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1. Phonetics and phonology

1.1. Intonation
It is not easy to define Intonation. We know that the basic feature of intonation is pitch, being high
or low. The overall behavior of the pitch is called tone. Tones can be static, level tones or moving tones,
either rising or falling.
For the purpose of analyzing intonation, a unit is normally used called the tone-unit. Tone-units
consist of at least one tonic syllable (a tonic syllable being a syllable with tone and prominence). Tone-
units also have a “head”, which is that part of the tone-unit that extends from the first stressed syllable
up to (but not including) the tonic syllable. Before the head, there may be a pre-head, which includes all
the unstressed syllables in a tone unit preceding the first stressed syllables. Sometimes there is even a
“tail”, that is, some syllables following the tonic syllable up to the end of the tone-unit. So, the structure
of a tone-unit is (pre-head) (head) tonic syllable (tail). Intonation is very important for communication,
as it helps the addressee interpret the message. There have been different proposals to explain how
intonation can help communication, some of which are:
1. Intonation enables us to express emotions and attitudes as we speak: the attitudinal function of
2. Intonation helps to produce the effect of prominence on stressed syllables: the accentual function
of intonation.
3. Intonation helps to recognize the grammar and syntactic structure of the utterance: the
grammatical function of intonation.
4. Intonation conveys the given-new information, or provides information for turn-taking: the
discourse function of intonation.
So, there are three simple possibilities for intonation: level, fall and rise. However, more complex
tones are also used, such as fall-rise or rise-fall. Each of these tones is functionally distinct, that is, they
convey different attitudes, intentions and meanings to the hearer, as it has been stated above. Thus, the
fall tone is regarded as quite “neutral” and it conveys a certain sense of “finality” (so, it is normally
used to yield the floor in turn-taking). The rise tone, on the other hand, conveys an impression that
something more is to follow (so, it is frequently used to keep the floor in turn-taking). The fall-rise tone
is quite frequent and it conveys, among many other possibilities, “limited agreement” or “response with
reservations”. The rise-fall tone is normally used to convey strong feelings of approval, disapproval or

1.2. Common pronouncing mistakes

The Romanian natives have difficulties in pronouncing the “ea” diphthong. So, they must pay
attention to words like ‘back’, ‘cat’, ‘apple’ (especially to the last one, because they pronounce it [epl]
or [eipl] instead of [æpəl].
Or the pronounce of “th” letters group, which must be pronounced either [θ] as in ‘think’ or [ð] as in
‘mother’. As the Romanians speak a phonetic language, they have problems with sounds, especially
with [ð] and also when choosing between the two ways of pronouncing the above letters group. That’s
why a word like ‘this’ is very often pronounced [dis].
Another common pronouncing mistake is the vowels’ length. In Romanian language there is no
phonetic distinction according to the vocal length. That’s why, for many Romanian natives is difficult
to pronounce and to understand the difference between ‘ship / sheep’, ‘live / leave ‘, i.e. between the
short vowel and the long one.

2. Morphology and Sintax

2.1. NOUN
Definition: part of speech that denotes beings, things, states, actions, phenomena, abstract notions,
qualities, relationships; ex. boy, table, flower, sleep departure, rain, beauty, courage, darkness,
1. Category of number
- Today's English has two numbers:
a. Singular (denotes one object): a car, a boy, a flower, an apple, an ice cream
b. Plural (indicates more than one object): cars, boys, flowers, apples, ice creams.
The Plural formation makes the speakers keep in mind some rules. The general rule says that the
ending -(e)s is to be placed at the end of the singular form of the nouns and it is pronounced in three
different ways:
 /s/ after voiceless consonants: maps, lamps, cats, books
 /z/ after voiced consonants and vowels: boys, tables
 /iz/ after sibilants: bushes, churches, buzzes, bridges

The ending -es is added after nouns ending in the singular in -o: potato - potatoes; tomato,
tomatoes; cargo- cargoes.
This rule is not applied to:
 foreign words not completely adopted by English: concerto -concertos; solo-solos
 shortened forms of longer words: photo (photograph) - photos
b.1. When final -o is preceded by a vowel, only -s is added to the Singular form of the noun:
radios, scenarios, studios.
b.2. There are some nouns in which the spelling wavers, the difference in spelling being
accompanied by difference in meaning: motto(e)s; tobacco(e)s; mosquitoes (insects), mosquitos
(planes), dominoes ( game) dominos (cloaks).
b.3. Final –y causes or not changes in spelling; if it is preceded by a vowel, no change appears:
boy- boys; toy- toys; guy - guys BUT it turns into -ie when a consonant is before it: country - countries;
county -- counties; factory - factories; city – cities.
b.4. Final voiceless consonants are changed into the plural, in their corresponding voiced
-f, -fe becomes –ves: calf- calves; half- halves; loaf- loaves; knife -knives.
But there are some -f, -ff ended nouns which do not modify them when turned into the plural: cliff-
cliffs; roof- roofs; dwarf- dwarfs;
Some of the nouns ended in -f may get double forms for the plural: scarf- scarfs / scarves; hoof-
hoofs / hooves
b.5. There are some nouns that keep the plural form of the language they were borrowed from.
Here are some examples:
Latin plurals: formula - formulae; radius - radii; stratum- strata; index- indices; codex -codices
Greek plurals: analysis- analyses; crisis- crises; oasis- oases; phenomenon - phenomena
French plurals: bureau- bureaux; plateau- plateaux; Madam(e) Mesdames
Italian plurals: bambino –bambini; libretto - libretti
Hebrew plurals: seraph-seraphim
Most of these nouns have an English plural form too, i.e. in -s: formulas; stratums; indexes; crises,
bureaus, librettos, seraphs
b.6. There are nouns that have double forms for plural but with differences in meaning:
brother – brothers (they belong to the same family)
brethren (persons who belong to the same religious group)
staff – staffs (persons working in an office)
staves (musical term, five parallel lines for writing the notes on them)
Few nouns have irregular plural, some of them change the root vowel: man – men, woman-women
child- children, tooth –teeth, goose-geese, foot-feet, mouse-mice, die-dice, ox-oxen (this is the only
noun that adds a suffix en to the singular form).
Classifying the nouns according to the number, we have to take into account the two numbers:
SINGULAR and PLURAL. Before doing it, we have to group the nouns into:
COMMON NOUNS: book, car, boy, girl;
PROPER NOUNS: Bucharest, London, Roger, Brown
The common nouns, at their turn, may be subdivided into:
 countable nouns (nouns that can be counted, so they have forms both for Sg and Pl, the former
requiring a determinative – an article or a pronoun): a pen – pens; this car – these cars; my son
– my sons.
Special uses of countable nouns
- the nouns have the two number forms: a goose – two geese BUT their singular form may be
used to indicate the meat of the respective bird: We have goose for dinner.
- the noun man is used in a general sense and it means mankind, humanity: Man is mortal.
- the nouns fruit(s), fish(es) have a special agreement with the verbs, both in singular and plural:
There is a fruit on the table.
There are fruit on the table. (the fruits are on the same type)
There are fruits on the table. (the fruits are of different types)
- nouns indicating measure, quantity may use a singular or a plural form: a pair of scissors – two
pairs of scissors, three foot / feet high
- the nouns hundred, thousand, million, dozen get the ending –s when they are used without
Hundreds of people are in the street.
 uncountable nouns (they cannot be counted, denote materials, qualities, phenomena): Water is
necessary for life; Beauty and courage are admired.
- the English uncountable nouns are generally used in the singular. Some of them are
accompanied only by singular verbs (advice – sfat, sfaturi): His advice is excellent. (Sfaturile
lui sunt excelente). Furniture, knowledge, money, income, luggage, information belong to
the same group. To build up their plural form, the groups of words: a piece of, an item of, an
amount of are used:
Peter is waiting for a piece of information from London.
There are some pieces of luggage in the hall.
- some uncountable nouns may be used in the plural but they get a different meaning:
advice (council) – advices (news from a distance)
business (trade, commerce) – businesses (shops, commercial enterprises)
- news, whereabouts, mumps, billiards, ninepins, draughts require a verb in the singular:
Mumps is a catching disease.
Billiards is his favourite game.
This news is excellent.
- nouns denoting sciences and ended in the suffix –ics require a verb in the singular.
Mathematics is not my favourite subject.
 collective nouns. The singular form of most of them may connote either a singular or a plural
concept. In the singular, these nouns denote groups of objects/persons seen as a single unit or
reference is made to all the components. But they may have a plural form as well and in this
case, one has in view several groups of the same type:
My family is large. (the family is seen as a single unit. No reference is made to its members).
The family are in the garden. (all the members of the family are in the garden).
The families are present at the party. (several families are present).
The so called nouns of multitude express a plural concept; they always have the verb in the
plural form: poultry, cattle, police, cavalry, infantry, military.
The police have been in the street all day.
The poultry are in the yard.

2. Determination: Article
The article is a form word whose characteristics are the following:
- it has invariable forms: a/an, the
- it is placed in front of the noun or noun equivalents: a book, a table; the car; the eggs
- it has a syntactic function - it is a noun specifier or determinative.
The English language has two articles:
1. Definite Article
2. Indefinite Article
Some grammars speak about Zero Article or absence of the article.
 Indefinite article
The indefinite article has two forms:
- a used in front of singular form nouns beginning with consonants: a book, a car, a boy, a girl
- an placed in front of singular nouns beginning with vowels: an eye; an egg; an umbrella
The indefinite article indicates that the object denoting a noun is one of the whole class, without
specifying its individual features or properties, with the meaning one
I want a book about Geography. (any book, no matter which)
 Definite article
The definite article the is placed in front of nouns, both in the singular and in the plural. It is
/thi/ if the noun begins with a vowel
/the/ if it begins with a consonant
This article marks the object(s) denoted by the noun as definite and distinct from all the other
objects of the class. I want the book from the table (and not another one).
When an uncountable noun is used with the definite article, this marks a limited quantity or a
section of the class. The tea in the cup is very hot

 The absence of article is not to be confused with its omission. The article may be omitted in
titles of books, newspaper headings, stage remarks, telegrams. In these cases, the articles may
be introduced and no change of meaning appears.
The absence of article has a definite function and the insertion of article may bring about a
change: glass (sticla) a glass (un pahar).

Article used with different Classes of Nouns

a. Proper names
Proper names do not require an article in front of them, as a general rule: London, Paris,
George, Mary. Ben
BUT there are exceptions from this rule:
- indefinite article are placed in front of proper names: He is a Mr. Brown. (a certain Mr. Brown)
- the two articles may be used before names of persons, when these are used as common nouns
(name of creator denotes his work): He is the Eminescu of his age.
- names of persons in the plural are used with definite article to indicate that the whole family is
involved: The Browns were present at the party (all the members of the family were there).
- names of persons are used with definite article, preceded by an attribute expressing state,
mood, or a permanent characteristic: the immortal Shakespeare, the great Gatsby
BUT when the attribute is expressed by adjectives such as: young; old; little; poor; dear;
honest; pretty; lazy; silly (considered to be closely connected with the noun)

