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sentence analysis

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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sentence analysis

Postby Hela » Sun Sep 19, 2004 1:15 pm

Dear teachers,

1) How do you analyse these sentences?

a) The children are with me. (SVAs ?)
b) Norma was in good health. (SVAs or SVCs ?)
c) He is without a job. (SVAs or SVCs ?)
d) I am in a bad mood. (SVCs ?)
e) I am in the classroom. (SVAs ?)
f) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes (SVOdAo ?)

S = subject
V = verb
Od = Direct Object
Cs = Subject-Complement
Ao = Adverbial related to the Object

Many thanks,
Hela
Last edited by Hela on Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Alan » Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:52 am

Hela

Please post your questions separately!
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Postby Hela » Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:47 pm

Dear Alan,

Is it better now? :lol:

Best regards,
Hela :lol:
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Re: sentence analysis

Postby Alan » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:38 am

Yes, much better!
:D

*******
a) The children are with me. (SVAs ?)
b) Norma was in good health. (SVAs or SVCs ?)
c) He is without a job. (SVAs or SVCs ?)
d) I am in a bad mood. (SVCs ?)
e) I am in the classroom. (SVAs ?)
f) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes (SVOdAo ?)
*******
All are basically of the form SVC. In (a) - (e), where the predicator is a copula, the complement consists of an adverbial in the form of a prepositional phrase.

In (f), the predicator is a full verb and is complemented by an infinitive phrase ('to keep...streets').
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Postby Hela » Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:04 pm

Dear Alan,

How do one know if after a copula verb there is a complement or an adverbial? c.f. b), d) and e) ?

In f) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes :

She = subject
managed to keep = verb
her children = direct object
off cigarettes = object related adverbial

Correct ?

Best regards,
Hela
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Postby Alan » Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:13 am

How do one know if after a copula verb there is a complement or an adverbial? c.f. b), d) and e) ?

******************************************************
You seem to be under the impression that the terms 'adverbial' and 'complement' are somehow mutually exclusive - not at all the case! A complement may be a NOMINAL (a word or phrase serving as noun), an ADNOMINAL (a word or phrase serving as an adjective), or an ADVERBIAL (a word or phrase serving as an adverb), exemplified respectively by the following:

[1] She is A TEACHER.
[2] She is TALL.
[3] She is IN THE CLASSROOM.

Besides this, and in a slightly different sense, a participial phrase may also be considered a complement (insofar as it is a syntactically obligatory element), as those of

[4] She is WRITING ON THE BLACKBOARD.
[5] She is RESPECTED BY HER STUDENTS.

although we classify the 'is' differently in this case: in [1] - [3] as a copular full verb, but in [4] & [5] as an auxiliary.

******************************************************

In f) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes :

She = subject
managed to keep = verb
her children = direct object
off cigarettes = object related adverbial

******************************************************
Well, yes, but to be more precise:

managed to keep = verb phrase, consisting of predicator 'managed' + complemental infinitive phrase 'to keep her children...cigarettes'

off cigarettes = adverbial complementing infinitive phrase 'to keep...cigarettes'
(N.B. The adverbial here would be said to complement, rather than simply to modify, since its omission would significantly change the meaning of 'keep'.)
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Postby Hela » Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:40 pm

Dear teachers,

I’d like you to be very patient with me because though I studied your explanations very carefully regarding the way to identify some stce elements, I still have difficulties -in some cases- deciding which one is which.

So would you please look at my work and tell me what is wrong and why?

1) A crowd of people came into the room.
a) Subject
b) intr V
c) As (place)

2) I am in the classroom.
a) S
b) int V
c) As (place)


3) She seems to be in a bad mood.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs (= predicate adjective)

4) I am in a bad mood.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

5) He seems to be in good health.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

6) Norma was in good health.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

7) Norma was sick.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs


8) He is jobless.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

9) He is without a job.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs or As ?

stces 3) to 9) are all the same? They all act as adjectives?


10) She sent him the fax.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Oi
d) Od

11) The children are with me.
a) S
b) int V
c) As (place)


12) The squirrel feasted into the night.
a) S
b) intr V
c) As (time)

13) The squirrel feasted on birdseed into the night.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
d) As (time)

14) The animals were feasting on lots of good food.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od


15) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od

15) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
d) Co or Ao (manner) ?


