves (not move) to Washington, she will work at the Pentagon.
UNIT 4 69
 Certain set expressions
(A few set expressions from a time when the subjunctive was more widely used remain
in standard American English today.) Here is a partial list:
You could be right. Be that as it may, we will not discuss the topic any further.
My brother has owned many cats. He is, as it were, a feline authority.
The picnic will be held come rain or come shine.
Far be it from me to disagree with him!
Is today Friday? Would that it were!

Auxiliaries (Helping Verbs)


In English, a main verb is often preceded by a helping verb or auxiliary. Some auxiliaries function
only as helpers; they cannot act as main verbs in a sentence. These auxiliary verbs are called
modals.

✦ Modals
These verbs function only as auxiliaries—never as main verbs:
can6 shall could
may should would
will7 might must

A modal helps the main verb by giving it special meaning. It does not state facts, but expresses
mental concepts such as possibility, ability, permission, or obligation. It is placed before the simple
form of the verb.
We will finish this project sooner than expected.
You should call home once a week.
Students must study if they wish to succeed.
I would take a vacation, but I don’t have enough money.

6
The modal can should not be confused with the verb can. Examples: Grandmother cans vegetables every spring.
7
The modal will should not be confused with the verb will. Examples: He is going to will his entire estate to his
cousin. After her accident, she willed herself to walk again.
70 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Use of Modals
Modal use is extensive and varied. Here is a brief summary of the most basic uses of the nine
modals mentioned on the previous page.

MODAL USE EXAMPLE


can to express ability Martha can play the guitar.

to ask for or grant permission Mother, can I stay up to watch the movie?
informally
No, you can’t.

could as the past tense of can Martha could play the guitar when she
was six.

to express possibility We could go to the movie Saturday.

to make a very polite request Could you please turn up the heat?

may to formally ask for or grant Yes, you may finish the rest of the
permission chocolate cake.

to express slight possibility We may finish on time if we don’t have any


more interruptions.

might to express slight possibility John might want to go with you.

should8 to express opinion or moral You should (or ought to) eat less and get
obligation more exercise.

to express possible condition Should you finish the test early, you may
leave.

to express expectation She studied a lot, so she should pass the


test.

shall to make a suggestion Shall we have lunch at the new


Mediterranean restaurant?

to emphasize a command or You shall be in the barracks before curfew.


intention
I shall lose ten pounds before the holidays.

8
Some grammarians consider ought to an informal alternative to should in some contexts.
UNIT 4 71
MODAL USE EXAMPLE
will to express willingness I’ll clean the garage this weekend if you
want me to.

to express determination You will do as the training instructor says.

to express future plan The next congress will be evenly balanced.

to express expectation We’ll see you on Sunday.

must to express necessity or You must hurry or we’ll be late.


obligation
You must sign the application if you want
it to be considered.

to express deduction or logical It is 6:00 p.m. He must be home by now.


conclusion

would to make a polite request She isn’t here. Would you call back
please?

to express a contrary-to-fact I would go with you, but I have to take my


condition sister to the airport.

to express past habit now When I was younger, I would watch TV


discontinued five hours a day.

All of these modals, except can,9 are sometimes combined with have to form modal perfects—
modals in the present perfect tense.
He might have been there, but I didn’t see him.
John could have gone to the park.
Kate would have graduated last year, if she had passed her finals.
The driver should have paid attention to the speed limit.

9
Note that there are rare exceptions:
Example: He can’t have been the murderer! He was with me the whole time.
72 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
✦ Verbs With Double Functions
The verbs BE, do, and have, in all their forms, can function as either helping verbs or main verbs.

Use of Double Function Verbs as Helping Verbs


If have, has, or had is placed before the past participle form of another verb, it is a helper rather
than a main verb. (Past participles usually end in -ed, -d, -en, -n, or -t.)

Have, has, and to create a perfect tense. John has eaten six pieces of pie.
had are used as
John had eaten six pieces of pie by ten
helpers…
o’clock last night.
John will have eaten six pieces of pie
before he goes to bed tonight.

Do, does, and ask a question. Did Jerry answer his phone?
did are used as
emphasize a main verb. I do enjoy seeing good movies.
helpers with the
base form of a express a negative She never does finish on time.
verb to… meaning with not or
never (or adverbs of He rarely did please his employer.
frequency such as rarely
or seldom).

Forms of BE to form progressive I am wrapping the gifts now.


(be, am, is, are, tenses with the present
Joseph was running in the race.
was, were, been, participle (-ing form).
being) are used We have been working hard this
Note that be and been
as helpers… week.
are preceded by other
helpers when used to She will be going to Italy in the
form progressive tenses. spring.

to form the passive voice The gifts were wrapped.


with the past participle.
Bruce was selected for the Slovakian
assignment.
We are being given two hours to
finish the test.

UNIT 4 73
✦ Verb Substitutes
Just as a pronoun can substitute for a noun, a few verbs can substitute for other verbs or verb
phrases. In most cases this is done to avoid repeating a long phrase. The substitute verb is actually
the result of an ellipsis, or reduction, of the longer clause.

Do
In addition to its functions as a helper, do is probably the most common verb substitute.
She dances better than you do.
They like swimming, and so does he.
I’ll help with the dishes, if you do too.
Mary likes all kinds of music, and her sisters do too.
He is playing as well as Louis did.
She drove as well as you did.
They had more time than we do.
You don’t want to go to school anymore, do you?

Notice that the form of do agrees in tense, person, and number with the subject of the reduced
clause, not with the subject of the primary clause.

Other Auxiliaries as Verb Substitutes


Modals and other helping verbs are often substituted for main verbs in order to avoid duplication of
phrases.
They will succeed, and you will too.
He has been studying hard, but I haven’t.
Fran is going to Bermuda, and I am too.

74 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


5

Adjectives and Adverbs


In English, two parts of speech, adjectives and adverbs, are used to modify, or give more
information about, other parts of speech.
 Adjectives
♦ usually modify nouns or pronouns.
♦ also function as subject complements.

 Adverbs modify
♦ verbs (or verbals).
♦ adjectives.
♦ other adverbs.

Adjectives
Adjectives often modify nouns by describing them. They may describe by telling which, what kind
of, or how many.
the blond student (Which student?)
the antique furniture (What kind of furniture?)
fifty states (How many states?)

Adjectives can also be identified by their form and their place in the sentence:
 words which come before the noun in a noun phrase,

 words which follow a linking verb and describe the subject (subject complements),

 words derived from other parts of speech to identify characteristics,

 the definite articles a, an, and the.

UNIT 5 75
✦ Comparative and Superlative
Most adjectives can take comparative and superlative forms:

 The comparative reflects the relationship between two entities.

 The superlative describes the relationship among three or more entities.

The comparative and superlative are regularly formed in one of two ways:

 by adding an inflectional ending of -er or -est to the adjective

 by preceding the adjective with one of the adverbs more or most

Negative comparative and superlative are created in this way:


 by preceding the adjective with less or least

Inflected Comparative and Superlative Adjectives


Short (one syllable and some two syllable) adjectives usually show the comparative by adding -er
and the superlative by adding -est. Commonly, two-syllable adjectives ending in -y add -er or -est.
Adjective Comparative Superlative

rich richer richest

great greater greatest

high higher highest

wise wiser wisest

happy happier happiest

dear dearer dearest

heavy heavier heaviest

lively livelier liveliest

fancy fancier fanciest

76 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Modified Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Adjectives of three or more syllables and some of two syllables are preceded by more in the
comparative form and most in the superlative.
Adjective Comparative Superlative

interesting more interesting most interesting

grateful more grateful most grateful

peaceful more peaceful most peaceful

lucid more lucid most lucid

joyous more joyous most joyous

cautious more cautious most cautious

sensible more sensible most sensible

delicious more delicious most delicious

envious more envious most envious

thoughtful more thoughtful most thoughtful

Caution: In standard English, more is never combined with -er to form the comparative and most
is never combined with -est to form the superlative.

✕ Chocolate ice cream is more tastier ✕ Hamed is the most smallest of all
than vanilla ice cream. the children.
✔ Chocolate ice cream is tastier than ✔ Hamed is the smallest of all the
vanilla ice cream. children.

UNIT 5 77
Irregular Comparative/Superlative Forms
A few English adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms.
Adjective Comparative Superlative

good better best

bad worse worst

far farther farthest

far further furthest

little less least

Negative Comparative and Superlative Adjectives


Adjectives also take negative comparative and superlative forms.
Adjective Comparative Superlative

interesting less interesting least interesting

grateful less grateful least grateful

peaceful less peaceful least peaceful

lucid less lucid least lucid

joyous less joyous least joyous

cautious less cautious least cautious

sensible less sensible least sensible

delicious less delicious least delicious

envious less envious least envious

thoughtful less thoughtful least thoughtful

Negative comparative and superlative adjectives do not use -er or -est.

✕ The chocolate cookies are less tastier than the oatmeal ones.
✔ The chocolate cookies are less tasty than the oatmeal ones.

78 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Absolute Adjectives
Some adjectives are absolute by definition—that is, they are in a final or complete form, so they
cannot take a comparative or superlative form. Sometimes they may be modified, however. A
partial list includes the following:

perfect main principal


right chief wrong
square last dead
round complete single
supreme pregnant unique

Examples:
perfect
✕ He brought her the most perfect rose I have ever seen.
✔ He brought her a perfect rose.
(The rose of either perfect, or it is not.)
round
✔ The earth is almost round.
(Round is absolute, but the earth is not round; it is almost round)

✦ Adjectives Formed from Other Parts of Speech


Adjectives can be created from nouns, verbs, and participles by adding suffixes. The use of these
suffixes is not interchangeable, as each suffix has its own meaning. For example, several different
adjectives can be formed from the same noun by adding different suffixes.

Example:
Original noun: child
with adjective suffixes: childish childlike childless

UNIT 5 79
Adjectives Formed from Nouns
Adjectives can be created from nouns by adding one of these suffixes:
-al -ed -ish -ly
-ar -en -istic -ous
-ary -esque -less -wide
-ate -ical -like -y

Selected Adjectives Derived from Nouns


NOUN ADJECTIVE

character characteristic

comic comical

consul consular

fame famous

fool foolish

fortune fortunate

history historical

life lifelike

nation national

picture picturesque

plenty plentiful

prince princely

rock rocky

sense sensible

station stationary

storm stormy

talent talented

worth worthy

80 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Adjectives Formed from Verbs
Adjectives can be created from verbs by adding one of these suffixes:
-able -atory -ory
-al -ed -ous
-ant -ent -ing -some
-ate -ive -y

Selected Adjectives Derived from Verbs


VERB ADJECTIVE

adore adorable

appear apparent

attract attractive

bore bored / boring

censor censorious

congratulate congratulatory

continue continual

disappoint disappointed / disappointing

excite excitable

exclaim exclamatory

exclude exclusive

exist existent

jump jumpy

love loveable / lovely

please pleasant

provoke provocative

satisfy satisfied

train trainable

trouble Troublesome

UNIT 5 81
Participles Used as Adjectives (Emotive Adjectives)
Both present participles (-ing) and past participles (-en or -ed) are commonly used as adjectives.
These forms show either an active or passive emotional impact.

Examples:
The child enjoyed the amusing story.
(The story actively amused the child.)
The amused child enjoyed the story.
(The child was passively amused by the story.)

Emotive adjectives can be modified by more or most to take the comparative or superlative form.
The child found reading more amusing than playing soccer.

Proper Nouns Used as Adjectives


Often proper nouns or words derived from proper nouns are used to modify other nouns. These
“proper” adjectives are always capitalized.
Spanish student
Methodist church
French restaurant
Shakespearean sonnet
English course
Asian continent
Islamic history

✦ Possessive Adjectives
Adjectives which designate ownership are called possessive adjectives. These include the
following:
my our your
his her their
its

The difference between possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives is that possessive pronouns
stand alone, while possessive adjectives must always precede a noun.
This (book) is mine. (Mine is a possessive pronoun.)
This is my book. (My is a possessive adjective.)

82 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Placement of Adjectives
Adjectives can occur in any of three positions in relationship to the noun or pronoun they modify:

 Before the noun (attributive position)


This is the most common position for adjectives. Often several adjectives occur in sequence before
a noun.
the big gray Lincoln limousine
his distinguished cabinet members
A chart showing the common order of adjectives in the attributive position can be found on page 85.

 Immediately following the noun modified (appositive position)


These adjectives are usually either compound (two or more) or a single adjective modified by an
adverb or an intensifier. Commas are used to separate the appositive from the noun.
Her eyes, unusually blue, were always interesting.
We had problems galore during the test!

It is also possible for some indefinite pronouns to be modified by adjectives in the appositive
position following the pronoun they modify.
Something strange happened in the dining hall last night.
He can’t tell you anything new about the matter.

 After a linking verb (predicative position)


In this position, the adjective is a subject complement, describing the noun or pronoun subject.
The workers were exhausted at the end of the day.
Some of the soldiers seemed dissatisfied.

 Immediately following a direct object (predicative position)


In this position, the adjective is an object complement, describing the direct object. Only certain
main verbs will allow this type of structure.
Many people like their pizza crusty.
Let’s paint the town red this weekend.

UNIT 5 83
– USER NOTES –

84 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


UNIT 5
Common order of cumulative adjectives in the attributive position

DETERMINER NUMBER DESCRIPTIVE NOUN NOUN


AS ADJ MODIFIED

Article Pronoun Ordinal Cardinal General/ Size/ Age/State/ Color Proper Material
Abstract Shape Condition Adj

his first two Asian tours

these last delightful warm spring days

a big boat

the six fascinating old green wooden maps

some dainty blue china tea cups

85
– USER NOTES –

86 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Adverbs
The most commonly used definition of an adverb is that it is a word that modifies a verb, an
adjective, or another adverb. However, this definition is not inclusive enough. An expanded
definition states that an adverb normally modifies verbs, verbals (infinitives, gerunds, and
participles), adjectives, adverbs, phrases, clauses, or complete sentences.

Adverbs can be divided into groups by their form and location.


 FORM: words derived from adjectives by adding -ly
happy – happily
stern – sternly

 LOCATION: modifying words that may be variously placed in a sentence


She often drives to Houston.
Often she drives to Houston.
She drives to Houston often.

✦ Adverbs of Place, Location, or Direction


here – there Where’s my dictionary? It was here a minute ago.
It’s there on the table. I borrowed it.
outside It’s raining outside.
back We took a wrong turn and had to go back two miles.
away Don’t go away mad.
upstairs He ran upstairs.

UNIT 5 87
✦ Adverbs of Manner
This type of adverb answers the question How? Most of these are formed from adjectives by adding -ly.
easily You can perform mathematical functions easily.
loudly Please don’t play your boombox so loudly.10
hard Why does Jane work so hard?

Comparative and Superlative


Many adverbs of manner have comparative and superlative forms. The rules for formation are the
same as for adjectives:

 -er or -est is added to short adverbs


John runs faster than Jim.
Jerry runs the fastest of all the football players.

 Longer adverbs are preceded by more or most in the positive and less or least in the
negative
He speaks more sincerely than his opponent.
He speaks the least sincerely of any person I know.

✦ Adverbs of Time and Duration


This type of adverb expresses when or for how long.

soon Santa is coming soon.


still Is he still living in Cairo?
later Please call back later.
eventually We will eventually be good at tennis.
already She has already given Gerald three candy bars.
yet He is not satisfied yet.

10
In informal American English, especially spoken English, the -ly ending is often omitted.
Example: Please don’t play your boombox so loud.
88 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Some nouns or noun phrases function as adverbs, telling when an
action occurred or will occur.

today Josie didn’t come to work today.


Thursday We will have the office party Thursday.
last night I ate too many tamales last night.
next week We’re going fishing next week.

✦ Adverbs of Frequency
These adverbs indicate how often.

always Jack always leaves his work area in order.


never I’ve never seen such a short basketball player before.
sometimes Sometimes height is not important.
often We don’t go to the movies often.
usually It’s usually warm in San Antonio.
occasionally Occasionally, it gets very cold.

✦ Interrogative Adverbs
The question words become interrogative adverbs when used in questions.
where Where did the campers pitch their tent?
when When will they break camp?
why Why didn’t they bring more fuel?
how How can they start a fire?

The interrogative adverb how can be combined with certain


adjectives and adverbs to ask to what extent about the
adjective.

How long was the movie?


How often do you exercise?
How soon will they be here?

UNIT 5 89
✦ Relative Adverbs
The question words are relative adverbs when they introduce adjective and noun clauses.11
 In adjective clauses:
That’s the corner where the bad accident occurred.
There was a time when flying was a pleasure.

 In noun clauses:
Do you know where the bus station is?
Can you tell me when he will arrive?
I don’t understand why he skipped class.

✦ Adverbs of Degree (Intensifiers)


Intensifiers indicate to what degree.

very It was very cold on Tuesday and Wednesday.


quite This car is quite old, but it still runs.
almost I almost passed the test.
too You are speaking too softly.
somewhat Judy was somewhat concerned about meeting the deadline.
extremely The pilot performed an extremely difficult maneuver.
nearly We nearly had a wreck on the way to work.
much It is much too hot to be exercising outdoors.

Some adverbs are used to emphasize rather than to show degree.


even Even John agrees with me.
The food at our favorite restaurant was even better this time than
the last time we ate there.

unusually The truck was moving unusually fast.

how How kind you are!


How seldom we see you all dressed up!

exactly Cut exactly three pieces of chocolate pie.


I don’t know exactly how many people were there.

11
For an explanation of noun clauses and adjective clauses, see Unit 9.
90 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
✦ Adverbs of Negation, Affirmation, and Probability
These adverbs show affirmation. (They say yes, or show that something is.)
certainly Joseph is certainly cheerful.
positively It was positively the best party of the year.
undoubtedly You will undoubtedly have a great time.

These adverbs show negation. (They say no, or show that something is not.)
never The officers are never late.
not They are not my favorite singing group.

These adverbs show probability or likelihood.


perhaps Perhaps we will take a tropical vacation.
maybe Maybe she doesn’t like German chocolate cake.
probably She has probably already eaten her dessert.
possibly He will possibly run again.

✦ Adverbial Connectives (Conjunctive Adverbs)


Some words and phrases are used to connect and show the relationship between ideas. These are
adverbial connectives, sometimes called conjunctive adverbs.
accordingly first in the first place nonetheless
actually first of all in the meantime on one hand
after all for example in the same way on the contrary
anyway for instance indeed on the other hand
as a consequence for one thing initially otherwise
as a matter of fact for that reason instead similarly
as a result furthermore last(ly) subsequently
besides hence likewise then
consequently however meanwhile therefore
equally in addition moreover thus
even so in fact nevertheless to begin with
finally in spite of that next to start with

Adverbial connectives often have very precise meanings, and some that appear to be
interchangeable may be so only in some contexts. Misuse of these connectives can change the
relationship between the ideas connected, so it is important to use them correctly.

UNIT 5 91
Use of Selected Adverbial Connectives

 To express addition
besides He is my best friend; besides, we have known each other for years.
moreover She graduated with honors; moreover, she already has a great job.
furthermore He is the tallest on the basketball team; furthermore, he is a great
shooter.
in addition Julia is learning her third language; in addition, she is interested
in various cultures.

 To express contrast
♦ These connectives simply show contrast:
however Jane is a great runner; however, she can’t throw.
on one hand/ On one hand, the house is too small; on the other hand, it has a
on the other hand great location.

♦ These connote surprise at the contrast:


nonetheless Mary was sick; nonetheless, she came to class.
nevertheless It’s raining; nevertheless, I will walk to school.

 To express effect or result


therefore It’s very important to do well on the test; therefore, you need to
study.
as a result Juan violated his curfew; as a result, he is grounded.
for that reason It snowed for two days; for that reason, the highways were
closed.
as a consequence He missed his plane; as a consequence, he was not at the
meeting.
thus There was not a quorum at the meeting; thus, no decisions were
made.
consequently She hadn’t saved any money; consequently, she couldn’t take the
trip.

92 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


 To express sequence of events
first First, go three blocks to the red light.
then Turn right at the light; then, go past the school and turn left.
next Next, go half a block to the gym.
finally Finally, park your car and go into the gym.

 To express alternative
otherwise Exercise often; otherwise, you won’t be healthy.
or else We could see a movie, or else we could go skating.

 To introduce supporting information (amplification)


in fact It is a very good class; in fact, all of the students made excellent
grades on the test.
for instance There are many things to do in San Antonio; for instance, there
are two nice theme parks.
for example The recruits are not physically fit; for example, none of them
could do more than ten push-ups.
as a matter of fact It was extremely hot last year; as a matter of fact, we had
twenty-two days with temperatures over 100 degrees.

 To express substitution
instead You shouldn’t run everyday; instead,
you should try lifting weights.

UNIT 5 93
Punctuation Note:
When adverbial connectives join two independent clauses, there are two equally correct ways to
punctuate.

 Create two separate sentences.


♦ Use a period to end the first clause (sentence).
♦ Begin the adverbial connective with a capital letter.
♦ Follow the adverbial connective with a comma.
♦ End the second sentence with a period.
You shouldn’t drive to Anchorage. Instead, you should fly.

 Show a closer relationship between the two clauses by joining them into one sentence.
♦ End the first clause with a semicolon.
♦ Begin the adverbial connective with a lower-case letter.
♦ Put a comma after the adverbial connective.
♦ End the sentence with a period.
You shouldn’t drive to Anchorage; instead, you should fly.