 NO Article is used: poor Ben; little Mary; lazy Joe

- names of persons used with definite article when modified by a limiting attribute, even when
they are preceded by the above mentioned adjectives: the poor Ben of my childhood, the old
Brown we all know
- personal names preceded by a noun denoting state, specialty, profession, occupation, not used
as title, then the whole get the definite article: the poet Eminescu; the composer Handel
Most English and foreign titles have no definite article: Queen Elisabeth; Captain Brown
Foreign and English titles have the definite article: the Czar Ivan, the Caliph Omar; the
Emperor Charles
- names of seasons get not article when the season nature is expressed but get the article when
the interval of time is in view:
Summer is coming.
in (the) spring;
during (the) summer
The nouns belonging to the above mentioned groups get an article when they have limiting
attributes: the Arad of my childhood; the Monday when you arrived
- Geographical names. NO article is used with the following names:
- simple names of countries: Romania; England; Belgium
- names of towns: London, Paris, Bucharest, Berlin
These nouns may get a geographical or historical attribute: Ancient Rome, Middle Ages
Geographical names used with articles:
- names of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, straights, channels, bays: the Atlantic Ocean; the
Black Sea; the Thames; the Danube; the English Channel; the Suez Canal
NO article is used when the nouns lake, loch, lough precede the name: Lake Leman; Loch
When the river name is part of the compound noun, the article is missing: Stratford-on-Avon;
Frankfurt on Main
- definite article is added to a geographical name when the of phrase is used: the Gulf of
Mexico; the City of London; the Straits of Dover.
NO article is used when a Genitive pattern is part of the whole: Saint Helen's Island
- definite article with chain of mountains: the Carpathians; the Alps;
NO article with single mountain peaks: Omu; Montblanc
BUT the Jungfrau; the St. Bernard; the St. Gotthard
- names of islands: the Hebrides
- names of deserts: the Sahara
- names of provinces: the Ruhr; the Riviera;
- names of capes: the North Cape; the Cape of Good Hope;
BUT when the word CAPE is in front of the name, NO article is used: Cape Horn; Cape Cod
- names of places, monuments which do not contain proper names: the Tower; the City;
the Channel
- cardinal points: the North; the South; the East; the West
b. Common nouns
Being in the singular, these nouns are preceded by articles if no other determinative is in front of
them: a book, an egg, my son, this car
A countable noun used generically represents the whole class, then both articles may be used.
A lion is a ferocious animal (any lion)
The lion is a ferocious animal. (that one you are interested in).
Nouns denoting members of the family may be used as proper nouns: Mother, Father, Aunt;
Granny: Where is Mother? What does Father do?
The nouns denoting parts of the day: morning; evening; afternoon are used with definite
article when a particular morning/evening is meant
- no article is used when they are in adverbial phrases with at, by or when connected with each
other by means of various prepositions: at noon; at night; by day; from morning till night
NO Article is used when they are modified by the adjectives: early; late or day, morning
(light) and night, evening (darkness). When they are accompanied by a descriptive attribute,
these nouns are used with indefinite articles: Ben likes late morning. We saw night coming.
The nouns indicating the names of the day breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner get NO article
when they are used in a general sense: Breakfast is ready at 7 o'clock
When the content of the meal is meant, both articles are used.
The nouns school, college, market, prison, jail, court, hospital are used without article when
they are treated as abstract nouns, indicating activities associated with them: to go to school =
to be a pupil
University; institute are used with the definite article: I go to the university on foot
Nouns considered being unique: the sun, the moon, the earth are used with definite article, as
a rule. Sometimes, they get the value of proper names, no article is used:
What on earth do you mean by this?
The nouns circumstances, conditions, events, matters, things are without articles, usually.
Conditions are fantastic!
The countable nouns modified by wrong/ right are preceded by articles: I chose the wrong way.
Nouns of prepositional phrases have a literary value and get a definite article
Ben is a good man at bottom. In the future, we will travel a lot.
After as, kind of, sort of, the use of indefinite article wavers. She was engaged as (a)
The indefinite article gets the meaning of "one": You must eat an apple a day.
Nouns indicating title, rank, state, dignity are used predicatively: She is Dean of the Faculty.
NO article precedes them.
There is NO article with the nouns preceded by either…or; neither...nor; both...and;
and Both mother and father went home.
c. Uncountable nouns
They express notions as beauty, courage, happiness; knowledge names of material water,
sand, wine and have NO article when they are used in a general sense.
Everybody admires beauty and courage.
The two articles are used with nouns of material when they indicate various sorts of substances
or objects made of the respective material. I like the wines of Arad.
Names of illnesses form a special group. They are uncountable and used with indefinite article:
to catch a cold; to have a cold/ cough/a headache/ a toothache;
Other diseases are used with definite article: to have (the) measles; or without any article : to
have flu
d. Collective nouns
Collective nouns such as family, committee ..., having two numbers, depend on the general
meaning of articles and on the aspect given in the context:
The family is small. The family are in the garden.
The nouns of multitude - cattle, poultry - are used with the definite article:
The cattle are grazing. The poultry are in the yard.
There are some special cases when articles are used:
- most + adjective. The article precedes most when the superlative degree is built:
This is the most interesting news I have got.
- a most + adj. + countable (in the singular) or
- most + adjective + uncountable get the meaning of very, exceedingly
a most devoted daughter = a very devoted daughter
- most + nouns: Most of the books are brand new.

- articles and numerals: Nouns preceded by cardinal numerals are used without articles. ten
balls; five books
Articles precede ordinal numerals, as a general rule, the definite article is used: the first; the
second; the tenth
- articles used with some pronouns: the other; another
Give me another pencil (a different one, not this one)
Give me the one you have bought (I am interested only in that one)
Have another piece of cake. (one more).
Here is the other person I want to introduce to you.
Attention is to be given to the phrases: little, a little; few, a few.
There is little milk in the bottle (it is a small quantity but not enough).
There is a little milk in my cup. (not much but quite enough for me)
The article is to be found in some set expressions such as:
to play the piano / violin / fool; to tell the truth / time; to break the ice / record
- indefinite article is used in set expressions such as: a great / good deal; many; many a; as a
whole; as a matter of fact; as a result;
- no article is used in adverbial prepositional phrases: by land; by plane; by air; at present; at
hand; in view of; at most; from top to toe; over head and ears
and in some expressions like: to take place; to take part/ notice/care; to give permission/
birth/ way

3. Case category
 Saxon genitive
In English language teaching, the term "Saxon genitive" is used to associate the possessive use
of the apostrophe “-'s” with the historical origin in Anglo Saxon (also known as Old English) of
the morpheme that it represents.
-'s is added to the singular form of the noun: the boy’s car, Kate’s book
-' is added to the plural forms of the nouns: the boys’ (cars)
BUT 's after irregular plural nouns: children’s toys
Group possessive case:
Tom’s and Mary’s books (each has books)
Tom and Mary’s room (they share the same room)
 Prepositional genitive
It is formed with of possessive: The book of Peter; The toys of the children
If a proper noun is ended in [iz] then the prepositional case is used and not -'s:
The works of Robert Bridges.
It is not advisable to use more than two possessives in one pattern; for avoiding ambiguity, one
has the chance to combine -'s genitive with the prepositional one:
Here is my father’s friend’car.
Here is the car of my father’s friend.

4. Gender
Taking into account this category, one cannot group the English nouns in three groups, Masculine,
Feminine and Neuter genders depending on their possible replacement with their corresponding
personal pronouns he, she, it.
English nouns referring to animals are usually replaced by it but he, she may also be used. If one
wants to divide the nouns according to gender, the following grouping may be obtained:
- Masculine gender for those nouns that are to be replaced by he: boy, man, father, uncle,
- Feminine gender for those nouns that may be replaced by she: girl, woman, aunt, sister, queen,
- Neuter gender used for those that are replaced by it: house, tree, desk, bridge, rain, snow
There is a group of nouns that designates both male and female, it is called the common gender
and indicates the person's quality, state, function, profession: teacher, engineer, doctor, friend,
student, pupil, child, cousin. Depending on the context, these may be replaced by the personal
pronouns he or she.
I like this teacher; she is a hard working person.
When the speaker does not want to make a distinction between sexes, the masculine form is
generally used. There are cases when one may build feminine forms from the masculine ones. It is
possible to do it by adding the suffix -ess to the singular of the masculine form: poet-poetess; god-
goddess; host-hostess; prince-princess.
There are two cases when the masculine is formed from the feminine noun: widow-widower;
The feminine nouns may be quite different from masculine, the pairs looking like these:
man-woman ; nephew-niece; son-daughter; king-queen; uncle-aunt; cock-hen; gander-goose;
bull-cow; fox-vixen; drake-duck;

Some nouns and pronouns may be added to create the pair: pea cock - pea hen; cock sparrow
-hen sparrow; he wool - she wolf; jack ass - jenny ass; billy goat - nanny goat; boy friend - girl
friend; male cousin - female cousin
The English language has three words denoting persons, one for masculine, one for feminine
and the third is corresponding to the common gender:
Common Masculine Feminine
parent father mother
child son daughter
spouse husband wife
person man woman
The spoken language has the tendency to associate names of animals with he or she. When the
noun indicates exactly the sex of the animal lion-lioness, then he or she is used. When there is no
indication about sex of an animal, the larger and stronger animals are associated with he and the
smaller and fragile ones with she: He: an elephant, tiger, lion. She: a canary, a fly, an insect. When
maternal instincts are referred to, then she is to be used. Birds build their nests to protect their
The fairy tales use the two genders according to the wish of the narrator.
Neuter gender denotes inanimate things; exceptions to this rule are some nouns such as:
- ship, boat, plane, car bus, carriage. They are used in the feminine by those who work on them:
We saw Mary's new car; she was fascinated by her.
- nouns denoting violent actions/passions are masculine nouns: fear, despair, terror, crime, murder
- nouns denoting impressive natural elements, phenomena are also in the masculine group nouns:
storm, winter, autumn, ocean, river
- nouns denoting gentle feelings are feminine nouns: sympathy, pity, charity, wisdom, justice, faith
- nouns indicating passions and feelings as: jealousy, pride, envy, treason, revenge, are feminine
- natural phenomena of less intensity, fertility: life, spring, earth, moon, sea, world, are feminine
- nouns such as: morning, evening, night are also feminine nouns
- country, motherland, fatherland are feminine nouns, especially when they refer to the political aspect
- names of universities, arts, sciences belong to the feminine group of nouns.

2.2. VERB


1. Present Simple
a. Form: I cook tomatoes soup every week.


I cook I don’t cook Do I cook?
You cook You don’t cook Do you cook?
He/she/it cooks He/she/it doesn’t cook Does he/she/it cook?
We cook We don’t cook Do we cook?
You cook You don’t cook Do you cook?
They cook They don’t cook Do they cook?
Persoana + vb la prez. Pers + don’t + vb la prez. Do + pers + vb la prez.

b. Use:
 General truths
Water boils at 100*.
The moon goes around the earth.
 Repeated & permanent situations
We go running every day.
He lives in London.
 In Reported Speech, to introduce quotations
Hamlet says: “to be or not to be..”
 In the summary of a story
Then I go into the house and suddenly I hear a noise.
 Step-by-step instructions
Take the potatoes and slice the. Then, take a bowl and fill it with water.
 Sports commentaries
The goal-keeper passes to Maradona, but Hagi intercepts.
 In proverbs
Despair gives courage to a coward.

2. Present Continuous
a. Form: I am cooking a pie now.


I am cooking I’m not cooking Am I cooking?
You are cooking You aren’t cooking Are you cooking?
He/she/it is cooking He/she/it isn’t cooking Is he/she/it cooking?
We are cooking We aren’t cooking Are we cooking?
You are cooking You aren’t cooking Are you cooking?
They are cooking They aren’t cooking Are they cooking?
Pers. + am,are,is + Ving Pers + aren’t, isn’t + Ving Am,are, is + pers + Ving
b. Use:

 For an action that started before the present moment and which is in progress at the
moment of speaking
He is watching TV.
 Temporary actions
I am staying in this hotel for two weeks.
 For a definite arrangement in the future, especially with vb like to come, to arrive, to go,
to leave
Our friends are arriving tomorrow.
 For an activity which is annoying, with always, continually, constantly
He is always picking his nose in public!
 In subordinate clauses of time
I will not disturb her if the is sleeping.
 Verbs not used here: - of perception: feel, hear, notice, see, smell
- mental activities: believe, agree, forget, doubt, know, remember, recognize, trust
- of wish: desire, want, intend
- feelings: adore, love, like, hate
- possession: hold, keep, own
The flowers smell nice today.

3. Present Perfect Simple

a. Form: I have only cooked the soup so far.


I have cooked I haven’t cooked Have I cooked?
You have cooked You haven’t cooked Have you cooked?
He/she/it has cooked He/she/it hasn’t cooked Has he/she/it cooked?
We have cooked We haven’t cooked Have we cooked?
You have cooked You haven’t cooked Have you cooked?
They have cooked They haven’t cooked Have they cooked?
Pers+have+Ved Pers+haven’t+Ved Have+pers+Ved

b. Use:
 For an action in the past which has a result in the present
I have lost my keys. (Now I can’t get inside)
 For past action which continues in the present and may continue in the future
I have written two letters by now. (Maybe I will write one later, too)
 For activities completed in the immediate past with lately, recently, so far
Mary has read three books so far.
 With words denoting an incomplete period of time: today, this week, all night
John has washed his car all morning.
 With adverbs of frequency: always, ever, never, seldom, several times
I have always dreamt of going to Africa.
 With already and yet, since and for
I have already seen this movie.
 In newspapers, to introduce an action which will be described in the past simple
A terrible accident has happened; a car ran into a group of children.

4. Present Perfect Continuous

a. Form: I have been cooking all morning so now I’m tired.


I have been cooking I haven’t been cooking Have I been cooking
You have been cooking You haven’t been cooking Have you been cooking
He/she has been cooking He/she hasn’t been cooking Has he/she/it been cooking
We have been cooking We haven’t been cooking Have we been cooking
You have been cooking You haven’t been cooking Have you been cooking
They have been cooking They haven’t been cooking Have they been cooking
Pers+have been+Ving Pers+haven’t been+Ving Have+pers+been+Ving

b. Use:
 To talk about a recent activity when its effects can still be seen
Why are you out of breath? I have been running.
 For periods of time that have not finished yet, that is not complete yet
I’ve been reading War and Peace but I haven’t finished it yet.
 To emphasize how ong an action has been going on for or that it has repeated many
I’ve been cleaning the house all day.
 To suggest that an activity is temporary
Sarah has been living here for five years, but now she is going to move.
 With already, before, yet, still

B. Past

5. Past simple
a. Form: Yesterday I cooked an apple pie.
 Regulate:


I cooked I didn’t cook Did I cook?
You cooked You didn’t cook Did you cook?
He/she/it cooked He/she/it didn’t cook Did he/she/it cook?
We cooked We didn’t cook Did we cook?
You cooked You didn’t cook Did you cook?
They cooked They didn’t cook Did they cook?
Pers + Ved Pers + didn’t + V1 Did + pers + V1

!!! sometimes a verb ends in Vowel + Consonant. When we want to add “ing” or “ed” after it,
we double the last consonant:

Stop – stopping, stopped
Plan – planning, planned
Rob – robbing, robbed
Swim – swimming
Dig – digging
Spot – spotting, spotted

 Neregulate:

AFIRMATIVNEGATIVINTEROGATIVI wroteI didn’t writeDid I write?You wroteYou didn’t

writeDid you write?He/she/it wroteHe/she/it didn’t writeDid he/she/it write?We wroteWe didn’t
writeDid we write?You wroteYou didn’t writeDid you write?They wroteThey didn’t writeDid they

Pers + V2 Pers + didn’t + V1 Did + pers + V1

b. Use:

 For an action wholly completed, at a certain moment in the past

Mihai Eminescu wrote this poem in 1880.
 Past habit, or repeated action in the past
Did your parents read to you when you were younger?
 In Indirect Speech
The girl said they lived in a big house.
 To talk about states in the past
This house belonged to my father from 1990 to 2000.
 To describe a sequence of events in chronological order
I took out my key, opened the door and went inside.
 After wish, if only, would rather
I wish we were somewhere at a cabin in the mountains.

