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Constituents and configurations

grammar lessons
by

Joseph Wei

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of Constituents and configurations

Constituents &
Configurations

Verb
In English, each sentence must have one and only one tensed verb. A verb is classified by the complement it takes, and normally, a verb can take more than one type of complements.
Intransitive and transitive
Di-transitive
She
charges
the school a lot of money for her work.
I
envy
you your success/youth/strength.
A man
named
Joe West was arrested by the police earlier today.
His perseverance
won
him the job of his dreams.
It
saves
me a trip to the post office.
The school
grants
students access to the lab.
Their teacher
denied
this pleasure
to
them.
John
offered
a piece of advice
to
the graduates.
I
owe
an apology
to
you all.
My uncle
left
a fortune
to
me when he passed away.
John
left
a good tip
for
the waitress.
Mother
baked
a cake
for
all of us.
Linking verbs
Causative
Verbs of
perception
I
saw
our teacher leave a couple of hours ago.
The suspect was
seen
entering the building.

I
heard
some students arguing outside.
She
heard
John go downstairs.

I
watched
John get beaten, but I could do nothing.
John could not bear to
watch
his parents arguing.

She
felt
his hand join hers.
The girl
felt
herself blushing.
Number
One, two, three...
Partitive
all, any, no/none, both, most, some, a couple of, a lot of, many, much, a few, few, a little, little, several, every, each...
Demonstrative
this, that, these, those
Genitive
my, your, his, her, its, our, their, one's, John's
Noun
A noun has to be
quantified
in English. There are five types of
quantifiers.
Article
a/an, the
Verbs of cognition
More partitives
several
dozens of
hundreds of
thousands of
tens of thousands of
hundreds of thousands of
millions of
Adjectival
Rule #1: An adjectival cannot precede a quantifier.

Rule #2: A one-word adjectival precedes the noun it modified; otherwise, it follows the noun.
Adjective
musical, political, regular, similar, spectacular
(un)comfortable, (un)reliable, (dis)honorable, (dis)agreeable, (in)hospitable, (in)separable
(in)edible, (in)flexible, (in)comprehensible
defiant, ignorant, indignant, resistant, resultant
apparent, consistent, dependent, excellent
meaningful, merciful, tasteful, thoughtful
insightful, peaceful, regretful, tearful
aimless, effortless, listless, speechless
addictive, decisive, defensive, descriptive, exclusive, exhaustive, informative, productive
courageous, dangerous, disadvantageous, furious

Prepositional phrases
the killing
of
innocent children
the cancellation
of
the meeting
the arrival
of
a visitor
the ringing
of
the phone
a man
of
great determination/vision
an area
of
considerable historical interest
a man
with
a beard
the girl
in
red/uniform
a man
in
his early/mid/late twenties
children
above/over
the age of three = children aged three and/or
above/over/up
children
below/under
the age of three = children aged three and/or
below/under
Relative clauses
I know the boy
who my brother plays baseball with.
This is a problem
that occurs regularly.
I met a girl
whose boyfriend was a soldier.
I went to the beach
where there are many girls.
Participle
The news surprised John.
John was
surprised.
The news was
surprising.
Infinitive
We have a lot of homework
to do.
It is not a bad place
to live in.

The last person
to leave
should turn of the lights.
John is the (only) person
to answer any questions about computers.

John needs a place
to stay
for the night.

There is work
to do/to be done.
Adverbial
An adverbial may occupy a sentence initial, middle (in between the subject and verb), or final position.
Adverbs
John stared
deep into
her eyes.
She was deeply touched.
An airplane came
close to
a disaster in the air.
John has been closely involved in the scandal.
It was raining very hard.
John lives in Japan, and we hardly see him.
The bullet went
clean through
his shoulder.
The fuel burns cleanly without loss of power.
At midnight, John still was
wide awake
in bed.
John has traveled widely in Europe.
I have a meeting
straight after
lunch.
Doubtless, she will win the game.