✦ Adverbs and Adjectives Identical in Form


Some adverbs have the same form as adjectives.
ADVERB ADJECTIVE
work daily daily schedule
shop weekly weekly shopping
pay monthly monthly salary
visit yearly yearly visit
rest hourly hourly check
talk fast fast cars
work hard hard work
stay late late show
leave early early breakfast
shoot straight straight shot

94 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Adverbs Formed From Other Parts of Speech

Adverbs Formed By Prefix a-


Some nouns, verbs, and adjectives can be preceded by a- to form adverbs.

BASE WORD ADVERB


breast abreast
board aboard
loft aloft
loud aloud
lone alone

When children are playing, they are often very loud.


Parents should read aloud to their children.
After the battle, the lone surviving soldier returned to his camp.
He returned to his camp alone.

Adverbs Formed From Adjectives


Many adjectives can be converted to adverbs by adding -ly.

ADJECTIVE ADVERB
careful carefully
wise wisely
nice nicely
correct correctly

He almost always makes a correct forecast.


He almost always forecasts the weather correctly.
She was wise to put away some money.
She wisely put away some money.

UNIT 5 95
Adverbs Formed From Nouns
Adverbs can be formed from nouns in several ways.

 By adding -s
NOUN ADVERB
day days
Monday Mondays
Louis sleeps days and works nights.
The group meets Mondays and Wednesdays.

 By adding -wise
NOUN ADVERB
clock clockwise
length lengthwise
cross crosswise
Put the heavy boards lengthwise and the lighter boards crosswise.
Turn the wheel clockwise to close the door and counterclockwise to open it.

 By adding -ward
NOUN ADVERB
north northward
wind windward
east eastward
home homeward

The suffix -ward can also be added to some adverbs to


change their meanings.

ADVERB ADVERB
up upward
out outward

The wind blew the balloon upward out of reach.


They will sail southward in the fall and northward in the spring.

96 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Positions of Adverbs
Adverbs vary in position more than any other part of speech. Where adverbs are placed in a
sentence can be determined by how they work and what they modify.

Adverbs Modifying Verbs


Adverbs which modify verbs are placed in several different positions.
 After the verb Examples:
♦ Immediately after the verb Drive carefully.
We waited patiently.
He spoke slowly.
♦ After an object, but modifying the She broke the glass accidentally.
verb I left the book upstairs.
We’ll see you later.

 Before the verb He sometimes leaves the office late.


We usually sleep late on Saturday.
Sam never drives over the speed limit.

 Between the BE verb and its Thomas is usually late.


complement John and Meg are always busy.

 Between the auxiliary and main verbs Martha has always been my friend.
Jeff has sometimes been wrong.
You can usually find the colonel here.

 Following the BE verb as complement Bob is outside.


The party is tomorrow.

UNIT 5 97
– USER NOTES –

98 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


6

Determiners and Conjunctions


Determiners, conjunctions, and prepositions are sometimes called function words. Function words
connect and relate content words – nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives – to each other. These
little words can be considered the mortar that creates, from the individual bricks of nouns and verbs,
solidly and clearly constructed ideas.

Determiners
Determiners are short modifying words (or sometimes affixes) that give specificity to nouns.
Articles are the most easily recognizable determiners. Pronouns, number words, and some
adjectives can also act as determiners.

✦ Articles
The articles a, an, and the are actually adjectives. They modify nouns by specifying. The rules for
using them are fairly simple.

Articles are classified as indefinite or definite.

Indefinite – a, an

 The indefinite articles a and an are used before nonspecific singular count nouns (see
Unit1, page 1).
♦ A is used before count nouns beginning with a consonant sound.
a boy, a test, a vacation, a problem

♦ An is used before count nouns beginning with a vowel sound.


an apple, an idea, an hour, an onion

John and Judy are looking for a place to live.


They hope to rent an apartment by the beach.

UNIT 6 99
Definite – the
The definite article the is used with nouns, count or noncount, which can be clearly identified.

The apartment John and Judy have found


is exactly the place they were looking for.

Notice that, before John and Judy’s apartment is found, its identity and location are unknown, so a
and an are used. After the apartment is found, it is identifiable, so the is used.

Be careful not to use the with noncount or plural nouns that signify all of a general category.

✕ The sugar is a primary cause of obesity.


✓ Sugar is a primary cause of obesity.

✕ The tests are important in evaluating academic progress.


✓ Tests are important in evaluating academic progress.

✦ Other Determiners
Other parts of speech serve as determiners by giving specificity or quality to a noun.

 demonstratives
♦ Used before count and noncount nouns
this lesson these lessons
that officer those officers
this weather that fruit

100 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


 possessives
♦ Used before count and noncount nouns
my notebook our friendship
your notebook their class
his/her notebook my jewelry
its windows his knowledge

 indefinite adjectives
♦ Used before plural count nouns and noncount nouns
some drinks all commanders
many people both instructors
enough time

 interrogatives
♦ Used before all nouns
whose car
what food
which question

 numbers
♦ Used before count nouns
six cases
fourth row
750 hours

UNIT 6 101
✦ Confusing Determiners
Some determiners are confusing because a slight change in form can reverse their meanings.

 few vs. a few


♦ Few has a negative meaning.
Few people are wise enough to avoid tragic mistakes.
♦ A few has a positive meaning.
A few people do understand his complex ideas.

 little vs. a little


♦ Little has a negative meaning.
There is little time left. We must hurry.
♦ A little has a positive meaning.
There is a little time left. Let’s play another game

Conjunctions
Conjunctions, sometimes called joining words, connect language elements of equal or unequal
value and indicate the relationships between these elements. There are three types of conjunctions
in English: coordinate, correlative, and subordinate.

✦ Coordinate Conjunctions
The coordinate conjunctions are as follows:

and but or yet


not for so

Coordinate conjunctions join grammar elements of equal value. They may join the following:
♦ single words
Both boys and girls are invited to try out for the team.
♦ phrases
He’s at home or at work.
♦ independent clauses
I have no appointments after lunch, so I will call you then.

102 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Correlative Conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions always come in pairs. They are listed here:
either – or whether – or
neither – nor not only – but also
both – and

Like coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions join equals.


The coach asked not only the boys, but also the girls, to try out for the team.
We will either go to the lake or go to mountains for our vacation.
She wondered both why he had left and where he had gone.

✦ Subordinate Conjunctions
Subordinate conjunctions
♦ begin a dependent (subordinate) clause.

♦ relate the dependent clause to the main (independent) clause.


Some subordinate conjunctions are as follows:
after even though so that until
although if than when
as in order that that where
as if rather than though whether
because since unless while
before

Since you enjoy baking, would you bring the cake


for the party?
John sings as if he had been studying music all his
life.
While some people like to complete tasks
quickly, others prefer to take their time.
Our mechanic does an excellent job, even
though he has never studied mechanics.

✦ Adverbial Connectives
Adverbial connectives, such as however, therefore, and besides, are also used as conjunctions.
See Unit5, page 92, for an explanation of how they join independent clauses.

UNIT 6 103
– USER NOTES –

104 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


7

Prepositions
Research and classroom experience show that prepositions are the most difficult part of speech for
ESL learners to use accurately. Most prepositions do not translate exactly from one language to
another. Furthermore, British and American usages of prepositions sometimes vary considerably.

Prepositions have meaning in themselves but are used in predictable combinations with adjectives
and verbs. That is, certain prepositions follow certain adjectives or verbs to introduce prepositional
phrases. Native speakers usually think of prepositions as part of prepositional phrases. (See Unit 9,
page 119, for descriptions and uses of prepositional phrases.) English learners, however, find it
useful to learn which prepositions appropriately combine with which adjectives and verbs.

Example:
Many Americans are married to someone they met at college.

An English learner needs to know that married is usually followed by to and that met is usually
followed by at or in. Appendix C, page 180, lists common adjective/preposition and
verb/preposition combinations.

Types of Prepositions
Prepositions show relationships between content words and introduce phrases which act as
adjectives or adverbs.

Even though some prepositions have more than one use, dividing these troublesome function words
into usage groups makes them easier to understand. This text groups them as follows:
 prepositions of place or location

 prepositions of direction or motion

 prepositions of time

 prepositions of instrument, means, and manner

 miscellaneous prepositions

UNIT 7 105
✦ Prepositions of Place or Location
Prepositions of place answer the question where? The most common of these are listed below:

above over around


among against along
behind below beside
between beyond by
in inside throughout
near next to at
off on upon
out outside opposite
under underneath

Examples:
Hang the picture above the fireplace.
There is one apple among the oranges in the bowl.
He is sitting by his sister.
There are plumbing leaks throughout the building.
City ordinance says you must build a fence around the pool.

Prepositions of place used to denote geographical location are often confusing.

 One lives in a city, state, or country, but on a military installation, reservation, or


campus.
The general lives on Lackland Air Force Base, but the colonel lives in San Antonio.
They both live in Texas in the USA.

 One lives on a street, at a particular address, in a house or apartment.


Judy lives at 263 Bell Oak Drive in a yellow brick house.
John lives in Apartment 329 at The Embers on Broadway.

 One works at a military installation and at or for a company. One works in a


department or office.
Captain Johnson works at Lackland Air Force Base in Logistics.
His wife works at the telephone company in Sales.
Roger used to work for an advertising agency.

106 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Notice how prepositions of place are used in the following paragraphs:

This is Steve’s bedroom. His bed is against


the window. His dresser is next to the bed.
He keeps his clothes in the dresser. There
are pillows and books on the bed. There’s a
picture on the wall. The dresser is beneath
it. There are books on top of the dresser.
There is an alarm clock in front of the
books. The books are behind it. The door
to Steve’s room is opposite the window.

A few prepositions of place have additional


uses. These multiple uses will be illustrated
later in this unit.

✦ Prepositions of Direction or Motion


Prepositions of direction or motion introduce phrases which modify action verbs. Some of the most
common are listed below:

into out of toward away


past across through around
up down

Jack and Jill ran up the hill.


The girls went across town to find the new
theater.
The train moved through the tunnel as the
car drove over the bridge.
The privates ran around the track sixteen times.

UNIT 7 107
✦ Prepositions of Time
Prepositions of time answer the question when? The most common are as follows:
at on in throughout
before after since from – until
during for around from – to

Gerald’s vacation starts on January 16.


They’ll be here in twenty minutes.
Janice ate three boxes of popcorn during the movie.
The party lasts from six o’clock to midnight.

At seven,
he will phone home.

✦ Prepositions of Instrument, Means, and Manner


Prepositions of instrument, means, or manner answer the question how? Some commonly used ones
are listed below:

by through via
with without

Contact your family through the embassy.


How did he build those shelves without power tools?
He built them by hand.
We went to Houston by bus via IH10.

108 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Miscellaneous Prepositions
Preposition type Function Examples
Purpose These prepositions show for Use your computer for the test.
what use. Use the word processor to write
your essay.
Possession or These prepositions show The poetry book contains the
Characteristic ownership or characteristic. work of Frost.
The little girl with the red hair
sings beautifully.
Measure or Contents These prepositions relate a I drank six cups of coffee this
countable measure to a morning.
noncount noun. I buy my coffee by the pound.
I use two teaspoons of sugar
per cup.
Comparison or Similarity These prepositions show He runs like a gazelle.
likeness. Despite our disagreements, we
worked as one unit.
Accompaniment These prepositions indicate This workbook goes with that
togetherness. text.
He likes to cook with her.
Thomas, together with Ann and
Steve, finished the report.
Passive Voice Agent The preposition by can show This poem was written by
who does something. Robert Frost.
Our holiday dinner will be
prepared by my grandparents.
Origin or Source These prepositions relate a Jack has catalogues from
noun to its origin. several sporting goods stores.
Many wines of Texas are now
considered excellent.
These dresses are from Paris.
Cause These two-word David could not stay in the
prepositions relate a Navy because of his height.
situation to its cause. We were delayed due to the
weather.
Arithmetic These prepositions are used Two plus two is four.
in mathematical Six times two is twelve.
expressions.
Nine minus three is six.

UNIT 7 109
✦ Confusing Multiple-Use Prepositions
Some prepositions are used in more than one way or have forms that are very similar but used
differently. Here are the most common:
Preposition Function Examples
at as a preposition of time Meet me at noon for lunch.
as a preposition of place Meet me at Rose’s Restaurant for lunch.
by as a preposition of place Meet me by the front entrance.
(meaning next to)
as a preposition of time Be there by 11:45 am.
(meaning no later than)
as a preposition of means We will go by bus.
on as a preposition of place Put the books on the desk.
(meaning set upon)
as a preposition of time We will complete this training on the fifth.
(designating date) He will deliver the new part on Tuesday.
as a preposition meaning Turn the radio on so we can hear the news.
operating
as a preposition meaning by I heard it on ABC News last night.
broadcast media
over as a preposition of place Hang the clock over the desk.
(meaning above)
as a preposition of time I hope to read several books over the
(meaning during) summer.
around as a preposition of time Meet me around noon.
(meaning approximately)
as a preposition of place Build a fence around the pool.
(meaning surrounding)
as a preposition of Run around the building, not through it.
movement or direction
about as a preposition of time What time is it? I think it is about noon.
(meaning approximately)
as a preposition of content This article is about the new NATO
(meaning concerning) countries.
under as a preposition of place The papers you want are under those
(meaning beneath) books.
as a preposition of quantity I will buy those shoes if they cost under
(meaning less than) $100.

110 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


8

Sentence Parts and Patterns


The Sentence
We know certain things about sentences:

 They are groups of words.

 They always contain a subject and a verb.

 They always express a complete thought.

Within these restrictions there are many ways a sentence can be formed. A simple sentence can
contain only two words.

John runs.
(subject) (verb)

This sentence has a subject – the noun John. It has a verb – runs. We understand what it means, so
it is a complete thought.

The study of sentence formation is called syntax. Here are two ways that linguists who study
syntax explain the sentence:
Sentence (S) = Noun Phrase (NP) + Verb Phrase (VP)
Sentence = Subject + Predicate
All of the variations of sentence patterns are based on this simple idea. Linguists explain that each
of the phrases within a sentence may consist of other categories (that is, other phrases or single
words).12 For instance, we could expand our simple sentence to

My brother John runs ten miles every day.


NP VP
(subject) (predicate)

Now the subject, John, is expanded, and the verb, runs, is expanded. The basic structure of the
sentence is unchanged, but more information has been added to the thought being expressed.

12
See Unit 9 for a more complete explanation of phrases.
UNIT 8 111
In addition to subjects and verbs, sentences may contain direct objects, indirect objects,
complements, and/or various modifiers (adjectives and adverbs). Keep in mind that parts of
speech and parts of the sentence are not the same. In fact, parts of speech make up parts of
sentences. Another way to look at this is to say that parts of sentences are composed of parts of
speech.

Look at these two lists:

Parts of Speech Parts of the Sentence


noun subject
verb verb
adjective direct object
adverb complement
determiner indirect object
auxiliary verb modifiers
preposition
pronoun
conjunction

NOTE: Only one term, verb, appears in both lists. When we use verb to designate a sentence part, we
further designate it as transitive, intransitive, linking, or auxiliary, as explained in Unit3, page 35.

112 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Parts of the Sentence
✦ Subject
 performs the action of the verb
or
 is the person or thing being described

 may be singular, plural, or non-count

 may be any of the following:


♦ noun Jonathan likes to eat fish.
The boys like catfish best.
♦ pronoun He goes fishing every weekend.
♦ infinitive To fish is his passion.
♦ gerund Fishing is his favorite sport.
♦ phrase To go fishing with friends makes Jonathan happy.
♦ clause Whatever he catches is always eaten.

✦ Verb
 Action Verbs – show action or tell what the subject is doing.
♦ Transitive verbs take direct objects.
Judy rang the bell.
♦ Intransitive verbs do not take objects.
The bell rang.

 Linking Verbs – connect the subject to something that describes or identifies it.
Those roses smell wonderful.
Jacob is very tall.

 Auxiliary Verbs – modify the main verbs.


I will run six miles today.
You should get more exercise.

UNIT 8 113
✦ Direct Object
 receives the action of a transitive verb.

 may be any one of the following:


♦ noun Jonathan catches fish.
♦ pronoun He cleans and fries them.
♦ infinitive We like to eat fish.
♦ gerund We like eating fish.
♦ phrase I want to broil the fish.
♦ clause Jonathan insisted that he would fry the fish.

✦ Complement
 follows a linking verb

 describes or identifies the subject

 may be any one of the following:


adjective The weather is cold today.
noun John is a fisherman.
adverb or adverbial phrase The soldiers are in the field.

NOTE: It is easy to confuse direct objects and complements. Remember:

♦ A direct object receives the action of a verb.


♦ A complement describes or identifies a subject.

114 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Sentence Patterns
According to some grammarians all sentences in English can be reduced to five basic patterns
composed of the sentence parts just discussed. Those basic patterns are presented here as they are
presented in BALIC 705, Unit 3 (March 1995). Appendix D, page 198, presents some of the
possible variations of these patterns.

✦ Pattern One
The simplest pattern is S + VI
Subject Intransitive Verb
(S) (VI)
Angela smiled.
The audience laughed.
Snow is falling.

✦ Pattern Two
Probably the most common pattern is S + VT + DO
Subject Transitive Verb Direct Object
(S) (VT) (DO)

Al and Fred have opened a new restaurant.

They serve delicious food.

The restaurant attracts many tourists.

UNIT 8 115
✦ Pattern Three
The third pattern involves a receiver of the direct object, the indirect object. In this pattern the
verb expresses an actual action. Pattern three has two variations.

The first is S + VT + IO + DO
Subject Verb Transitive Indirect Object Direct Object
(S) (VT) (IO) (DO)

Harold wrote his father a letter.

The rich man built his son a new house.

The second uses a prepositional phrase including the indirect object: S + VT + DO + PPwIO
Subject Transitive Verb Direct Object Prep. Phrase
(S) (VT) (DO) (PPwIO)

Harold wrote a letter to his father.

The rich man built a new house for his son.

✦ Pattern Four
This pattern includes a verb that expresses an idea, rather than an action, and that is followed by a
complement: S + VT + DO + OC
Subject Transitive Verb Direct Object Object Complement
(S) (VT) (DO) (OC)

Claire considers paperwork tedious.

Too much sun can make you ill.

The people elected him President.

116 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Pattern Five
This pattern has a linking verb and a complement: S + LV + SC
Subject Linking Verb Subject Complement
(S) (LV) (SC)

(indicating characteristic)

Mary is talented.

John seems capable.

San Antonio is growing larger.

(indicating role)

Mary became governor.

John is treasurer.

San Antonio is becoming a metropolis.

(indicating location)

John and Mary are at the university.

His mind seems elsewhere.

They were in San Antonio.

All five of these patterns can be transformed into negative statements, made into questions, and (if
they have direct objects) converted to the passive voice. Here are examples using a sentence which
follows Pattern Two:

Affirmative: The boys saw a UFO last night.


Negative: The boys did not see a UFO last night.
Question: Did the boys see a UFO last night?
Passive: A UFO was seen last night.

Appendix D, page 198, gives examples of many possible transformations. See also the sections on
various parts of speech for examples of variations.

UNIT 8 117
– USER NOTES –

118 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


9

Phrases and Clauses


The introduction to this book provides the following simple definitions, which specify the minimum
requirements for each of these word groups:

1. A phrase is a group of words which lacks a subject, a verb, or both.


2. A clause is a group of words with both a subject and a verb.
3. A sentence is a group of words with a subject and a verb, expressing a complete idea.

In order to understand phrases and clauses, it is helpful to remember some basic facts about
sentences. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Sentences may be
 simple (consisting of one independent clause).
Bill won the tennis match.

 compound (consisting of two or more independent clauses).


Bill won the tennis match, and he celebrated.

 complex (consisting of a combination of one independent clause and one or more


dependent clauses or phrases).
Bill won the tennis match that he played yesterday.

 compound-complex (consisting of two or more independent clauses and one or more


dependent clause or phrases).
Bill won the tennis match that he played yesterday,
and he celebrated by taking us to dinner.

UNIT 9 119
Clauses and phrases act as various parts of sentences. They can act as any of the following:

 subject That Samuel was interested in engineering pleased his father.


Getting enough sleep is essential for everyone.
 direct object Some people believe that chocolate is good for you.
I want to sail to the Bahamas.
 indirect object He gave whoever would ask some help.
She told whomever she met her story.
 complement We consider Gerald to be very amusing.
Isabel is at the theater.
 modifiers The man with the yellow hat is George’s father.
Be sure to lock the door when you leave.

Clauses
A clause has been defined as a group of words with a subject and a verb. Another important
characteristic of a clause is that it works as a part of a sentence, just as a part of speech does. A
clause may function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.

✦ Dependent and Independent Clauses


Clauses may be either dependent or independent.

This sentence has two clauses:


Whenever he tries, John makes outstanding grades.

The first clause, whenever he tries, is a dependent clause. It is dependent because it is not a
complete thought. Alone it leaves an unanswered question, “What happens whenever he tries?” A
dependent clause must be attached to something else
to make sense. Dependent clauses can also be called subordinate clauses.

The second clause, John makes outstanding grades, is an independent clause. It is independent
because it expresses a complete thought. It leaves no unanswered question. In fact, with a period at
its end, it could be a sentence. It is a clause because it is attached to something else – in this case, a
dependent clause. The only difference between an independent clause and a simple sentence is that
a sentence is complete in itself while an independent clause serves as part of a sentence.
Independent clauses are sometimes called main clauses.