6. Past Continuous
a. Form: I was cooking when you called me.


I was cooking I wasn’t cooking Was I cooking?
You were cooking You weren’t cooking Were you cooking?
He/she/it was cooking He/she/it wasn’t cooking Was he/she/it cooking?
We were cooking We weren’t cooking Were we cooking?
You were cooking You weren’t cooking Were you cooking?
They were cooking They weren’t cooking Were they cooking?
Pers+was+Ving Pers+wasn’t+Ving Was+pers+Ving

b. Use:
 For an action in progress at a certain moment in the past
I was listening to the radio when the phone rang.
 An action that was going on at the time when something else happened
Father was reading, while mother was drinking a coffee.
 For a temporary situation in the past
Mike was living in South Africa at that time.
 For an event that was in progress in the past and was interrupted.
I was going out of the house when I heard a noise.

7. Past Perfect Simple

a. Form: I had already cooked the soup when you invited me.


I had cooked I hadn’t cooked Had I cooked?
You had cooked You hadn’t cooked Had you cooked?
He/she/it had cooked He/she/it hadn’t cooked Had he/she/it cooked?
We had cooked We hadn’t cooked Had we cooked?
You had cooked You hadn’t cooked Had you cooked?
They had cooked They hadn’t cooked Had they cooked?
Pers+had+V3 Pers+hadn’t+V3 Had+pers+V3

b. Use:
 An action that took place before a past moment or before another action in the past
The boy explained that he had seen somebody in the garden.
When father came home, Mike had already done his homework.
 To express duration up to a certain moment in the past
By the time the rain started, we had dug the whole garden.
 With just, already, hardly, to show that a past action was finished a little time before
another past action
Mary told us that her brother had just left.
 For an unfulfilled wish
I wish I hadn’t missed the train.

8. Past Perfect Continuous

a. Form: I had been cooking two dishes when I realized I didn’t put salt.


I had been cooking I hadn’t been cooking Had I been cooking
You had been cooking You hadn’t been cooking Had you been cooking
He/she had been cooking He/she hadn’t been cooking Had he/she/it been cooking
We had been cooking We hadn’t been cooking Had we been cooking
You had been cooking You hadn’t been cooking Had you been cooking
They had been cooking They hadn’t been cooking Had they been cooking
Pers+had been+Ving Pers+hadn’t been+Ving Had+pers+been+Ving

b. Use:
 To underline the continuity of a past action up to a past moment or just before it
I had been cooking when I realized I didn’t have salt.
Mat was very tired when he got home. He had been working all day.
The ground was dirty this morning. The two armies had been fighting all night.

C. Future

9. Future Simple
a. Form 1: I will come to your place tomorrow.


I will come I won’t come Will I come
You will come You won’t come Will you come
He/she will come He/she won’t come Will he/she come
We will come We won’t come Will we come
You will come You won’t come Will you come
They will come They won’t come Will they come
Pers+will+V1 Pers+won’t +V1 Will+pers+V1

 For a future event, especially for willingness, assumption, estimation
We will get married in May.
I will go to Canada after I graduate.
That woman told me that I will have three beautiful children.

b. Form 2: I shall come


I shall come I shan’t come Shall I come
You shall come You shan’t come Shall you come
He/she shall come He/she shan’t come Shall he/she come
We shall come We shan’t come Shall we come
You shall come You shan’t come Shall you come
They shall come They shan’t come Shall they come
Pers+shall+V1 Pers+shan’t +V1 Shall+pers+V1

 For a future event, especially for determination, refusal, promise, threat, prophetic
I shall go to him, no matter what happens.
I shan’t do that, stop talking about it.
All those who follow me, shall be redeemed.

10. Future Continuous

a. Form: I will be speaking


I will be coming I won’t be coming Will I be coming
You will be coming You won’t be coming Will you be coming
He/she will be coming He/she won’t be coming Will he/she be coming
We will be coming We won’t be coming Will we be coming
You will be coming You won’t be coming Will you be coming
They will be coming They won’t be coming Will they be coming
Pers+will be+Ving Pers+won’t be+Ving Will+pers+be+Ving
b. Use:
 Future activity that will begin before and will continue after a certain moment in the future
This time tomorrow we will be watching TV.
Next week at this time I will be crossing the Atlantic.
 To show that an activity will extend over a whole future period
Lucy will be learning all day long tomorrow.

11. Near future or Going to

a. Form: I am going to speak to him about it tomorrow.


I am going to come I’m not going to come Am I going to come
You are going to come You aren’t going to come Are you going to come
He/she/it is going to come He/she/it isn’t going to come Is he/she/it going to come
We are going to come We aren’t going to come Are we going to come
You are going to come You aren’t going to come Are you going to come
They are going to come They aren’t going to come Are they going to come
Pers. + am,are,is + Ving Pers + aren’t, isn’t + Ving Am,are, is + pers + Ving

b. Use:
 Intention
I am going to tell him the truth tomorrow.
 Prediction
I think my sister is going to have a wonderful future next to him.
 Planned action
My uncle is going to buy a yacht next year.

12. Future Perfect Simple

a. Form: I will have seen


I will have seen I won’t have seen Will I have seen
You will have seen You won’t have seen Will you have seen
He/she will have seen He/she won’t have seen Will he/she have seen
We will have seen We won’t b have seen Will we have seen
You will have seen You won’t have seen Will you have seen
They will have seen They won’t have seen Will they have seen
Pers+will have+V3 Pers+won’t have+V3 Will+pers+have+V3

b. Use:
 With by, for an action which will be finished before a certain moment in the future
It it nine o o’clock. I’m sure my sister will have written her composition by eleven
 The duration up to a certain time in the future
Tomorrow we will have been on holiday for one month.
 Assumption
If Jack has taken a taxi, he will have arrived at the railway station in time. (I assume
that he has arrived)

13. Future Perfect Continuous

a. Form: I will have been speaking


I will have been I won’t have been speaking Will I have been speaking
You will have been You won’t have been Will you have been speaking
speaking speaking
He/she will have been He/she won’t have been Will he/she have been speaking
speaking speaking
We will have been We won’t b have been Will we have been speaking
speaking speaking
You will have been You won’t have been Will you have been speaking
speaking speaking
They will have been They won’t have been Will they have been speaking
speaking speaking
Pers+will have+Ving Pers+won’t have+Ving Will+pers+have+Ving

b. Use:
 To express the duration of an action up to a certain moment in the future
At 6 o’clock, my sister will have been sleeping for 2 hours.
You will have been studying English for 10 years when you graduate from this school.

14. Future In the Past Simple

a. Form: I would come


I would come I wouldn’t come would I come
You would come You wouldn’t come would you come
He/she would come He/she wouldn’t come would he/she come
We would come We wouldn’t come would we come
You would come You wouldn’t come would you come
They would come They wouldn’t come would they come
Pers+would+V1 Pers+wouldn’t +V1 Would+pers+V1

b. Use:
 A future action from a viewpoint in the past
She told me that she would go there.
The pupil promised that he would come to school on time.

15. Future In the Past Continuous

a. Form: I would be coming

I would be coming I wouldn’t be coming would I be coming
You would be coming You wouldn’t be coming would you be coming
He/she would be coming He/she wouldn’t be coming would he/she be coming
We would be coming We wouldn’t be coming would we be coming
You would be coming You wouldn’t be coming would you be coming
They would be coming They wouldn’t be coming would they be coming
Pers+would be+Ving Pers+wouldn’t be+Ving Would+pers+be+Ving

b. Use:
 To express a future continuous seen from a past viewpoint
The woman assured as that the baby would be sleeping in less than an hour.
Peter informed me that he would be doing an interesting experiment at 10 o’clock
the next day.

The imperfective (progressive) is a grammatical aspect used to describe a situation viewed with
internal structure, such as ongoing, habitual, repeated, and similar semantic roles, whether that situation
occurs in the past, present, or future. The English progressive is used to describe ongoing events such
as "The rain was beating down". Habitual situations do not have their own verb form, but the
construction "used to" conveys past habitual action, as in "I used to ski". Unlike in languages with a
general imperfective, in English the simple past tense can be used for situations presented as ongoing,
such as "The rain beat down continuously through the night".
The opposite aspect of imperfective is the perfective, which views a situation as a simple
whole. (This is not the same as the perfect.). Unlike most other tense–aspect category oppositions, it is
typical for a language not to choose either perfective or imperfective as being generally marked and the
other as being generally unmarked.
The perfective looks at the situation from the outside, without necessarily distinguishing any of
the internal structure of the situation, whereas the imperfective looks at the situation from inside. This
is why, within the past tense, perfective verbs are typically translated into English as simple past, like
'entered', whereas imperfective verbs are typically translated as 'was reading', 'used to read'. In
English, it is easiest to illustrate aspect in the past tense. However, any tense is possible: Present "John
is reading as I enter", future "John will be reading when I enter", etc.: In each tense, the aspectual
distinction is the same. The very same event may be described as perfective in one clause, and then
imperfective in the next.
The perfective and imperfective need not occur together in the same utterance; indeed they
more often do not. However, it is difficult to describe them in English without an explicit contrast like
"John was reading when I entered."


Verbs which have the past or the present form are called FINITE verbs. Verbs in any other form
(infinitive, -ing, or -ed) are called NON-FINITE verbs. This means that verbs with tense are finite, and
verbs without tense are nonfinite. The distinction between finite and nonfinite verbs is a very important
one in grammar, since it affects how verbs behave in sentences.
Finite Verbs
A finite verb (sometimes called main verbs) is a verb that has a subject; this means that it can be the
main verb in a sentence. It shows tense (past / present etc) or number (singular / plural):
I live in Germany. (I is the subject - live describes what the subject does - live is a finite verb).
Non-finite Verbs
A non-finite verb has no subject, tense or number. The only non-finite verb forms are the infinitive
(indicated by to), the gerund or the participle.
I travelled to Germany to improve my German. (To improve is in the infinitive form).

The indicative mood is the usual mood, which indicates a declaration without indicating that it is
desired, counterfactual, or a command.

The Subjunctive Mood expresses an unreal action, achievable or not, which exists only in the mind
of the speaker: I wish I were you.

1. Synthetical Subjunctive

a. The Present Subjunctive

 To express wishes or set expressions

God save the Queen, Be that as it may
 Desire, demand, obligation
She urged that he listen carefully.
 In impersonal constructions like it is necessary/ advisable

It is necessary that your friend arrive there soon.
 In condition clauses
If this be true, we must inform them.

b. The Past Subjunctive

 In condition clauses
I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
 After wish, it’s high time
I wish you were here next to me.

c. Past Perfect Subjunctive

 In conditional clauses to express a past conditional
I wish you hadn’t said that.

2. Analytical Subjunctive

 Shall I stop?
 Would they come early?
 May all your dreams come true!


Future / Present  IF  Present
I will come to your place if I have time
I don’t buy it if I don’t like it.

Would + V1  IF  Past Spl
I would come to your place if I had time

Would have + V3  IF  Past Perfect
I would have given it to you if I had found it.

Use of modal verb in the conditional:

1. Will: never used, only if it means:

 Volition
If you will explain this problem I’ll finish earlier = if you want
 Obstinate insistence
If you will go there, you will be sorry = if you insist

2. Would: only in the construction would like

If you would like to come here, then I could help you.


I – Let me go!
SG II – Go!
III – Let Tom go!

I – Let’s go!
PL II – Go!
III – Let them go!

- it may be emphasized with do Do sit down!

- the subject is present only when you want to specify the people who need to obey
- intonation is very important
- it may be weakened with the words Please, will you open the door?
- with just, to show something is remarkable Just look at that!


The passive voice is used to show interest in the person or object that experiences an action rather
than the person or object that performs the action.
- formed with the appropriate tense of the verb to be and the past participle


Present Simple
My mother makes these cookies. These cookies are made by my mother.
Present Continuous
Sam is writing a letter. A letter is being written by Sam.
Past Simple
Keats wrote this poem. This poem was written by Keats.
Past Continuous
My dad was reading the newspaper then. The newspaper was being read by my dad.
Present Perfect
I have sent you a letter. The letter has been sent by me.
Past Perfect
I had solved the problem. The problem had been solved.
Future Will
Sarah will send the mail tomorrow. The mail will be sent by Sarah tomorrow.
Going to
Paul is going to organize the event. The event is going to be organized by Paul.
You must leave the car there. The car must be left there.