Prepositional phrases
'with'
I like girls with two big _____.
I cut the apple with a knife.
I went shopping with my mom.
We went home with our hands full.
We hit the road with the sun shining brightly in the sky.
Subordinate clauses
when/before/after/before/unless/if
I will call you
when
I am done.
John was nine
when
his father died.
If
it rains, we will stay at home.
If
I didn't apologize, I would feel guity.
John will not go to sleep
unless
his father tells him a story.
Participial constructions
Calling early,
John found Mary at home.
Called early,
John ate a quick breakfast.
Infinitive
I got up early
to catch the first train.
John trained every day
to improve his performance.
He stopped at the restaurant
to take a rest.
John braved the icy rain
to go to the party
, only to find it was canceled.
Predicative adjectives
(vs. attributive)
John will have the car
ready
immediately.
The company sent me the book
intact.
She fell
asleep
in class.
John lay
awake
in bed.
We stayed
alive
by eating berries.
The students are so happy that they are feeling jumpy and not able to
stand still.
John

woke up rested

after a good night's sleep.
The man
lay unconscious
on the floor.
One of the passengers
fell ill
on the plane during the flight.
Hopefully, we can make history
come alive
for the children.
The man never
rests idle.
His reputation
survived intact.
Eat right to
stay healthy.
We
escaped unharmed.
We will either
end up rich or broke.
They
sent me
the packge
intact.
They
buried/killed
the man
alive.
Verbs of posture
The children are
aware of
the danger of taking drugs.
Were you
aware that
Joe had this problem with his knees?
He was
afraid of
being caught by the police.
He was
afraid that
the other kids would laugh at him.
Don't be
afraid to
ask for help.
John's behavior
seemed
(to be) weird.
He tried to
appear
calm.
The students
remained
silent.
Prospects
look
bright for the company.
She
sounded
upset on the phone.
John
smells
like perfume.
The food
tasted
awful.
Mother's hand
feels
rough.
Pollution from cars has
become
a major problem.
It
turned
cold and started to rain.
My eyes
grew
used to the darkness gradually.
John
is
a promising student,
being
smart and diligent.
Expressing "purpose"
to
in order to
so as to

that
in order that
so that

for the purpose of
for the sake of
with an eye to
with a view to
I got up early
to catch the first train.
John trained every day
in order to improve his performance.

I got up early
so that I could catch the first train.
John trained every day
in order that he could improve his performance.

I got up early
for the purpose of catching the first train.
John trained every day
with an eye to better performance.
More di-transitive verbs
Tens of thousands of foreigners come to Taiwan to visit these famous tourist attractions.
Water
is an important resource.
Dogs
are easy to get along with.

I love
dogs.

My wife had
a dog.

The dog
could do a lot of tricks.
An hour
ago, several students came to protest (against)
the decision
.
The sky
is blue, and
the sun
is shining.
John
let
the book fall to the ground.
My mother
made
me stay at home.
The teacher
made
it very clear that he wouldn't change his mind.
We tried to
make
mathematics interesting to study.
I will
have
someone clean the room at once.
He
had
the audience laughing and clapping.
John
had
his arm broken in a fight.
I like to
have
the window open.
+
mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs
I
know
that the relationship won't last.
John
thought
that the world had turned its back on him.
We
believe
that we shall prevail some day, somehow.
I
guess
that things just don't turn out the way we want them to be.
I
wonder
if he
knew
what we were going to do.
John was disappointed. He had
imagined
that college life would be more interesting.
Verbs of "saying"
He received a note
saying
that the meeting was canceled.
I
promise
that I will not be late again.
Verbs taking infinitives
Verbs taking gerunds
Not knowing what to do,
John turned to the police for help.
Struck by the typhoon,
the town was seeking any possible help.
Having failed to earn a Ph. D.,
I took up teaching.
Past participle in the active sense
fallen
rocks
vanished
civilizations
a retired
general
a grown-up
daughter
Most of the people
invited to the party
were college students.
We need to get someone to replace the window
broken in the storm last week.
The doctor
examining the sick child
was very gentle.
The woman
looking after my nephew
has been a family friend for long.
The teenager
(being) questioned by the police
remained silent.
Participial constructions
I go out early
in order not to/so as not to
get caught in the traffic jam.
I go out early
for fear of
the traffic jam.
Negative
for fear of
The government planned to demolish the
abandoned
buildings in the area.
All the houses and streets looked the same, and John felt
confused.
The instructions were
confusing
and hard to follow.
John tiptoed in order not to wake up the
sleeping
baby.
John openly
admitted
(to) having a drinking problem.
Two men have
denied
breaking into the house whose owner had gone on holiday.
In the case of car problems, the police
suggest