120 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


A dependent (or subordinate) clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb working as part
of a sentence and expressing an incomplete idea.
Since he has come to DLI, his English has improved.
Tomorrow we will go to the lake if it doesn’t rain.
Jose should have phoned his family when he got home.

An independent (or main) clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb working as a part
of a sentence and expressing a complete idea.

Since he has come to DLI, his English has improved.


They like to swim, and they like to fish.

Tomorrow we will go to the lake


if it doesn’t rain.

✦ Joining Clauses to Make Sentences


Clauses may be joined in various ways.
 A dependent clause may be joined to an independent clause in two ways.
♦ If the dependent clause is placed first, it is followed by a comma.
Since he has been at DLI, his English has improved.

♦ If the independent clause comes first, no comma is used.


His English has improved since he has been at DLI.

UNIT 9 121
 Two independent clauses may be treated in any one of four ways.
♦ If they are very closely related, they may be joined by a semicolon.
He has come to DLI; his English has improved.

♦ They may also be joined by a semicolon and an adverbial connective


followed by a comma.
He has come to DLI; consequently, his English has improved.

♦ They may be joined by a coordinating conjunction preceded by a comma.


He has come to DLI, so his English has improved.

♦ They may be treated as two separate sentences.


He has come to DLI. His English has improved.

✦ Noun Clauses
Noun clauses are subordinate, or dependent, clauses occupying noun positions in sentences. They
may function as subjects, direct objects, and subject complements. Noun clauses are actually
transformations of statements, questions, requests, or exclamations which may be introduced by a
variety of subordinators: indefinite relative pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and the conjunctions
that, whether, and if.

Noun Clause as Subject


Noun Clause as Subject Verb Direct Object Subject Complement
That Jack agreed surprises me.
That Jack agreed is surprising.
That Mary married shocked her family.
Whether or not they pass determines their future.
Whether or not they pass is important.
Whoever wanted to go took leave.
What he said was brilliant.

NOTE: For this position of a noun clause, the conjunction that has the meaning of the fact that. It
cannot be omitted from the noun clause. This type of noun clause is found in the typical subject
position—before the verb.

122 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Noun Clause Subject with Anticipatory ‘‘It”
A noun clause subject often follows an anticipatory it plus a BE or linking verb and
complement. The clause is in the deferred subject position—that is, the noun clause is found
after the verb. In this structure, the conjunction that is optional and is frequently omitted in
conversation.

It BE Subject Complement Noun Clause Subject

It ’s great (that) you were promoted.

It was shocking (that) so many were killed in the storm.

It ’s a fact (that) heat rises.

Noun Clause as Direct Object


This is the most common position for a THAT-noun clause. The conjunction that is optional
and is frequently omitted in conversation.

Subject Verb (transitive) Noun Clause as Direct Object

She imagined (that) she was a famous singer.

The President announced (that) there would be a tax cut.

I believe (that) that is true.

No one knows who will be going.

John doesn’t care if it snows.

That child never does what she is told.

NOTE: The conjunction that should not be confused with the pronoun that. Only the
conjunction may be omitted from a clause. In the third example sentence above—I believe
(that) that is true.—the conjunction that may be omitted, but the pronoun that, which is also
the subject of the clause, must remain.

UNIT 9 123
Noun Clause as Subject Complement
This is not a commonly used structure. Once again, the conjunction that is optional.

Subject Linking Verb Noun Clause as Subject Complement

The fact is (that) the project failed.

Her promise was (that) she would be early.

The question is whether it’s going to be hot.

The pantry is where we keep the onions.

Noun Clause as Indirect Object


This particular noun clause is not common and is usually introduced with the indefinite relative
pronoun whoever.

Subject Verb Noun Clause as Indirect Object Direct Object

She told whoever would listen about her children.

Jacob asked whoever came by their opinions.

Noun Clause as Object of Preposition


Direct Noun Clause as
Subject Verb Object Preposition Object of Preposition

The result depends on how much time is spent


practicing.

They talked about what their plans for the


summer were.

Give this message to whoever13 is in charge.

NOTE: THAT clauses cannot function as objects of prepositions.

13
The subjective case pronoun is used in the clause because the pronoun functions as the subject of the clause even
though the entire clause is the object of the preposition to.
124 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
✦ Noun Clauses in Indirect Speech
When a person speaks, his or her words are considered direct speech.

There are two ways for one speaker to repeat what another speaker has said – quotation (exact
words) or indirect speech (paraphrase).
 A quotation contains the exact words of a speaker. These exact words are enclosed in
quotation marks when they are written. (For more information on punctuating
quotations, see Appendix A, page 160.)
“We want to go to the movies,” said John.

 Indirect speech is a paraphrase – the repetition of what one speaker has said by
another speaker in the words of the second speaker.
He said that they wanted to go to the movies.

Noun clauses often become garbled when they are repeated as indirect speech. Usually, this occurs
because pronouns and tenses are not accurately changed to reflect the intent of the original speaker.

A few examples and rules can make this easier.

Original Utterance: Chris: “I work at my father’s store.”


(Direct Speech)

Quotation: Chris said, “I work at my father’s store.”

Indirect Speech: Chris says he works at his father’s store.


This informal form of indirect speech can be used within a few minutes of the original
utterance. Both verbs are in the present tense—says and works. Notice that the pronouns I
and my from the original utterance change to he and his in indirect speech.

Indirect Speech: Chris said he worked at his father’s store.


This more formal form of indirect speech is the one most commonly taught in the ALC.
Notice that, once again, the pronouns I and my change to he and his. In this form of indirect
speech, the past tense is used because the speaker is reporting something that has already
been said. The past tense verb worked agrees with the verb said, which is also in the past.

UNIT 9 125
This chart illustrates changes in tense from direct to indirect speech as taught in the ALC. Notice
also the changes in pronouns.

Direct Speech Tense ➜ Indirect Speech Tense


Present Past
Chris: “I work at my father’s store.” ➜ Chris said that he worked at his
father’s store.

Present Progressive Past Progressive


Mary: “We’re leaving soon.” ➜ Mary said that they were leaving
soon.

Past Past Perfect



Bob: “The ship sank.” Bob said that the ship had sunk.

Past Progressive Past Perfect Progressive


Laura: “They were cleaning up the ➜ Laura told us that they had been
kitchen last night.” cleaning up the kitchen last night.

Present Perfect Past Perfect


Mr. Smith: “I have finally completed ➜ Mr. Smith said that he had finally
all my work.” completed all his work.

Present Perfect Progressive Past Perfect Progressive


Bill: “John has been sleeping for only ➜ Bill told them that John had been
a short while.” sleeping for only a short while.

Past Perfect Past Perfect (no change)


Linda: “We had driven for a long ➜ Linda said that they had driven for a
time.” long time.

Past Perfect Progressive Past Perfect Progressive (no change)


Larry: “We had been shopping at the ➜ Larry said that they had been
mall.” shopping at the mall.

See Appendix E, page 211, for further explanations of indirect speech.

126 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Adjective Clauses
Adjective clauses, sometimes called relative clauses, are dependent or subordinate. They function
as adjectives because they modify a noun or pronoun in the main clause. These clauses are most
often introduced by the relative pronouns who, whom, which, or that; the relative adjective whose;
or the relative adverbs where or when.

Adjective Clause with Relative Pronoun as Subject


 The clause modifies a noun or pronoun in the main clause.

 The relative pronoun is the subject of the adjective clause.

 The relative pronouns are used as follows:


♦ who for people,
♦ which for things,
♦ that for both people and things.

Pattern One
Main Clause Adjective Clause with Pronoun as Subject

He was the runner who won the race.

He was the runner that deserved to win.

He won the match which was played yesterday.

He won the match that determined the championship.

Pattern Two
These dependent clauses may interrupt the main clause in order to place the modifier (the
dependent clause) close to the noun it modifies.

Beginning of End of
Adjective Clause with Pronoun as Subject
Main Clause Main Clause

The woman that is by the window is my sister.

Julie, who plays the harp, will entertain.

John’s project, which is due Tuesday, is not complete.

UNIT 9 127
Adjective Clause with Relative Pronoun as Object
 The clause modifies a noun or pronoun in the main clause.

 The relative pronoun is the object of a verb or preposition in the dependent clause.

 The relative pronouns are used as follows:


♦ who or whom for people,
♦ which for things,
♦ that for people or things.

Relative Pronoun as Object of Verb


Beginning of Adjective Clause with Pronoun as
End of Main Clause
Main Clause Object of Verb

The opera which we heard last night was excellent.

The opera that we heard last night was excellent.

The opera Ø we heard last night was excellent.

The person who(m) I met at the party was from California.

The person that I met at the party was from California.

The person Ø I met at the party was from California.

Notice that the object pronoun may be omitted in this pattern. Whenever a relative pronoun
functions as the object of a verb or the object of a preposition which comes at the end of the
adjective clause, it can be omitted. Conversely, when a relative pronoun functions as the subject
of an adjective clause, it cannot be omitted.

128 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Adjective Clause with Relative Pronoun as Object of Preposition

Pattern One
In this pattern, the preposition may appear at the beginning of the adjective clause or at the end
of the clause. When the preposition is at the beginning of the clause, the relative pronoun
cannot be omitted. When the preposition is at the end of the clause, however, the pronoun may
be omitted.

Adjective Clause with Relative Pronoun as


Main Clause Object of Preposition
prep object prep
He is the captain about whom the book was written.

He is the captain who(m) the book was written about.

He is the captain that the book was written about.

He is the captain Ø the book was written about.

Pattern Two
Notice that, in the first example below, the relative pronoun which cannot be omitted because it
directly follows the preposition to. The pronouns which and that in the subsequent examples
may be omitted because the preposition to is placed at the end of the clause rather than at the
beginning.

Adjective Clause with Relative Pronoun as


Beginning of Object of Preposition End of
Main Clause Main Clause
prep object prep

The movie to which we went last night was too violent.

The movie which we went to last night was too violent.

The movie that we went to last night was too violent.

The movie Ø we went to last night was too violent.

UNIT 9 129
Adjective Clause with whose
Like all adjective clauses, this type of clause modifies a noun in the main clause. Whose, a relative
adjective, shows possession of something in the adjective clause. The possessor (noun in main
clause) is usually a person but may be also be a thing, as shown in two of the examples below.

Pattern One
Adjective Clause
Main Clause
whose

Julio has an antique car whose paint is original.

I saw a clown whose costume was made of silver satin.

Pattern Two
Beginning of Adjective Clause
End of Main Clause
Main Clause whose

The new composer whose works we studied creates astounding music.

The cruise line whose ship we are taking has excellent service.

Adjective Clause Introduced by Relative Adverb


The following relative adverbs may all be used to introduce adjective clauses: where, when, why,
before, and after. These relative adverbs refer to a preceding noun or pronoun which is the
antecedent.

Main Clause Adjective Clause


relative
adverb

We found a place where the food is good and cheap.

Next Thursday is the day when we’ll celebrate Jack’s retirement.

He wouldn’t tell us the reason why he had never returned home.

John traveled a lot during the years after he retired.

I will always remember the week before you left.

130 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Substitutes for where
Adjective clauses introduced by the relative adverb where modify a place (city, building, country)
in the main clause. The prepositional phrase at which conveys the same meaning and is sometimes
used in more formal situations.

Adjective Clause
Beginning of Ending of
Main Clause where or sub Main Clause

The base where Joe is stationed is in Florida.


The base at which Joe is stationed trains pilots.
The base which Joe is stationed at is very large.
The base Ø Joe is stationed at will soon be closed.

Substitutes for when


Adjective clauses with when modify a noun of time (year, day, month). Other words or phrases
may be used to convey the same meaning. Where or its substitute may also be omitted from the
clause.

Adjective Clause
Main Clause
when or substitute

I’ll never forget the year when I graduated.

I’ll never forget the year in which I graduated.

I’ll never forget the year that I graduated.

I’ll never forget the year Ø I graduated.

UNIT 9 131
Punctuation of Adjective Clauses
The punctuation of an adjective clause depends on whether the clause is restrictive or
nonrestrictive. An adjective clause is considered restrictive if it is absolutely necessary in defining
the noun it modifies. Restrictive clauses require no special punctuation.

The man who was sitting next to me is my uncle.


(The adjective clause is necessary in defining which man.)

Flowers which smell beautiful are my favorites.


(The adjective clause is necessary in defining what kind of flowers.)

A nonrestrictive adjective clause gives extra information about the noun that it modifies. Unlike the
restrictive clause, it is not absolutely necessary in defining the noun. Therefore, a nonrestrictive
clause is punctuated with commas before and after the clause.

Mr. Peters, who was sitting next to me, is my uncle.


(If the adjective clause is removed from the sentence, the sentence retains its original
meaning: Mr. Peters is my uncle. The fact that he was sitting next to the speaker is
extra information.)

Roses, which smell beautiful, are my favorites.


(Without the nonrestrictive clause, the sentence retains its original meaning: Roses
are my favorites. That roses smell beautiful is additional information.)

The graduate who was chosen to carry the flag I had a long discussion with Mr. Johnson,
is from my hometown. who is a farmer in our community.
(Restrictive Adjective Clause) (Nonrestrictive Adjective Clause)

132 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Adverb Clauses
An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that can modify a verb, adjective, or adverb in the main
clause. It may also modify the entire verb phrase (predicate) of the main clause or the entire
main clause. Adverb clauses reflect time, cause and effect, opposition, and condition.

Adverb Clause of Time


These words and phrases may introduce adverb clauses of time. They are sometimes called
subordinators or subordinate conjunctions:
after since so long as
before until whenever
when till every time
while as soon as the first time
as once the last time
by the time as long as the next time

Adverb clauses of time generally come before or after the main clause. The most common position
for adverb clauses is at the end of the sentence.

Time Clause Main Clause

While she was away at college, my niece seldom wrote to us.

After the sun comes up, we’ll sail.

By the time I graduate, I will have 130 credits.

Since she has been married, she hasn’t had time for her old friends.

Main Clause Time Clause

My niece seldom wrote to us while she was away at college.

We’ll sail after the sun comes up.

I will have 130 credits by the time I graduate.

She hasn’t had time for her old friends since she has been married.

UNIT 9 133
Adverb clauses may also be found mid-sentence, although this is not a common position.

Beginning of Main Clause Time Clause End of Main Clause

My niece, while she was away at college, seldom wrote to us.

The news this morning, when I turned on the radio, was depressing.

Adverb Clause of Cause and Effect


These subordinators may introduce clauses of cause and effect:
because since
now that as
so long as inasmuch as
so (that) in order that

Cause and Effect Clause Main Clause

So that he would be promoted, he took on a lot of extra work.

Since the weather was nice, we went to the coast.

Inasmuch as she doesn’t like to swim, she didn’t go with us.

Main Clause Cause and Effect Clause

He took on a lot of extra work so that he would be promoted.

We went to the coast since the weather was nice.

She didn’t go with us inasmuch as she doesn’t like to swim.

134 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Adverb Clause of Opposition
These words and phrases may introduce clauses of opposition.
although
even though
though
whereas
while

These clauses express a result which is opposite of what the main clause suggests.

Clause of Opposition Main Clause

While his brother is very smart, John has trouble with his schoolwork.

Even though it was February, the temperature reached 102°.

Although I like parties, I avoid large gatherings.

Main Clause Clause of Opposition

John has trouble with his schoolwork whereas has brother is very smart.

The temperature reached 102° even though it was February.

I avoid large gatherings although I like parties.

UNIT 9 135
Adverb Clause of Condition
These words and phrases may introduce adverb clauses of condition:
if in case (that) in the event (that)
only if providing (that) whether or not
even if provided (that) unless

Clause of Condition Main Clause

If I finish this race, I’ll have run 37 miles this week.

Even if I don’t finish, I’ve had fun.

Whether or not you like to run, you should get some exercise.

In the event (that) they don’t come, we’ll go without them.

Unless we leave early, we’ll be too late to see the pre-game show.

Main Clause Clause of Condition

I’ll have run 37 miles this week if I finish this race.

I’ve had fun even if I don’t finish.

You should get some exercise whether or not you like to run.

We’ll go without them in the event (that) they don’t come.

We’ll be too late to see the pre-game unless we leave early.


show

Punctuation of Adverb Clauses


When an adverb clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma. When the
adverb clause comes at the end of the sentence, there is no comma between the main clause and the
subordinator.

Just as the police drove up, the plane took off.


The police drove up just as the plane took off.

Before you leave, be sure to check the lights.


Be sure to check the lights before you leave.

136 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Phrases
A phrase has been defined as simply a group of words without a subject and a verb working as part
of a sentence.

Four types of phrases work as parts of sentences:

 prepositional phrases

 participial phrases

 gerund phrases

 infinitive phrases

✦ Prepositional Phrases
Like prepositions, prepositional phrases can express certain meanings. (See Unit7, page 105, for a
review of specific types of prepositions and their uses.) A prepositional phrase consists of a
preposition, an object of the preposition, and any modifiers of the object.

obj of
prep det prep.
↓ ↓ ↓
The cadets quickly walked into the room.

The most common functions of prepositional phrases are listed below:


 nouns
♦ subject complement
♦ indirect object

 adjectives
♦ noun modifier (appositive)
♦ predicate adjective (after BE)
♦ object complement

 adverbs
♦ modifying verb or predicate
♦ modifying an adjective
♦ modifying an independent clause

UNIT 9 137
Prepositional Phrase as Noun

Subject Complement
Prep Phrase as
Subject Linking Verb
Subject Complement

Our lunch time is at noon.

The idea place for this chair is under this mirror.

The best vacation spot is in the mountains.

Prepositional Phrase as Indirect Object


Prep Phrase as
Subject Transitive Verb Direct Object
Indirect Object

The general sent a new directive to the troops.

Ms. Paine gave a barbecue for the new officers.

(You) Deliver this package to the man upstairs.

Although it is not very common, a prepositional phrase can also act as a subject, direct object,
or object of a preposition. An example of each follows.

 subject:
In the desk drawer is a safe place.

 direct object:
For my big meal I like at noon best.

 object of preposition:
She would not marry except for money.

138 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Prepositional Phrase as Adjective
Prepositional phrases which act as adjectives may be appositives, predicate adjectives, or adjectival
object complements.

Appositive Position
This type of prepositional phrase directly follows the noun it modifies.
Prep Phrase Adj Prep Phrase Adjective
Subject Verb Direct Object
(appositive) (appositive)

We received a request for more information.

The man to your left gave the speech.

Predicate Adjective
This type of prepositional phrase directly follows the BE verb.
Subject BE Verb Prep Phrase Predicate Adjective

No yard was without a dog to guard the house.

The explorers were in high spirits.

Adjectival Object Complement


This type of prepositional phrase occupies the predicate position following a direct object.
Prep Phrase Adjective
Subject Verb Direct Object (object complement)

We found Grandpa in a good mood.

I consider his jokes of questionable taste.

UNIT 9 139
Prepositional Phrase as Adverb
These prepositional phrases may modify verbs, adjectives, or entire sentences.

Modifying a Verb
Subject Verb Prep Phrase Adverb modifying Verb

Jonathan stood on the ladder.

The storm approached with sudden fury.

Several policemen charged into the park.

Modifying an Adjective
Adjective as Prep Phrase Adverb modifying Adjective
Subject Verb
Complement

Bob is loyal to his friends.

Hawaii was great for surfing.

Modifying a Sentence (Independent Clause)


These prepositional phrases are usually set off by commas.
Prep Phrase modifying
Independent Clause Independent Clause

At ten sharp, the guards appeared.

Without saying goodbye, she packed her bags and left.

In ten minutes’ time, the entire block was destroyed by the storm.

140 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Participial Phrases
A participial phrase is a non-finite verbal structure with an -ing or -ed form which can have a
complement and modifiers. A non-finite verb is one that by itself cannot function as the verb of a
sentence or clause. The participial phrase functions as an adjectival modifier.
A participial phrase consists of the following:
 a participle
♦ -ing verb (present)
♦ -ed or -en or irreg. verb (past)

 modifiers of the participle


Finally finding the answer, she relaxed.
The plane, delayed by the storm, was late.

Participial phrases are reductions of clauses.


(becomes)
CLAUSE ➔ PHRASE

anyone who wants to go ➔ anyone wanting to go


ideas which were presented ➔ ideas presented
alphabet that consists of ➔ alphabet consisting of
the house that was nicely painted ➔ the nicely painted house

Since participial phrases function adjectivally, they may be found in the following positions within
sentences:
♦ before a noun (attributive)
♦ after a noun (appositive)
♦ as introduction to a main clause

UNIT 9 141
Participial Phrase in the Attributive Position
Participial Phrase—Attributive Predicate (VP)

The fiercely barking dog frightened the robbers.

The newly equipped laboratory is ready now.

The swiftly flowing stream was difficult to cross.

The highly priced land produced a good profit.

Subject Verb Participial Phrase--Attributive

(You) Don’t spill the boiling water.

They towed the wrecked car.

Participial Phrase in the Appositive Position


Subject Participial Phrase—Appositive Predicate (VP)

The man carrying a briefcase is Jan’s brother.

The truck, rolling over and over, landed right side up.

The people hurt in the accident were taken to the hospital.

Subject Predicate Participial Phrase--Appositive

He heard the concert presented by the university band.

John and Judy watched the troops marching in the parade.

Participial Phrase Introducing a Main Clause


Introductory Participial Phrase Main Clause

Realizing he had no money, Aldo returned home.

Having spent the weekend working, John took Monday off.