- passive voice with get / have something done

This construction is passive in meaning. It may describe situations where we want someone else
to do something for us.
a. I must get / have my hair cut
b. When are you going to get that window mended?
c. We're having the house painted.
The construction can refer to the completion of an activity, especially if a time expression is used:
d. We'll get the work done as soon as possible.
e. I'll get those letters typed before lunchtime.

- ‘x’ needs doing

In the same way, this construction has a passive meaning. The important thing in our minds is the
person or thing that will experience the action.
a. The ceiling needs painting (= the ceiling needs to be painted)
b. My hair needs cutting (= my hair needs to be cut)

The adjective modifies a noun / noun equivalent, indicating its qualities: big, great, interesting,
It is associated with the following parts of speech:
a) noun/noun equivalent: a beautiful girl, an heir apparent
b) link verbs: to be clever, to grow older
c) adverbs: extremely difficult, very interesting

Degrees of Comparison
- they are formed in two ways:
1. synthetically - by adding the suffixes: -er, -est: strong-stronger-the strongest
2. analytically - by using the words more, the most important, more important, the most important

1. Synthetical comparison
a) monosyllabic adjectives: big, short, dark, great
b) disyllabic adjectives ending in: -y, -er, -ow, -le:
happy-happier-the happiest
clever-cleverer-the cleverest
narrow-narrower-the narrowest
simple-simpler-the simplest BUT
proper-more proper-the most proper
eager-more eager-the most eager
c) trisyllabic adjectives built with a negative prefix: unhappy, ignoble, impolite, insecure

2. Analytical Comparison
Here are included all the adjectives which are not included in the groups above.

Spelling Peculiarities
They are required by the addition of the comparison degree suffixes
- adjectives ended in -e get only -r, -st: fine-finer-finest
- single consonants are doubled after short stressed vowels: hot-hotter-the hottest
BUT it does not happen when the doubling does not take place after an unstressed vowel:
tender-tenderer-the tenderest
- final –y is changed into –i when preceded by a consonant: happy-happier-the happiest

Irregular Degrees of Comparison

Some adjectives have different forms for comparative and superlative:

good-better-the best; bad/ill-worse-the worst; many/much-more-the most; little-less-the least

Some have double forms for comparative/superlative:

far-farther-the farthest (it makes reference to space)
further-the furthest (it makes reference to time)
near-nearer-the nearest
the next (the following)
late-later-the latest (the most recent)
latter-the last (nothing comes after it)
old-older-the oldest
elder-the eldest

A) Use of the Comparative Degree

1. Comparative of Superiority
- it is expressed by the comparative degree followed by the conjunction than.
She was more frightened than hurt. BUT
adjectives of Latin origin: superior, inferior, junior, senior etc. have no other forms for comparative
He was three years junior than me.

2. Comparative of Equality:
- it is expressed by means of the positive degree placed between the conjunctions as .. .as
He is as tall as Peter. Peter is not so tall as Jim.

3. Comparative of Inferiority:
- it is formed by associating the positive degree of the adjective with less:
John is less handsome than his friend.

Emphasizing the Comparative

- by repeating the adjective in the comparative degree: The days are longer and longer.
- by using such words as : much better, far more intelligent, worse, a great deal earlier
She is much better today than she was yesterday.

B) Superlative Degree
- it can be used both attributively and predicatively
- it is followed by a prepositional phrase or clause

She was the tallest of the four.

I remember the smallest details of her dress.

Emphasizing the Superlative

- by means of the words very, by far. These are my very earliest impressions.
- by means of the words possible, imaginable. Those are the best methods possible.

Gradable and ungradable adjectives

a. Gradable adjectives
Comparable adjectives are also known as "gradable" adjectives, because they tend to allow grading
adverbs such as very, rather, and so on. Gradable adjectives can be used with adverbs such as very or
extremely to say that a thing or person has more or less of a particular quality.
b. Ungradable adjectives
Ungradable adjectives themselves imply 'to a large degree' and are seldom used with these adverbs.
Instead, we can use adverbs such as absolutely or totally.


In linguistics, word formation is the creation of a new word. Word formation is sometimes contrasted
with semantic change, which is a change in a single word's meaning.

In linguistics, conversion, also called zero derivation, is a kind of word formation; specifically, it is
the creation of a word from an existing word without any change in form..
Often a word of one lexical category (part of speech) is converted to a word of another lexical
category; for example, the noun green in golf (referring to a putting-green) is derived ultimately from
the adjective green. Conversions from adjectives to nouns and vice versa are both very common and
unnotable in English; much more remarked upon is verbing, the creation of a verb by converting a noun
or other word (e.g., the adjective clean becomes the verb to clean).

Compounding or composition is the word formation that creates compound lexemes. Compounding
or Word-compounding refers to the faculty and device of language to form new words by combining or
putting together old words.
Formation of compounds
In a synthetic language, the relationship between the elements of a compound may be marked
with a case or other morpheme.

Semantic classification
A common semantic classification of compounds yields four types:
The English compound doghouse, where house is the head and dog is the modifier, is
understood as a house intended for a dog. Endocentric compounds tend to be of the same part of
speech (word class) as their head, as in the case of doghouse.
Exocentric compounds are hyponyms of some unexpressed semantic head (e.g. a person, a
plant, an animal...), and their meaning often cannot be transparently guessed from its constituent parts.
For example, the English compound white-collar is neither a kind of collar nor a white thing.
Copulative compounds are compounds which have two semantic heads.
Appositional compounds refer to lexemes that have two (contrary) attributes which classify the

Type Description Examples
endocentric A+B denotes a special kind of B darkroom, smalltalk
skinhead, paleface
exocentric A+B denotes a special kind of an unexpressed semantic head
(head: 'person')
copulative A+B denotes 'the sum' of what A and B denote bittersweet, sleepwalk
appositional A and B provide different descriptions for the same referent

Formal classification
Most natural languages have compound nouns. The positioning of the words varies according to
the language.
Also common in English is another type of verb–noun (or noun–verb) compound, in which an
argument of the verb is incorporated into the verb, which is then usually turned into a gerund, such as
breastfeeding, finger-pointing, etc. The noun is often an instrumental complement. From these gerunds
new verbs can be made: (a mother) breastfeeds (a child) and from them new compounds mother-child
breastfeeding etc.
Verb–verb compounds are sequences of more than one verb acting together to determine clause
structure. In a compound verb (or complex predicate), one of the verbs is the primary, and determines
the primary semantics and also the argument structure. The secondary verb, often called a vector verb
or explicator, provides fine distinctions.

A special kind of composition is incorporation, of which noun incorporation into a verbal root (as in
English backstabbing, breastfeed etc.) is most prevalent. Incorporation is a phenomenon by which a
word, usually a verb, forms a kind of compound with, for instance, its direct object (object
incorporation) or adverbial modifier, while retaining its original syntactic function.
Agglutination = the process of forming new words from existing ones by adding affixes to them,
like shame + less + ness → shamelessness
Back-formation = removing seeming affixes from existing words, like forming edit from editor
Blending = a word formed by joining parts of two or more older words, like smog, which comes
from smoke and fog.
Acronym = a word formed from initial letters of the words in a phrase, like English laser from light
amplified by stimulated emission of radiation
Clipping (morphology) = taking part of an existing word, like forming ad from advertisement
Compound (linguistics) = a word formed by stringing together older words, like earthquake

Incorporation (linguistics) = a compound of a verb and an object or particle, like intake
Conversion (linguistics) = forming a new word from an existing identical one, like forming the verb
green from the existing adjective
Neologism = a completely new word, like quark
Loanword = a word borrowed from another language, like cliché, from French
Onomatopoeia = the creation of words that imitate natural sounds, like the bird name cuckoo


3.1. Auxiliary verbs

Auxiliary verbs constitute a closed class and their purpose is to add information to other lexical verbs,
such as (a) aspect (progressive, perfect, habitual), (b) passive voice, (c) clause type (interrogative,
negative), and (d) modality.
The auxiliary verbs "be" and "have" are used to form the perfect, progressive and passive
constructions in English: (the auxiliary is in boldface and the lexical verb is italicized):
- Aspect (progressive): "'She is breathing Granny; we've got to make her keep it up, that's all - just
keep her breathing.”
- Aspect (perfect): "'Yes, I want a coach,' said Maurice, and bade the coachman draw up to the stone
where the poor man who had swooned was sitting."
- Passive voice: "When she was admitted into the house Beautiful, care was taken to inquire into the
religious knowledge of her children."
The auxiliary verb "do" is used in interrogative and negative clauses when no other auxiliary verb is
- Clause type (interrogative): (Old joke) Boy: "Excuse me sir, How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" Man
on street: "Practice, Practice, Practice."
- Clause type (negative): "The loud noise did not surprise her."
For some but not all sources, "used (to)" is an auxiliary verb:
- Aspect (habitual): "We used to go there often."

3.2. Modal verbs

Modal verbs form a closed sub-class of the auxiliary verbs, consisting of the core modals ("can,"
"could," "shall," "should," "will," "would," "may," "might," "must") and semi-modals ("had

better", "ought to", "dare", "need"). Modals add information to lexical verbs about (a) degrees of
possibility or necessity (b) permission or (c) ability. Examples:
- Ability: "Before the snow could melt for good, an ice storm covered the low country and we learned
the deeper treachery of ice."
- Certainty: "Eat your eggs in Lent and the snow will melt. That's what I say to our people when they
get noisy over their cups at San Gallo ..."
- Expressing necessity: "But I should think there must be some stream somewhere about. The snow
must melt; besides, these great herds of deer must drink somewhere."

Modal verbs do not inflect for person or number. Examples:

- Person: "I/you/she might consider it." "He dare not go." "He need not go."
- Number: "I/we/she/they might consider it"

3.3. Copulative Verbs

Copulative verbs link the subject to the complement, the adjectives or nouns that refer back to the
subject. These sentences do not contain direct objects, but rather are completed by a complement. Here
are some examples:
That dog is stinky. (copulative verb: is; the predicate adjective serves as the complement)
That dog is one stinky mutt. (same copulative verb; the predicate nominative or predicate noun, mutt,
provides the complement)
That sweater looks good on you.
Good, here, is an example of a complement of a compliment; or even a compliment within a
complement: The noun, Sweater, is the subject. Though the noun, you, here is an indirect object (of the
preposition on), the complement of the verb looks is the predicate adjective good.

3.4. Transitive and intransitive verbs

Some verbs are usually followed by objects. In grammars these are called transitive verbs. Examples
are invite, surprise, give, fill etc. In what follows, the verbs are boldfaced and the objects are
I have invited my friends. (BUT NOT I have invited.)
She surprised us. (BUT NOT She surprised.)
Some transitive verbs are followed by two objects (indirect and direct).
I gave him a book. (BUT NOT I gave.)

Some verbs are not normally followed by direct objects. These are called intransitive verbs. Examples
are: sit and sleep.
I didn’t sleep well.

3.5. Ergative verbs

An ergative verb is a verb which can be either intransitive or transitive. When it is used as an
intransitive verb it is the subject that is receiving the action. When it is used as a transitive verb the
direct object is receiving the action, and the subject is the person or thing causing the action.
Some common ergative verbs are: open, sink, wake, melt, boil, collapse, explode, freeze, start and
The ship sank. (Intransitive)
The explosion sank the ship. (Transitive)
The kettle is boiling. (Intransitive)
Boil the water. (Transitive)
The ice melted. (Intransitive)
The sun melted the ice. (Transitive)

3.6. The Subject

The subject is a unit of syntax that functions as one of the two primary parts of a basic sentence. It
is the person or thing that the sentence is talking about. It is most commonly a noun or noun phrase
("The boy ran"'; "The group of children played"), but it can also be a verb form that functions as a noun
("Hiking is good for one's health"; "To meditate is good for one's soul").
a. There are some unusual subjects (constructions with it and there):
It is raining .
The inversion test shows that the subject is it:
Declarative: It is raining
Interrogative: Is it raining?

Sentences that begin with there plus a form of the verb to be, "there" is not the subject; it merely
signals that the true subject will soon follow.
There were three stray kittens cowering under our porch steps this morning.
If you ask who? or what? before the verb ("were cowering"), the answer is "three stray kittens," the
correct subject.