(=recommend)
staying with a vehicle rather than walking away.
Two men
risked
losing their lives to help those in danger.
The government
resisted
changing its policy despite the demonstration.
We've decided to
postpone
having a family.
I wonder why John has
agreed to
do the job.
John flatly
refused

to
meet her.
One of my students
planned

to
study abroad.
My family are busy
preparing to
go on holiday.
John deliberately
neglected

to
bring the textbook with him.
It is hard to
pretend

not to
love a person when you really do.
The angry parents
demanded

to
know what (had) happened to their son.
The company
offered

to
apologize for the mistake they had made.
Confusing cases
John
prefers
to travel/traveling by train.

Students are not
allowed to
eat or drink in the lab.
We don't allow diving in the pool.

John was strongly
advised to
accept the job offer in Taipei.
The doctor
suggested
reducing or eliminating the intake of caffeine.
Compare:

A dog
is easy to get along with.
Compare:
I love
a dog.
Two
backpackers were tramping through the woods, when a ferocious bear met them on their way.
One
of the backpackers quickly removed his heavy hiking boots.

John has three sisters.
One
(of them/of the sisters) is a teacher in our school.
John has three sisters,
one of whom
is a teacher in our school.
Most
(of the) students have to do a part-time job for their tuition.
Some
were barefoot; most
were
in rags.
John has two sisters.
Both
(of them/of the sisters) are teachers in our school.
John has two sisters,
both
of whom are teachers in our school.
I had
a few
friends back in high school, but
none
of them called me any more.
I had
few/no
friends back in high school.
We have to find out the way to deal with
these
problems.
John is late for the meeting again.
This
(situation) is unacceptable.
My experience is very/rather/entirely different from
that
of my friends.
one of my book = a book of mine
one of my father's friend = a friend of my father's
Compare:

my sister's boyfriend, *the boyfriend of my sister
the miners' strike, *the strike of miners

yesterday's paper.
Still more examples
the answer
to
the question
the solution
to
the problem
the key
to
the lock/his success
the home
to
the species
the US ambassador
to
Spain
the passage/entry
to
the secret garden
the access
to
education/the files
the ticket
to
the ball game
the right
to
his invention
a bridge
over/across
the River Thames
a view
over
the bay
an island
off
the coast
a flight
across
the Taiwan Strait
a voyage
up/down
the east coast from Miami to Boston
a trip
up/down
the River Thames
an escaped
prizoner
faded
colors
a burnt-out
match
a much-traveled
man
Present participle in the passive sense
The cars need
washing.
The book is worth
reading.
Compare:
The book is worthy of being read.
Still more partitives
a large/huge/small/moderate amount of [UC]
a great/good deal of [UC]
plenty of [UC] [C]
a large/small quantity of [UC] [C]
a great/large/small number of [C]
They spent equal amounts of time in Taipei and Hsinchu.
His work attracted a greal deal of attention.
John was found to have consume a large quantity of alcohol before his death.
-al/-ar, -able/-ible, -ant, -ent, -ful/-less, -ive, -ous
Difficult cases
decent (a) vs. descent (n)
confidant (n) vs. confident (adj)
classic vs. classical
historic vs. historical
military vs. militant
tolerable vs. tolerant
continuous vs. continual (repeated)
likely (adj) vs. likely (adv)
monthly/daily (adj) vs. monthly/daily (adv)
timely (adj)
Similar suffixes
(n) admiral, approval, arrival, capital, chemical, criminal, disposal, individual, interval, musical, original, professional, proposal, trial, withdrawal
(n) applicant, defendant, inhabitant, pageant, stimulant, variant
correspondent (n), equivalent (n) (adj), consent (v) (n), content (n) (v) (adj),
(n) handful, mouthful, fistful, bagful, spoonful, forkful
Cases without articles
We went aboard (the) ship/the train/a train.
John is determined to turn scientist/director.
Little girl as she is, she is sent to the brook for water.
Our family go to church every Sunday.
The criminal was sent to prison immediately.
Some people who want to go to college still can't get there.
More examples
a tax
on
cigarettes
his influence
on
young people
the restrictions
on
the sales of weapons
books/conferences/information
on
global warming

