Lecture 9. Phrases: Subject/Predicate. English 3318: Studies in English Grammar. Dr. Svetlana Nuernberg

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1 Lecture 9 English 3318: Studies in English Grammar Phrases: Subject/Predicate Dr. Svetlana Nuernberg

2 Objectives Identify and diagram the most important constituents of sentences Noun phrases Verb phrases Adjective phrases Adverb phrases

3 Subjects and Predicates At the sentence level the largest segments into which the material is divided are subject and predicate we tend to see two aspects of events things (topic or subject of the sentence) and actions (comment about the topic or predicate) Pattern that helps speaker to present information there is a topic the speaker wants to talk about could be introduced with an attention getting question speaker has something to say about it could introduce new information for the listener a comment about the topic

4 Identifying Subject and Predicate Identifying subject is crucial to our understanding of what is said or written we expect to find a subject at the beginning of the sentence the who or what a sentence is about we expect the rest of the sentence to tell what the subject does or is like predication we expect that once the verb appears in the sentence, we have heard the entire subject The glaggety woodgies climmed brudgingly to the weegster the glaggety woodgies is a subject (plural) climmed brudgingly to the weegster predicate (climmed verb in the past tense)

5 Exercise 1 How would you divide the following sentence into two parts, subjects and predicates? Underline the subjects (Note that some words that appear at the beginning of the sentence may not be a part of the subject) Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit. The students in Math 101 have always disliked taking exams. Usually, people find Bill Cosby funny. The house that we own sits on a small lot. Test your intuition by trying to substitute a single pronoun for the subject you have underlined.

6 Division between Subject and Predicate Example 1 Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit Edward - subject names a topic who? (known to both speaker and hearer) Grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit predicate new information about Edward (what he does) as large as tomatoes belongs with tomatoes no division is possible after tomatoes *Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit a noun cannot be substituted for Edward grows nor a verb for tomatoes as large as grapefruit wrong division tomatoes as large as grapefruit belongs with grows

7 Tree Structure S = NP + VP S NP Edward VP grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit The phrase structure tree shows that the noun phrase Edward, is functioning as a subject the verb phrase grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit is functioning as its predicate

8 Reed-Kellogg Diagram Subject and predicate appear on horizontal line, divided by an intersecting vertical line Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit in such diagram the words that are part of the subject appear to the left of the vertical all the predicate appear on the right

9 Exercise 2 Identify the subjects in the sentences below Use tag and yes/no question models for help The next car that I buy must be fuel efficient. The best car for me would be one of an EPA estimate of at least 45 miles to the gallon. Buying a car that listed as fuel efficient does not guarantee that the car will deliver the mpg listed on the sticker. Removing the foot from the accelerator a little sooner before a stop sign will also help. Running the air conditioning increases the work that the engine has to do and lowers the fuel efficiency of a car.

10 Form and Function Form/function contrast in describing a sentence structure a noun phrase (form) serves as the subject (function) a verb phrase (form) serves as the predicate (function) The form one of the ways of recognizing different part of speech or word class class-word specific affixes that attach to and change the form of each kind of word: {-ed} past-tense suffix enable to recognize the verb class; {-tion} enables to recognize nouns; {-al} to recognize adjectives in unclear cases we use the position in a phrase or sentence test frames physical shape or the internal structure that enables to classify a phrase (Honey tastes sweet. The milk is sweet)

11 Recognizing a Noun in the Noun Phrase The pattern a noun preceded by a possible determiner more possible adjective modifiers provides a prototypical form for all noun phrases The noun is a headword of the noun phrase the word that other words modify The noun phrase might be substituted by a pronoun it functions naturally in a noun phrase slot (The) seem(s) all right It seems all right

12 Recognizing Phrase Types I Phrases are the chief constituents of sentences the parts from which sentences are constructed Noun phrase is a noun or any group of words that can substitute for a noun a head word of a noun phrase can be modified by other words (the blue car), phrases (the students in Math 101), or clauses (the house that we own) Main verb phrase is the main verb of the sentence plus its auxiliary or helping verbs the main verb can consist of a single verb (fell, swim) and in combination with auxiliary verb (might fell, can swim) the main verb is the head word of the phrase

13 Recognizing Phrase Types II Adjective phrase is an adjective or any group of words that can substitute for an adjective prototypical adjective phrase consists of a single adjective (tall Sally is tall) or an adjective headword and qualifier (very tall) Adverb phrase is an adverb or any group of words that can substitute for an adverb the prototype of an adverb consists of a single adverb (strongly) or an adverb headword accompanied by a qualifier (very strongly) subordinate clauses can be substituted by an adverb to recognize adverb phrases

14 Sentence Constituents Noun phase and a verb phrase are sentence constituents noun phrase functions as a subject verb phrase functions as predicate Predicates must include a main verb phrase can also include: noun phrases adjective phrases adverb phrases If it is impossible to find a single word substitute for a phrase it is not a constituent of a sentence or of the predicate it is a part of another, larger phrase

15 Example 1 Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit a noun phrase subject: Edward a verb phrase predicate: grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit the main verb phrase: grows a second noun phrase: tomatoes as large as grapefruit S NP VP MVP NP Edward grows tomatoes as large as grapefruit

16 Example 2 - People find Bill Cosby funny usually Sentence constituents: a noun phrase: people a verb phrase: find Bill Cosby funny usually Predicate constituents: a main verb phrase: find a second noun phrase: Bill Cosby an adjective phrase: funny an adverb phrase: usually S NP VP MVP NP ADJP ADVP People find Bill Cosby funny usually

17 Exercise 3 Divide each of the following sentences into subject and predicate. Label constituents: NP, VP, MVP, ADJP, ADVP Gilroy, California, calls itself The Garlic Capital of the World. Every July Gilroy holds a three-day Garlic Festival. Organizers expect more than 250,000 people for the festival this year. A new crowned Miss Gilroy Garlic will reign at this year's festival. The festival committee has ordered two tons of garlic from local farms Not all people are delighted with the garlic ice-cream.

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