Omission of subject
Imperative sentences (sentences that give a command or an order) differ from conventional sentences
in that their subject, which is always you, is understood rather than expressed.
Stand on your head. ("You" is understood before "stand.")

b. Subject-predicate agreement
Basic Rule
The basic rule states that a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a
plural verb.
Rule 1:
Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb.
My aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.
Rule 2:
Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1.
Neither Juan nor Carmen is available.
Either Diana or Casey is helping today with stage decorations.
Rule 3:
When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it
with the singular verb am.
Neither she nor I am going to the festival.
Rule 4:
When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and
use a plural verb.
The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf.
Rule 5:
When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject
last and use a plural verb.
Neither Jenny nor the others are available.
Rule 6:
As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.
A car and a bike are my means of transportation.
Rule 7:
Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as well as, besides, or
not. Ignore these expressions when determining whether to use a singular or plural verb.
The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly.
Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of her shaking.
Rule 8:
The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody
are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.
Each of the girls sings well.
Every one of the cakes is gone.
NOTE: Everyone is one word when it means everybody. Every one is two words when the meaning is
each one.
Rule 9:
With words that indicate portions—percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder,
and so forth —look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to
use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the
object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.
Fifty percent of the pie has disappeared. (Pie is the object of the preposition of.)
Fifty percent of the pies have disappeared. (Pies is the object of the preposition of.)
One-third of the city is unemployed.
One-third of the people are unemployed.
Rule 10:
The expression the number is followed by a singular verb while the expression a number is followed
by a plural verb.
The number of people we need to hire is thirteen.
A number of people have written in about this subject.
Rule 11:
When either and neither are subjects, they always take singular verbs.
Neither of them is available to speak right now.
Either of us is capable of doing the job.
Rule 12:
The words here and there have generally been labeled as adverbs even though they indicate place. In
sentences beginning with here or there, the subject follows the verb.
There are four hurdles to jump.
There is a high hurdle to jump.
Rule 13:
Use a singular verb with sums of money or periods of time.
Ten dollars is a high price to pay.
Five years is the maximum sentence for that offense.
Rule 14:
Sometimes the pronouns who, that, or which is the subject of a verb in the middle of the sentence.
The pronouns who, that, and which become singular or plural according to the noun directly in front
of them. So, if that noun is singular, use a singular verb. If it is plural, use a plural verb.
Salma is the scientist who writes/write the reports.
The word in front of who is scientist, which is singular. Therefore, use the singular verb writes.
He is one of the men who does/do the work.
The word in front of who is men, which is plural. Therefore, use the plural verb do.
Rule 15:
Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural depending on their use in the
The staff is in a meeting. (Staff is acting as a unit here.)
The staff are in disagreement about the findings. (The staff are acting as separate individuals in this
The sentence would read even better as: The staff members are in disagreement about the findings.

3.7. Adjectives
a. Attributive and Predicative adjectives
- Attributive adjectives are part of the noun phrase headed by the noun they modify; for example,
happy is an attributive adjective in "happy people". In English, attributive adjectives usually precede
their nouns in simple phrases, but often follow their nouns when the adjective is modified or qualified
by a phrase acting as an adverb. For example: "I saw three happy kids", and "I saw three kids happy
enough to jump up and down with glee."
- Predicative adjectives are linked via a copula or other linking mechanism to the noun or pronoun
they modify; for example, happy is a predicate adjective in "they are happy" and in "that made me

b. Position and Order of Attributive Adjectives

- it precedes the noun/noun equivalent: a good book
- adjectives denoting age, color, material, nationality come next to the noun modified
He preferred the quiet little Belgian city to either of its more noisy capitals.
- if a noun is modified by adjectives among which there are those denoting age, color, material,
nationality, size, form, their order is the following:

Size age origin purpose
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- noun
Opinion shape color material

A nice, big, round, old, blue, French, glass, fruit bowl

3.8. Adverbs
Adverbs are words that modify:
- a verb (He drove slowly. — How did he drive?)
- an adjective (He drove a very fast car. — How fast was his car?)
- another adverb (She moved quite slowly down the aisle. — How slowly did she move?)
Kinds of Adverbs
Adverbs of Manner
She moved slowly and spoke quietly.
Adverbs of Place
She has lived on the island all her life.
She still lives there now.
Adverbs of Frequency
She takes the boat to the mainland every day.
She often goes by herself.
Adverbs of Time
She tries to get back before dark.
It's starting to get dark now.
She finished her tea first.
She left early.
Adverbs of Purpose
She drives her boat slowly to avoid hitting the rocks.
She shops in several stores to get the best buys.
Adverb placement
Adverbs are most usually placed at the end of a phrase. Time adverbs (yesterday, soon, habitually) are
the most flexible exception. "Connecting Adverbs", such as next, then, however, may also be placed at
the beginning of a clause. Other exceptions include "focusing adverbs", which can occupy a middle
position for emphasis.

Order of Adverbs

There is a basic order in which adverbs will appear when there is more than one. It is similar to The
Royal Order of Adjectives, but it is even more flexible.


Verb Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose
enthusiastically in the pool every morning before dawn to keep in shape.
to get a
Dad walks impatiently into town every afternoon before supper
in her room every morning before lunch.
In actual practice, of course, it would be highly unusual to have a string of adverbial modifiers beyond two
or three (at the most). Because the placement of adverbs is so flexible, one or two of the modifiers would
probably move to the beginning of the sentence: "Every afternoon before supper, Dad impatiently walks
into town to get a newspaper." When that happens, the introductory adverbial modifiers are usually set off
with a comma.

3.9. Negative Sentences

A negative sentence (or statement) states that something is not true or incorrect. A negative
adverb has to be added in order to negate or “cancel” the validity of the sentence. This “negation”
element is created according to the following general rule.
The Negation Rule: In English, in order to claim that something is not true, you form a
negative sentence by adding the word not after the first auxiliary verb in the positive sentence. If there
is no auxiliary verb in the positive sentence, as in the Present Simple and Past Simple tenses, then you
add one (in both these cases, the auxiliary verb do).
Watch out:
• When an auxiliary verb (including modals) is used, the main verb is not inflected (no s or ed
ending), meaning that either the base form or past participle is used.
• The verb to be uses a different negation pattern.
Review the following table for examples of negation in English. Some examples use the contracted
forms more used in informal writing and speech, and some others use the full forms.

Negative Element
Tense Example
+ contracted forms
Do + not = don’t I do not play.
Present Simple
does + not = doesn’t She doesn’t play.
Past Simple Did + not = didn’t I didn’t play.
am + not (*no amn’t) I am not playing.
Present Progressive is + not = isn’t He is not playing.
are + not = aren't We aren’t playing.
Was + not = wasn’t I wasn’t playing.
Past Progressive
were + not = weren’t They were not playing.
Have + not = haven’t You haven’t played.
Present Perfect
has + not = hasn’t She has not played.
Present Perfect Have + not + been= haven’t been I have not been playing.
Progressive has + not + been = hasn’t been She hasn’t been playing.
Past Perfect Had + not = hadn’t You hadn’t played.
Past Perfect
Had + not + been = hadn’t been She hadn’t been playing.
Future Simple Will + not = won’t I won’t play.
Future Perfect Will + not + have = won’t have He will not have played.
Conditional Would + not She wouldn’t play.
Conditional perfect Would + not + have She wouldn’t have played.
I can’t play.
can + not = can’t or cannot (formal)
Modals I cannot play.
should + not = shouldn’t
We shouldn’t play.

In informal writing settings, you can contract the auxiliary verb with either the sentence subject or the
word not. In formal writing settings, refrain from contracting any words.
She is not playing. [formal]
She isn’t playing. = She’s not playing. [informal]

Polarity items
In many languages, there is a set of expressions which typically occur in a specific class of contexts,
most prominently the scope of negation, and therefore called NEGATIVE POLARITY ITEMS (NPIs).
The following sentences should exemplify some typical NPIs in the scope of negation:
1. He hasn't seen any students.

*He has seen any students.
2. He hasn't ever been to Yemen.
*He has ever been to Yemen.
3. She didn't lift a finger to help him.
*She lifted a finger to help him.
4. It's not worth a red cent.
*It's worth a red cent.
The (b) sentences in these examples are either ungrammatical, or have a literal meaning quite distinct
from the idiomatic reading of the (a) sentences, or might be used as a denial of an immediately
preceding negated sentence, or could be used ironically (all these cases are marked with a '*' in this


4.1. That-clauses
That is simply a connector. It shows that a declarative clause forms part of a larger sentence.
I understand. You are right. (two separate sentences)
I understand that you are right. (The clause you are right has become the object of the verb in the
larger sentence.)

a. That-clauses: functions
That-clauses can have various functions in sentences. A that-clause can be the subject.
That she should forget me so quickly was rather a shock.
It can be the complement.
The main thing is that she is happy.
Many verbs can have that-clauses as objects.
I will see that a meal is ready for you when you get home tonight.
We knew that she would be happy.
Many nouns and adjectives can be followed by that-clauses as complements.
His manners are so bad that nobody invites him to a party.
You may go on condition that you will not come home alone.

Note that not all verbs, nouns or adjectives can be followed by that-clauses.
Preparatory it
In many cases, it is used as a preparatory subject or object for a that-clause.
She made it clear that she wanted to leave. (NOT She made that she wanted to leave.)
It surprised me that she was still in bed. (More natural than That she was still in bed surprised me.)
The fact that
That-clauses cannot follow prepositions directly. We use the expression the fact that.
The judge paid no attention to the fact that she had just lost her husband. (NOT The judge paid no
attention to that she …)
He held her responsible for the fact that she took food without paying for it. (NOT He held her
responsible for that she took …)
In spite of the fact that she had three small children he sent her to prison. (NOT In spite of that she had

b. Omission of that
In an informal style that is often left out.
She said she didn’t understand. OR She said that she didn’t understand.
It is strange he hasn’t written. OR It is strange that he hasn’t written.
I thought you were in New York. OR I thought that you were in New York.

c. Use of the subjunctive in that-clause

Regardless of the subject, the form of the present subjunctive verb used to express present or past
desires and the like in that-clauses is the bare form of the infinitive (not preceded by "to"). Hence, the
present subjunctive of "to go" is "I go", "you go", "he/she/it go", "we go", "they go".
It was required that he go to the back of the line - compared with the indicative
Everyone knows that he went to the back of the line
It is required that he go to the back of the line - compared with the indicative
Everyone knows that he goes to the back of the line
The English subjunctive also occurs in counterfactual dependent clauses, using a form of the verb that
in the indicative would indicate a time of action prior to the one implied by the subjunctive. It is called
the past subjunctive when referring counterfactually to the present, and is called the pluperfect
subjunctive when referring counterfactually to the past.
It occurs in that clauses following the main-clause verb "wish"
I wish that she were here now
I wish that she had been here yesterday

and in if clauses expressing a condition that does not or did not hold
If she were here right now,...
If she had been here yesterday,...

4.2. Infinitive clause

An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb (in its simplest "stem" form) and
functioning as a noun, adjective, or adverb. The term verbal indicates that an infinitive, like the other
two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being.
However, the infinitive may function as a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or
adverb in a sentence. Although an infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form, deciding
what function it has in a sentence can sometimes be confusing.
To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required. (subject)
Everyone wanted to go. (direct object)
His ambition is to fly. (subject complement)
He lacked the strength to resist. (adjective)
We must study to learn. (adverb)
Be sure not to confuse an infinitive - a verbal consisting of to + a verb - with a prepositional phrase
beginning with to, which consists of to + a noun or pronoun and any modifiers.
Infinitives: to fly, to draw, to become, to enter, to stand, to catch, to belong
Prepositional Phrases: to him, to the committee, to my house, to the mountains, to us, to this

An Infinitive Phrase is a group of words consisting of an infinitive and the modifier(s) and/or
(pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the actor(s), direct object(s), indirect object(s), or
complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the infinitive, such as:
We intended to leave early.
The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb intended.
- to leave (infinitive)
- early (adverb)

I have a paper to write before class.

The infinitive phrase functions as an adjective modifying paper.
- to write (infinitive)
- before class (prepositional phrase as adverb)
Phil agreed to give me a ride.
The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb agreed.
- to give (infinitive)
- me (indirect object of action expressed in infinitive)
- a ride (direct object of action expressed in infinitive)

They asked me to bring some food.

The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb asked.
- me (actor or "subject" of infinitive phrase)
- to bring (infinitive)
- some food (direct object of action expressed in infinitive)

Everyone wanted Carol to be the captain of the team.

The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb wanted.
- Carol (actor or "subject" of infinitive phrase)
- to be (infinitive)
- the captain (subject complement for Carol, via state of being expressed in infinitive)
- of the team (prepositional phrase as adjective)

In these last two examples the actor of the infinitive phrase could be roughly characterized as the
"subject" of the action or state expressed in the infinitive. It is somewhat misleading to use the word
subject, however, since an infinitive phrase is not a full clause with a subject and a finite verb. Also
notice that when it is a pronoun, the actor appears in the objective case (me, not I, in the fourth
example). Certain verbs, when they take an infinitive direct object, require an actor for the infinitive
phrase; others can't have an actor. Still other verbs can go either way.

Verbs that take infinitive objects without actors:

Most students plan to study.
No actor can come between the underlined main (finite) verb and the infinitive direct-object phrase.

Verbs that take infinitive objects with actors:

He reminded me to buy milk.
Their fathers advise them to study.
An actor is required after the underlined main (finite) verb and before the infinitive direct-object phrase.

Verbs that use either pattern:

I asked to see the records.
I asked him to show me the records.
Trent expected his group to win.
Trent expected to win.
Brenda likes to drive fast.
Brenda likes her friend to drive fast.
In all of these examples the underlined main verb can take an infinitive object with or without an actor.

If the infinitive is used as an adverb and is the beginning phrase in a sentence, it should be set off with a
comma; otherwise, no punctuation is needed for an infinitive phrase.
To buy a basket of flowers, John had to spend his last dollar.
To improve your writing, you must consider your purpose and audience.