Built by the British in 1725, the bridge finally collapsed.

142 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Meanings of Participial Phrases
Even though participial phrases are adjectival in function, because of their verbal quality, they can
express certain meanings or relationships. They can show the time of an action, how or why some
action is done, or an action that is the result of another action named by the main verb of the
sentence or clause. Thus, participial phrases can reflect time, manner, cause, or result.

Time
Participial Phrase Main Clause

Delayed for over an hour, the plane finally took off.

Main Clause Participial Phrase

The plane is late, having just arrived at the airport.

Manner
Participial Phrase Main Clause

Shouting loudly and waving their hands, the crowd stormed into the courtyard.

Main Clause Participial Phrase

Mr. Brown came into the office looking very pleased.

Cause
Participial Phrase Main Clause

Left alone in her room, the child began to cry.

Main Clause Participial Phrase

Mel hurt his back lifting a heavy box.

Result
Main Clause Participial Phrase

Bert got home late, making his wife angry.

Tim drove recklessly, ending up in a ditch.

UNIT 9 143
✦ Special Applications of Participles and Participial
Phrases
Participle/Participial Phrase Following a Direct Object
A direct object is often followed by a participle or participial phrase. Such a direct object usually
follows a verb of perception or cause, such as see, watch, hear, smell, feel, have, and get. Find,
discover, leave, catch, and keep are other verbs which may be followed by a direct object and either
a present or past participle. The verbs have, make, want, need, order, and would like may be
followed by a direct object and a past participle.

Participle or
Subject Verb Direct Object Participial Phrase

They watched the soldiers marching through the town.

She saw a dark figure climbing through the window.

The mechanic got the engine running smoothly.

Myra had the house cleaned once a week.

Ms. Cross wants this exam given today.

General Jones ordered the inspection completed by August 10.

Nominative Absolute
One type of participial phrase, often called a nominative absolute, contain its
own subjects. This subject is not the same as the subject for the main clause that follows the
participial phrase. A nominative absolute states a condition for the main clause.

Participial Phrase Main Clause

The car having broken down, we had to walk to town.

His request for a loan having been refused, he decided not to buy a car.

The city gates being well-guarded, no one could leave or enter.

Flowers being so expensive, they decided to have none at their


wedding.

144 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Adjective Derived from Participle
Some participles and noun-participle combinations have been used for so long as adjectives that
some grammarians no longer considered them to be participles. Most of these words can be
modified by the intensifiers very, too, extremely, somewhat, more, or most; these intensifiers do not
modify participles. Here are a few of these adjectives created from participles.

Mike told many amusing stories last night.


John was bored. It was a very boring party
They considered their trip to Africa an exciting journey.
It’s time to put these tired children to bed.
The telegram brought our family some extremely disturbing news.
He can tell the most fascinating stories.

Dangling Participle
Whenever a participial phrase appears at the beginning of a sentence, the noun or pronoun that the
phrase modifies should be immediately understandable and clear. The noun or pronoun subject of
the sentence should be the performer or receiver of the action of the participial phrase. If it is not,
there is a problem with the structure. This problem is commonly referred to as a dangling
participle.

Dangling Participle: Tired and scared, the rescuers found the lost children.
(Who was tired and scared? The rescuers, or the children?)
Corrected: Tired and scared, the lost children were found by the rescuers.

Dangling Participle: Costing a great deal of money, our family couldn’t afford such a car.
(What cost a great deal of money? Our family, or the car?)
Corrected: Costing a great deal of money, the car did not fit our family’s budget.

Dangling Participle: Sizzling and cooked to perfection, the waiter served the steak.
(What was sizzling and cooked to perfection? The waiter, or the steak?)
Corrected: Sizzling and cooked to perfection, the steak was worth waiting for.

UNIT 9 145
✦ Gerund Phrases
A gerund is a verbal that works as a noun. A gerund names an activity and always
ends in -ing.
A gerund phrase consists of
 gerund
 modifiers of the gerund
Gerund phrases work as nouns in sentences. They can function as any of the following:
 subject
 subject complement
 direct object
 object of preposition
 appositive
 gerund adjunct (adjective)
Gerund phrases are often reductions of independent clauses.

He saw old friends. It was great. ➜ Seeing old friends was great.
Jan runs every morning. It’s her ➜ Running every morning is
favorite exercise. Jan’s favorite exercise.
We get together on weekends. ➜ We enjoy getting together on
We enjoy it. weekends.
You borrowed ten dollars from ➜ Did you forget about borrowing
me. Did you forget about it? ten dollars from me?

NOTE: Gerunds and present participles look exactly alike. They must be identified by their
functions. To find a gerund, ask if the -ing word you are considering functions as a noun. If so, it
is a gerund.

Gerund Phrase as Subject


Gerund Phrase as Subject Predicate (VP)

Finding the lost money was an exciting adventure.

Driving at night makes him nervous.

Sleeping in class is not permitted.

Running two miles every morning keeps Jan in shape.

146 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Gerund Phrase as Delayed Subject
This construction is introduced by the anticipatory it and the non-referential there. The gerund
phrase is the actual subject of the sentence.
It or There Verb Phrase Gerund Phrase as Delayed Subject

It ’s great seeing old friends again.

It was wise buying that used car.

There ’ll be dancing and singing in the streets.

There ’ll be no smoking in this room.

Gerund Phrase as Subject Complement


Subject Linking Verb Gerund Phrase as Subject Complement

His favorite sport is driving cars at top speed.

The problem was being at the right place at the wrong time.

Joe’s worst habit was eating while he was talking.

Gerund Phrase as Direct Object


This is the most common function of a gerund phrase. In English, only certain transitive verbs can
be followed by a gerund object.14
Subject Transitive Verb Gerund Phrase as Direct Object

The men prefer having dinner at noon.

The watchman admitted having been asleep during the robbery.

(You) please stop biting your fingernails.

They will not allow smoking in their home.

14
In English, some verbs can be followed by gerund objects, others by infinitive objects, and some by either gerund or
infinitive objects. There is no rule to determine which verbs can be followed by which form. Refer to the list at the end
of this unit, pages 158-159.
UNIT 9 147
Gerund Phrase as Object of Preposition
Gerund Phrase as Object of
Subject Verb Phrase Prep
Preposition

He usually gets out of breath from walking fast.

They insist on leaving early.

Fred is proud of being the best student in class.

Judy is looking forward to visiting her family.

Gerund Phrase as Appositive


Subject Gerund Phrase as Appositive Predicate

Mary’s hobby, collecting jars, seems rather dull.

His good fortune, finding the money, was short-lived.

Gerund Adjunct or Present Participle?


A gerund adjunct acts like an adjective, but it has primary meaning, so, in fact, it becomes part of
a compound noun. There are two possible tests to determine whether an -ing word preceding a
noun is a participle or a gerund. First, decide whether the word in question shows action or shows
purpose. Then, decide whether the -ing word or the noun carries the primary meaning and,
therefore, receives the primary stress.

 If the -ing word shows purpose and receives primary stress, it is a gerund.
He bought a raêcing horse.
(Racing is a gerund because it shows that the horse’s purpose is racing.)

Let’s go to the swiêmming pool.


(Swimming is a gerund because the pool is for swimming; it is not swimming
itself.)

 If the -ing word shows action and the noun receives primary stress,
the -ing word is a participle.
Look at the setting suên.
(Setting is a participle because it shows what the sun is doing, not what its
purpose is.)

The crying baêby annoyed us.


(Crying is a participle. It shows what the baby is doing.)
148 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
✦ Gerund Phrase with Subject
Because a gerund functions like a noun, it may be modified by a possessive noun or pronoun.
Although phrases have been defined as not containing a subject, some grammarians consider this
possessive noun or pronoun to be the subject of the gerund. Here are a few examples:
Father resents Jim’s spending money foolishly.
We didn’t like their staying so late.
We are proud of Tom’s winning first prize.
Some of us didn’t enjoy your telling boring stories at dinner.
I can’t understand the car’s not starting.
I don’t like his lying.

In today’s informal use, many people do not use possessive nouns or pronouns as modifiers of
gerunds. Instead, they use uninflected nouns and personal pronouns in the objective case form.
Following are examples of how the above would probably be worded in informal American speech
today.
Father resents Jim spending money foolishly.
We didn’t like it that they stayed so late.
We are proud of Tom winning first prize.
Some of us didn’t enjoy you telling boring stories at dinner.
I can’t understand the car not starting.
I don’t like him lying.

UNIT 9 149
✦ Infinitive Phrases
to-Infinitive
As presented in Unit3, an infinitive is the simple form of the verb preceded by to. It is the form
from which all other forms of a verb are derived. Here are some examples: to carry, to maintain, to
introduce, to laugh.

The to-infinitive has four tense forms—present, present perfect, present progressive, and present
perfect progressive. The present and present perfect forms may be passive with get and BE. The
present active and passive infinitives are the most common forms. The following chart shows the
present active and passive forms for the infinitive to plan.

ACTIVE PASSIVE
present to plan to be planned
present perfect to have planned to have been planned
present progressive to be planning (no passive)15
present perfect progressive to have been planning (no passive)16

Bare Infinitive
The simple, or base, form of the verb without to is also known as the bare infinitive. Examples are
carry, maintain, introduce, laugh. Some structures use the to-infinitive; other structures use the
bare infinitive. Bare infinitives often follow causative verbs such as make, and the verbs help and
let.

The captain made the men march all morning.


Let me go with you.

Bare infinitives also follow verbs of perception:

They watched the enemy troops march into town.


He felt someone touch his ear.

15
The present progressive may be made passive on rare occasions. Consider this example: The picnic is supposed to
be being planned by George as we speak.
16
The perfect progressive may also be made passive, as in this example: The picnic was supposed to have been being
planned by now. Such constructions are extremely rare, however, and often not covered in grammar texts.
150 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
Split Infinitive
In common usage, both spoken and written, infinitives are often split. An adverb is placed between
the to and the main verb: to finally decide, to completely surrender, to always wonder. Some
grammarians consider split infinitives to be incorrect usage. Others, however, believe that split
infinitives frequently express thoughts more exactly.

Infinitive Phrases in Sentences


An infinitive phrase consists of

 an infinitive

 modifiers of the infinitive

Infinitive phrases may be introduced by

 objective pronouns or nouns (him, her, us, them, you) sometimes preceded by for
The host urged us to stay a while longer.
It’s time for them to go home.

 indefinite relative adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs (who(m), what, which,


whose, where, when, how else)
I can’t decide which car to buy.
Do you know how else to get there?

 causative verbs or verbs of perception (for simple form or bare infinitive)


He heard the doctor say the patient would recover.
Please help me find the front door.

 negative adverbs not and never


The zookeeper told us not to feed the animals.
John promised never to drive recklessly again.
Infinitive phrases can be any of the following:
 nouns  adjectives
♦ subject
 adverbs
♦ subject complement
♦ direct object  modifiers of
independent clauses
♦ object complement
♦ object of preposition

UNIT 9 151
Infinitive Phrase as Noun

Subject
Infinitive phrases can function as subjects either before or after the verb. Often when an infinitive
phrase is the subject of a sentence, the sentence begins with anticipatory it. We call this infinitive
phrase the deferred, or delayed, subject.
Infinitive Phrase Subject Predicate

To listen to good music is her favorite pastime.

To see his homeland again will make him happy.

To find a good used car is difficult.

It Predicate Infinitive Phrase as Delayed Subject

It is difficult to find a good used car.

It was kind of you to invite us for the weekend.

It was wonderful of our friends to give us an anniversary party.

Subject Complement
Infinitive phrases can act as subject complements after BE verbs and the linking verbs seem and
appear. Notice that the infinitive can appear with or without to when it follows a form of BE.
Subject Linking Verb Infinitive Phrase as Subject Complement

Luke’s aim is to finish the course as soon as possible.

Our plan is to leave Saturday afternoon.

The best thing we can do is walk until we find a gas station.

All Joe ever did was think up ways to get rich.

Sam seems to be a very good leader.

You appear to be a doctor.

152 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Direct Object
This is the most common noun function of infinitive phrases. There are only certain transitive verbs
that can be followed by infinitive objects. Refer to the list at the end of this unit.
Subject Transitive Verb Infinitive Phrase as Direct Object17

(You) Don’t forget to give the students a break.

He promised to get dinner for us.

The captain refused to let the men have liberty this


weekend.

Object Complement
Transitive Direct Infinitive Phrase as Object
Subject
Verb Object Complement18

Jason advised us to leave after sundown.

The agent warned the travelers not to drive at night.

We expect our visitors to stay for a week.

They convinced the teacher to let them go early.

17
See list of verbs which take infinitive objects, page 158.
18
Some grammarians interpret this infinitive phrase to be an object complement. Others treat the direct object as a
subject of the infinitive phrase and the entire phrase – direct object and infinitive phrase – as object of the verb.
UNIT 9 153
Bare Infinitive as Object Complement
Transitive Direct
Subject Infinitive Phrase as Object Complement
Verb Object

The guard saw the plane crash into the mountain.

Judd felt the thief reach into his coat pocket.

Sgt. Jones made the soldiers clean the barracks.

The major let them take a rest afterwards.

Object of Preposition
The prepositions except, besides, and but can be followed by a bare infinitive.
Infinitive Phrase as
Subject Main Verb Phrase Preposition Object of Preposition

We could do nothing but wait for her recovery.

He could do anything except be patient.

What do you like to do besides go to the movies?

154 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Infinitive Phrase as Adjective
Infinitive phrases, like participial phrases, can modify nouns and pronouns. They follow the noun
or pronoun they modify. Some infinitive phrases can be introduced with for.

Modifying Subject
Infinitive Phrase as Adjective
Subject Predicate
Modifying Subject

Her efforts to be helpful were ignored.

Your request to take Friday off has been approved.

The best radio to buy is the least expensive one.

Modifying Direct Object


Transitive Infinitive Phrase as Adjective
Subject Direct Object
Verb Modifying Direct Object

Judy has a lot of work to do today.

I know a great magazine for you to read.

Mr. Tanner had a suggestion to offer.

Modifying Subject Complement


Linking Subject
Subject Infinitive Phrase as Adjective
Verb Complement

Mr. Price was the man to see for the job.

An open field isn’t a good place to be during a storm.

Italy is a lovely country to visit any time of the year.

UNIT 9 155
Infinitive Phrase as Adverb
Infinitive phrases can modify a predicate, a sentence, an adjective, or an adverb. These infinitives
many times express a cause, reason, or purpose.

Modifying Predicate
Infinitive Phrase as Adverb Modifying
Subject Verb
Verb or Predicate

Phil left his home to play professional baseball.

Juanita eats fruit every day to stay healthy.

I usually walk to keep fit.

Modifying Sentence or Independent Clause


Infinitive Phrase as Adverb
Modifying Sentence Independent Clause

To reach Medford in time, we must leave immediately.

To become a ballerina, Julia practiced constantly.

To get water for his stock, the rancher had to drill a well.

Modifying Predicate Adjective


Predicate Infinitive Phrase as Adverb
Subject Linking Verb
Adjective Modifying Predicate Adjective

Ben is eager to start his own business.

We are happy to see you again.

Francis is certain to get a promotion next month.

156 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Modifying Adverb or Adjective Phrase
These infinitive phrases usually modify adverb or adjective phrases consisting of too + an
adverb/adjective or an adverb + enough.

Adverb/Adjective Infinitive Phrase as Adverb Modifying


Subject Verb Phrase Adverb or Adjective Phrase

It ’s raining too hard to have the picnic.

We didn’t stay long enough to make new friends.

His story sounds real enough to be true.

I am too tired to go out tonight.

✦ to – Substitution
In conversation, when an infinitive phrase occurs in an answer to a question, the phrase is often
reduced to a single word, to. To, then, substitutes for the entire phrase.

Q: Do John and Judy expect to get married soon?


A: Yes, they expect to in June.

Q: Does Mary want to change jobs?


A: Yes, she wants to, but she doesn’t know where to look.

Q: Do you intend to sightsee while you’re in Europe?


A: Yes, I intend to on the weekends, when I’m not working.

Q: Is Jack going to retire soon?


A: No, he doesn’t plan to.

UNIT 9 157
✦ Verbs Which Take Gerund Phrases or
Infinitive Phrases as Direct Objects
Gerund Phrases or Infinitive Phrases after Certain Verbs
verbs usually
verbs taking taking infinitive,
verbs taking only verbs taking only either gerund or but experienced
infinitive phrases gerund phrases as infinitive phrases speakers can
as objects objects as objects justify gerunds

agree acknowledge afford learn


appear admit attempt manage
arrange advise begin pretend
ask anticipate bother (in negative) profess
aspire appreciate can’t bear struggle
beg avoid can’t stand threaten
bother (in question) can’t help cease
care (in negative) complete commence
choose consider continue
claim defer decline
condescend delay desire
consent deny dread
decide detest fail
demand discuss hate
deserve dislike hesitate
determine encourage intend
elect end like
endeavor enjoy learn
expect escape love
fail evade mean
hope finish need
offer get through neglect
prepare give up plan
proceed imagine prefer
promise justify propose
refuse keep start
resolve keep on try
seem look forward to volunteer
strive mention
swear mind
miss

158 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Gerund Phrases or Infinitive Phrases after Certain Verbs (cont’d)

verbs taking only verbs taking only verbs that have totally different meanings
infinitive phrases gerund phrases depending on whether you use the gerund
as objects as objects or the infinitive

tend necessitate forget with a gerund shows an action that


wait outlaw was forgotten
want postpone Example: I forgot having met him before.
wish practice
put off forget with an infinitive shows that one
quit did not remember to do something
recall Example: I forgot to mail the letter.
recollect
recommend
remember with a gerund shows an action
report
remembered
resent
Example: I remember putting my keys in my
resist
coat.
risk
stop
remember with an infinitive shows a
suggest
duty to do something
talk about
terminate Example: I must remember to buy stamps
think about today.
tolerate
understand
regret with an infinitive shows that one is
sorry to have to do something or tell bad news
Example: I regret to inform you of his death.

regret with a gerund shows that one is


sad because of something that
happens
Example: I regret having insulted her.

These take the infinitive when followed by


a indirect object; otherwise use the
gerund.

advise
allow
authorize
encourage
permit
sanction

UNIT 9 159
– USER NOTES –

160 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Appendix A

Punctuation
End Punctuation
In English, three punctuation marks – the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point –
are used to show the end, or termination, of an idea.

✦ Period
The “dot” ( . ) placed at the end of a sentence, called a “full stop” by the British, is a period in
American English. Periods are used

 at the end of sentences.


♦ If a complete idea is not definitely a question or an exclamation, use a period at its
end.

 in certain abbreviations.
Mr. Ms. B.A. etc. A.M.

 Periods are not used in abbreviations for states or organizations.


TX LA NATO NBA IRS

✦ Period Look-a-Likes
In American English, the mark which looks like a period has different names in different contexts.
 When used above a letter in writing, it is called a dot.
Be sure to dot your i’s.

 In mathematics it is called a decimal point, or point.


sixteen point four percent (16.4%)

 In computerese it is called a dot.


www dot lackland dot af dot mil (www.lackland.af.mil)

APPENDIX A 161
✦ Question Mark
A question mark ( ? ) is used

 after a direct question.


What time is it?

 after a polite request.


Would you please close the door?

 after questions in a series, even if incomplete.


When will he graduate? Next year? Ten years from now?

✦ Exclamation Point
An exclamation point ( ! ) is used

 after a complete emphatic statement.


You shouldn’t do that!

 after a short exclamation.


Halt!

The Comma
✦ When to use a comma ( , )
 before a coordinating conjunction to join independent clauses
He likes to ride horses, and he likes to drive trucks.

 after an introductory clause or phrase19


After he washes the car, he likes to polish it.

19
If the introductory clause or phrase is very short, the comma is optional.
Example: Today ( , ) we will work on punctuation.
162 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
 after adverbial connectives
We often drive to Houston; therefore, we know Interstate Highway 10 well.

 between all items in a series (including the last item preceded by and)20
I like bananas, peaches, apples, and mangoes.

 between adjectives that modify a noun separately (if they could be joined by and, or if
they could be in any order)
John is an intelligent, athletic, confident man.
 to set off nonrestrictive elements (word groups that do not contain information essential
to the meaning of the sentence)
My father, who was a fighter pilot, was stationed in India.
 to set off parenthetical expressions
Relativity, according to Einstein, is relative.
 transitional expressions
As a consequence, the budget was increased.
 contrasts
The Air Force, not the Marine Corps, will increase their presence in the region.
 direct address
John, please close the window.
 yes, no, and mild interjections
No, you shouldn’t drink and drive.
Well, what do you think?
 tag questions
Jason didn’t go to Florida, did he?
 information which gives context to quotations
President Kennedy said, “While we shall negotiate freely,
we shall not negotiate freedom.”

20
Some style books still prefer to omit the comma before “and.”
APPENDIX A 163
Use commas in the following:
 dates
On July 4, 1976, our country was 200 years old.
 addresses
Julie lives at 237 Johnson Blvd, San Antonio, Texas 78215.
 titles
Janice Johnson, Ph.D., has been promoted to full professor.
 numbers (in groups of three)
3,333,333
 anywhere it clearly prevents confusion.
After eating, the baby fell asleep.

