A list of forms that a particular word may assume. For example: write, writes, writing, wrote, written are different forms of the verb paradigm write.
A type of ADVERB which focuses
attention on what follows, e.g. mostly in This is mostly
An adjective in the form of
an -ed participle or an -ing participle.
A MINOR WORD CLASS consisting
of the PARTICLE to (e.g. I want you to leave),
as well as for (It's difficult for you to leave)
and with (I can't read with you standing behind me).
The PARTICLE which appears
in TO-INFINITIVES: I want to leave.
Nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and verbs, amongst others, belong to different word classes and are known as Parts of Speech.
In a passive sentence, the
PASSIVE AUXILIARY be is combined with the -ed participle
of a verb, e.g. John was kicked.
This is the auxiliary verb
be which is combined with the -ed participle of a verb to
form the PASSIVE, eg. the money was stolen
A value for TENSE, which indicates
that the event referred to took place in the past. It is indicated by
an -ed inflection on regular verbs.
PERFECTIVE ASPECT is grammatically
encoded by the PERFECTIVE AUXILIARY + -ED PARTICIPLE of a VERB.
For example, I have broken the glass. Perfective aspect
indicates that an action/situation started in the past but has current
The AUXILIARY have is
used in combination with the -ED PARTICIPLE to denote PERFECTIVE ASPECT,
eg. We have decided to leave
Peripheral adjectives do not
fulfil all the criteria for membership of the ADJECTIVE class.
I (the speaker/writer)
is a first person pronoun, you (the listener/reader) is a second
person pronoun, and he/she/it are third person pronoun. First and third
person pronouns also have a plural form: we (first person plural)
and they (third person plural), whereas you is both the
singular and plural form. The form of the verb has to agree with person.
For example, I am, you are, he is, we are they are.
For regular verbs all forms are the same except in the third person singular
present tense which takes -s (e.g. she laughs, it works)
- this is AGREEMENT or CONCORD.
Personal pronouns are a type
of PRONOUN which refer to people. They have SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE forms
depending on their function. Also includes it.
A phrasal verb is a MULTI-WORD
VERB made up of a VERB and ADVERB. For example, The toaster blew
up. Give up teasing your sister. The meaning of
the phrasal verb is not usually obvious from the meaning of the parts.
For example, blew up means 'exploded' and give up means
A MULTI-WORD VERB comprising a VERB, an ADVERB and a PREPOSITION:
A phrase is a syntactic unit
which may be composed of one or more words. For example, Jim, the
man; the girl in the corner. A phrase takes its name from the
Head word. For example, ADJECTIVE PHRASE, ADVERB PHRASE, VERB PHRASE,
PREPOSITION PHRASE. Phrases may have premodifiers and postmodifiers.
A type of CIRCUMSTANTIAL ADVERB
that refers to the direction in which an action is taking place, put
the book there.
A form of the NOUN indicated
by the -s INFLECTION, denoting more than one entity. The converse
COORDINATION in which all CONJOINS
are linked by COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS, John and Mary and
The possessive pronouns are
my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, our, ours,
their, theirs. They indicate possession. They can function
as NOUNS, for example, Is this yours? Pass me mine,
or as DETERMINERS, e.g. my house.
A type of DETERMINER which
occurs after PREDETERMINERS and CENTRAL DETERMINERS. They include CARDINAL
and ORDINAL NUMERALS, e.g. my two cats.
A phrase or clause which follows and modifies the meaning of a Head, for example
Postpositive adjectives occur
after the nouns which they modify, for example, the governor general.
A type of DETERMINER which
generally specifies quantity in a NOUN. They include ORDINAL NUMERALS
such as twice, half, all, and both. They occur
before CENTRAL DETERMINERS and POSTDETERMINERS.
Everything that follows the
Subject in a sentence is the Predicate of that sentence. For example,
in the sentence the farmer shot the rabbit, the Predicate is
shot the rabbit.
A predicative adjective heads
an ADJECTIVE PHRASE which follows a COPULAR VERB. E.g. He is clever.
This is a functional term for
the Head of the Predicate of a sentence. In the farmer shot the rabbit,
the Predicate is shot the rabbit. The Head of this constituent
is shot, which functions as the Predicator.
A phrase which precedes and modifies the meaning of a Head, for example, in very fast the adverb phrase very premodifies fast .
Prepositions are short words, including in, of, by, and with, that occur before a noun phrase. Some prepositions consist of more than one word (along with, out of, up to), and are known as COMPLEX PREPOSITIONS.
The phrase that follows a preposition within a prepositional phrase is called a Prepositional Complement. This is usually a noun phrase. In the following examples, the highlighted phrases are Prepositional Complements:
This term may be used to refer to two things: (1) the Object of a prepositional verb (I agree with your arguments) and (2) a PREPOSITIONAL COMPLEMENT (in the cupboard)
A prepositional verb is a MULTI-WORD VERB consisting of a VERB + PREPOSITION. For example:
In general, a prepositional
phrase is made up of a preposition (the Head) followed by a noun phrase.
For example, before two o'clock, from my grandparents,
past the hospital, across the bridge.
They can take a premodifier, eg. , just over the bridge.
A value for TENSE. It usually
indicates that the action is occuring at the present moment. It is denoted
by the -s inflection on regular verbs in the 3rd person singular.
The AUXILIARY VERBS be,
have and do are called primary verbs when they act as MAIN
VERBS. Examples: am a student, I have a car,
I did my homework.
Perfective aspect is grammatically
encoded by the PROGRESSIVE AUXILIARY be + -ING PARTICIPLE
of a VERB are used. For example, Marie is singing tonight.
Sean was reading his paper. Progressive aspect indicates
that an action/situation is ongoing.
The progressive auxiliary is
AUXILIARY VERB be when combined with an -ING PARTICIPLE
to form the PROGRESSIVE ASPECT. It must be distinguished from the PASSIVE
Pronouns can occur in positions typically occupied by nouns: Ann/she went on holiday to France. The doctor examined the children/them. This is a message for Jane/her.
Pronouns have a CASE contrast
with SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE forms. We distinguish the following types:
PERSONAL, POSSESSIVE, DEMONSTRATIVE, REFLEXIVE, RELATIVE, INTERROGATIVE,
INDEFINITE and RECIPROCAL. They are closed-class items.
A proper noun refers to a particular
person or place (e.g. London, Justin). Proper nouns begin
with a capital letter and are not normally preceded by DETERMINERS.
A special use of the PERSONAL
PRONOUN it, also called DUMMY IT, in expressions like: it
is raining and hold it!