Points to remember
- An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb; it may be used as a noun, adjective, or
- An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive plus modifier(s), object(s), complement(s), and/or actor(s).
- An infinitive phrase requires a comma only if it is used as an adverb at the beginning of a sentence.

Split infinitives
Split infinitives occur when additional words are included between to and the verb in an infinitive.
Many readers find a single adverb splitting the infinitive to be acceptable, but this practice should be
avoided in formal writing.
I like to on a nice day walk in the woods. * (unacceptable)
On a nice day, I like to walk in the woods. (revised)
I needed to quickly gather my personal possessions. (acceptable in informal contexts)
I needed to gather my personal possessions quickly. (revised for formal contexts)

4.3. Gerundival constructions

This looks exactly the same as a present participle, and for this reason it is now common to call both
forms 'the -ing form'. However it is useful to understand the difference between the two. The gerund
always has the same function as a noun (although it looks like a verb), so it can be used:
a. as the subject of the sentence:
Eating people is wrong.
Hunting elephants is dangerous.
Flying makes me nervous.
b. as the complement of the verb 'to be':
One of his duties is attending meetings.
The hardest thing about learning English is understanding the gerund.
One of life's pleasures is having breakfast in bed.
c. after prepositions. The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition:
She is good at painting.
They're keen on windsurfing.
She avoided him by walking on the opposite side of the road.
This is also true of certain expressions ending in a preposition, e.g. in spite of, there's no point in..:
There's no point in waiting.
In spite of missing the train, we arrived on time.
d. after a number of 'phrasal verbs' which are composed of a verb + preposition / adverb
to look forward to, to give up, to be for/against, to take to, to put off, to keep on:
I look forward to hearing from you soon. (at the end of a letter)
When are you going to give up smoking?
She always puts off going to the dentist.
He kept on asking for money.
NOTE: There are some phrasal verbs and other expressions that include the word 'to' as a preposition,
not as part of a to-infinitive: - to look forward
to, to take to, to be accustomed to, to be used to. It is important to recognize that 'to' is a preposition in
these cases, as it must be followed by a gerund:
We are looking forward to seeing you.
I am used to waiting for buses.
She didn't really take to studying English.
It is possible to check whether 'to’ is a preposition or part of a to-infinitive: if you can put a noun or the
pronoun 'it' after it, then it is a preposition and must be followed by a gerund:
I am accustomed to it (the cold).
I am accustomed to being cold.
e. in compound nouns
a driving lesson, a swimming pool, bird-watching, train-spotting
It is clear that the meaning is that of a noun, not of a continuous verb. The pool is not swimming, it is a
pool for swimming in.
f. after the expressions: can't help, can't stand, it's no use/good, and the adjective worth:
The elephant couldn't help falling in love with the mouse.
I can't stand being stuck in traffic jams.
It's no use/good trying to escape.
It might be worth phoning the station to check the time of the train.

Points to remember:
- A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun.
- A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s).
- Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require punctuation.

4.4. Participial constructions

A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed. The term verbal
indicates that a participle, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses
action or a state of being. However, since they function as adjectives, participles modify nouns or
pronouns. There are two types of participles: present participles and past participles.
Present participles end in -ing.
Past participles end in -ed, -en, -d, -t, -n, or -ne as in the words asked, eaten, saved, dealt, seen, and
The crying baby had a wet diaper.
Shaken, he walked away from the wrecked car.
The burning log fell off the fire.
Smiling, she hugged the panting dog.

A participial phrase is a group of words consisting of a participle and the modifier(s) and/or
(pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s), indirect object(s), or complement(s)
of the action or state expressed in the participle, such as:
Removing his coat, Jack rushed to the river.
The participial phrase functions as an adjective modifying Jack.
- Removing (participle)
- his coat (direct object of action expressed in participle)
Delores noticed her cousin walking along the shoreline.
The participial phrase functions as an adjective modifying cousin.
- walking (participle)
- along the shoreline (prepositional phrase as adverb)
In order to prevent confusion, a participial phrase must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as
possible, and the noun must be clearly stated.
Carrying a heavy pile of books, his foot caught on a step. *
Carrying a heavy pile of books, he caught his foot on a step.
In the first sentence there is no clear indication of who or what is performing the action expressed in the
participle carrying. Certainly foot can't be logically understood to function in this way. This situation is
an example of a dangling modifier error since the modifier (the participial phrase) is not modifying any
specific noun in the sentence and is thus left "dangling." Since a person must be doing the carrying for
the sentence to make sense, a noun or pronoun that refers to a person must be in the place immediately
after the participial phrase, as in the second sentence.

When a participial phrase begins a sentence, a comma should be placed after the phrase.
Arriving at the store, I found that it was closed.
Washing and polishing the car, Frank developed sore muscles.

If the participle or participial phrase comes in the middle of a sentence, it should be set off with commas
only if the information is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.
Sid, watching an old movie, drifted in and out of sleep.
The church, destroyed by a fire, was never rebuilt.

Note that if the participial phrase is essential to the meaning of the sentence, no commas should be used:
The student earning the highest grade point average will receive a special award.
The guy wearing the chicken costume is my cousin.

If a participial phrase comes at the end of a sentence, a comma usually precedes the phrase if it modifies
an earlier word in the sentence but not if the phrase directly follows the word it modifies.
The local residents often saw Ken wandering through the streets.
(The phrase modifies Ken, not residents.)
Tom nervously watched the woman, alarmed by her silence.
(The phrase modifies Tom, not woman.)

Points to remember
A participle is a verbal ending in -ing (present) or -ed, -en, -d, -t, -n, or -ne (past) that functions as an
adjective, modifying a noun or pronoun.
A participial phrase consists of a participle plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s).
Participles and participial phrases must be placed as close to the nouns or pronouns they modify as
possible, and those nouns or pronouns must be clearly stated.
A participial phrase is set off with commas when it:
a) comes at the beginning of a sentence
b) interrupts a sentence as a nonessential element
c) comes at the end of a sentence and is separated from the word it modifies.

4.5. Relative clauses

a. Defining relative clause
As the name suggests, these clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing
we are talking about. Obviously, this is only necessary if there is more than one person or thing
Elephants who marry mice are very unusual.
In this sentence we understand that there are many elephants, but it is clear that we are only talking the
ones who marry mice.
Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.
Relative pronouns
The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses:
Person Thing Place Time Reason
Subject who/that which/that
Object who/whom/that which/that where when why
Possessive whose whose
1. The relative pronoun stands in place of a noun.
2. Who, whom and which can be replaced by that.
3. The relative pronoun can be omitted when it is the object of the clause:
The mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful.
OR The mouse the elephant loved was very beautiful.
Both of these sentences are correct, though the second one is more common in spoken English.
4. Whose is used for things as well as for people.
The man whose car was stolen.
A tree whose leaves have fallen.

5. Whom is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use who / that, or omit the pronoun
The doctor whom/who/that I was hoping to see wasn't on duty.
6. That normally follows words like something, anything, everything, nothing, all, and superlatives.
There's something that you should know.
b. Non-defining relative clause
A non-essential clause, which gives us more information about the person or thing we are talking about.
This kind of clause could often be information included in brackets (...)
The farmer (his name was Fred) sold us some potatoes.
The farmer, whose name was Fred, sold us some potatoes.
It is important to see the difference between the two types of clause, as it affects:
- the choice of pronoun used to introduce the clause,
- the punctuation - you must use commas with a non-defining clause.

4.6. Interrogative sentences

Interrogative sentences are used in asking questions:

Is this your book?
Did you receive my message?
Have you found a new job yet?
The examples above are specifically Yes/No Interrogatives, because they elicit a response which is
either yes or no.
Alternative interrogatives offer two or more alternative responses:
Should I telephone you or send an email?
Do you want tea, coffee, or espresso?
Yes/no interrogatives and alternative interrogatives are introduced by an auxiliary verb.
WH- Interrogatives, on the other hand, are introduced by a wh- word, and they elicit an open-ended
What happened?
Where do you work?
Who won the Cup Final in 1997?
Questions are sometimes tagged onto the end of a declarative sentence:
David plays the piano, doesn't he?
We've forgotten the milk, haven't we?
There's a big match tonight, isn't there?
These are known as Tag questions. They consist of a main or auxiliary verb followed by a pronoun or
existential there.

4.7. Cleft and pseudo-cleft sentences

a. Cleft sentences
it + be + noun + defining relative clause
"Cleaving" is a device that we can use in order to emphasize a certain part of the sentence.
George arrived first at the meeting.
It was George who arrived first at the meeting.
It was the meeting where George arrived first.
The first sentence states a fact; the second one stresses that the person who arrived first was George and
not someone else, while the third sentence emphasizes the occasion (the meeting and not some other
Compare these two sentences:
It was the meeting where George arrived first.
It was at the meeting that George arrived first.
In the first sentence the relative pronoun where refers to the meeting, while in the second one that refers
to at the meeting, which is not a noun phrase, therefore that George arrived first is not a relative
Compare the following pair of sentences also:
It was Monday when he called.
It was on Monday that he called.
Here is an interesting combination of a cleft sentence and a non-defining relative clause:
It is Kevin, whose sister I go out with, who won the race.
Here whose sister I go out with is a non-defining relative clause describing the noun Kevin, whereas
who won the race also refers to Kevin but is a defining relative clause.

b. Pseudo-cleft sentences
Pseudo-cleft sentences are similar in function to cleft sentences, but they are formed with the pronoun
what (= the thing(s) that/which) or all (= the only thing(s) that/which) and have a clause that substitutes
a noun phrase and acts as the subject of the whole sentence.
What I have always wanted is peace, love, freedom and happiness.
What I don’t like about him is his hairstyle.

"All you need is love."
If we want to refer to a person, we can say The person (that/who)...
The person I like best in the class is Julie.
It is interesting to notice that the subject of the sentence above is The person I like best in the class,
which itself contains a defining relative clause, I like best in the class.
In the following sentences the verb phrases are emphasized by "cleaving". In this case the verb after be
will take the form that corresponds to the form used in the what-clause:
What you should do is write a letter to the manager.
What I want to do is sleep.
What they were doing was bathing in a tub.
What I can do for you is call for a taxi.
I don’t know why the baby is crying. All I did was smile at her.
In these examples the verb after be will take the form that the verb in the what-clause is normally
followed by:
What I want is to sleep.
What he hates is getting up early.
This is how you "cleave" a verb which is in the past simple and present perfect:
What I did in the end was go home.
What I have done is write a letter to the editor.

4.8. Sequence of Tenses

The tense of a verb in the subordinate clause changes in accordance with the tense of the verb in the
main clause. The basic rules are as follows:
Rule 1
If the verb in the principal clause is in the present or the future tense, the verb in the subordinate
clause may be in any tense, depending upon the sense to be expressed.
He says that he is fine.
He says that he was fine.
He says that he will be fine.
He will say that he is fine.
He will say that he was fine.
He will say that he will be fine.
Rule 2

If the tense in the principal clause is in the past tense, the tense in the subordinate clause will be in the
corresponding past tense.
He said that he would come.
He told me that he had been ill.
I knew that he would not pass. We noticed that the fan had stopped.
There are, nevertheless, a few exceptions to this rule.
A past tense in the main clause may be followed by a present tense in the subordinate clause when
the subordinate clause expresses some universal truth.
Copernicus proved that the earth moves round the sun.
The teacher told us that honesty is the best policy.
He told me that the Hindus burn their dead.
A subordinate clause expressing place, reason or comparison may be in any tense, according to the sense
to be expressed.
He didn’t get the job because his English isn’t good.
A fishing village once existed where now lies the city of Mumbai.
If the subordinate clause is an adjective clause, it may be in any tense as is required by the sense.
Yesterday I met a man who sells balloons.
Yesterday I met a man who sold me a balloon.
Rule 3
Note that when the subordinate clause is introduced by the conjunction of purpose that, the following
rules are observed.
We use may in the subordinate clause when the main clause is in the present tense.
We use might in the subordinate clause when the main clause is in the past tense.
I study that I may pass.
I will study that I may pass.
I studied that I might pass.
We eat that we may live.
He ate that he might not die.

Rule 4
If the principal clause is in the future tense, we do not use future tense in subordinating clauses
beginning with when, until, before, after etc.
I will call you when dinner is ready. (NOT I will call you when dinner will be ready.)
I shall wait until you return. (NOT I shall wait until you will return.)
Rule 5
Expressions such as as if, if only, it is time and wish that are usually followed by past tenses.
I wish I was a bit taller.
It is time we started working.
He talks as if he knew everything.

4.9. Adverbial clauses

An adverbial clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb. In other words, it contains
a subject (explicit or implied) and a predicate, and it modifies a verb.
I saw Joe when I went to the store. (explicit subject I)
He sat quietly in order to appear polite. (implied subject he)
Adverbial clauses function mainly as adjuncts or disjuncts. In these functions they are like
adverbial phrases, but due to their potentiality for greater explicitness, they are more often like
prepositional phrases:
We left after the speeches ended. (adverbial clause)
We left after the end of the speeches. (adverbial prepositional phrase)
Adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. For example:
Hardly had I reached the station when the train started to leave the platform.
The adverbial clause in this sentence is "when the train started to leave the platform" because it is a
subordinate clause and because it has the trigger word (subordinate conjunction) "when".