✦ When not to use a comma


 after an introductory phrase in an inverted sentence
✕ Inside the closet, he found five pairs of shoes.
✓ Inside the closet he found five pairs of shoes.

 before a concluding clause that is essential to the meaning of a sentence


✕ Exercise a lot during the holidays, unless you want to gain weight.
✔ Exercise a lot during the holidays unless you want to gain weight.
 to separate a subject from a verb
✕ Running around the block, is one good way to exercise.
✔ Running around the block is one good way to exercise.
(In this example, the phrase running around the block is the subject.)

 to separate a verb from its object or complement


✕ Capt. Johnson ordered, that the privates be restricted to base.
✔ Capt. Johnson ordered that the privates be restricted to base.

 after a coordinating conjunction (but do use one before)


✕ We are going to the lake and, we are renting a sailboat.
✔ We are going to the lake, and we are renting a sailboat.

164 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


 with a question mark or exclamation point
✕ “Where are you going?,” she asked.
✔ “Where are you going?” she asked.

 with indirect speech


✕ President Kennedy said, we should ask what we can do for our country, not
what our country can do for us.
✔ President Kennedy said we should ask what we can do for our country, not
what our country can do for us.

 before parentheses
✕ Be sure to take a warm coat, (maybe your fake fur).
✔ Be sure to take a warm coat (maybe your fake fur).

 to separate coordinating word groups that are not clauses.


✕ He likes to ride horses, and drive trucks.
✔ He likes to ride horses and drive trucks.

 between adjectives that are cumulative or depend on each other


✕ This is the first, cold, gray day this year.
✔ This is the first cold gray day this year.

 to set off restrictive elements


✕ Use a spoon, with slots, for the vegetables.
✔ Use a spoon with slots for the vegetables.

The Semicolon
The semicolon ( ; ) has only a few uses. It always separates grammar elements of equal value.

✦ When to use a semicolon


 to join closely related independent clauses, with or without adverbial connectives
The weather is beautiful; it hasn’t rained for weeks.
It hasn’t rained for weeks; consequently, we decided to have the party outside.
 between items in a series when the individual items contain commas
John Jones, President; Julia Jeffers, Vice President; and
Judy Johnson, Treasurer, will all attend the convention.

APPENDIX A 165
✦ When not to use a semicolon
 after a greeting
✕ Dear John;
✓ Dear John,
✓ Ladies and Gentlemen:
 before a list or quotation
✕ The menu included the following; steak, chicken, and fish.
✓ The menu included the following: steak, chicken, and fish.
✕ The captain said; “Be on time.”
✓ The captain said, “Be on time.”
 to separate a subordinate clause from the rest of the sentence
✕ Without John’s help; Julie won’t finish the project on time.
✓ Without John’s help, Julie won’t finish the project on time.

The Colon
A colon ( : ) is usually used to introduce something else: a list, a quotation, a new clause, a formal
letter, or a subtitle. It is also used in numerical expressions of time and mathematical ratios.

✦ When to use a colon

 before a list following an independent clause


Vacation options include the following: Texas, France, and Japan.
 before a quotation of more than one sentence
My grandmother used to say: “Beauty is only skin deep. If you don’t act
beautiful, people will not notice how pretty you look.”
 between independent clauses if one explains the other
It isn’t very hot: it’s only 82°.
 after the greeting in a formal letter
Ladies and Gentlemen:

166 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


 between titles and subtitles
Lone Star: A History of Texas
 in time expressions
12:30 p.m.
 to express ratios
The ratio of African to Asian students in my class is 2:1.

✦ When not to use a colon


 between verbs and objects or complements
✕ The menu consists of: chicken, meat, and fish.
✓ The menu consists of chicken, meat, and fish.
✕ Vacation options are: Texas, France, and Japan.
✓ Vacation options are Texas, France, and Japan.

The Apostrophe
An apostrophe ( ’ ) looks like a comma, but it is placed near the top of a letter rather than on the line.

✦ When to use an apostrophe


 in contractions
I’m you’ll let’s can’t
 for some plurals (symbols, numbers, letters, words used as entities)
Some people cross their 7’s.
He uses too many okay’s when he talks.

 in place of numbers omitted in years


I graduated in the class of ’81.
In ’42 my grandfather enlisted in the Army.

 to designate periods of time


A week’s rest will refresh the pilots.
We did a year’s worth of work in three months.

APPENDIX A 167
 to show possession
♦ If the noun is singular, add ’s.
Bill’s book the girl’s coat
♦ If the noun is plural but does not end in s, add ’s.
the children’s books the men’s shirts
♦ If the noun is plural and ends in s, add only an apostrophe.
the boys’ shoes the libraries’ books
♦ If a proper noun ends in s, add only an apostrophe.
Charles’ golf clubs Texas’ roads
♦ If two or more nouns joined by and indicate joint possession, add an apostrophe or ’s
to the last noun.
my aunt and uncle’s farm
Jane and James’ house
♦ If two or more nouns joined by and indicate separate possession, add an apostrophe or
’s to each.
Ron’s, Jack’s, and Lou’s test scores
Houston’s and Dallas’ symphonies
♦ If a noun is hyphenated, add ’s to the last word.
father-in-law’s business

Apostrophe Look-a-Likes
Two symbols look like apostrophes, but have special uses.

Foot Symbol
He is 6’ tall.

Quote within Quote


Dr. Jones said, “An important maxim is, ‘Objects in motion tend to stay in motion,
and objects at rest tend to stay at rest.’ ”

See single quotation marks in next section.

168 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Quotation Marks
✦ When to use quotation marks ( “ ” )
 to enclose direct quotations (direct speech)
“Viruses can bring a network to a halt, especially the
dangerous kinds like the ‘I Love You’ virus which can
replicate itself through personal address books of those who
activate it,” said Sergeant Blakes.
Lackland Talespinner 05/04/2001

A quotation is the exact words, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and grammar of the
original writer (or speaker). If these are not exact, quotation marks are not appropriate, unless
alterations to the original quote are clearly indicated. (See Other Punctuation Marks – Elipses and
Brackets, page 172.)

It is important, too, that the original source (writer or speaker) be given credit for an idea put into
different words, or paraphrased. Paraphrasing, sometimes called indirect or reported speech, does
not take quotation marks. Instead the writer or speaker is mentioned in the text or in a citation.

Sergeant Bridge said Sergeant Seveyka, who is a combat


arms instructor, was chosen based on his gunsmith
experience.
Lackland Talespinner, 05/04/2001

Also use quotation marks

 around the titles of short works – articles, poems, short stories, songs, chapters.
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” tells the story of the attitudes of
two sisters towards an heirloom family quilt.
♦ but underline or italicize the titles of longer works – movies, novels, textbooks,
newspapers, magazines.
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple was both a successful novel and
a successful movie.

 to set off words used as words.


He has trouble distinguishing “four” from “for.”
NOTE: Words used as words may be underlined or italicized instead of enclosed in
quotation marks.

APPENDIX A 169
✦ Single Quotation Marks
As mentioned previously, single quotation marks, which resemble apostrophes, are used for quotes
within quotes.

“Somebody asked ‘What just happened?’ I felt like, ‘Man,


am I lucky.’ But I kept asking myself, ‘Am I doing the best
I can do in just keeping everyone alive?’ We tried to get
those in pain as comfortable as we could.”
HM3 Tayinikia Campbell (aboard USS Cole)
All Hands: Magazine for the US Navy, 05/2001

Other Punctuation Marks


✦ Parentheses
Parentheses – ( ) – may enclose extra information such as the following:
 appositives
The new principal (Dr. Johnston Jones) will arrive tomorrow.

 supplemental material
The Girl Scouts should be sure to bring enough water (in an appropriate container)
for the hike.

 afterthoughts
Our new president grew up in Texas (unlike his father, the former president).

 digressions
A significant percentage of students in American universities come from other
countries. (These student populations are already ethnically diverse, as Americans
of many different backgrounds are now going to college.)

Parentheses are used to enclose extra information that is interesting but not essential to the meaning
of the sentence. Parentheses are also used to enclose letters or numbers indicating items in a list.

In addition to water, the scouts should bring these items: (1) bedroll, (2) flashlight,
(3) sweater, (4) extra socks, and (5) assigned food item.

170 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Dash
Dashes ( — ) are used to emphasize. Dashes share some uses with parentheses, but they call more
attention to the added information. They may be used to emphasize the following:
 appositives
The newly elected club president—crony of last year’s president—will continue
previous policies.

 supplemental material
The privates will be on time—and properly attired in Class A uniform—for their first
language class.

Dashes may also be used in place of some colons. A dash is less formal and more dramatic than a
colon. They may be used in the following ways:
 to introduce lists
There was far too much food at the party—cookies, cakes, homemade candy, six
kinds of meat and seafood, many kinds of cheese, several dips, and unlimited bowls
of chips and crackers.

 before a restatement or amplification


Success at the university requires a lot of time—at least three hours of outside work
for every hour of class.

 to indicate a sudden change in tone


Jack and Julie spent thousands of dollars on airfare, clothes, and luggage, read all
they could find about France, and surfed the net looking for the best French
restaurants—then their vacation was canceled.

APPENDIX A 171
✦ Ellipses
An ellipsis ( . . . ) is used to show that something has been left out of a quotation. If the omitted
material is less than a sentence, three dots are used. If the omitted material includes the end of a
sentence or is longer, four dots are used. Quotation marks are not closed before and after an
ellipsis.

Yesterday’s newspaper reported, “Mr. Barnes signed the


ordinance in his first official act as mayor to establish…
stricter guidelines for garbage disposal within city limits.”

✦ Brackets
Brackets ( [ ] ) are used to enclose words or phrases added into an otherwise word-for-word
quotation. Notice the use of both brackets and an ellipsis in this example.

The newspaper continued, “He [Barnes] revoked the


ordinance Thursday… The ordinance required homeowners
to pay a monthly surcharge for the use of automatic
sprinkler systems.”

Brackets can also be used to enclose the notation sic to show that the writer is aware that a quotation
contains an error in spelling or grammar. Using [sic] shows that the writer has not altered the
quotation by correcting the error. Some people consider the use of [sic] to be impolite to the source
being quoted.
According to Jacobson, “It is necessary to walking [sic]
five miles to lose the weight acquired by eating two
doughnuts.”

172 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Appendix B

Irregular Verbs
Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

abide abode / abided abided abiding

alight alighted / alit alighted / alit alighting

arise arose arisen arising

awake awoke awoken awaking

be was / were been being

bear bore born / borne bearing

beat beat beat beating

become became become becoming

befall befell befallen befalling

begin began begun beginning

bend bent bent bending

bet bet bet betting

bid bid bid bidding

bid bade / bid bid / bidden bidding

bide bode / bided bided biding

bind bound bound binding

bite bit bit biting

bleed bled bled bleeding

blow blew blown blowing

break broke broken breaking

breed bred bred breeding

APPENDIX B 173
Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

bring brought brought bringing

broadcast broadcast / broadcasted broadcast / broadcasting


broadcasted

browbeat browbeat browbeaten browbeating

build built built building

burn burned / burnt burned / burnt burning

burst burst burst bursting

buy bought bought buying

cast cast cast casting

catch caught caught catching

choose chose chosen choosing

clothe clothed / clad clothed / clad clothing

come came come coming

cost cost cost costing

creep crept crept creeping

cut cut cut cutting

cybercast cybercast / cybercasted cybercast / cybercasted cybercasting

deal dealt dealt dealing

dig dug dug digging

dive dove / dived dived diving

do did done doing

draw drew drawn drawing

dream dreamed / dreamt dreamed / dreamt dreaming

drink drank drunk drinking

drive drove driven driving

174 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

dwell dwelled / dwelt dwelled / dwelt dwelling

eat ate eaten eating

fall fell fallen falling

feed fed fed feeding

feel felt felt feeling

fight fought fought fighting

find found found finding

fit fit fit fitting

flee fled fled fleeing

fling flung flung flinging

fly flew flown flying

forbid forbade / forbad forbidden forbidding

forecast forecast / forecasted forecast / forecasted forecasting

forego forewent foregone foregoing

forgo forwent forgone forgoing

foreknow foreknew foreknown foreknowing

foretell foretold foretold foretelling

foresee foresaw foreseen foreseeing

forget forgot forgotten forgetting

forgive forgave forgiven forgiving

forsake forsook forsaken forsaking

freeze froze frozen freezing

get got gotten getting

give gave given giving

APPENDIX B 175
Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

go went gone going

greenlight greenlighted / greenlit greenlighted / greenlit greenlighting

grind ground ground grinding

grow grew grown growing

hang (a person) hanged (regular) hanged hanging

hang (a picture) hung hung hanging

have had had having

hear heard heard hearing

hide hid hidden hiding

hit hit hit hitting

hold held held holding

hurt hurt hurt hurting

keep kept kept keeping

kneel knelt / kneeled knelt / kneeled kneeling

knit knitted / knit knitted / knit knitting

know knew known knowing

lay (to place) laid laid laying

lead led led leading

leap leaped / leapt lept / leaped leaping

leave left left leaving

lend lent lent lending

let let let letting

lie (to occupy space) lay lain lying

lie (prevaricate) lied (regular) lied lying

176 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

light lit / lighted lit / lighted lighting

lose lost lost losing

make made made making

mean meant meant meaning

misspend misspent misspent misspending

mistake mistook mistaken mistaking

misunderstand misunderstood misunderstood misunderstanding

mow mowed mowed / mown mowing

offset offset offset offsetting

overcome overcame overcome overcoming

override overrode overridden overriding

pay paid paid paying

plead pleaded / plead / pled pleaded / plead / pled pleading

prove proved proved / proven proving

put put put putting

quit quit quit quitting

read read read reading

ride rode ridden riding

ring rang rung ringing

rise rose risen rising

run ran run running

say said said saying

see saw seen seeing

seek sought sought seeking

APPENDIX B 177
Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

sell sold sold selling

send sent sent sending

set set set setting

sew sewed sewed / sewn sewing

shake shook shaken shaking

shave shaved shaved / shaven shaving

shear sheared sheared / shorn shearing

shed shed shed shedding

shine (shoes) shined (regular) shined shining

shine (light) shone shone shining

shoe (a horse) shoed / shod shoed / shod shoeing

shoot shot shot shooting

show showed showed / shown showing

shrink shrank shrunk shrinking

shut shut shut shutting

sing sang sung singing

sink sank sunk sinking

sit sat sat sitting

sleep slept slept sleeping

slide slid slid sliding

slink slunk / slinked slunk slinking

sneak sneaked / snuck sneaked / snuck sneaking

sow sowed sown / sowed sowing

speak spoke spoken speaking

178 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

speed sped sped speeding

spellbind spellbound spellbound spellbinding

spend spent spent spending

spill spilled / split spilled / spilt spilling

spin spun spun spinning

spit spit / spat spit / spat spitting

split split split splitting

spoil spoiled / spoilt spoiled / spoilt spoiling

spread spread spread spreading

stand stood stood standing

steal stole stolen stealing

stick stuck stuck sticking

sting stung stung stinging

stink stank / stunk stunk stinking

stride strode stridden striding

strike struck struck / stricken striking

strive strove / strived strived / striven striving

swear swore sworn swearing

sweat sweated / sweat sweated / sweat sweating

sweep swept swept sweeping

swell swelled swelled / swollen swelling

swim swam swum swimming

swing swung swung swinging

take took taken taking

APPENDIX B 179
Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle -ing Form
(Base Form)

teach taught taught teaching

tear tore torn tearing

telecast telecast / telecasted telecast / telecasted telecasting

tell told told telling

think thought thought thinking

throw threw thrown throwing

thrust thrust thrust thrusting

typecast typecast typecast typecasting

understand understood understood understanding

undertake undertook undertaken undertaking

uphold upheld upheld upholding

upset upset upset upsetting

wake woke / waked woken / waked waking

wear wore worn wearing

weave weaved / wove weaved / woven weaving

wed wedded wed / wedded wedding

weep wept wept weeping

wet wet / wetted wet / wetted wetting

win won won winning

wind wound wound winding

withdraw withdrew withdrawn withdrawing

withstand withstood withstood withstanding

write wrote written writing

180 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Appendix C

Preposition Combinations
As mentioned in Unit 7, it is often easier for English learners to understand prepositions by thinking
about them in combination with adjectives or verbs. These content words, the adjectives and verbs,
are predictably combined with particular prepositions.

Adjective/Preposition Combinations
These combinations are usually preceded by a BE verb and followed by an object of a preposition.

Mauve is easy on your eyes.


The captain was opposed to the change in plans.

absent from devoted to kind to


accustomed to different from known for
acquainted with disappointed with/in married to
afraid of excited about opposed to
angry at, with faithful to patient with
aware of familiar with mad at/about
capable of fond of proud of
committed to friendly to, with related to
compared to frightened of relevant to
content with grateful to/for responsible for
dedicated to guilty of satisfied with
easy on impatient with scared of/about
envious of innocent of terrified of
delighted with jealous of worried about

APPENDIX C 181
Verb/Preposition Combinations (2-Word Verbs)
Verb/preposition combinations are often called two-word verbs because each of the combinations
performs the function of a verb alone. There are three groups of these combinations: separable
transitive, nonseparable transitive, and intransitive.

✦ Separable Transitive 2-Word Verbs


These are transitive because they take an object. They are considered separable because the object
may either follow the combination or separate it into two parts, in which case the verb comes before
the object and the adverb after it. When a pronoun is used as the object, the two-word verb,
sometimes called a phrasal verb, will usually be separated.

Examples:

Why do you always bring up that subject?


Why do you always bring that up?

bring back
(recall)
This song brings back memories.
(return)
Be sure you bring those books back.

bring up
(mention)
He brought up a lot of good ideas at the meeting.
Be sure to bring that up at the meeting.

(raise)
The Johnsons brought up ten children.
They had only their father to bring them up.

call back
(return a phone call)
Tell her I’ll call back.
Tell her I’ll call her back.

call down
(reprimand)
We were called down for walking on the grass.
The guard called them down for trespassing.

182 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


call in
(summon)
Mother was called in to work at the last minute.
Call the sales staff in for a meeting.
(report by telephone or radio)
Don’t call in sick unless you really are sick.
The police called the accident in at 0500.

call up
(telephone)
Call up the doctor! Jack is very sick.
I’ll call the doctor up immediately.

carry out
(complete an action)
Be sure to carry out the orders exactly.
John will carry the plan out as ordered.

check in
(return an item)
The soldiers checked in their equipment after the exercise.
Be sure to check these books in by the fifth of April.

(report one’s presence)


Be sure to check in at the front desk by nine.
The hotel clerk checked us in at 8:30.

check off
(mark items on a list)
The pilot must check off every item on the pre-flight check list.
Did you check everything off the list?

check out
(record borrowed items)
Don’t forget to check out some books today.
Check these books out for your project.
(see that someone is familiar with a process)
Joan will check out the new secretary’s computer skills.
Today I have to check the privates out on reporting procedures.
(inspect; look at)
Check out this new website. It’s really good.
Check that used car out thoroughly before you buy it.
(investigate casually, try)
Should we check out that new Cajun restaurant?
We won’t go back to that restaurant. We checked it out last night, and it
wasn’t very good.

APPENDIX C 183
check out of
(officially leave)
We have to check out of the hotel by noon.
The manager will personally check us out before noon.

cheer up
(improve a mood)
Let’s try to cheer Judy up. She seems depressed.
(also intransitive meaning become happier)
What can we do to help your parents cheer up?

cross off
(indicate completion of an item on a list)
When I have a lot of chores, I cross off each one as I do it.
Cross each job off the list as it is completed.

do over
(do again)
I have to do over everything that I thought I had already finished.
Do this essay over. It is not your best work.
(redecorate or rearrange)
Since our office has been done over, we are much more comfortable.
We did our kitchen over, and the project took six months to complete.

drop off
(leave someone or something at a place)
When you go by the cleaner’s, would you drop off this pair of trousers?
Can you drop me off at the BX on your way to the commissary?
(also intransitive meaning fall asleep)
I dropped off during the movie.

figure out
(solve by reasoning)
We are trying to figure out why attendance has dropped.
I can’t figure it out.

get across
(make an idea understandable)
I wish I could get across to you how important it is to get plenty of sleep.
The captain should be able to get his ideas across better.

get back
(regain)
We are hoping to get back much more than what we originally invested in
the stock market.
Visitors to Las Vegas seldom get their losses back.
(also intransitive meaning return to point of departure)
My brother will get back to morrow.
184 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE
get on/get off (of)
(enter or leave a means of mass transportation)
Get on the bus. It is about to leave.
Get the children on the bus.
We should get off the train at the next station.
I couldn’t get my kids off the bus.

get out (of)


(leave a car or other small means of transportation)
She got out of the taxi at the front gate.
It took three men to get her out of the car.

give up
(quit trying, surrender)
Don’t give up trying to get that promotion.
The team won because they never gave the game up.

hand in
(submit)
You are to hand in your reports on Friday.
Be sure to hand them in before 3:00 p.m.

hang up
(put on a hanger or hook)
I cannot convince my son to hang up his clothes.
He never hangs his shirts up.
Hang the phone up now!

keep on
(continue to wear)
I’ll keep on my gloves. It’s cold in here.
Keep your coat on too.
(also intransitive meaning continue)
Don’t quit. Let’s keep on.

look over
(examine)
Would you look over these plans and let me know what you think?
John has already looked them over.

look up
(find information in a reference)
If you can’t spell it, you should look it up in the dictionary.
(find and visit a person)
I think I’ll look up my cousin while I’m in New York.