16) Her children are off cigarettes.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

17) The dog smelled hungrily at the package.
a) S
b) intr / tran V ?
c) As (manner)
d) As (place) / Od ?

18) She is writing on the blackboard.
a) S
b) intran V
c) As (place)

19) She is respected by her students.
a) S
b) intran V
c) ???

20) Pat is tired.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

21) That sounds a good idea.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

22) You smell nice.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs

23) Before the play, we met up in a pub near the theatre.
a) As (time)
b) S
c) intr V
d) As (place)

24) We parted good friends.
a) S
b) trans V / intrans V ?
c) Cs ?

Thank you very much. May I send you more stces for correction, please ?

Hela
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Postby Alan » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:24 pm

I will attempt to clarify anything that is unclear to me in your analysis. (That does not necessarily mean, though, that your analysis is wrong!)

1) A crowd of people came into the room.
a) Subject
b) intr V
c) As (place)
******************************************************
(c) is a prepositional phrase constituting a locative adverbial modifying 'came'.
******************************************************

2) I am in the classroom.
a) S
b) int V
c) As (place)
******************************************************
b) copula.
c) complemental locative adverbial
******************************************************

3) She seems to be in a bad mood.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs (= predicate adjective)
******************************************************b) verb phrase, consisting of copular + complemental infinitive
c) prepositional phrase, constituting complement to infinitive phrase
******************************************************
4) I am in a bad mood.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
b) copula
***************************************************
5) He seems to be in good health.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
As #3.
******************************************************
6) Norma was in good health.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
As #2
******************************************************
7) Norma was sick.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
c) complemental adjective
******************************************************

8) He is jobless.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
As 7.
******************************************************
9) He is without a job.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs or As ?
******************************************************
As 2
******************************************************

stces 3) to 9) are all the same? They all act as adjectives?
******************************************************
Complemental prepositional phrases are ambiguous between adjectival and adverbial elements, but are normally classified as adverbial, that being seen as their prototypical syntactic function.
******************************************************

10) She sent him the fax.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Oi
d) Od
******************************************************
OK
******************************************************
11) The children are with me.
a) S
b) int V
c) As (place)
******************************************************
As 2.
******************************************************

12) The squirrel feasted into the night.
a) S
b) intr V
c) As (time)
******************************************************
OK
******************************************************
13) The squirrel feasted on birdseed into the night.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
d) As (time)
******************************************************
'Feast' is an intransitive verb, and as such may not take a direct object. Thus, by the lights of this analysis, (c) is an adverbial.
Alternatively, it might be analysed as
FEASTED ON - prepositional phrasal verb
BIRDSEED - object of 'feasted on'.
******************************************************
14) The animals were feasting on lots of good food.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
******************************************************
As 13 (minus temporal adverbial).
******************************************************

15) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
******************************************************
Possibly.
Alternatively:
MANAGED - catenative predicator
TO...CIGARETTES - complemental infinitive phrase
******************************************************

15) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes.
a) S
b) tran V
c) Od
d) Co or Ao (manner) ?
******************************************************
Re:
c) object of 'keep'
d) prepositional phrase constituting complemental adverbial to 'keep her children'
******************************************************

16) Her children are off cigarettes.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
*****************************************************
As 2.
******************************************************
17) The dog smelled hungrily at the package.
a) S
b) intr / tran V ?
c) As (manner)
d) As (place) / Od ?
*****************************************************
SMELLED AT - (inf., = standard 'sniffed at') prepositional phrasal verb
THE PACKAGE - obj. of 'smelled at'
HUNGRILY - adverbial adjunct to 'smelled at'
******************************************************
18) She is writing on the blackboard.
a) S
b) intran V
c) As (place)
******************************************************
OK.
******************************************************

19) She is respected by her students.
a) S
b) intran V
c) ???
******************************************************
IS RESPECTED - passive verb phrase, consisting of auxiliary 'is' + past participle 'respected'
BY HER STUDENTS - agentive adverbial
******************************************************
20) Pat is tired.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
IS - copula
TIRED - (participial) adjective
******************************************************
21) That sounds a good idea.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
*****************************************************
b) copular
c) nominal complement
******************************************************
22) You smell nice.
a) S
b) int V
c) Cs
******************************************************
b) copula
c) complemental adjective
******************************************************

23) Before the play, we met up in a pub near the theatre.
a) As (time)
b) S
c) intr V
d) As (place)
******************************************************
OK
******************************************************

24) We parted good friends.
a) S
b) trans V / intrans V ?
c) Cs ?
******************************************************
b) intransitive quasi-copular
c) nominal (quasi-)complement.
******************************************************
Thank you very much. May I send you more stces for correction, please ?