Kinds of adverbial clauses

kind of
common conjunctions function example

when, before, after, since,

These clauses are used to say
while, as, as long as, until, till Her goldfish died
time when something happens by
etc. (conjunctions that answer when she was
clauses referring to a period of time or to
the question "when?"); hardly, young.
another event.
scarcely, no sooner, etc.

If they lose
These clauses are used to talk weight during an
if, unless, lest about a possible or counterfactual illness, they soon
situation and its consequences. regain it

purpose in order to, so that, in order that These clauses are used to indicate They had to take
clauses the purpose of an action. some of his land
so that they could

extend the

I couldn't feel
reason These clauses are used to indicate anger against him
because, since, as, given
clauses the reason for something. because I liked
him too much.

My suitcase had
become so
result These clauses are used to indicate damaged on the
clauses the result of something. journey home
that the lid would
not stay closed.

I used to read a
These clauses are used to make
lot although I
concessive two statements, one of which
although, though, while don't get much
clauses contrasts with the other or makes
time for books
it seem surprising.

where, wherever, anywhere,

These clauses are used to talk He said he was
place everywhere, etc. (conjunctions
about the location or position of happy where he
clauses that answer the question
something. was.

I was never
These clauses are used to talk allowed to do
clauses of
as, like, the way about someone's behaviour or the things as I
way something is done. wanted to do

4.10. Direct and indirect speech

a. Direct speech
Direct speech is used to quote what someone has said. You show it using punctuation - inverted commas,
or quotation marks “ ”.
“You remind me of my neighbor,” she said.
She said, “You remind me of my neighbor.”
“You,” she said, “remind me of my neighbor.”
The rules are:
- the quotation – what has been said – is enclosed in inverted commas
- the narrative part of the sentence is always separated from the spoken part of the sentence with a

- when the speech is interrupted and then resumed (example three) you don’t need a capital letter to
restart the quotation
- when the quotation comes at the end of the narrative, the full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
comes before the inverted comma
b. Indirect speech (reported speech)
Indirect Speech (also referred to as 'reported speech') refers to a sentence reporting what someone has
said. It is almost always used in spoken English.
If the reporting verb (i.e. said) is in the past, the reported clause will be in a past form. This form is
usually one step back into the past from the original.
He said the test was difficult.
She said she watched TV every day.
Jack said he came to school every day


Subiectul (pronumele)
I He/ she
“I will help”, said Mary. Mary said she would help her.
we they
my His/ her
our their
this that
these those
Timpurile verbale
1. Present Spl. Past Spl.
“I like your shoes, Kate”, said Jack. Jack told Kate he liked her shoes.
2. Present Cont. Past Cont.
“I am working really hard”, said John. John said he was working really hard.
3. Past Spl. Past Perf. Spl.
“I saw her singing on TV”, said Helen. Helen said she had seen her singing on TV.
4. Past Cont. Past Perf. Cont.
“The telephone was ringing”, said Paul. Paul said the telephone had been ringing.
5. Present Perf. Spl. Past Perf. Spl.
“Bob has lost his key”, Meg said. Meg said Bob had lost his key.
6. Present Perf. Cont. Past Perf. Cont.
“Diane has been working hard”, Jim said. Jim said Diane had been working hard.
Verbele modale
7. Will Would
“I will buy a car”, said George. George said he would buy a car.
8. Must Had to
“You must buy a ticket”, he said. He said that we had to buy a ticket.
9. Can Could
“I can speak English well”, said Chris. Chris said he could speak English well.
10. Shall Should
Shall I open the window?, Mary asked. Mary asked if she should open the window.
11. Tomorrow The next day/ the following day
12. Yesterday The day before/ the previous day
13. Last week The week before
14. Here There
15. This morning That morning
16. Today That day
17. Next Friday The following Friday
18. Ago Before
19. Next The next
20. The day after tomorrow In two days’ time
21. The day before yesterday Two days before

5. Semantics and lexicology, stylistics and sociolinguistics

Semantics is the study of meanings of words, phrases and sentences.

5.1. Semantic analysis

In linguistics, semantic analysis is the process of relating syntactic structures, from the levels of
phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs to the level of the writing as a whole, to their language-
independent meanings. It also involves removing features specific to particular linguistic and cultural
contexts, to the extent that such a project is possible. The elements of idiom and figurative speech, being
cultural, are often also converted into relatively invariant meanings in semantic analysis.
In semantic analysis there is always an attempt to focus on what the words conventionally mean, rather
than on what a speaker might want the words on a particular occasion.
Conceptual meanings
Conceptual meaning covers those basic essential components of meaning which are conveyed by the
literal use of a word.
e.g.: Some of the basic components of a word like needle in English might include “thin sharp steel
Associative meanings
In associative meaning you may have ‘associations’ or ‘connotations’ attached to a word,
e.g.: like needle which lead you to think of ‘painful’ whenever you encounter the said word.
This ‘association’ is not treated as a conceptual meaning of needle.
Semantic features
How does semantic approach help us to understand the nature of language?

It might be helpful as a means of accounting for the ‘oddness’ which we experience when we read
English sentences such as the follows:
1- The hamburger ate the man.
2- My cat studied linguistics.
3- A table was listening to some music.
Above sentences are syntactically right but semantically odd.
According to some basic syntactic rules for forming English sentences we have well structured
The hamburger ate the man
This sentence is syntactically good, but semantically odd. Since the sentence “The man ate the
hamburger” is perfectly acceptable.
The kind of noun which can be subjects of the verb ‘ate’ must denote entities which are capable of
The noun hamburger does not have this property and man has.
Semantic roles
Words are not just a “containers” of meanings. They fulfill different “roles” within the situation
described by a sentence.
e.g.: If the situation is a simple event such as
The boy kicked the ball the verb ‘kicked’ describes an action.
The noun phrases ‘The boy’ and ‘the ball’ describe the roles of entities such as people and things
involved in the action.
The entity that performs the action is technically known as “agent”.
e.g.: The boy kicked the ball.
As in the sentence one role is taken by the boy and the boy performs the action, so it is agent.
Although agents are typically human, they can also be non-human forces, machines or creatures.
e.g.: The wind blew the ball away.
The car ran over the ball.
The dog caught the ball.
The entity that is involved in or affected by the action is technically known as “theme”.
e.g.: The boy kicked the ball.
In this sentence “ball” is the theme because it is affected by the action performed by the ‘agent’.
The theme can also be an entity that is simply being described
e.g. The ball was red.
The theme can also be human. Indeed the same physical entity can appear in two semantic roles.
e.g.: The boy kicked himself. Here boy is agent and himself is theme.
If an agent uses another entity in performing an action, that other entity fills the role of instrument.
e.g.: She hit the bug with the magazine.
In “writing with a pen” or “eating with a spoon” the phrases “a pen” and “a spoon” have the semantic
role of instrument.
When a noun phrase designates an entity as a person who has a feeling, a perception or a state, it fills the
role of experiencer.
If we see, know or enjoy something, we do not perform any action. In this way we are in the role of
e.g: Did you hear that noise?
The experiencer is “you” and theme is “that noise”.
When an entity is in the description of the event then it fills the role of Location. (on the table, in the
room etc).

e.g.: Mary saw a mosquito on the wall.

In this sentence “on the wall” is location.
Source & goal
Where an entity moves from is the Source and where it moves to is the Goal.
e.g.: When we talk about transferring money from ‘savings’ to ‘checking’, the source is “savings” and
goal is “checking”.

5.2. Lexical relations

Lexical semantics examines relationships among word meanings. It is the study of how the lexicon is
organized and how the lexical meanings of lexical items are interrelated, and its principle goal is to build
a model for the structure of the lexicon by categorizing the types of relationships between words.
There are different types of lexical relations: Hyponymy, Homonymy, Polisemy, Synonymy, Antonymy
and Metonymy.

1. Hyponymy
Hyponymy is a relationship between two words in which the meaning of one of the words includes the
meaning of the other word.
A hyponym is a subordinate, specific term whose referent is included in the referent of super ordinate
e.g. blue, green are kinds of color they are specific colors and color is the general term for them.
Therefore color is called the super ordinate term and blue, red, green, yellow etc. are called hyponyms.
A super ordinate can have many hyponyms.
Hyponymy is not restricted to objects, abstract concepts, or nouns.

In a lexical field, hyponymy may exist at more than one level. A word may have both a hyponym and a
super ordinate term.

2. Homonymy
Homonymy is ambiguous words whose different senses are far apart from each other and not obviously
related to each other in any way. Words like tale and tail are homonyms. There is no conceptual
connection between its two meanings.
Homonyms are the words that have same phonetic form (homophones) or orthographic form
(homographs) but different unrelated meanings.
e.g. The word bear as a verb means to carry and as a noun it means a large animal.
An example of homonym, which is both homophone and homograph, is fluke. Fluke is a fish as well as
a flatworm.

3. Homophony
Homophony is the case where two words are pronounced identically but they have different written
forms. They sound alike but are written differently and often have different meanings.
e.g. no – know, bad – bed, would – wood

4. Homograph
Homograph is a word which is spelled the same as another word and might be pronounced the same or
differently but which has a different meanings.
E.g.: bear - to bear. When homonyms are spelled the same they are homographs but not all homonyms
are homographs.

5. Polysemy
Polysemy is when a word has several very closely related senses or meanings.
Polysemous word is a word having two or more meanings.
e.g. foot in:
He hurt his foot.
She stood at the foot of the stairs.
A well-known problem in semantics is how to decide whether we are dealing with a single polysemous
word or with two or more homonyms.
Polysemy is used in semantics and lexical analysis to describe the word with multiple meanings.
Lexical ambiguity depends upon homonymy and polysemy.

6. Synonymy
Synonymy is used to mean sameness of meaning. Synonym is a word, which has the same or nearly the
same meaning as another word: happy – glad - joyful. There are several ways in which they differ:
a. Some set of synonyms belong to different dialects of language
e.g. Fall - used in united states, Autumn - used in some western countries.
b. There is a similar situation but a more problematic one with words that are used in different styles or
c. Some words may be said to differ only in their emotive or evaluative meanings.
d. Words are collocationally restricted they occur only in conjunction with other words.
e. Synonyms are often said to differ only in their connotation.
e.g. hid, conceal
It is very hard to list absolute synonyms: words which are identical both in denotation and connotation.

7. Antonymy
The word antonymy derives from the Greek root anti (opposite) and denotes opposition in meaning.
e.g. quick - slow, big - small, long - short, rich - poor
Antonyms are divided in to several types:
a) Gradable antonyms/pairs,
b) Nongradable antonyms / complementaries
c) Reversives
d) Converse pairs

a) Gradable antonyms / pairs. They can be used in comparative constructions like bigger than or
smaller than etc. Also the negative of one member of the gradable pair does not necessarily imply the
e.g. big – small, not hot does not mean cold.
b) Nongradable antonyms / complementaries. The relation of oppositeness is that which holds between
the pairs as single - married, man – woman etc.
The denial of one implies the assertion of the other and the assertion of one implies the denial of the
other. It is the characteristic of complimentaries.
c) Reversives. It is important to avoid most antonym pairs as one word meaning the negative of another.
e.g. tie - untie.
d) Converse pairs. Another kind of antonymy is forming converse pairs. Usual in family and reciprocal
e.g. brother – sister, nephew – aunt, to buy – to sell

8. Metonymy
A metonym substitutes for the object that is meant the name of an attribute or concept associated with
the object. The use of ‘crown’ for ‘king’ is an e.g. of metonymy.
e.g. gray hair can be used for old age.
The distinction between metonymy and metaphor is made in linguistics. For instance, the phrase ‘to fish
pearls’ metonymy is used and in the phrase ‘fishing for information’ metaphor is used. In cognitive
linguistics, the word metonymy stands for the use of one basic characteristic to identify a more complex

5.3. Figurative language: figures of style

Figurative language refers to words, and groups of words, that exaggerate or alter the usual meanings of
the component words. Figurative language may involve analogy to similar concepts or other contexts,
and may involve exaggerations. These alterations result in figures of speech.
Figurative language departs from literal meaning to achieve a special effect or meaning.
Figures of speech
a) Simile
A figure of speech in which one thing is explicitly compared to another, as in “she is like a rose.”.
e.g.: Suzie is as quiet as a mouse and as tall as a giraffe.
b) Metaphor
A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally
applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”
e.g.: She was a hippo compared to her aunt.
c) Onomatopoeia
The formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its
e.g.: “Bark! Bark!” went the dog as he chased the car.
d) Personification
The attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, especially as a
rhetorical figure.
e.g: The sun opened its sleepy eyes and smiled down on the Earth as a new day began.
e) Oxymoron
A figure of speech in which a pair of opposite or contradictory terms are used together for emphasis.
e.g.: Organized chaos
f) Paradox
A statement or proposition which is self - contradictory, unreasonable or illogical.
e.g.: This statement is a lie.
g) Hyperbole
A figure of speech which uses an extravagant or exaggerated statement to express strong feelings.
e.g.: They had been walking so long John thought he might drink the entire lake when they came upon it.
h) Extended metaphor
A metaphor that is continued over multiple sentences.
e.g.: Suzie is a beautiful young flowering girl. Her cheeks are flush with the spring of life. She has the
fragrance of youth about her.
i) Anthropomorphism
The attribution of a human nature or character to non-human forms of life or to inanimate objects.
e.g.: The plant greeted the rain with pleasure.
j) Allusion
Reference to a famous character or event.
e.g.: Like Hercules, he is so strong.