APPENDIX C 185
pay back
(return money or a courtesy)
Joshua never paid back the money I loaned him.
I’ll never be able to pay Jenny back for helping me with
this job.

pick out
(select)
My mother used to pick out my clothes every morning.
Will you help me pick a new shirt out?
(see clearly among others)
With everyone in uniform, it is hard for parents to pick out their sons
and daughters in the parade.
We looked for you, but we couldn’t pick you out.
pick up
(stop and get)
Will you pick up the chips for the party?
Be sure to pick the privates up at the dormitory.
(learn casually)
Some people pick up dialects easily.
I can’t believe you know that. Where’d you pick that up?

point out
(call attention to)
The tour guide pointed out most of the interesting sights.
I hadn’t realized that one of my tires was low. I’m glad you
pointed it out.

put across
(make ideas understandable)
In order to put across your ideas, be sure you understand your audience.
Dr. Johnson is good at putting his point across.

put aside
(save for later)
You ought to put aside more money for retirement.
Let’s put this issue aside until next month.

put away
(store)
Weapons should be put away securely.
Put your personal belongings away before the inspection.

put off
(delay)
Let’s put off that job until tomorrow.
Let’s put that off.

186 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


(stall)
Every time I ask for an answer, he always puts off my questions.
He always puts me off when he doesn’t want to answer me.
(mild anger)
We’re all put off by his attitude.
His indifference puts me off.

put on
(dress)
Put on your coat. It’s cold.
Put your gloves on too.
(turn on, initiate an operation)
I’m going to put on the heat.
Please put the water on for tea.
(pretend, be pretentious)
He is never sincere. He is always putting on an act.
You can’t be serious! You must be putting me on.

put out
(extinguish)
Put out your cigarette. Smoking is not allowed in here.
Be sure to put your campfire out completely.

take back
(return)
I’m going to take back this CD player. It’s not working.
You should take that sweater back to the store. It’s too big.
(cancel words or an act)
I wish I could take back the terrible things I said to John.
John wishes he could take what he said back too.

take off
(reduce)
Mike has felt much healthier since he took off all that weight.
If you negotiate, he may take a few dollars off the price.
(remove)
Take off your jacket.
Take your jacket off.
(also intransitive meaning depart by airplane)
We will take off soon.

take on
(hire)
The contractor intends to take on six new workers.
Can you believe the company has taken them on?
(acquire responsibility)
Judy has taken on another committee position.
She’s always taking something on.
APPENDIX C 187
take out
(remove for use)
Take out your journals and write about this article.
Please take the chicken out of the refrigerator.
(entertain away from home, date)
He takes out clients almost every night.
John is taking Judy out for dinner.

take out on (must be separated)


(transfer anger)
You shouldn’t take your frustration out on your friends.
I know you’re angry, but don’t take it out on me.

take over
(assume power)
When his father retires, Jimmy will take over as president of the company.
We’re not looking forward to the day Jimmy takes the company over.

take up
(begin a pursuit)
When he has more time, he intends to take up tennis.
Dan’s great at basketball. I wonder when he took it up.
(reduce in size)
The new dress was taken up four inches.
Have the tailor take the hem up in those pants.
(discuss)
We should take up the problem of the missing files at the next meeting.
Let’s take this subject up again in the morning.
(consume space)
Why do you always take up so much room?
There’s no space for my luggage. Yours takes it all up.

talk over
(discuss)
We need to talk over this decision.
Families function better when the members can talk things over.

think over
(consider carefully)
He thought over all of his options before deciding to go to college.
I’d like to think it over before I make a decision.

think up
(create by thinking)
Surely we can think up an interesting plan for the weekend.
I thought this story up in less than two minutes.

188 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


think through
(consider step by step)
If you think through the process of moving, it won’t be so difficult.
Think your problem through carefully.

throw away
(dispose of)
Don’t throw away those newspapers. Recycle them.
Don’t throw the magazines away, either.

try on
(put on clothing to test fit and/or appearance)
David tried on ten pairs of pants before he finally found one he liked.
When you buy by catalog, you can’t try the clothes on first.

try out
(test by using)
I wonder if they would let me try out that computer for a week.
Go ahead and try it out.

turn down
(refuse an offer)
Dr. Jenkins turned down an opportunity for private practice.
I can’t believe he turned that down!

turn in
(submit)
I have to turn in my report tomorrow.
Be sure to turn your homework in before you leave.
(also intransitive meaning go to bed)
I turned in at nine o’clock.

turn off
(stop operation)
Please turn off the radio.
Jason, turn that TV off and do your homework!
(also nonseparable meaning leave a road)
We didn’t turn off when we were supposed to.

turn over
(turn top to bottom)
Turn over, or you’ll get a sunburn.
Can you turn the steaks over for me?
(transfer power or goods)
Company operations were turned over to Mr. Brown.
It is often difficult for a politician to turn power over to his successor.

APPENDIX C 189
wake up
(arouse from sleep)
I usually wake up the children at 6:30 a.m.
The garbage truck woke me up at 5:00 a.m. today.
(also intransitive meaning stop sleeping)
I woke up at 5:15.

✦ Nonseparable Transitive 2- and 3-Word Verbs


These phrasal verbs are considered transitive because they take objects. They are considered
nonseparable because they are never separated by those objects.

call for
(pick up)
I will call for you an hour before the movie starts.
(require)
This recipe calls for six eggs.

call on
(visit)
The doctor called on my grandmother quite often.
(request)
He often called on Steve to help him with special projects.
(ask to respond)
Good teachers call on all of the students in their classes.

catch up with
(overtake)
The other runners are so far ahead of us, I doubt we can catch up with them.
I missed two weeks of class. How will I ever catch up with my classmates?

catch up on
(get something done that has been neglected)
I hope to catch up on the news today by reading the newspaper.
He is going to catch up on his sleep this weekend.

check up on
(investigate)
Did you check up on your son last weekend?

chip in
(contribute part)
If everyone chips in $5.00, we can have a great party.
(also intransitive)
We can have a great party if everyone chips in.

190 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


come across
(find accidentally)
I came across the camera I wanted at the BX.
(also intransitive meaning leave an impression)
He comes across as an uncooperative loner.

come along with


(accompany)
The children can come along with us, but they will probably be bored.

come to
(total)
Your hotel bill comes to $71.40.

drop in on
(visit unexpectedly)
Will you drop in on Jane when you’re in San Francisco?

drop out of
(quit)
Jack seems so discouraged this year. I hope he doesn’t drop out of school.

get along with


(have a good relationship)
The people in the office seem to get along with each other very well.

get behind in
(not meet a schedule)
I am getting behind in my homework. Can you help me catch up?

get in
(enter a car or other small means of transportation)
Get in the front seat. My suitcases are in the back.

get on with
(continue)
Let’s get on with our math lesson.

get over
(recover from)
I can’t seem to get over this sinus infection.

get through
(endure)
I wonder how he got through all the years he spent in prison.

APPENDIX C 191
get through with
(finish)
I can go with you when I get through with my homework.

go on with
(continue)
Go on with your story. I’m enjoying it.

go over
(review)
Let’s go over what we covered in class this week.

go through
(look through)
I need to go through these papers to see what can be thrown away.
(endure)
That was the worst experience I have ever gone through.

keep on
(continue)
Keep on practicing and you will become a great musician.
(also separable meaning continue wearing)
Keep your jackets on.

keep up with
(remain even with)
The children can’t keep up with us when you walk so fast.
(remain up-to-date)
I try to keep up with my professional development by reading
professional journals and attending conferences.

look after
(care for)
Would you look after my cat while I’m on vacation?

look down on
(think of as inferior)
She looks down on everyone who has less education than she does.

look forward to
(anticipate with pleasure)
We always look forward to the graduation speeches.

look in on
(check on)
Would you please look in on Mother this afternoon?

192 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


look into
(investigate)
A special committee will look into the problem.

look out for


(be careful about)
Look out for the undertow when you swim at that beach.

look up to
(respect)
Many young people look up to professional athletes.

put up with
(tolerate)
We put up with too many interruptions in our daily routine.

run across
(find something by chance)
When I was cleaning out a drawer, I ran across some old photos.

run into
(meet by chance)
I ran into Captain Jones and her family at the mall yesterday.

run out of
(deplete a supply)
We’re about to run out of milk. Can you go to the store?

see about
(find out about and do)
I’m going to be busy this afternoon. Would you see about our
dinner reservations?

send for
(summon)
The general sent for Col. James. They should be meeting now.
(order by mail, phone, e-mail)
I sent for the CD Gerald asked for.

stand by
(be available)
All officers should stand by until the general’s visit is over.
(support)
Good friends will stand by you in times of need.

APPENDIX C 193
take after
(resemble in appearance or character)
George W. Bush takes after his father.

take out after


(pursue)
The troopers quickly took out after the prison escapees.

talk back to
(answer discourteously)
Many children talk back to both their parents and their teachers.

turn off
(leave a road)
Turn off this street at the next intersection and go north on IH10.

wait on
(serve)
The clerks in this store are slow when they wait on customers.
(be delayed)
I think my next assignment is in Florida, but I’m waiting on official orders.

Some two-word verbs are preceded by BE. The two main words are never separated, but they may
be separated from BE.

be behind in
(not meet a schedule)
I’m two weeks behind in my paying my rent.

be in on
(be included)
If you’re going to form a new project team, I’d like to be in on it.

be out
(be deprived of)
I’m out $250 because of those car repairs.

be out of
(have depleted supply)
We’re out of coffee. I’m on my way to buy some more.

be over
(in charge of)
The Lieutenant is the company commander, and the Major is over him.

194 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


be under
(less than)
If that vehicle is under $25,000, I’ll buy it.
(under command of)
How many soldiers are under Major Parker?

be up for
(be considered for)
He’ll be up for promotion next year.

be up on
(be current with)
Richard is the one who is up on the latest computer programs.

be up to
(be in physical or mental condition for)
I’m not up to going to the gym today. I’m too tired.

✦ Intransitive Two- or Three-Word Verbs


Phrasal verbs which do not take objects are considered intransitive. Note that some of these verb-
preposition combinations also appear on the list of transitive two-word verbs.

catch up
(come up to)
She is so far behind schedule that she will never catch up.

check in
(register)
We must check in by 6:00 p.m., or our reservation will be cancelled.

check out
(sign out to leave)
We must check out by noon, or we will be charged for another day.

cheer up
(become happier)
Cheer up! It’s a beautiful day.

chip in
(contribute)
If everyone chips in, we’ll have a great party.
come across
(leave an impression)
He comes across as a very thoughtful supervisor.

APPENDIX C 195
come to
(regain consciousness)
He was in a coma for a month before he came to.

come over or come on over


(come to visit)
If you aren’t busy, come (on) over this evening.

drop in
(visit unannounced)
I was driving by your house, so I thought I would drop in.

drop off
(decline)
Home sales have dropped off considerably in the last year.

drop off
(fall asleep suddenly)
The students are always dropping off during my lessons.
(decrease in number)
Attendance at Spurs’ basketball games drops off when they lose.

get along/get on
(progressing)
How are you getting along (getting on) in your new job?

get back
(return)
I’m late leaving, so it will probably be late when I get back.

get in
(arrive)
I usually get in from work at about six.

get through
(finish)
I’ve been working on this a long time. Do you think I’ll ever get through?
(reach by telephone)
I tried to call you last night, but I never could get through.

get up
(arise)
I usually get up at 5:00 a.m.
We all got up when the General entered the room.
give up
(surrender)
I give up! What’s the answer?

196 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


hang up
(end phone conversation)
He was angry when he hung up on his brother.

lie down
(recline)
If you feel sick, you should go lie down.

look out
(be cautious)
Look out when you cross that busy highway.

report in
(give notice of arrival)
You must report in by 7:30 every morning.

sit down
(be seated)
Ask the students to sit down before you take roll.

stand by
(wait)
Stand by for a special report.

stand up
(get on one’s feet)
They stood up when the general entered the room.

take off
(leave, depart)
Our flight will take off at noon.

turn in
(go to bed)
I think I’ll turn in early tonight.

turn up
(appear unexpectedly)
He always turns up when we have a party.

wake up
(stop sleeping)
I usually wake up at 5:00 a.m.

APPENDIX C 197
– USER NOTES –

198 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Appendix D

More Sentence Patterns


The five basic sentence patterns discussed in Unit 8 have many variations. This appendix presents
the most common as sub-patterns of those previously explained.

Pattern One
Subject (S) + Intransitive Verb (VI)
S VI

Fred runs.
The fire spread.
The plane will arrive.
They ate.

✦ Variation One A
In this variation, an adverb or adverbial modifies the intransitive verb.

Subject(S) + Intransitive Verb (VI) + Adverb (Adv)

S VI Adverb

Fred runs every morning.


The fire spread rapidly.
The plane will arrive at ten o’clock.
They ate voraciously.

Transformations:
Negative Statement: Fred doesn’t run every morning.
Affirmative Question: Does Fred run every morning?
Negative Question: Doesn’t Fred run every morning?
Question-Word Question: When does Fred run?
Tag Questions: Fred runs every morning, doesn’t he?
Fred doesn’t run every morning, does he?
APPENDIX D 199
Pattern Two
Subject(S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)

S VT DO (Noun or Pronoun)

Richard closed the windows.

The mechanic fixed it.

Many people like ice cream.

Transformations:
Negative Statement: Richard didn’t close the windows.
Affirmative Question: Did Richard close the windows?
Negative Question: Didn’t Richard close the windows?
Question-Word Question: Who closed the windows?
Tag Questions: Richard closed the windows, didn’t he?
Richard didn’t close the windows, did he?

✦ Variation Two A
In this variation, the direct object is an infinitive phrase or a gerund phrase.

Subj. (S) + Trans. Verb (VT) + Infinitive or Gerund Phrase


S VT Infinitive or Gerund Phrase

The Browns plan to build a big house.

Chris wants to be a pilot.

The family enjoys fishing in the mountains.

They dislike eating out.

200 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Variation Two B
Since Pattern Two has a transitive verb, it can be made passive. Remember that the agent is
sometimes omitted to emphasize the action.

Subj (S) + BE + Past Participle(PP) +Agent (stated or not)


S BE PP Agent

The windows were closed (by Richard).

The flat was fixed (by the mechanic).

Pattern Three
Subj. (S) + Trans. Verb (VT) + Indirect Object (IO) +
Direct Object (DO)
S VT IO DO

Joe gave Theresa a gold ring.

His boss offered him a better job.

Transformations:
Negative Statement: Joe didn’t give Theresa a gold ring.
Affirmative Question: Did Joe give Theresa a gold ring?
Negative Question: Didn’t Joe give Theresa a gold ring?
Question-Word Question: Why did Joe give Theresa a gold ring?
Tag Questions: Joe gave Theresa a gold ring, didn’t he?
Joe didn’t give Theresa a gold ring, did he?

This pattern can be made passive in the following two ways:

APPENDIX D 201
✦ Variation Three A
The direct object becomes the subject.

Subject (S) + BE + Past Participle (PP)+


Prepositional Phrase (pp) + Agent (stated or not)
S (former DO) BE PP pp (Agent)

A gold ring was given to Theresa (by Joe).

A better job was offered to him (by his boss).

An award is given for top performance (by the company).

The first two examples above are grammatically correct but somewhat awkward and uncommon.
The third example is more typical.

✦ Variation Three B
The indirect object becomes the subject. This is a more usual construction.

Subject (S) + BE + Past Participle (PP) + Direct Object +


Agent (stated or not)
S (former IO) BE PP DO (Agent)

Joe’s wife was given a gold ring (by Joe).

He was offered a better job (by his boss).

202 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Pattern Four
This pattern uses transitive verbs with nouns as object complements. The verbs may be verbs of
choosing, considering, causation, or perception.

Subject (S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)


+ Object Complement (OC)—Noun
S VT DO OC (Noun)

The voters elected him president.

Ms. Lane appointed Mr. Green supervisor.

The crowd considers Major Barnes a hero.

She thought her son a genius.

Transformations:
Negative Statement: The voters didn’t elect him president.
Affirmative Question: Did the voters elect him president?
Negative Question: Didn’t the voters elect him president?
Question-Word Question: When did the voters elect him president?
Tag Questions: The voters elected him president, didn’t they?
The voters didn’t elect him president, did they?

✦ Variation Four A
The following four patterns are identical to Pattern Four except for the form of the object
complement. Instead of being a noun or pronoun, the object complement may be an adjective, the
simple form of a verb (sometimes called a bare infinitive), an infinitive, or a present participle.

Subject (S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)


+ Object Complement (OC)—Adjective
S VT DO OC (Adjective)

The audience thought the show amusing.

The neighbors painted their house pink.

Mr. Branch likes his steak rare.

APPENDIX D 203
Subject(S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)
+ Object Complement (OC)—Simple Verb
S VT DO OC (Simple Verb)

His jokes make most people laugh.

His mother had him phone.

Subject(S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)


+ Object Complement (OC)—Infinitive
S VT DO OC (Infinitive)

The instructor advised the students to study.

His father is teaching him to hunt and fish.

Major Lee invited us to have dinner.

The instructor wants the class to go on a tour.

Subject (S) + Transitive Verb (VT) + Direct Object (DO)


+ Object Complement (OC)—Present Participle
S VT DO OC (Present Part.)

The mechanic got the engine running.

He keeps the fire going all night.

The crowd watched the troops marching.

I saw some kids fighting.

204 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


✦ Variation Four B
Most variations of Pattern Four can be made passive.

Subject (S) + Be + Past Participle (PP) + Noun/


adjective/ infinitive/ participle + Agent (stated or not)
Noun/Adjective
S BE PP Agent
Infinitive/Participle

He was elected president (by the voters).

That man is considered a hero by the crowd.

The show was thought amusing by the audience.

The students were advised to study (by the teacher).

The fire is kept going all night (by him).

Pattern Five
Notice that, in this pattern, the linking verb can be either BE or another verb. The complement, a
noun or pronoun, describes or identifies the subject.

Subject (S) + Linking Verb (LV) +


Subject Complement (SC)—Noun or Pronoun
S LV SC

Mr. Land is an engineer.

That car was mine.

Her sister became a general.

Bill remained a bachelor.

APPENDIX D 205
✦ Variation Five A
In addition to nouns and pronouns, adjectives and adverbs can be subject complements.

Subject (S) + Linking Verb (LV) +


Subject Complement (SC)—Adjective
S LV SC (Adjective)

That dinner was delicious.

Marsha is very reliable.

The sky grew cloudy.

Jack seems happy.

Subject (S) + Linking Verb (LV) +


Subject Complement (SC)—Adverb
S LV SC (Adverb)

The doctor is here.

Our sons were at the movies.

Graduation will be soon.

Your voice sounds far away.

206 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Additional Patterns with There and It
In English many sentences begin with a non-referential there or it. These introductory words do not
refer to nouns or pronouns. The actual subjects appear later in the sentence.

✦ There
In the pattern below, BE has the meaning of exist; therefore, BE is like an intransitive verb, not a
linking verb. There is no subject complement expressed.

There BE Subject

There are nine planets.


There is life.

In the there patterns that follow, BE is a linking verb with some type of complement.
Subject Complement
There BE Subject
Adverb
There is a taxi outside.
There are bedrooms upstairs.

Subject Complement
There BE Subject (Adverb)
Adjective
There were three students absent (today).

There BE Subject Present Participle

There is a policeman coming.


There are boys selling newspapers on the corner.

There BE Subject Infinitive

There is some work to do.


There is a lot for us to see there.

When there begins a sentence in the passive voice, a past participle is used.

There BE Subject Past Participle Adverb

There was a man injured yesterday.

APPENDIX D 207
Transformations:
Negative Statement: There isn’t a taxi outside.
Affirmative Question: Is there a taxi outside?
Negative Question: Isn’t there a taxi outside?
Question Word Question: Where is there a taxi?
Tag Questions: There is a taxi outside, isn’t there?
There isn’t a taxi outside, is there?

✦ It
When it begins a sentence, it may be either anticipatory or impersonal. Anticipatory it promises a
subject after the verb. That subject may be an infinitive phrase, a gerund phrase, or a noun clause.

Subject Complement Subject


It BE
(Adjective) (Infinitive Phrase)

It is good to relax.

It was wonderful to see him again.

Subject Complement Subject


It BE
(Adjective) (Gerund Phrase)

It was great meeting her.

Subject Complement Subject


It BE
(Adjective) (Noun Clause)

It is evident (that) he’s telling a lie.

208 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Transformations:
Negative statement: It isn’t good to relax.
Affirmative Question: Is it good to relax?
Negative Question: Isn’t it good to relax?
Question-Word Question: Why is it good to relax?
Tag Questions: It is good to relax, isn’t it?
It isn’t good to relax, is it?
Impersonal it uses the pronoun it as subject of the sentence. BE often follows in the form of is. In
spoken English this is contracted as it’s.

Impersonal it can be used to express time.


It BE
Noun Complement
(Subject) (Linking Verb)
It ’s lunch time.
It ’s 5 o’clock.

Impersonal it can be used to express distance.


It BE Noun Complement
(Subject) (Linking Verb) (Phrase)
It ’s two miles from my house to the store.
It ’s a six-hour drive to Dallas.

Impersonal it can be used for identification.


It BE
Noun
(Subject) (Linking Verb)
It ’s your daughter.
It ’s the colonel.

Impersonal it can be used to relate weather conditions.

It Complement
Linking Verb (Adverb)
(Subject) (Adjective)

It ’s sunny (outside).
It ’s cold (today).
It feels hot (in here).