an English course
for
foreign students
a knife
for
cutting bread
my love
for
Mary
respect
for
authority

a fight/quarrel/argument
over/about
a girl/territory/who was responsible for the accident
a fight/quarrel/argument
with
his wife
deep vs. deeply

close vs. closely

hard vs. hardly

clean vs. cleanly

wide vs. widely

straight
doubtless
= undoubtedly
in vs. at
John had a heart attack
in
the restaurant.
John and I will meet
at
the restaurant.
with vs. by
I grabbed it
with
my hand and sunk my teeth deep into it.
Tea leaves must be harvested
by
hand.
John finds true contentment
by
adopting a nine-year-old girl.
for vs. of
It is important
for
a student to study hard.
It was generous
of
John to give us timely help.
Contrastive pairs
To my (great) amazement,
John submitted the homework on time.
Much to the embarrassment of his family,
he ran away and hid in the basement.
The host recalled some stories of his own experiences as a salesman,
much to the amusement of all the guests,
who had come from far and wide to be there.
"to one's surprise"
annoyance, astonishment, delight, despair, disappointment, happiness, horror, joy, regret, relief, satisfaction, shame, sorrow.
upon vs. as soon as
Patients are examined immediately
(up)on
admission to the hospital.
As soon as
he entered the room, he turned on the television.
during vs. when
During
the summer, she went on a trip to the the far side of the country.
John was a captain
when
he was in the army.
when vs. while
John came
while
I was studying.
I was studying
when
John came.
Mary left
when
(=right after) John came.
Contrastive pairs
ask
me a question
ask
a question
of
me
provide
necessary information
for/to
the students
provide
the students
with
necessary information

spray
the paint
on
the wall
spray
the wall
with
the paint
load
the ship
with
cargo
load
cargo
onto
the ship

She
covered
the face
with
her hands.
Her hands
covered
the face.
The news
filled
her heart
with
hopes.
Hopes
filled
her heart.
The factory has been
dumping
waste
into
the river.
The prisoner
escaped.
The passengers narrowly
escaped death/injury.
Crying doesn't
help.
Listening to music
helps my concentration.
The girl
ran
off into the crowd.
John
ran a restaurant
in Taipei.
When John
woke,
the sun streaming through the windows.
The noises
woke the baby.
Ali
fought Foreman
for the heavyweight title.
They
fought
for the heavyweight title.
John
embraced
Mary warmly.
They
embraced
warmly.
escape, finish, give up, help, leave, move, run, speak, stop, wake, walk, watch
More verbs of transitive
and intransitive
break, close, lengthen, open, ring, widen,
John
broke the window
into pieces.
The window fell and
broke.
John
closed/opened
his eyes.
His eyes
closed/opened.
John
rang the doorbell
but no one answered it.
The doorbell was
ringing.
They are
widening the road.
The river
widens
and splits.
Mother
lengthened the skirt
for me.
The days
lengthened
as summer approached.
Attention, please!
lie vs. lay
He was lying on the bed reading _____.
The government will lay the irrigation infrastructure before the end of the year.
rise vs. raise
The rate of divorce has risen steadily in recent years.
Colleges are finding ways to raise the number of students.
wait vs. await
The students are waiting for the exam results anxiously.
Several men are awaiting trial for burglary.
discuss (*about)
We will further discuss the topic/case/issue/book/chapter later.
consider (*about)
John is considering the possibility of going back to school.
listen *(to)
John lay on the bed listening to music.
The whole class was listening attentively.
Full transcript