5.4. Functional styles and functional stylistics

A style of language can be fined as a system of coordinated, interrelated and inter-coordinated language
means intended to full-fill a specific function of communication and aiming at a defined effect. Style of
language is a historical category.
The English literary system has evolved a number of styles easily distinguishable one from another.
They are not homogeneous and fall into several variants of having some central point of resemblance or
better to say. All integrated by the invariant - i.e. the abstract ideal system.
They are:
1) Official (documents and papers);
2) Scientific (brochures, articles, other scientific publications);
3) Publicist (essay, public speech);
4) Newspaper style (mass media);
5) Belles-lettres style (genre of creative writing);
Each of mentioned here styles can be expressed in two forms: written and oral.
Stylistics is a sides that examines the complex of stylistically marked elements of any language level.
1) Scientific style is employed in professional communication to convey some information. It’s most
conspicuous feature is the abundance of terms denoting objects, phenomena and processes
characteristics of some particular field of science and technique. Also precision clarity logical cohesion.
2) Official style is the most conservative one. It uses syntactical constructions and archaic words.
Emotiveness is banned out of this style.
3) Publicist style is famous for its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing the
reader in accordance with the argumentation of the author.
4) Newspaper style - special graphical means are used to attract the readers attention.
5) Belles-lettres style - the richest register of communication besides its own language means, other
styles can be used besides informative and persuasive functions, belles-lettres style has a unique task to
impress the reader are aesthetically.

5.5. Functional styles

Using a language as a primary means of communicating our thoughts is so natural for many people that
it is often difficult to realize what in fact language functions are. Some of the roles of language are so
mundane that they are hardly ever noticed, others are very elevated, or even abstract. Due to their
diversity the functions of language might be divided into two categories: micro functions which refer to
specific individual uses, and macro functions which serve more overall aims.

Micro functions:

1. Physiological function (releasing physical and nervous energy)
Although it might be striking this use of language is fairly common. It is easily recognizable when
devoted fans of sports are observed while watching their favorite discipline on TV. Such fans often shout
instructions, express support, or disappointment and while as a means of communicating with sportsmen
they are useless, such cheers are to release repressed energy.
2. Phatic function (for sociability)
The use of such phrases as ‘nice day today’, or ‘how do you do’ is characterized by lack of any
informative content and is intended to link people and make the coexistence peaceful and pleasant.
3. Recording function
Recording function denotes using language to make a durable record of things that ought to be
remembered. Owing to its omnipresence writing is probably the most significant function of language.
4. Identifying function
Language is used also to identify the objects and events in the world we live in. Without this function
language would be almost useless, as it is thanks to the names of things that we know what is talked
about. We use names to classify different types of things, whether we call a car, an automobile, a lorry, a
van or a truck makes a big difference.
5. Reasoning function (instrument of thought)
Before we say something we think and to do that we necessarily use language. In most cases it is
extremely difficult to think about anything without any use of words. In fact is it also difficult not to
think for a longer period of time as human brains work all the time processing information, thus
providing us with concepts formulated by means of language.
6. Communicating function
This function it is in all likelihood most commonly used language function by majority of speakers.
Requesting, apologizing, informing, ordering as well as promising and refusing are all reasons for
communicating our ideas.
7. Pleasure functions
The fact that language often gives pleasure both to the speakers and listeners is not only supported by
the frequent use of assonance, alliteration and onomatopoeia in poetry. Depending on the sounds of
languages, some are perceived as being mild, others crude.

Macro functions:
1. Ideational function
Ideational function refers to the conceptualizing process involved in our mental activities. Thanks to
language we are able to understand what happens around us.
2. Interpersonal function
Interpersonal function emphasizes that language is mainly a social phenomenon, but apart from enabling
communication with other people it enables to project the speaker in the desired way and to represent
the speaker.
3. Poetic function
Here, the word poetic does not refer to the ability to write poetry, but the ability to manipulate language
in a creative way. With the use of jokes and metaphors we can play with words and meanings simply for
4. Textual function
Textual competence refers to our ability to create long utterances or pieces of writing which are both
cohesive and coherent. Unlike animals people, by use of certain linguistic devices, are able to produce
long sentences and text, and not only simple phrases.

5.6. Discourse analysis, types of texts

Discourse analysis is a general term for a number of approaches to analyzing written, spoken, signed
language use or any significant semiotic event.
The objects of discourse analysis — discourse, writing, conversation, communicative event etc. — are
variously defined in terms of coherent sequences of sentences, propositions, speech acts or turns-at-talk.
Contrary to much of traditional linguistics, discourse analysts not only study language use 'beyond the
sentence boundary', but also prefer to analyze 'naturally occurring' language use, and not invented
examples. This is known as corpus linguistics; text linguistics is related. The essential difference
between discourse analysis and text linguistics is that it aims at revealing socio-psychological
characteristics of a person/persons rather than text structure.
Topics of discourse analysis include:
- The various levels or dimensions of discourse, such as sounds (intonation, etc.), gestures, syntax, the
lexicon, style, rhetoric, meanings, speech acts, moves, strategies, turns and other aspects of interaction
- Genres of discourse (various types of discourse in politics, the media, education, science, business,
- The relations between discourse and the emergence of syntactic structure
- The relations between text (discourse) and context
- The relations between discourse and power
- The relations between discourse and interaction
- The relations between discourse and cognition and memory

What all discourse analyses share is their basis in texts, however broadly ‘text’ is defined. Beyond
written texts and multi-modal texts (TV, advertising, internet, etc.), discourse analysts also consider the
textuality of talk, cities, bodies, buildings and music. Some analyses flow over many books and
historical archives, whereas others do fine-grained analysis of a small number of texts.
A selection of approaches to discourse analysis:
- Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
- Socio-cognitive Discourse Studies
- Political Discourse Analysis
- Discursive Psychology
- Conversational Analysis
There are seven criteria which have to be fulfilled to qualify either a written or a spoken text as a
1. Cohesion - grammatical relationship between parts of a sentence essential for its interpretation;
2. Coherence - the order of statements relates one another by sense.
3. Intentionality - the message has to be conveyed deliberately and consciously;
4. Acceptability - indicates that the communicative product needs to be satisfactory in that the audience
approves it;
5. Informativeness - some new information has to be included in the discourse;
6. Situationality - circumstances in which the remark is made are important;
7. Intertextuality - reference to the world outside the text or the interpreters' schemata.
Links in discourse studies are divided into two groups: formal - which refer to facts that are present in
the analyzed text, and contextual - referring to the outside world, the knowledge (or schemata) which is
not included in the communicative product itself.
By and large five types of cohesive devices are distinguished, some of which might be subdivided:
1. Substitution: in order to avoid repeating the same word several times in one paragraph it is replaced,
most often by one, do or so. So and do in its all forms might also substitute whole phrases or clauses
(e.g. "Tom has created the best web directory. I told you so long time ago".)
2. Ellipsis: it is very similar to substitution, however, it replaces a phrase by a gap. In other words, it is
omission of noun, verb, or a clause on the assumption that it is understood from the linguistic context.
3. Reference: the use of words which do not have meanings of their own, such as pronouns and articles.
To infer their meaning the reader has to refer them to something else that appears in the text (Tom:
"How do you like my new Mercedes Vito?" - Marry: "It is a nice van, which I'm also thinking of

4. Conjunction: specifies the relationship between clauses, or sentences. Most frequent relations of
sentences are: addition (and, moreover e.g. "Moreover, the chocolate fountains are not just regular
fountains, they more like rivers full of chocolate and sweets."), temporality (afterwards, next e.g. "He
bought her perfume at a local perfume shop and afterwards moved toward a jewelry store.") and
causality ( because, since).
5. Lexical cohesion: denotes links between words which carry meaning: verbs, nouns, adjectives. Two
types of lexical cohesion are differentiated, namely: reiteration and collocation. Reiteration adopts
various forms, particularly synonymy, repetition, hyponymy or antonymy (. Collocation is the way in
which certain words occur together, which is why it is easy to make out what will follow the first item.

Types of texts
Obviously, all texts have a certain feature in common, namely they are indented to convey some
meaning. This function, however, might be fulfilled in a number of different ways: a road sign 'stop', and
a six hundred pages long novel are both texts which might serve that purpose; yet, there are certain
characteristics that distinguish them.
a. Descriptive text type
It is based on perception in space. Descriptive writing is usually used to help a writer develop an aspect
of their work, e.g. to create a particular mood, atmosphere or describe a place so that the reader can
create vivid pictures of characters, places, objects etc.
Impressionistic descriptions of landscapes or persons are often to be found in narratives such as novels
or short stories.
Purpose description is used in all forms of writing to create a vivid impression of a person, place, object
or event e.g. to:
• describe a special place and explain why it is special
• describe the most important person in your life
• describe the animal's habitat in your report.
Features Description is a style of writing which can be useful for a variety of purposes:
• to engage a reader's attention
• to create characters
• to set a mood or create an atmosphere
• to bring writing to life.

b. Narrative text type

It is based on perception in time. Narration is the telling of a story; the succession of events is given in
chronological order.
Purpose. The basic purpose of narrative is to entertain, to gain and hold a readers' interest. However
narratives can also be written to teach or inform, to change attitudes / social opinions e.g. soap operas
and television dramas that are used to raise topical issues.
The common structure or basic plan of narrative text is known as the "story grammar." The typical
elements of the story grammar are:
• Setting—when and where the story occurs.
• Characters—the most important people or players in the story.
• Initiating event—an action or occurrence that establishes a problem and/or goal.
• Conflict/goal—the focal point around which the whole story is organized.
• Events—one or more attempts by the main character(s) to achieve the goal or solve the problem.
• Resolution—the outcome of the attempts to achieve the goal or solve the problem.
• Theme—the main idea or moral of the story.
Types of Narrative
There are many types of narrative. They can be imaginary, factual or a combination of both. They may
include fairy stories, mysteries, science fiction, romances, horror stories, adventure stories, fables, myths
and legends, historical narratives, ballads, slice of life, personal experience.
• Characters with defined personalities/identities.
• Dialogue often included - tense may change to the present or the future.
• Descriptive language to create images in the reader's mind and enhance the story.
In a Traditional Narrative the focus of the text is on a series of actions:
- Orientation: (introduction) in which the characters, setting and time of the story are established.
Usually answers who? When? Where? E.g. Mr. Wolf went out hunting in the forest one dark gloomy
- Complication or problem: The complication usually involves the main character(s) (often mirroring the
complications in real life).
- Resolution: There needs to be a resolution of the complication. The complication may be resolved for
better or worse/happily or unhappily. Sometimes there are a number of complications that have to be
resolved. These add and sustain interest and suspense for the reader. Further more, when there is plan for
writing narrative texts, the focus should be on the following characteristics:
• Plot: What is going to happen?
• Setting: Where will the story take place? When will the story take place?
• Characterization: Who are the main characters? What do they look like?
• Structure: How will the story begin? What will be the problem? How is the problem going to be
resolved? • Theme: What is the theme / message the writer is attempting to communicate?
c. Expository text type
It aims at explanation, i.e. the cognitive analysis and subsequent syntheses of complex facts. Example:
An essay on "Rhetoric: What is it and why do we study it?"
d. Argumentative text type
It is based on the evaluation and the subsequent subjective judgement in answer to a problem. It refers to
the reasons advanced for or against a matter.

5.7. Components of prosody

1. Intonation
In linguistics, intonation is variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish words. It
contrasts with tone, in which pitch variation does distinguish words. Intonation, rhythm, and stress are
the three main elements of linguistic prosody. Fluctuations in pitch either involve a rising pitch or a
falling pitch. Intonation is found in every language and even in tonal languages, but the realization and
function are seemingly different. It is used in non-tonal languages to add attitudes to words (attitudinal
function) and to differentiate between wh-questions, yes-no questions, declarative statements,
commands, requests etc. Intonation can also be used for discourse analysis where new information is
realized by means of intonation. It can also be used for emphatic/contrastive purposes.
All languages use pitch pragmatically as intonation — for instance for emphasis, to convey surprise or
irony, or to pose a question. Generally speaking, the following intonations are distinguished:
- Rising Intonation means the pitch of the voice increases over time [↗];
- Falling Intonation means that the pitch decreases with time [↘];
- Dipping Intonation falls and then rises [↘↗];
- Peaking Intonation rises and then falls [↗↘].\

2. Stress
In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to
certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence
inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.
The stress placed on syllables within words is called word stress or lexical stress. The stress placed on
words within sentences is called sentence stress or prosodic stress. The latter is one of the three
components of prosody, along with rhythm and intonation.

In English, stress is most dramatically realized on focused or accented words. For instance, consider the
Is it brunch tomorrow?
No, it's dinner tomorrow.