APPENDIX D 209
The following is a list of typical adjectives that are often used with this pattern to relate weather
conditions:

hot warm chilly stuffy breezy

cold cool icy stifling calm

pleasant nice delightful mild rainy

cloudy sunny misty foggy

humid wet dry windy

Transformations:
Negative Statement: It isn’t lunch time.
Affirmative Question: Is it lunch time?
Negative Question: Isn’t it lunch time?
Question-Word Question: When is it lunch time?
Tag Questions: It is lunch time, isn’t it?
It isn’t lunch time, is it?

Impersonal it may also be used with an intransitive verb.

It Auxiliary Verb Intransitive Verb (Adverb)

It rained last night.


It ’s snowing outside.

Transformations:
Negative Statement: It didn’t rain last night.
Affirmative Question: Did it rain last night?
Negative Question: Didn’t it rain last night?
Question Word Question: Where did it rain last night?
Tag Questions: It rained last night, didn’t it?
It didn’t rain last night, did it?

210 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Appendix E

More on Indirect Speech


Indirect speech, or repetition of what another person has said, poses particular problems for non-
native speakers. Especially in the military, where it is often necessary to repeat what a higher-
ranking person has said, it is important that communications be completely accurate. Non-native
speakers need to pay particular attention to tense changes and pronoun usage. The most basic
patterns of reported speech were introduced in Unit 9. The following is a more complete analysis.

Tense Harmony
The “rule of thumb” for tense harmony, also called sequence of tenses, in indirect speech is to use a
past tense that reflects the tense used by the speaker. The past tense is used because it shows that
something was said in the past. In informal usage, however, this rule is often ignored.

The most common main verbs used in indirect speech are said, told, and asked. In these types of
sentences, said does not take an indirect object, while told does.

He said he went to the post office.


He told me that he went to the post office.

Asked may or may not take an indirect object.

He asked if he could go with us.


He asked John if he could go with us.

The following examples show how indirect speech sentences are formed, both formally and
informally. Verbs are bolded, and pronouns are italicized so that the changes can be seen easily.

This more formal pattern follows the rule of tense harmony, or sequence of tenses (as taught in the
ALC):

John: “I ride my bike at least six miles a day.”


Half-an-hour later Judy tells Jason:
“John said he rode his bike at least six miles a day.”
Two weeks later Judy tells Juanita:
“John said he rode his bike at least six miles a day.”
Next year Judy tells James:
“John told me that he rode his bike at least six miles a day.”

APPENDIX E 211
This more informal pattern ignores the rule of tense harmony. In this pattern, the tense of the verb
in the noun clause remains the same as that used in direct speech. This is especially true when the
event expressed in direct speech is repeated immediately after it is said.

John: “I ride my bike at least six miles a day.”

Ten minutes later Judy tells Jason:


“John says he rides his bike at least six miles a day.”

Next week Judy tells Juanita:


“John said he rides his bike at least six miles a day.”

Next year Judy tells James:


“John told me that he rode his bike at least six miles a day.”
For more on tense harmony in indirect speech, see the chart on page 126.

Modals in Indirect Speech


The following modals change when reported. Other modals do not change form when reported.
 may (possibility) becomes might
Jack: “I may go to the movies tonight.  Jack said he might go to the movies
tonight.
 can (ability) becomes could
Julie: “Jane can run faster than I can.”  Julie told me that Jane could run faster
than she could.
 will (future intention) becomes would
Janice: “Yes, I will be there on Saturday.”  Janice said that she would be there on
Saturday.”
 have to (requirement—informal) becomes had to
John: “You have to attend the meeting.”  John told me I had to attend the
meeting.
 must (requirement) becomes was required to (formal)
John: “You must attend the meeting.”  John said I was required to attend the
meeting.

212 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Questions in Indirect Speech
✦ Yes/No Questions
In reporting yes/no questions, two additional changes are made.

 Whether or if is added.

 Word order is changed from question order to statement order.

Direct Tom: “Do you need some help?”


Indirect Tom asked whether I needed some help.

Direct Mary: “Is your brother leaving tonight?”


Indirect Mary asked if my brother was leaving tonight.

Direct Bob: “Will the books arrive on Monday?”


Indirect Bob asked whether the books would arrive on Monday.

Direct Mr. Hall: “Can we leave a little earlier tomorrow?”


Indirect Mr. Hall asked if we could leave a little earlier tomorrow.

✦ Question-Word Questions
In reporting question-word questions, the word order changes to statement order.

Direct Mike: “Where did Jim buy his car?”


Indirect Mike asked me where Jim had bought his car.

Direct Frank: “What has happened?”


Indirect Frank asked me what had happened.

Direct Linda: “When do they have to start their new assignment?”


Indirect Linda asked when they had to start their new assignment.

Direct: Mr. Brown: “How will we get there?”


Indirect Mr. Brown asked me how we would get there.

APPENDIX E 213
General Truths in Indirect Speech
When a general truth or a customary action is reported in indirect speech, the present tense of the
verb reporting that action may be used with said or told. Compare the following:

General Truth/Customary Action:

Direct Speech Reported Speech


Private Sanchez: “It rains a lot in Private Sanchez said it rains a lot in
Puerto Rico.” Puerto Rico.

Commands (Imperatives) in Indirect Speech


When a command is reported, the verb is changed to the infinitive.

Direct Bill: “Turn to page thirty-two.”


Indirect Bill said to turn to page thirty-two.

Direct Mary: “Bob, finish one job before you start another one.
Indirect Mary told Bob to finish one job before he started another one.

Direct Teacher: “Class, bring your essay drafts tomorrow.”


Indirect The teacher told the class to bring their essay drafts tomorrow.

214 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Glossary

A C
abbreviation – a short form of a word or phrase used case – the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that
in place of its full form. [abbr. for abbreviation, Dr. shows its relationship to another word – subjective
for doctor] and objective in English.
abstract – a characteristic of something that cannot be class – the function group to which a word belongs –
seen or touched, such as an idea, process, or feeling. nouns are one class, adverbs another.
active voice – (opposite of passive voice) clause – a group of words containing a subject and
a grammatical construction in which the subject of verb and forming a part of a sentence.
the verb is the performer of the action described by
collective noun – a noun naming a group considered to
the verb. [John washed the car yesterday.]
be a single unit. [troop, team, herd, set]
adjective (adj) – a class of words used to modify
common noun – a noun that refers to a class of people,
nouns. [She wore the red dress.]
places, or things rather than to an individual specific
adverb (adv) – a class of words modifying verbs, person, place, or thing. [boy, table, dog, school]
adjectives, or other adverbs.
comparative – an adjective or adverb form used to
[He spoke rapidly. The weather is unusually cold.
describe the relationship between two entities or
You did quite well on the exam.]
actions. [-er or more]
adverbial – a phrase or clause that functions like an
complement – see subject complement or object
adverb. [She swims like a fish. I’ll call you when I
complement.
get home.]
complex sentence – a sentence containing a main
affix (af) – a bound morpheme (a word part that cannot
clause and one or more dependent clauses.
stand alone) that modifies the meaning and/or
syntactic (sub) category of the stem in some way. compound noun – a noun created from two nouns.
[un- and –able in undrinkable]. [bookcase, airport, bedroom, toothpick]
antecedent – the noun or noun phrase on which a compound sentence – a sentence formed by joining
pronoun depends for its interpretation. [Mary rode two or more independent clauses.
her bike.]
concrete – something that can be seen and touched and
antonym – a word with the opposite meaning of usually counted. (as in concrete noun)
another word. [good/evil, ugly/beautiful, hot/cold]
conjugation – the complete set of inflected forms
appositive – a renaming or identification of a noun associated with a verb (also called a verbal
directly following the noun in a sentence. paradigm).
[Ms. Jones, my instructor, is not in class today.]
conjunction (C) – a minor lexical category whose
article – each of the words a, an, and the used as members serve to join categories of the same type.
determiners. [and, or]
auxiliary (helping) verb – a verb that helps a main conjunctive adverb – an adverb which serves to
verb by adding special meaning. These include connect and show a relationship between ideas.
modals and some verbs which can also function as [instead, moreover, consequently]
main verbs.
consonant – a speech sound in which the flow of
breath is narrowed or stopped [/p/, /t/, /d/, etc.]; the
letters in English which are not vowels.
B
content word – a word that has meaning in itself: a
noun, verb, adjective, or adverb.
continuous (progressive) tense – a verb tense
indicating action in progress, indicated by -ing.

GLOSSARY 215
conversion – the process by which a word’s part of future tense – uses of will or be going to with a main
speech (lexical category) is changed without a verb to express expected happenings or conditions.
change in form. [ship (noun) ➞ ship (verb)] [We will play golf Saturday.]
coordinating conjunction – a conjunction which joins future perfect tense – uses of will, have, and the past
word groups of equal value. [and, or, but] participle of a main verb to express happenings or
conditions expected to be completed in the future
correlative conjunctions – conjunctions that work in before another future happening. [He will have
pairs. [either/or, not only/ but also] graduated by the time his wife arrives.]
count noun – a noun that can be counted. [horse,
house, girl, chair, apple]
G
D gender – the designations of masculine, feminine, or
neuter given to some nouns, pronouns, and
demonstrative pronoun – a pronoun indicating which. adjectives.
[this, that, these, those] genitive (gen) – the case marker used for possessive
determiner (det) – a minor lexical category whose nouns.
members combine with nouns to form noun phrases gerund – the –ing form of a verb used as a noun.
and specify whether the noun is definite or Gerunds can function as subject, direct object,
indefinite. [usually an article, sometimes a pronoun complement, object of preposition, appositive, and
or number] adjunct.
derivation – a word formation process by which a new gerund phrase – a gerund preceded or followed by
word is built from a stem, usually through the related words.
addition of an affix that changes the word class
and/or basic meaning of the word. [form → reform get passive – passive voice structure made with forms
→ reformation] of get plus the past participle of a main verb.
[Tom got hurt in the car accident.]
direct address (vocative)– the identification of a
person or group being addressed. [John, wake up.] grammar – the system of elements and rules needed to
form and interpret sentences.
direct object – the main receiver of the action of a
transitive verb. [The boys ate the pizza.] grammatical (sentence) – adj. a sentence that speakers
judge to be a possible sentence in their language.

E
H
emphatic (intensive) pronoun – a pronoun containing
“self” used to emphasize. [I’ll do it myself]. helping verb – see auxiliary verb.
exclamations – a word, phrase, or sentence expressing head – the lexical category around which a phrasal
strong positive or negative feelings or judgments. category is built and that is always present in the
phrase.
expletive – a word in the subject position that
substitutes for and anticipates the real subject (a homophone / homonym – a word that is identical in
word, phrase, or clause) that comes later in the sound, and sometimes in spelling to another word or
sentence. [There are a lot of people here.] words, but different in meaning. [sail/sale,
buck/buck, to/too/two]

F
I
finite – limited [as a finite verb which can be limited
by person, number, or tense] imperative mood – a class of verb structures
commonly used to order, request, or suggest an
function – purpose for which a word form is used. action be taken. [Close the window.]

216 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


indirect object (IO) – the secondary receiver of the L
action of a transitive verb. [I gave Tom his book.]
indefinite pronoun – a pronoun which does not refer linking verb – a verb which connects a subject and a
to a specific person, thing, or group. complement.
[any, some, none, many, everyone]
lowercase – a designation for letters of the English
indicative mood – a class of verb structures used to alphabet which are not capitalized.
express facts, opinions, and questions.
infinitive – the uninflected form of a verb; the base
form of the verb preceded by to. M
[You are not allowed to park next to a fire hydrant.]
main verb – a verb other than an auxiliary.
inflection – a change in a word’s form to mark a
change in its grammatical subclass. [sg. wolf→ pl. major lexical categories – lexical classes in which
wolves] membership is “open” in the sense that new words
are constantly being added. [noun, verb, adjective,
initial – the first letter in a name used as a short form.
adverb]
[Arthur Boyd Stevens→ A.B. Stevens or A.B.S]; the
position at the beginning of a word or syllable. [The minor lexical categories – lexical classes in which
word six has the /s/ sound in initial and final membership is “closed” in the sense that it is
positions.] restricted to a fixed set of elements already in the
language (e.g. preposition, pronoun).
intensifier – an adverb which indicates “to what
degree.” [very, somewhat, nearly] modal = modal auxiliary – any of the following
auxiliaries: can/could, will/would, may/might,
intensive (emphatic) pronoun – a pronoun containing shall/should, must, or ought to.
-self used to emphasize. [I’ll do it myself!]
modify – to add to or limit the meaning of a word,
interrogative – indicates the case that signifies phrase, or clause.
questioning.
modifier – a word, phrase, or clause that clarifies or
interrogative pronoun – a pronoun used to question. limits the meaning of another word or word group.
[who, what, when, where, which, how]
mood – a class of verb structures which reflects
intransitive (verb) – a verb that cannot take a direct attitude, idea, or feeling about a subject. In English
object noun phrase. [sleep, exist] there are three moods: indicative, imperative,
irregular plural – a noun that does not form the plural subjunctive.
by adding –s or –es to the singular form.
[wife/wives, man/men, one fish/two fish,
person/people] N
irregular verb – a class of verbs that do not form their
past tense and/or past participle by adding -d or -ed. negative (neg) – opposite of affirmative. [no, not,
[swim/swam/swum, go/went/gone, cut/cut/cut] never, neither/nor, un-, non-]
noun (N) – a major lexical category whose members
typically name entities, or concrete or abstract
J things.
noncount noun – a noun that may be quantified, but
joining word – a conjunction can not be counted. [fruit, coffee, knowledge]
non-separable verb – a two- or three- word verb that
K cannot be separated without a change of meaning.
noun adjunct – a noun used as an adjective. [dog
house, coffee cup]
noun phrase (NP) – a phrase built around a noun head.
number – a grammatical category marking distinctions
between singular and plural.

GLOSSARY 217
O possessive – a word or structure used to show
ownership or responsibility. [his car, Jane’s coat]
object – see direct object (DO) and indirect object predicate – the verb phrase (VP) – the part of a
(IO). sentence containing the verb and its modifiers.
object complement – a word or phrase following an prefix – an affix at the beginning of a word which
object and describing or identifying it. changes the meaning of the word. [unhappy,
displace, non-smoker]
objective – the case of a word which receives action of
a verb; without bias or opinion, factual. preposition (P) – a minor lexical category that shows a
relationship between one word or phrase and
another. [in, on, at, above, from, to]
P prepositional phrase (PP) – a phrase beginning with a
preposition. [to the park, behind the house]
participle – either of two verbals. The present
progressive (continuous) tense – verb tense indicating
participle, which ends in –ing, shows continuing
continuing action, signified by -ing.
action. The past participle, which has various
endings, but most commonly -ed, shows completed pronoun (pro) – a minor lexical category whose
action. members can replace a noun or noun phrase. [he,
herself, it]
passive (voice) – a grammatical device wherein the
subject does not perform the action of the verb. proper noun – name of a particular person, place, or
[The car was washed yesterday.] thing. All proper nouns begin with capital letters.
[Jane Doe, San Antonio, Mississippi River, Holmes
past participle (pp) – a verb form used as the main
High School].
verb in perfect tenses [had worked, has finished]
and in passive voice structures [is used, was
broken]. Also used with nouns as modifiers. [the
lost money, devices invented by Edison] Q
past perfect – a tense structure used to indicate an
question – a sentence whose function is to ask. (ends
event or condition that existed before another event
with ?)
or condition that is either directly named or
understood from the context. [I had been studying quotation – repetition of the exact words of another
English for three years before coming to the States.] speaker or writer.
perfect tense – a verb tense relating an action to two
points in time. (These tenses always use have, had,
or has) R
person – a grammatical category that typically
distinguishes among the first person (speaker), reciprocal pronoun – a pronoun used to show a
second person (addressee), and third person (anyone mutual relationship. [John and James exchange gifts
else). with each other.]

personal pronoun – a pronoun substituting for a noun reflexive pronoun – a pronoun ending in –self that has
which names a person or group of people (or an antecedent in the same clause. [himself, itself]
sometimes an animal whose gender is known). regular plural – a noun that forms the third person
phrase – two or more words that together have present tense form by adding –s or –es. [books,
meaning, but only as part of a sentence, sentence potatoes]
fragment, or clause. [last night, in spite of the bad
weather, to the park]
phrasal verb – a verb formed of two or more words.
S
[get off, look up, give back, become of]
semantics – the various phenomena pertaining to the
plural – a noun or verb form used to indicate more meaning of words and sentences; the study of
than one person or thing or the action of more than meaning in language.
one person or thing.

218 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


sentence (S) – a group of words with a subject, a verb, tag question – a sentence that begins like a statement
and a complete idea (noun phrase and a verb and ends with a short question structure.
phrase) designated by terminal punctuation. [You did study, didn’t you?]
singular – a noun or verb indicating only one person or two-word verb – See non-separable verb and phrasal
thing or the action of only one person or thing. verb
statement – any sentence that is not a command,
request, question, or exclamation.
stem – the unit to which an affix is added. [state in
U
statement]
uppercase – an alternate designation for capital letters.
structure – any arrangement of words or word parts
that facilitates communication.
structure word – a word used to show a relationship V
between content words in a syntactic structure.
(preposition, conjunction, determiner) verb (V) – a major lexical category whose members
designate actions, sensations, and states.
subordinate conjunction – a conjunction which
connects a dependent clause to an independent verbal – a word form relating to or taken from a verb,
clause and indicates the relationship between the such as a gerund or participle.
clauses [if, unless, before, even though].
verb phrase (VP) – the phrase built around a verb
subject – the noun or noun phrase which performs or head.
receives the action of the verb or verb phrase in a
sentence. vocative (direct address) – identification of the person
or group being addressed. [John, wake up.]
subject complement – a word or phrase following a
linking verb and describing or identifying the voice – the form of a verb which shows whether a
subject of a sentence. subject performs an action or is affected by it (e.g.,
active versus passive).
subjective – the case of the word serving as a subject
or performing the action of the verb. vowel – a speech sound in which the breath flows
freely; the core or central sound of any syllable; a
subjunctive mood – a class of verb structures used to letter naming one of these sounds.
refer to the unreal or conditional.
suffix – an affix at the end of a word changing its
function. [wind/windy, heat/heater, usual/usually] W
superlative – an adjective or adverb form used to X
describe the relationship between three or more Y
entities. [-est or most]
Z
synonym – a word with identical meaning to another
word. [choose/select]
syntax – pertaining to the form and organization of
sentences; the study of sentence formation.

T
tense – in syntax and morphology, an inflectional
category indicating the time of an action relative to
the moment of speaking. (past, present, future)
transformation – movement of categories within a
syntactic structure.
transitive verb – verb which has a direct object.