******************************************************
Yes, but not this many again in one go! Please divide into groups of three or four at most.
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Postby Hela » Sun Oct 17, 2004 8:43 am

Dear Alan,

A/ First I’d like to make my abbreviations clear. What I meant by
- S = subject
- tran V = transitive verb
- intr V = intransitive verb
- int V = intensive / copular / linking verb
- Od = Direct Object (should I say DO instead?)
- Oi = Indirect Object (should I say IO instead?)
- Cs = subject complement / complement related to the subject
- Co = object complement / complement related to the object
- As = adverbial related to the subject
- Ao = adverbial related to the object

These are the abbreviations that my teacher used to use. Inspired by “A Comprehensive English Grammar” by Quirk and Greenbaum. Shall I correct some of them?
According to you, what did he mean exactly by As and Ao?


B/ Would you please correct my sentence analysis? (Sorry to bother you again with that but I’m rather tenacious: I’m willing to understand this rather difficult point of grammar!)

1) The meeting is at 2:30.
a) The meeting = subject
b) is = copular verb
c) at 2.30 = adverbial of time ? (form = prepositional phrase)

2) She is ahead of her fellow students.
a) She = subject
b) is = copular verb
c) ahead of her fellow students = complement or adverbial ?
(form = adjectival or adverbial phrase ?)

3) We should look ahead.
a) We = subject
b) should look = copular verb
c) ahead = adverbial of place (form = adverbial (or adverb?) phrase)

4) We parted good friends.
a) We = subject
b) parted = copular verb ?
c) good friends = subject complement (form = adjectival phrase?)

5) Norma is in good health = Norma seems to be in good health?
a) Norma = subject
b) is / seems to be = copular verb ?
c) in good health = subject complement
(prepositional phrase that acts as an adjective ?)

6) Pat is in a bad mood = Pat seems to be in a bad mood ?
a) Pat = subject
b) is / seems to be = copular verb ?
c) in a bad mood = subject complement
(prepositional phrase that acts as an adjective ?)

7) The dog smelled hungrily at the package.
a) the dog = subject
b) smelled at = transitive verb
c) the package = direct object
d) hungrily = adverbial of manner

8) She managed to keep her children off cigarettes.
a) she = subject
b) managed to keep = transitive verb (correct?)
or should I separate “managed” from “to keep”?
c) her children = direct object
d) off cigarette = complement related to the object

9) The animals were feasting on lots of good food.
a) The animals = subject
b) were feasting on = transitive verb
c) lots of good food = direct object (form = noun phrase ?)

10) I ordered myself something to eat.
a) I = subject
b) ordered = transitive verb
c) myself = indirect object ?
d) something to eat = direct object?
(or is it more complicated than that because of “myself” ?)
(is “to order oneself” a pronominal verb ?)

11) The Indus was only a glinting trickle far below.

how many sentence elements does this stce have?

Three ? =
a) The Indus = subject
b) was = copular verb
c) only a glinting trickle far below = adverbial of place?
(form?)

More ? = ?

12) There was no sign of the path, and no other trail looked at all convincing.

2 clauses:

1/ There was no sign of the path
a) There = ?
b) was = copular verb
c) no sigh of the path = ? (noun phrase?)

2/ and no other trail looked at all convincing
a) and = (form = coordinating conjunction) function ?
b) no other trail = subject
c) looked = copular verb
d) at all = adverbial ? (of what?) (form = adverb phrase?)
e) convincing = subject complement (form = adjectival (or adjective?) phrase?)

I'll send you more sentences later if you don't mind.
VERY gratefully yours,
Hela
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Postby Alan » Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:45 am

Hela

I'm sorry, but these posts are much too long, so in fairness to other questioners, I must ask you to post no more than one or two questions/sentences at a time.

I'm afraid I have no idea what is meant by an 'adverbial related to a subject/object': adverbials typically relate to verbs, not nouns.
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