GLOSSARY 219
– USER NOTES –

220 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


Index

A use of..................................................................... 92
with semicolons .................................................. 165
adverbials............................................................. 36, 40
a / an.....................................................................75, 99 adverbs
a lot............................................................................ 32 adverbial connectives...............91, 94, 103, 163, 165
absolute adjectives..................................................... 79 comparative forms ................................................ 88
active voice................................................................ 63 defined .................................................................. 87
adjective clauses derived from adjectives......................................... 95
defined ................................................................ 127 derived from nouns ............................................... 96
nonrestrictive ...................................................... 132 derived from verbs ................................................ 95
punctuation of ..................................................... 132 identical to adjectives............................................ 94
restrictive ............................................................ 132 interrogative .......................................................... 89
with where .......................................................... 131 modifying verbs .................................................... 97
with whose .......................................................... 130 of affirmation ........................................................ 91
words used to introduce ...............................127, 130 of degree (intensifiers) .......................................... 90
adjective phrases...................................................... 157 of direction............................................................ 87
adjectives of duration............................................................. 88
absolute ................................................................. 79 of emphasis ........................................................... 90
as appositives ........................................................ 83 of frequency .......................................................... 89
combinations with prepositions .......................... 181 of location ............................................................. 87
comparative forms .....................................76, 77, 78 of manner .............................................................. 88
defined .................................................................. 75 of negation ............................................................ 91
demonstrative...................................................... 100 of place.................................................................. 87
derived from nouns ............................................... 80 of time ................................................................... 88
derived from participles ...................................... 145 position of ............................................................. 97
derived from verbs ................................................ 81 relative .................................................................. 90
emotive ................................................................. 82 superlative forms................................................... 88
identical to adverbs ............................................... 94 after...................................................103, 108, 130, 133
indefinite ............................................................. 101 agent .....................................................63, 65, 153, 201
interrogative........................................................ 101 agreement
nouns used as ........................................................ 82 do .......................................................................... 74
participial (-ing / -ed)............................................ 82 indirect speech .................................................... 125
placement of (order).............................................. 83 subject-verb........................................................... 32
possessive ......................................................82, 101 subjunctive mood .................................................. 69
sequence of ........................................................... 85 although ........................................................... 103, 135
superlative forms........................................76, 77, 78 animate nouns .............................................................. 8
to relate weather conditions ................................ 210 antecedent ...............................................19, 20, 21, 130
with linking verbs ................................................. 83 anticipatory it ....................................123, 147, 152, 208
adverb clauses appositives
defined ................................................................ 133 adjective ................................................................ 83
of cause and effect .............................................. 134 dashes.................................................................. 171
of condition......................................................... 136 gerund phrases .................................................... 148
of opposition ....................................................... 135 noun phrases ......................................................... 16
of time (subordinate conjunctions) ..................... 133 parentheses.......................................................... 170
position of ....................................................133, 134 participial phrases as ........................................... 142
punctuation of ..................................................... 136 prepositional phrases as .............................. 137, 139
words used to introduce ...............133, 134, 135, 136 pronoun ................................................................. 83
adverbial connectives punctuation of ....................................... 83, 170, 171
as conjunctions.................................................... 103 subjective case nouns ............................................ 16
before commas.................................................... 163 articles
defined .................................................................. 91 as determiners ....................................................... 99
punctuation of ....................................................... 94 definite .......................................................... 75, 100

INDEX 221
indefinite................................................................99
rules for their use ...................................................99
C
as .............................................................................103
as if / as though ........................................................103 can
as long as..................................................................133 ability/capability ....................................................71
as soon as .................................................................133 permission..............................................................71
auxiliary verbs can’t have, past impossibility .....................................72
and adverb position................................................97 case
as verb substitutes..................................................74 nominative .............................................................21
be ................................................................... see be objective .......................... 15–18, 21, 22, 25, 28, 149
defined ...........................................................70, 113 possessive .............. 8, 9, 10, 21, 23, 25, 82, 101, 149
get passive .............................................................66 reflexive .....................................................21, 24, 25
have ............................................................. see have subjective .....................................15, 16, 21, 25, 124
in passive voice......................................................64 vocative..................................................................18
in perfect tenses .....................................................54 causative verbs .........................................144, 150, 151
clauses
adjective.........................................................90, 127
B adverb ..................................................................133
as parts of sentences.............................................120
defined .................................................................119
bare infinitive dependent/independent ........................................120
as object complement ..................................154, 203 if clauses ................................................................69
as object of preposition........................................154
joining..................................................................121
defined .................................................................150 noun ...............................................................90, 122
in subjunctive mood ..............................................69 reduction of............................................74, 141, 146
with causative verbs ....................................150, 151
subjunctive mood...................................................69
with modals ...........................................................70 that clauses ....................................................69, 124
with verbs of perception ..............................150, 151 used as nouns .........................................................14
be
collective nouns............................................................3
and adverb position................................................97 colon .................................................................166, 171
as helping verb ......................................................73 commands......................................see imperative mood
as linking verb .......................................................16
commands in indirect speech....................................214
auxiliary.................................................................64 commas.......................................................................83
double functions ....................................................73 common nouns ...................................................21, 153
in adjective/preposition combinations .................181 comparatives.........................................................76–78
in mathematical expressions..................................33 complements defined ..................................................16
in passive voice......................................................66
complex sentences ....................................................119
in past tense ...........................................................46 compound sentences.................................................119
in progressive tenses..............................................50 compound-complex sentences..................................119
in simple present tense...........................................43
concrete nouns..............................................................1
in subjunctive mood ..............................................69 conditional sentences
intransitive ...........................................................207 subjunctive mood...................................................69
linking verb....................................................36, 205
would .....................................................................72
tense in passive voice ............................................64 conjunctions
with anticipatory it...............................................123 adverbial ..............................................................103
with impersonal it ..........................................34, 209
adverbial connectives...........................................103
with infinitive phrases .........................................152 coordinating .................................103, 122, 162, 164
with predicate adjectives .....................................139 correlative ............................................................103
with there.............................................................207
subordinate...................................................103, 133
with two-word verbs............................................194 that...............................................................123, 124
because.............................................................103, 134 conjunctive adverbs ............... see adverbial connectives
because of.................................................................109
consequently .................................................91, 92, 122
besides .................................................. 91, 92, 103, 154 coordinating conjunctions ................103, 122, 162, 164
both... and.................................................................103 correlative conjunctions............................................103
by .............................................................................108 could
ability/capability ....................................................71

222 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


in polite requests ................................................... 71 past participle .................................................. 73, 82
past tense of can.................................................... 71 simple past ...................................................... 42, 46
possibility.............................................................. 71 spellings ................................................................ 73
count nouns.......................................2, 4, 5, 32, 99, 101 either.............................................................. 30, 31, 33
either... or ................................................................ 103
ellipsis................................................................ 74, 172
D else ............................................................... 29, 93, 151
emphasis .....................24, 51, 71, 73, 90, 162, 171, 201
dangling participles.................................................. 145 emphatic do................................................................ 73
demonstrative adjectives.......................................... 100 enough ..................................................30, 32, 101, 157
demonstrative pronouns even if....................................................................... 136
as determiners ....................................................... 27 even though...................................................... 103, 135
this, that, these, those............................................ 26 -ever words .......................................................... 28, 29
dependent clauses
.................(see also adjective, adverb, noun clauses)
as adjectives ........................................................ 127 F
complex sentences .............................................. 119
compound-complex sentences ............................ 119 few / a few .......................................................... 31, 102
defined ................................................................ 120 finite verbs
joining ................................................................. 121 defined .................................................................. 35
subordinate conjunctions .................................... 103 functions of ........................................................... 35
with relative pronouns ........................................ 128 for ...............................................55, 106, 109, 151, 155
derivations ..............................................................4, 11 for / since ................................................................... 55
determiners frequency adverbs...................................................... 89
articles................................................................... 99 furthermore.......................................................... 91, 92
defined .................................................................. 99
demonstrative adjectives..................................... 100
few / a few ........................................................... 102 G
indefinite adjectives ............................................ 101
interrogatives ...................................................... 101 gender ...................................................... 19, 20, 21, 25
little / a little........................................................ 102 gerunds
numbers............................................................... 101 as appositives ...................................................... 148
possessive adjectives........................................... 101 as delayed subject ............................................... 147
direct speech .............................................125, 169, 212 as direct object .................................... 114, 147, 200
do as objects of preposition...................................... 148
agreement.............................................................. 74 as subject............................................................. 146
as helping verb ...................................................... 73 as subject complement ........................................ 147
as verb substitute................................................... 74 defined ................................................................ 146
double functions.................................................... 73 gerund adjuncts ................................................... 148
emphatic................................................................ 73 gerund phrases .................................... 137, 148, 208
in affirmative questions ...................................... 199 nonfinite verbs ...................................................... 35
in negative questions........................................... 199 part of sentence ................................................... 113
in negative statements ......................................... 199 reduced independent clauses ............................... 146
in question-word questions ................................. 199 verbs followed by................................................ 158
in tag questions ................................................... 199 vs. present participles.................................. 146, 148
due to ....................................................................... 109 with anticipatory it .............................................. 208
with subject ......................................................... 149
get ............................................................................ 175
E causative.............................................................. 144
passive................................................................... 66
each ........................................................................... 30
each other / one another ............................................ 30
-ed forms H
as adjectives .....................................................80, 81
irregular past ......................................................... 42 have
participial phrases ............................................... 141

INDEX 223
as helping verb.......................................................73 as adjectives.........................................................155
causative ..............................................................144 as adverbs ............................................................156
double functions ....................................................73 as direct object .....................................................114
in modal perfects ...................................................72 as direct objects ...........................................153, 200
in perfect tenses .....................................................54 as nouns ...............................................................152
in progressive tenses..............................................59 as object complements.................................153, 204
in simple present tense...........................................43 as subject .............................................................113
helping verbs .................................... see auxiliary verbs as subject complements .......................................152
how ......................................................... 40, 75, 88, 108 as subjects ............................................................208
how long .....................................................................88 bare (simple) form .................................................42
how many ...................................................................75 bare infinitive.......................................................150
how often ....................................................................89 in indirect speech .................................................214
however ........................................................91, 92, 103 in passive voice....................................................205
in sentences..........................................................151
parts of sentences.................................................137
I split infinitives .....................................................151
to substitution ......................................................157
if / whether........................................................103, 122 verbs followed by ................................................158
if clauses .....................................................................69 with anticipatory it...............................................208
imperative mood..................................... 67, 68, 71, 214 with non-referential there ....................................207
imperative sentences .....................see imperative mood with too / enough .................................................157
impersonal it infinitives
for identification ..................................................209 split infinitives .....................................................151
to express distance...............................................209 to-infinitive ..........................................................150
to express time.....................................................209 inflection...................................................4, 5, 7, 43, 76
to relate weather conditions...........................34, 209 -ing forms
with intransitive verbs .........................................210 as adjectives...........................................................82
in case (that).............................................................136 dangling participle ...............................................145
in order that......................................................103, 134 future progressive ..................................................53
inanimate nouns............................................................8 gerunds ....................................35, 87, 113, 137, 146
indefinite articles ........................................................99 nominative absolute .............................................144
indefinite pronouns...................................30, 32, 33, 83 participial phrases ................................................141
independent clauses progressive tenses ..................................................59
and colons............................................................166 with be ...................................................................73
and commas .........................................................162 intensifiers ..................................................................90
and coordinate conjunctions ................................102 interjections ..............................................................163
and infinitive phrases...........................................151 interrogative adverbs ..................................................89
and semicolons ....................................................165 interrogative pronouns................................................28
defined .................................................................120 combinations with -ever ........................................28
in compound sentences........................................119 intransitive verbs
in compound-complex sentences.........................119 be ..........................................................................36
joining....................................................94, 103, 122 defined ...........................................................40, 113
reduced to gerunds...............................................146 determined by function ..........................................40
indicative mood ..........................................................67 functions of finite verbs .........................................35
indirect speech in sentence patterns..............................112, 115, 199
agreement ............................................................125 two-word verbs ....................184, 185, 187, 189, 195
comma use with...................................................165 verbs normally intransitive ....................................41
commands in........................................................214 irregular noun plurals ...................................................7
customary action..................................................214 irregular verbs.............................................................46
general truth.........................................................214 it
if / whether...........................................................213 anticipatory ..................................123, 147, 152, 208
modals in .............................................................212 impersonal .............................................34, 209, 210
noun clauses in ....................................................125
questions in..........................................................213
tense harmony..............................................126, 211
infinitive phrases

224 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


L N
less / least .......................................................76, 78, 88 neither.................................................................. 30, 33
let’s ............................................................................ 68 neither... nor ............................................................ 103
lexical categories nevertheless ......................................................... 91, 92
content words.........................................99, 105, 181 nominative absolute ................................................. 144
function words .........................................36, 99, 105 nominative case ......................................................... 21
linking verbs noncount nouns...........................2, 4, 32, 100, 101, 109
and impersonal it................................................... 34 nonetheless........................................................... 91, 92
and subject complement........................................ 16 nonfinite verbs
be ......................................................................... 36 defined .................................................................. 35
defined ...........................................................36, 113 non-referential there ................................................ 147
functions of finite verbs ........................................ 35 not only... but also.................................................... 103
in sentence patterns............................................. 117 noun adjuncts ............................................................... 8
verbs of perception................................................ 39 noun clauses
little / a little .......................................................31, 102 as direct object .................................................... 123
as indirect object ................................................. 124
as object of preposition ....................................... 124
M as subject............................................................. 122
as subject complement ........................................ 124
main clauses..............................see independent clauses defined ................................................................ 122
make..................................................................144, 150 in indirect speech ................................................ 125
many / much..........................................................30, 32 tense harmony ..................................................... 126
may with anticipatory it .............................................. 208
permission............................................................. 71 with that .............................................................. 123
slight possibility.................................................... 71 noun phrases .................................14, 17, 22, 34, 75, 89
may have, past possibility .......................................... 58 nouns
mid verbs (also stative verbs) .................................... 67 abstract .................................................................... 1
might animate.................................................................... 8
slight possibility.................................................... 71 appositives ............................................................ 16
might have, past possibility........................................ 72 as subject............................................................... 15
modals as subject complement .......................................... 16
as auxiliary verbs .................................................. 70 categories of ............................................................ 1
as verb substitutes ................................................. 74 collective................................................................. 3
defined .................................................................. 70 common ........................................................ 21, 153
in indirect speech ................................................ 212 concrete................................................................... 1
modal perfects....................................................... 72 count.............................................2, 4, 5, 32, 99, 101
use of..................................................................... 71 derivations............................................................. 11
modifiers equivalents ............................................................ 14
in sentences......................................................... 112 function of............................................................. 15
of nouns ...................................................14, 28, 155 inanimate................................................................. 8
participial phrases ............................................... 141 inflections................................................................ 8
phrases & clauses................................................ 120 irregular plurals....................................................... 7
prepositional phrases........................................... 137 irregular singular..................................................... 8
mood masculine/feminine ............................................... 12
imperative ................................................67, 68, 214 noncount.................................2, 4, 32, 100, 101, 109
indicative............................................................... 67 noun adjuncts .......................................................... 8
subjunctive.................................................67, 69, 70 noun equivalents ................................................... 14
more / most .....................................................76, 82, 88 noun phrases ......................................................... 14
moreover...............................................................91, 92 number .................................................................... 4
much / many..........................................................30, 32 object complement ................................................ 18
must phrases .....................................14, 17, 22, 34, 75, 89
deduction or logical conclusion ............................ 72 pluralization ............................................................ 5
necessity or obligation .......................................... 72 possessive................................................................ 8
proper ........................................................ 2, 82, 168

INDEX 225
spelling patterns.....................................................13 with be .............................................................64, 73
used as adjectives ..................................................80 with get ..................................................................66
vocative .................................................................18 without designated agent .......................................65
now that....................................................................134 past participles (see -ed forms)
after direct object .................................................144
as adjectives...........................................................82
O as helping verbs .....................................................73
endings...................................................................73
object complement .....................................................18 get-passive .............................................................66
objective case ....................... 15–18, 21, 22, 25, 28, 149 passive voice..................................................64, 201
on the contrary ...........................................................91 perfect tenses .........................................................54
on the other hand..................................................91, 92 with there as subject ............................................207
one another / each other.............................................30 personal pronouns...................................19, 21, 25, 149
otherwise ..............................................................91, 93 phrasal verbs
ought to.......................................................................71 intransitive ...........................................................195
nonseparable transitive ........................................190
separable transitive ..............................................182
P phrases
defined .........................................................119, 137
paired conjunctions ........... see correlative conjunctions gerund ..........................................................146, 158
paraphrase ........................................see indirect speech infinitive ......................................................150, 158
parentheses ...............................................................170 participial .............................................................141
participial adjectives.................................................145 prepositional ........................................................137
participial phrases types of ................................................................137
adjectival functions......................................141, 143 pluralization..................................................................5
as appositives.......................................................142 possessive adjectives ..................................................82
as reduction of clauses.........................................141 vs. possessive pronouns .........................................82
attributive.............................................................142 possessive case ................... 8, 9, 10, 21, 23, 25, 82, 149
dangling participles .............................................145 possessive nouns...........................................................8
defined .................................................................141 possessive pronouns .............................................23, 82
following direct object.........................................144 prepositional phrases
meanings of .........................................................143 as appositives...............................................137, 139
nominative absolute.............................................144 as object complement ..........................................137
position within sentences.....................................141 prepositions
parts of speech (see lexical categories) combinations with adjectives...............................181
adjectives .........................................................75–84 combinations with verbs ..............................182, 190
adjectives, order of ................................................85 miscellaneous functions of ..................................109
adverbs.............................................................87–98 of direction or motion ..........................................107
clauses ...........................................................120–36 of intrument, means, & manner ...........................108
conjunctions.....................................................102–3 of place or location ..............................................106
determiners ....................................................99–102 of time..................................................................108
nouns .................................................................1–18 with multiple functions ........................................110
phrases ...........................................................137–59 present participles
preposition combinations...............................181–98 as adjectives...........................................................82
prepositions ...................................................105–10 vs. gerunds ...........................................................146
pronouns ..........................................................19–34 present participles (see -ing forms)
punctuation ....................................................161–72 as object complement ..........................................203
verbs ................................................................35–74 past progressive .....................................................52
passive voice present progressive ................................................50
by agent..........................................................64, 109 with be ...................................................................73
defined ...................................................................63 progressive tenses.......................................................50
sentence patterns..................................117, 201, 205 pronouns
stative verbs ...........................................................67 as appositives.........................................................83
there as subject ....................................................207 classification by case .............................................21
transitive verbs.......................................................64 classification by gender .........................................20
use of .....................................................................65 classification by person..........................................20

226 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


demonstrative........................................................ 26 shall
emphatic................................................................ 24 emphasis................................................................ 71
indefinite ............................................................... 30 suggestion ............................................................. 71
interrogative.......................................................... 28 should
personal..............................................19, 21, 25, 149 expectation ............................................................ 71
possessive ........................................................23, 82 opinion/obligation ................................................. 71
reciprocal .............................................................. 30 possible condition ................................................. 71
reflexive ................................................................ 24 simple form of verb ...........................see bare infinitive
relative .................................................................. 34 since ....................................55, 103, 108, 121, 133, 134
proper nouns ...................................................2, 82, 168 since / for ................................................................... 55
providing / provided that ......................................... 136 so that .............................................................. 103, 134
punctuation split infinitives ......................................................... 151
colon ............................................................166, 171 stative verbs (also mid verbs) .................................... 67
semicolon.......................................94, 122, 165, 166 subject complements
adjectives .................................75, 83, 206, 207, 208
adverbs ........................................................ 206, 207
Q gerunds................................................................ 147
infinitive phrases......................................... 151, 152
question words nouns..................................................................... 16
as adverbs.............................................................. 90 subjective case ..................................15, 16, 21, 25, 124
in adjective clauses ............................................... 90 subjunctive mood
in noun clauses...................................................... 90 conditional sentences ............................................ 69
interrogative pronouns .......................................... 28 contrary-to-fact conditions.................................... 69
questions if clauses................................................................ 69
in indirect speech ................................................ 213 set expressions ...................................................... 70
question-word questions ..................................... 213 that clauses............................................................ 69
yes/no.................................................................. 213 wishes.................................................................... 69
quotation marks ................................125, 168, 169, 170 subordinate clauses ..................... see dependent clauses
subordinate conjunctions ................................. 103, 133
superlatives .......................76, 77, 78, 76–78, 79, 82, 88
R
rather than ............................................................... 103 T
reciprocal pronouns ................................................... 30
reduction of clauses ....................................74, 141, 146 tag questions ............................................................ 199
reduction of phrases................................................. 157 tenses
reflexive case ..................................................21, 24, 25 future............................................................... 42, 48
reflexive pronouns ..................................................... 24 future perfect......................................................... 58
relative adverbs.......................................................... 90 future perfect progressive................................ 61, 62
relative clauses...............................see adjective clauses future progressive.................................................. 53
relative pronouns ..................................................... 127 irregular past ......................................................... 46
reported speech ................................ see indirect speech past perfect .................................................... 56, 126
past perfect progressive................................... 60, 61
past progressive............................................... 52, 57
S present perfect..................................54, 72, 126, 150
present perfect progressive...................... 59, 60, 150
semicolon............................................94, 122, 165, 166 present progressive.................................. 50, 51, 150
sentences sequence of in indirect speech............................. 211
complex............................................................... 119 simple past ............................................................ 46
compound ........................................................... 119 simple past vs. present perfect .............................. 56
compound-complex ............................................ 119 simple present ................................................. 42, 43
defined ................................................................ 119 that
parts of ...........................................................113–14 clauses in subjunctive mood ................................. 69
patterns of ........................37, 111, 115–17, 199–210 conjunction.................................................. 123, 124
conjunction vs. pronoun...................................... 123
demonstrative pronoun.......................................... 26

INDEX 227
in adjective clauses ..............................................129 of choosing ..........................................................203
relative pronoun.....................................34, 127, 128 of considering ......................................................203
set expressions .......................................................70 of perception ..........................39, 144, 150, 151, 203
the.................................................................75, 99, 100 phrasal..................................................182, 190, 195
the fact that...............................................................122 tense harmony......................................................211
there to-infinitive ..........................................................150
non-referential .....................................................147 two-word..............................................................182
non-referential plus be .................................207, 208 types of ................................................................113
non-referential, defined .......................................207 via .............................................................................108
therefore .......................................................91, 92, 103 vocative case...............................................................18
though...............................................................103, 135
through .....................................................................108
thus .......................................................................91, 92 W
time clauses ..............................................................133
to substitution ...........................................................157 what ............................................................................28
to-infinitive...............................................................150 when ...................................................................40, 103
too.....................................................................145, 157 where ..................................................................40, 103
transitive verbs whether .............................................................103, 122
active to passive voice ...........................................66 which ..........................................................................28
active voice............................................................63 while .........................................................................103
as object complements.........................................203 whom ..........................................................................28
defined ...........................................................37, 113 whose..........................................................................28
determined by function..........................................40 why .............................................................................40
direct object .........................................................114 will
followed by gerund..............................................147 determination .........................................................72
followed by infinitive objects ..............................153 expectation.............................................................72
functions of finite verbs.........................................35 future......................................................................72
in sentence patterns.............. 115, 116, 200, 201, 203 modal vs. verb........................................................70
passive voice..........................................................64 willingness/offers...................................................72
stative verbs ...........................................................67 wish.....................................................................69, 159
verbs normally transitive .......................................41 with ...........................................................................108
verbs of perception ................................................39 without......................................................................108
two-word (phrasal) verbs would
intransitive ...........................................................195 contrary-to-fact condition ......................................72
nonseparable transitive ........................................190 habit now discontinued ..........................................72
separable transitive ..............................................182 polite request..........................................................72
verb/preposition combinations.............................182

Y
U
yes/no questions .......................................................213
unless................................................................103, 136 yet .......................................................................88, 102
until ..........................................................103, 108, 133

V
verbals
defined ...................................................................35
gerund phrases .....................................................146
modified by adverbs ........................................75, 87
nonfinite verbs .......................................................35
verbs
causative ...................................... 144, 150, 151, 203
combinations with prepositions ...........................182
objects of .............................................................158

228 GRAMMAR FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE COURSE


– USER NOTES –

INDEX 229